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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Part of the Team: Doing Your Part to Teach Well

I was impressed by the dedication, intelligence, and good work of the many educators I met and worked with at the MTA Summer Conference this past week. I heard story after story about dedication to students, communities, and craft. I was amazed. I was also heartened to hear stories from so many young teachers as that gave me wonderful faith and hope for the profession going forward. These young teachers are ready to take up the torch to support good learning and living in the years ahead. I'll be there to support them too.

As I think of the support I need to do, I recognize that my first charge is to teach well--to do all that I can do to forward a terrific education for the children in my charge. Specifically what does that mean?

The Learning Environment
First, I'll make sure that the learning environment is organized and welcoming--a place children want to come to every day and a place that supports optimal learning. Specifically this means organizing all supplies, signage, and learning spaces in ways that make good learning accessible and inviting.

The Learning Team
With my grade-level colleagues, I'll work to build a dynamic learning team made up of students, family members, educators, teaching assistants, school staff, administrators, and greater community members. We have many strategies in place and many more to add in order to develop a strong, collaborative team for teaching and learning.

The Learning Program
I'll work with my grade-level colleagues to organize, manage, and present the learning program with and for our students. This work will begin with a number of targeted meetings that will result in an organized effort to teach all standards and program expectations in meaningful, child-centered ways.

Assessment, Reflection, Revision
Our teaching team will engage in a regular pattern of assessment, reflection, and revision with and for students and other learning team members to make sure that we're meeting the goals set in ways that are meaningful, relevant, and rich. Specifically I'll update this work with the following efforts:

  • Use of more holistic assessments
  • Create observation/assessment notebook, online charts 
  • Improve showcase portfolio and parent-student conference efforts/process

Professional Learning
Along with colleagues, I'll target a number of professional learning events and actions to continually develop my craft and repertoire related to teaching well. Specifically the plans I have for this include the following:

  • Reading a number of identified articles and books related to math education
  • Working with the grade-level team and cross-district teams to embed new science standards and STEAM activities in meaningful, productive, and engaging ways
  • Working with the NEA, MTA and NBPTS to develop more nationally certified educators
  • Working with TAC to develop teaching/learning supports and information share
  • Taking a special education/inclusion course
  • Reworking teaching/learning units to include future-ready teaching/learning elements as outlined in the books Empowered Educators, Tribe, and Thank You for Being Late
Inclusive, Transparent, Respectful Collegiality and Collaboration
Focusing on the attributes of inclusion, transparency, and respect as I collaborate with members of the many learning/teaching teams I work with.