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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Evaluating the Teaching Year

As we move into the final weeks of the school year, we find ourselves at a time of evaluation. Teachers will be evaluated by their supervisors, teams will evaluate the work they've done, and individual teachers will evaluate themselves too.

As I think about the past year, I believe it has been a positive year of good teaching and multiple special learning experiences and events. I believe we met our goals as individuals and as a team.  Areas I would like to develop for next year include the following:
  • Continuing to improve the math program by looking closely at the schedule, learning experiences, and expectations. Listening to and supporting efforts to develop our efforts to teach our most challenged math learners, include more project/problem based learning, and foster math writing, conversation, debate, and presentation.
  • Continuing to embed social emotional learning (SEL) into the academic program in meaningful ways. Looking for more ways to explicitly include this teaching and learning into the academic program including our showcase portfolio efforts. 
  • Working with the team to embed the new social studies standards into the curriculum in meaningful ways. Studying the new standards and looking at how we can teach these in deep, meaningful, and relevant ways. 
  • Re-making the learning environment into an environment that fosters greater teamwork and collaboration. Making this environment a student-friendly environment where materials are easily accessible to students for learning endeavor. 
  • Supporting the leadership efforts and capacity of colleagues. Listening to the many bright and invested colleagues I work with and supporting their creative efforts to develop the teaching/learning. Also contributing in ways that are helpful.
  • Building our collective and individual abilities to teach the new science standards and curriculum effectively. Assess our efforts this year and deepening what we can do with the new curriculum, materials, and standards.  
  • Supporting the local union as the secretary who takes and distributes notes, keeps the website up-to-date, works with colleagues to update union documents, and contribute as appropriate in union efforts, decisions, and leadership.
Many other efforts will be embraced by school teams and administration, however, the areas above are the areas I'll commit to in the year ahead unless asked to support different initiatives. 

In our work places we can't stretch ourselves too thin--we have to focus in on a few areas that matter most to do effective work. To be mindful of this helps one to stay the course in ways that create a positive contribution.


Update:

As I think about these goals, I like to capsulated them in a memorable way. While many feign acronyms--they definitely help us to be mindful of what matters when challenged to become involved in or distracted by too many efforts or diversions.

Overall my goal next year is to create and develop student/teacher capacity with the following:
  • Math process, skill, concept, and knowledge
  • Science process, skill, concept, and knowledge
  • Social studies process, skill, concept, and knowledge
  • Interdisciplinary problem/project work
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership and Collaboration
As I begin the school year, I may begin these efforts with attention to the following statements:
  • I am a mathematician who continually develops my mathematical skill, concept, knowledge, and process with deliberate systematic, collaborative, and creative effort.
  • I am a scientist who learns about the world around me by employing science and engineering process, skills, tools, and exploration regularly.
  • I am a student who learns about the the story of the world's people today and in the past. I use that knowledge to successfully interpret, evaluate, and act in society today.
  • I continue to develop emotional intelligence with attention to self awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making, and self management. 
  • I am a leader and a collaborator. I lead others with sensitivity and respect, and I collaborate with classmates and teachers to create, communicate, contribute, and learn. 
Specific ways that I'll work on the focus above include the following:
  • Apt assessment and development of the math program standard-by-standard, practice-by-practice, unit-by-unit
  • Apt assessment and development of the science program
  • Study, creativity, and collaboration related to the new social studies standards
  • Study, learning experience design, and signage creation related to SEL and emotional intelligence to guide student/teacher learning and skill.
  • Thinking deeply about the learning program and identifying more opportunities for student to lead and collaborate. In a sense developing a more student-first, student-led teaching/learning environment.