Planning for Online Learning

Looking back at last year, I think that I created screencasts that were clear and concise. The office hours worked well for the kids that were able to come. We had a daily schedule and the seesaw activities were released according to the schedule which benefited students as they had a daily routine that they could follow. Considering that it was the first online learning experience for all of us, and the fact that we had no time to properly plan for it, I think online learned worked as well as it could have at the time.

Now having last years’ experience and also more time to prepare for online learning, I plan on focusing primarily on 2 areas of growth for me: care and captivate. The one thing that I was grateful about last year was that we had already made connections in the physical classroom. Because we had established relationships, students were able to adjust to online learning a bit easier. We had essential agreements made, routines down and it was a matter of transferring those into the online classroom. This year, it will be harder as we need to build new relationships with students, instructional partners, and parents. In addition, online learning would be harder on my young students. I need to think about how to captivate student interest and maintain student participation in the hybrid and online environment.

I really appreciated the online PD that ISB offered through the IFSEL. The ideas that they shared through the workshop and the packet will be helpful in building relationships with students. In addition, I plan to reread the responsive classroom’s books: “The Morning Meeting Book” and “The First 6 Weeks of School”. The beginning of the year is so important in building relationships and routine. However online learning is different; rereading those 2 books but through the lens of online learning will help with ideas for the beginning of the year. Also, I need to be intentional in how I communicate and interact with my students. Due to the constraints of the screen, I may need to plan for more movement breaks, show my face and communicate my enthusiasm through my facial expressions and voice.

For teaching kindergarteners, I think captivating their interest through a screen would be another more challenging area for me. Young learners like to move, touch and experience things. While mini lessons and small groups with me through a screen would support them in their learning journey, I think it’s equally important to provide them with learning opportunities in the classroom to engage and share their learning with others. My instructional partner would be key in delivering those in-person opportunities for them to explore and engage with teaching points in the real-life context. Therefore, communication, collaboration and careful planning with my team members and instructional partner are all important to deliver the best education for them. This includes giving student choice in the way they demonstrate learning, incorporating their interests in the teaching, interactive lessons, and making sure that students have the opportunity to collaborate amongst themselves (through in-class gallery walks, Seesaw blog, breakout rooms, etc.).

All in all, I think this year will have its challenges, and I’m positive that I will overcome with the support of the principals, OOL, and my team members.

Online Orientation Reflection

I have really appreciated this online orientation. Thank you for creating videos and resources for us newbies to have a full picture of ISB-the visions, beliefs and supports here at ISB. I’ve often found that orientation process at every new school to be a bit overwhelming, especially arriving at a new city; trying to adjust to the culture in addition to learning about the school is a lot to handle at once. So, I appreciated that we could progress through the modules at our own pace over the summer.

Through this online orientation, what I’ve come to understand is that ISB is a very large but very organized community. It has a clear vision and mission, and all instruction, systems and services are in support of the mission. One thing that I learned which stood out to me was the 7Cs framework. Reflection is not a new term for me or my students, but I love how it gives me a framework to reflect upon my teaching. Through the 7Cs, I’m able to reflect upon each component of my teaching and instruction and focus on different aspects I would like to improve upon.

I’m really excited to start working at ISB. Even though this is not how I envisioned I would start at ISB when I first signed on, I feel as prepared and as informed as I can be in this time of uncertainty. I look forward to the day I can set foot on campus to meet my students and colleagues in the ISB community.

Reflection on the 7Cs

The 7Cs are a great framework to assess and reflect on my teaching skills.

I value relationships above all else in my teaching. Especially in early childhood, it’s important for my students to understand their own feelings, the feelings of others, and how to respond appropriately to various situations. I make it a priority to model how to show kindness, empathy, respect, and compassion. Morning meeting and closing circle are daily routines in my classroom and it is a safe environment for us to share our daily experiences and reflections. If there was one word that could describe me as a teacher, I think that it would be caring.

The area which I think requires the most growth is consolidate. We do reviews and build on previous learning, however I need to work on asking students to summarize lessons and think about what they are learning at the end of each lesson. Especially during reader and writer’s workshop, I like to give students lots of time to practice the skills. Sometimes, we run out of time and we don’t have time to come back and share what we’ve done for that lesson. When we go back to in-class teaching, I need to manage classroom time better to make sure to have time at the end of lessons to summarize and synthesize learning.

When reading through the reflection prompts, I noticed that even with the area which I think is my strongest area there were still ways in which I can improve. I think that I could make more space for supporting students to talk about issues outside my classroom. Often times during circle time, it’s mostly about school that I ask students to talk about. I can make a point to ask about aspects of their life outside the classroom.



Reflection of the professional growth model

I have encountered a similar model as that of ISB. We were encouraged to set a goal during the beginning of the year and have various members of leadership and peers come and observe us throughout the year. After an observation, we’d reflect on the lesson and think about areas of improvement. It was an IB school and our digital portfolio should be reflective of the IB teaching and learning standards (e.g. how does my teaching develop the IB learner profiles?). In addition to reflections, we were also encouraged to add artifacts which demonstrate aspects of our teaching and professional growth.

The 7Cs provide a clear and concise framework in which to assess and reflect upon my teaching practices. I’m looking forward to looking at student survey data to help me improve. Teachers usually have an understanding of which areas they want to improve on, but we come to school to help our students learn and succeed. Therefore, it only makes sense that we also ask them about what they think of our teaching! I think it’s fantastic and adds another way to inform my teachings.

Some of my questions that I have about the professional growth model are:

How can we support each other in our goals?

Are there peer groups which are formed based on the goals? Book clubs or teacher inquiry groups?

How was the response from teachers and students since the start of this new growth model?



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 7Cs)
    • 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!

© 2021 Susan Tian

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑