I am being formally evaluated this year which occurs every three years in our district. My goals last time were to begin a mathematics program to attain another endorsement on my teaching certificate. I finished that last December. It was a difficult couple of years as far as how busy I was with things, and I vowed to my wife not to go back to school again, ever, as it was pretty stressful. But it is a great feeling to finally be done and certifiable as a teacher in our state until 2024. I learned a lot in the math program, and even won a small scholarship to help pay for my last couple of classes. I was able to take some face to face classes for the first time since I got my initial teaching certificate which was great because I was able to see how other teachers taught in an environment similar to the one I am currently in. But as a teacher you should always have some type of goals, which is the purpose of this blog post.
For my goals this time around, I have chosen to look back into working on professional reflection and improving my professional learning network. I have fallen away from that a bit over the last couple of years, as my mathematics course load left time for little else. However, I missed writing in my blog as it provides me with an outlet to really think about what I am doing in my classroom, what others are doing in their classrooms, and how I can better serve my students. People should probably do that in every profession in which you have clients, which is pretty much, every profession. I plan to try and write a reflective post every couple of weeks and also keep a written log of day to day things in my classroom, as I am having several of my students do the same thing. Okay, this is getting a bit longwinded, so I will cut to the chase.
The official title of my first goal is Domain 4E:Reflecting on Professional Practice and Engaging in a professional learning community. I believe I have a pretty good one established with twitter and perhaps my blog, although, probably not a lot of people read my blog anymore. I have neglected these things over the past couple of years, but since our superintendent is kind of pushing this type of thing a little bit, maybe it is a good time to get back to it. I hope to be able to share some of the things I have learned with regards to social media, with some of the teachers I work with during the course of the year. I believe some of them will be open to it, while others, will not. I probably need to work harder at sharing with other staff, if that other staff has any interest.
Domain 3E: Using Assessment in Instruction is the official title of my second goal. This is the third or fourth time they have changed the way they do formal evaluations in our district and it seems like they are just using different words to describe the same things they did in the previous methods of evaluation. For this goal, I plan to have my students do all their work for me in a mathematics journal. I will correspond with them in this journal, and provide feedback on where they are at in the mathematics curriculum. It will provide my a forum for checking for student understanding more effectively, and also a place where my students can also use the habit of mind of metacognition (reflection) about how, when, why, and where they learn the most effectively.
If anyone has any questions, comments, suggestions, or even reads this blog post, please feel free to comment on it.
On a Personal Note: My oldest son is off to college. He has turned out pretty good so far, and I am extremely excited for him. He is in an environment in which I believe he will truly flourish, even more so than he already has. He has such passion and love for his chosen field, that the sadness I felt about his absence, was greatly diminished by the excitement I could see in his and my beautiful wife’s eyes. Indeed, I am a lucky man.