Sunday, September 15, 2019

The long road: teaching and learning well

In school life it's easy to lose your focus since there are so many potential avenues to travel, but to teach well demands that you use good focus as you develop and perform your primary tasks. This focus is supported by long range vision--the path you hope to travel to accomplish the teaching/learning goals you've set.

I thought of this today as my attention was turned away from my primary goals. So I thought I'd take the time to list those goals as I plan ahead.

Rich, Deep STEAM Teaching
My team is working on this goal. We are receiving state and community support for this goal. There are endless potential paths to take, and choosing the best paths will be a focus of our grade level team work. The next steps include the following:
  • Focusing in on the TEAM in STEAM with students.
  • Engaging in the state and MA Audubon professional learning events
  • Reviewing and adjusting the teaching path with the team given a number of unexpected twists in the teaching agenda this year. 
  • Updating curriculum, lessons, and schedule to match the revised path.
Long term, I want to continue to work on this aspect of the grade-level teaching since it is an area of school life that well prepares students for what they need to know and do in the future with regard to teamwork, leadership, project based problem solving, and subject area knowledge, content, and skill.

Math Performance Assessments and Project Based Learning
I want to continue to evolve the math teaching and learning program to match new cognitive research and math teaching and learning research. I truly enjoy teaching math and recognize that there are countless ways to teach the subject well. Specifically this year I'll focus in on the addition of performance based tasks to build students' ability to bring the learning to mastery in ways that they are able to easily present, discuss, and teach the standards-based concepts included in the curriculum. I have a number of books to read related to this effort. Further, I want to work to evolve our RTI efforts in ways that better support student learning. My long term goal in this regard is to simply deepen and better my ability to teach and lead math education.

A Culturally Responsive, Engaging, Meaningful, and Welcoming Learning Environment and Program
My third goal is to continue to better the teaching/learning environment and experiences for students with my team and others. I plan to read White Fragility next as part of this work. I also plan to revisit my notes related to Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain in this regard and embed the important learning into the teaching/learning program. Integrating and updating the grade-level SEL website and lessons and reviewing my one-word (see above) are also efforts that will support this work.

Tech File Organization
My tech files are filled with countless lessons. I want to weed and organize that garden in the days ahead as well. 

These are the three meaningful goals that I will work on during the final years of my teaching career--I am very excited about these areas of school life, and look forward to deepening what I can do in this regard. Onward.