I feel ready and excited to begin a new year in the classroom consisting of blended learning as well as prepared for the possibility of returning to online learning. Our recent previous experience of online teaching during Covid-19 was surprisingly good—I am happy to be able to say that in retrospect! I underestimated my online/tech abilities; I felt fortunate to have so many tools at my fingertips, and I saw many of my students definitely grow from the experience. I was also really lucky to have a supportive and cohesive team–we worked together to plan consistent lessons for our students and brainstormed ways to make lessons more interesting and accessible to all students.
As an educator, I came out having learned a lot about technology, as well as student management and growth in the online arena, and feel much, much, wiser in that area than when we started. How will this experience differ? Going forward–I know that blended learning will definitely enhance my teaching—I plan on implementing many of the ideas presented to us through the videos and readings in this activity. I also will be cognizant of the 5Cs of online learning and plan to challenge myself to “captivate” students and help engage their interest in learning both inside and out of the classroom.
For my Professional Growth Goal, I will focus on the strand “Clarify” and I will work towards the following goals:
- I provide orderly, structured explanations when introducing new ideas, including illustrative examples.
- I use a variety of methods and media to present and explain content and concepts.
- I share clear success criteria for student work and provide specific feedback based on those criteria.
Clarifying goals, directions and big ideas is an area I feel passionate about and the more I work with middle school students of varying skills and abilities, the more I see the need for providing more than one way to explain processes we are working on in class. I also want to consider individual learning styles and help students to recognize their own requirements in this area—as well as helping them be able to ask specific questions addressing their own academic needs (helping them to “clarify” their wants for better understanding as well).
For example, one of my first steps for beginning a new unit of study might be to make sure I clarify the purpose and learning goals, and provide explicit criteria on how students can be successful (going over standards/rubrics and pre-existing knowledge).
Additionally, I might try using small group discussion (at table groups, or in larger assigned groups) to start or follow instruction/activities and see how students are learning from my directions and from each other. I can also observe how well students are grasping new content and concepts by taking time to observe after activities have begun.
In terms of how students are actually understanding tasks, they also need to be given opportunities to provide feedback so that I can adjust the learning process, materials, and instruction accordingly. I will ask students for feedback through a variety of ways—checking in with them informally and/or giving opportunities for students to voice their opinion about activities and reflection.
Finally, in order to provide students with effective and accurate feedback, I will need to assess frequently and routinely where students are in relation to the unit of study’s learning goals or end product (summative assessments).
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!