Goal Post #2

This is my second reflection of the year with regards to my professional goals for 2015-2016 school year.  I haven’t kept up with the journal I started as well as I had hoped as the new welding course I instructed was extremely time-consuming.  Since that class is completed now, I will have more time to focusing on my professional goals.  The first quarter of the school year is nearing an end and it seems like time just goes faster every year.  I am not sure how to measure the goal I have of  “improved professional reflection is”.  Let me know if you have any ideas Tammie:)  The change I will make as a result of this periodic blogpost is that I will begin writing daily in my reflective math journal.  I will set it on top of my computer so it is right in front of me to remind me to be more reflective on a more consistent basis.

I finished my first real adjunct professor teaching position last week and really learned a ton.  I think the class was mostly a success and a real learning experience for me.  Although many of my welding students were far beyond the curriculum and objectives of the course, they still showed a tremendous amount of growth based on a pre-TABE test and a post-TABE test I administered at the beginning of the course and the end of the course.  There was not one student who took both the pre and post tests who did not show a tremendous amount of growth.  I believe I differentiated very well to meet the needs of both higher level students and students who struggled a bit with mathematics.  I have a great curriculum set up now in D2L and am excited for the opportunity to teach the class again, if they offer it to me.  I feel blessed to have been able to teach the class and again, I feel like I really improved as an instructor because I taught it.  I think it helped our program too, as I now have a far better understanding of the welding program here at the college where our program is located, and I think it was beneficial to the college as well.  Our relationship with the college has only improved as a result of the classes I have taught in collaboration with them.

In the 094 developmental math course I teach in conjunction with the college seems to be going fairly well.  I began utilizing a program called Edready which is an online integrated learning system that other programs in the state have been using.  Previously, I was using a program called gradpoint, which I had success with, but I was asked to begin using Edready by my supervisor.  I think the success my students experience will be similar, as I believe that both programs are effective and that the biggest component that aids in my students success, is my own familiarity with the program.  It seems that a larger percentage of students are sticking with the 094 class than in previous years as 7 of my 10 enrolled students have continued to attend on a regular basis.  Historically, I usually finish with about half of the students I started with, so as far as attendance goes, we are a little ahead of the game at this point in the 094 class.

chic symph

Chicago Symphony PANO

As far as Hiset Preparation has gone so far this year, I believe I have learned to get students through that test.  No student has taken the test twice and failed it on both occasions (knock on wood).  I get a little frustrating that preparing a student for the HISET, preparing a student for the COMPASS, and preparing a student for a College level mathematics course, are such different animals.  Also, some of the strategies I utilize in prepping someone for the HiSET are not the most effective teaching methods to use when teaching for retention.  I have to constantly remind myself that the HISET is but a stepping stone, hopefully to improved educational opportunities or a better employment situation.  That is what I have been told anyhow.  I have become very familiar with the OPT2 practice test and find it very useful when instructing students.  Proportional reasoning continues to be an area that must be focused on for students to be successful.

Finally, the first quarter of the year really flew by.  I think that having Julie here has really improved a lot of areas of our program.  She is a phenomenal teacher, and I believe our program will continue to grow and improve as she continues to learn her new position.  She really seems to “GET ” education and what we are trying to accomplish up here.  It is great to have someone to bounce ideas off and get feedback from.  She has been a very welcome addition to our team.

edin and friends lunch

Edin with his NEW Friends

On a personal note, I visited my son at Northwestern University over teacher PIR days.  Man, what a cool school.  I think he has really settled in and found himself a new home.  The fact that he is so happy and learning like a sponge has eased some of the grief I have felt as a result of not having him around.  He spends his time with like minded and incredibly passionate and intelligent people.  I am both happy for him…and very lucky to be a part of his life.  I love watching him grow into an even FINER young man.


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