This last year has certainly been one for the books. We’ve all been faced with a great deal of uncertainty and change. As I begin the 20-21 school year, I am filled with a myriad of emotions: excitement to meet the children, a sense of ease in returning to my grade level and working alongside my wonderful co-teachers, and anxiety as we wait for the notice that my family and I can return to Beijing. And of course, I can’t forget to include all of the feelings that come with traveling with an infant and an active toddler amid the pandemic. <insert crying, laughing and poop emojis here>
When I consider that the students have also had their worlds turned upside down by transitioning to online learning last year, I think of how Care, is such an important goal for me to focus on. As I enter this semester teaching online and consider that the students will be meeting me and working with me from a screen for the foreseeable months, I want to make it a priority to connect with them and build relationships. I want them to share their stories with me and on the flip side, share my story with them. As the supporting EAL teacher, I hope to plug into the homeroom community by attending at least 2-morning meetings a week for the classes that I support. In addition, my plan is to open small groups with an ice breaker or community building activity that supports their speaking, listening, reading and writing.
In preparation for the school year, along with completing the modules on DX, I’ve partnered with some of my teacher friends here in the United States, in order to learn about the different online models that their schools have implemented. I’ve asked them what has worked well what the challenges have been. These things have allowed me to contemplate how I can improve my online teaching practices. It has also been fun to engage in “teacher talk” with my friends in public schools and find the similarities and differences in the programs.
My Online-Learning Weekly Planner is focused on the Start of the School Year and is intended to support in building community.
Within my role as a Grade 1 EAL Teacher, my goal for the 19-20 school year, will be focused around Clarify. As stated in the 7Cs Framework, “teachers who clarify help students understand content and resolve confusion. They explain ideas and concepts in variety of ways, check frequently for understanding, address misconceptions, and provide useful feedback.” ( Tripod’s 7Cs Framework of Effective Teaching). My hope is that my students can genuinely answer positively towards questions such as…
- My teacher is very good at explaining things.
- My teacher knows when the class understands, and when we do not.
- The comments that I get on my work in this class help me understand how to improve.
Throughout the year, I will take strides to reach my goal by:
- Providing orderly, structured explanations when introducing new ideas, including illustrative examples
- Anticipate questions by considering what students will likely find difficult
- Generate multiple explanations for potentially tricky concepts
- Use a variety of methods and media to present and explain content
- Regularly check for understand using a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies
- Ask students to explain their reasoning to reveal points of confusion
- Share clear success criteria for student work and provide specific feedback based on those criteria
Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.
- Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
- Self assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards (Tripod 7C’s)
- Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
- Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
- Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
- Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
- Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
- You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.
If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!