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Friday, January 19, 2018

Another Turn in the Road: Teaching Well

Yesterday the students cleaned their desks and organized the room. I noticed how much more mature they were than in the fall as they quickly helped one another and me put items where they belong. The clean-up happened with such ease that there was time for some outside play before the end of the day. Everyone was happy!

I also noticed that while some are still working to persevere more, in general, all the students are demonstrating greater ownership of their learning and perseverance. This is good too.

With the second half of the year outlined, and many big projects and initiatives to come, my role at this time in the year turns to making every effort I can to help every child reach the goals and expectations set.

Those goals and expectations include the following:

  • Meeting the math standards in engaging, empowering ways. We've still got a lot to teach, but we have a good routine in place so both the teaching team and students will keep plugging away at this goal.
  • Teaching the new science standards in memorable, engaging ways. This is lots of work, but also lots of fun for the students which makes the work worthwhile. One child gleefully said during the science study, "I'm glad I came to school today, " and another remarked, "This is fun!" That's the best motivation for me.
  • As a community of educators, family members, and students we've pushed a lot this year to include worthy field studies, special events, and coordinated learning efforts. We're in a good routine and from now until the MCAS tests, we'll stick to that routine with a heavy focus on meeting the standards. 
  • After MCAS, there are a large number of special projects and special events including the fifth grade play, the biography project, field day, and the global cardboard challenge. 
With regard to the bigger picture of school life and professional learning, I'll mainly focus on science and math teaching as well as my role as union secretary, focus on obtaining needed PDPs for recertification, and our collegial goal of continued development of a culturally proficient program. 

I'll also continue my advocacy to build greater distributive leadership, better communication, teacher voice, choice, and leadership, and inclusive growth opportunities within the system where I teach. I'll work with others in this regard, learn as much as I can about these efforts, and utilize a lot of listening and observation to deepen my understanding of what educators can continue to do to promote top notch teaching/learning environments.