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Nocturnal Teaching with a 3 year old and Newborn :)

The 2020-21 beginning of the school year will certainly be an interesting one.  I am moving into a new position in the Middle School and am very excited for it.

While my title is somewhat “cheeky,” a word I have learned from my wonderful Australian and British colleagues… After viewing the modules, I am both excited and a little nervous for the upcoming year.  I am excited, because I can tell a great deal of thought and planning went into the different learning models, and I think the new guidelines will do much more to meet students’ needs.  I’m a little nervous, as without our amazing Ayi, or the ability to always clearly separate work and home life, how the new schedule will work with having rambunctious little ones around could prove challenging. 🙂

In identifying areas for the upcoming school year where I will need to learn and grow, one of the first ones that comes to mind is getting to know my new 7th grade team, and co-teachers.  Having been in a co-teaching role in grades 3-5 the past two years, I know how important communication and a strong relationship with my co-teachers will be in order to plan effectively and provide quality instruction to my students.  I think some 7th grade virtual happy hours may need to occur in order to develop these strong bonds :).  I also think it will be important for us to clearly outline expectations, communicate with one another about where students are struggling/succeeding, and have communicated guidelines on division of duties/responsibilities.  I have already started asking my instructional coach lots of questions, so thanks Krista for being awesome and helping me out!

Along with getting to know a new team, I know I will need to become more familiar with Middle School systems, 7th grade curriculum (all subject areas), and technology.   I am not super familiar with DX (used it a small amount from coaching soccer), and really want to learn a lot more about Mentoring (something I am SUPER excited for), and best practices from Lloyd and Tony for the EAL pullout class I will be teaching (something else I am also stoked for).  We plan to Zoom soon and I was encouraged to hear that they like to gameify and make the course as fun as possible, which is definitely very much right up my teaching alley (not sure if that is an expression, or makes sense, but you can critique it in your comments).

Having read through other blog posts, and after doing the SEL training, I really want to concentrate on Care during the first few weeks.  Given how some students may be feeling isolated, during these strange times, I want to build in time to make sure students get to know me and each other.  I also really want to learn more about how to facilitate quality online discussion, as this is something I struggled with last year.

Excited to meet my students and see all your faces soon.  Once we actually get back to China, social distancing be damned, I’m hugging all of you the second I see you (while wearing a mask of course).

EAL Reporting

After consultants came to evaluate the LS and EAL program a common theme was that parents felt as though they did not receive enough communication from EAL teachers.

I believe in some ways this fits into my goal of Clarify.  Clarify is not just for students, but also all other partners.  We are working to develop what data we want to share, how we will share it, and setting guidelines and standards for how to collect this data.

Am hoping this Clarifying of goals and progress will help parents be partners in education with our students.  Some ideas of things would be, when parents know their child’s reading level, they help them select just right books.

Evaluating my Survey Results

Overall, pretty pleased with my survey results.  Very helpful to evaluate the Item Response Detail as opposed to the flowers page.

I received one unfavorable response in most categories.  Teaching young children, many of whom are EAL students, I do question the validity of the surveys to some extent.  Was the one kid mad at me for telling him to sit down and just put the negative response for all answers?  Did one student confuse the language and just put negative response for all answers without reading the questions?

Also, as an EAL teacher, while I do lead whole group instruction some of the time, the majority of my work is done in small groups or concentrated on helping students who may need a reteach or some additional help with a concept.  Thus, I also question the validity of the survey, as many questions don’t apply as directly to me as they do to the homeroom teacher.

Clarify was one of my lowest categories and it is also my goal.  I will continue to work on this.

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