Long Term Goals A personal growth goal that I have for myself is to create a culture of effective and engaging learning through a positive, safe, and fun mindset for my class. Another goal of mine that I feel I have struggled with is to form my instructional planning, short or long term, based on student needs as they appear through assessments (formative, summative, performance based, etc.). As I am finishing my first year as a 5th grade teacher, I found out a lot about myself as a teacher that I am proud of. One of those things I found out was the confidence I have in my classroom management. It could be from my deep and theatrical tone of voice I use as a speaker, but I know that managing a large classroom full of students was not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I am still working hard to create effective, engaging, and fun lesson plans for my students to learn with, but I feel that this will be a long journey ahead of me, according to conversations with my collegues.
Surprises/Challenges I had first gotten hired as a reading intervention teacher at my school for Kindergarten in the middle of the year. I was excited to accept this position, because it was my foot in the door to my new career, as well as the fact that I completed my student teaching in a first grade class, not to mention my son was in Kindergarten at the time, so I was use to that age level. Expecting to start with a Kindergarten class of my own the following school year, the principal informed me that I would be moved to 5th grade, five days before the year began. I was filled with anxiety and mixed emotions, because I was not use to that curriculum, standards, or the age group. It was a challenge getting started, but my 5th grade team was incredibly supportive and helpful from the beginning of the year, to the end. Long story short, I am completing my first full year as a teacher with my 5th grade class, and I am loving it!
Professional Development I am looking forward to a normal school year next year that is not bombarded with virtual meetings all of the time. I am hoping to attend conferences in person to gain the growth that I need to be a succesful teacher. However, virtual meetings have made it possible to attend conferences anywhere in the world. With that being said, I attended a technology conference at the beginning of this year that gave me tons of resources to use across curriculum and with multiple platforms online. These platforms include Nearpod, going in depth with Google Slides, Quill, and many more. One training that I do look forward to my district putting on is Kagan Cooperative Learning. I have the book by Spencer Kagan, and it is filled my numerous strategies to adapt any lesson, into a collaboratively-engaging lesson in any subject. I also found using those strategies alongside Whole Brain Teaching strategies, was a very engaging way for students to learn. My students loved the "Class" "yes", "Mirror words", and "Class" "Teach" strategies, and they absolutely worked.