My Professional Development
A. A goal I have for myself is to stay relevant with my students and the times. The worst experience I had in school was with an old teacher who could care less about us as students and never changed his lesson plans with updated technology or news. I want my students to know I care about them and am constantly looking for new ways to teach them. I will continue to attend professional development seminars throughout my career as well as read journals and discuss with other teachers to find new ways to teach my population. At the end of each unit I write a reflection, and this is where I will assess whether I am maintaining the relevancy I desire.
B. To remain a connected educator throughout my career I will get involved. I have already joined the leadership team on our campus, so I am on the front lines when the administrators come to staff about changes. I am constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and network with other teachers to develop our working relationships.
C. To sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students, learning, and teaching, I have made work/ life balance a priority. I had a professor in college that emphasized that special educators had the highest rate of burn out of all teaching professionals. To prevent this burn out, I plan to constantly change how I do things. I will research new strategies, change curriculum, and keep it fun. I am also focusing on my own health and fitness: I find that when I feel good, I am in a better mood and teach better. Thus caring for myself is caring for my students. It has improved our life at home: everyone loves getting out of the house on the weekends! Happy family = happy teacher = happy students.
D. During my final evaluation with my administrator this year, she said I "plan interesting and relevant lessons to help even the most disengaged students find meaning in what they are learning" ... "Have strong classroom management skills that help make wise use of instructional time" ... "regularly collaborate with grade level teams to plan lessons so students have common experiences with their peers."
E. Advice I have for new teachers entering the profession:
- Develop your sense of humor, especially if working with teens. You just have to laugh to keep it from getting to you.
- Be ready for change. Every. Single. Day. What worked yesterday won't work today. The bosses will want something new or different all the time. The technology will adapt. Be a chameleon.
- Be yourself! Play your favorite music in class, share your favorite movies, sports teams, etc! Students behave better when their teacher is a real person they can relate to.