Being a specialist teacher based in Beijing, I was both anxious and excited about the new model of blended learning, which presents great challenge and also opportunities to bring changes to traditional classroom teaching. The challenges I can foresee include: 1. wearing mask in the classroom teaching, while I need to demo how to pronounce the Chinese pinyin and words for beginner Chinese learners, which is both an audial and visual learning process for best learning; 2. making sure students outside Beijing in different time zones have enough face-to-face learning opportunities on Zoom, while balancing the time available outside scheduled classroom teaching and screen-casting; 3. social-emotional well-being of our students, especially those not being able to be back to school yet. At the same time, there are opportunities for us to explore new approaches to teaching, to enrich the traditional classroom learning and to work further on whole child education as a community.
The actions I may consider taking for online and blended learning include:
- to follow the cycle planner to carefully plan teaching and assessment for both students in Beijing and outside Beijing;
- to make good use of the CFL time to collaborate with my colleagues to ensure the consistency and instruction quality for the courses we teach;
- to work closely with my students and provide personalized learning opportunities, such as using DX units and lessons to work with students both as a group and as individuals, which will be one of the new approaches I feel excited about this year.
Considering my previous experience with online learning, my instructional strengths are scaffolding instructions to ensure students’ understanding and learning, providing differentiated learning material and tasks for students, being caring about students’ workload and motivation, using tech tools to enhance students’ learning experience and so on. I’ll keep these strengths during this year’s teaching.
My areas for growth are to provide more opportunities of periodical summative assessments and spread the tests throughout the units, instead of relying mostly on the projects and end-of-unit tests, which is how our classes used to do. I’ll work with my CFL colleagues to design both teaching and assessments to implement our standard-based curriculum, and assess the standards periodically with the online learning needs on mind.
Using the 5Cs of online learning, the goals I might set for myself in anticipation of future online instruction are to captivate students with personalization, and to provide opportunities for students to work with each other and as a group. To achieve these goals, in anticipation of future online instruction, I’ll carefully set up the units and updating the lessons on DX with a variety of learning tasks and material, with students’ voice and learning styles. I will also use some of the strategies I learned from IFSEL training to engage students in learning social-emotionally. I’ll also use DX to facilitate and encourage students’ interactions when we discuss questions asynchronously, and use Zoom to facilitate group learning or team interactions synchronously. I’ll collaborate closely with my CFL team and support each other, with the guidance from our program director when needed. Besides, the DX learning modules and the Online Learning Guides have a lot of information and resources we can refer to, which was an amazing job done by our school to prepare for online learning and blended learning. Go Dragons!
At the beginning of school year, when I did the initial goal setting, I identified two areas that I want to work further work on this year (see below).
Which of the 7Cs will you work on this year? Why?
I will work on “Consolidate” and “Challenge” as my professional growth goals this year. The reason is I need to be more consistent when asking students to summarize what they have learned at the end of class. I think there needs to be more connection between what we learned before and what we are learning, especially characters. Besides, I think I will work more on challenging students in thinking deeply about what they are learning, and set the expectation high for doing their work.
When I got the first students’ survey results, I found they were mostly in alignment with how I reflected on my classes. My greater strengths are in the areas of “Care” and “Captivate”. I feel grateful that all students think “My teacher in this class makes me feel that s/he really cares about me.” I’m glad to see that students like the way they learn and they don’t feel bored in class. These are what I will keep doing.
I appreciated the many positive feedback on “Confer” and “Clarify”, and know students value the time they have to explain their ideas/give their answers, and the comments they get to help improve their learning. In future, I’ll also do more check-ins with my students to make sure they follow the instructions and understand what they are learning.
The areas I have a lot of space to grow on are “Consolidate” and “Challenge”.
- For “Consolidate”: 8% of students disagree and 31% of students feel neutral about “My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day”, and “My teacher asks questions to be sure we are following along when s/he is teaching.”
- For “Challenge”, almost every student agrees that “My teacher doesn’t let people give up when the work gets hard.” When it comes to the questions about “thinking skills”, such as “My teacher wants us to use our thinking skills, not just memorize things.” and “My teacher makes us explain our answers – why we think what we think.” I saw higher ratio of students disagreement (17%) or neutral (33%) feedback. For our language class, we are in the Novice to Intermediate proficiency level according to ACTFL. The thinking we do in class are more on the nature of language, cultural comparison, word use etc. We don’t do much thinking on “why I got this wrong” and “explaining the wrong answers I got”, because most of the mistakes have things in common, such as the impact of mother tongue, or can’t remember the right expressions. This makes me wonder if the thinking we do in class is the same “thinking” that students think they do in other classes.
At the same time, I also want to know more about how to apply thinking skills in the language acquisition classroom.
- For “Consolidate”, I will try to be more consistent in “summarizing what we learn each day” at the end of class verbally, in addition to posting the class debrief on DX. For consolidation, even though this is not listed in the survey, I’ll work on providing more opportunities for students to review and practice what they learned in class, because I noticed some students are not consistent in doing homework, which is a way of consolidating what was learned. Learning a language is more than just understanding, and it takes time and practice to consolidate. The time and practice also need to the consistent and continuous. The category of “Consolidate” will be my major focus this year.
- For “Challenge”, I’ll read Project Zero’s “Making Thinking Visible”, and join the study group initiated by Chuyu on Fridays as much as I can (when I don’t have ASA classes). With these PD activities, I’ll try to integrate more thinking skills for students in our learning. The category “Challenge” will be my long term goal of professional development.
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!