My growth in and development with my specific chosen standards has made an incredible impact on my teaching. Choosing to focus on more general and out-of-the-box standards moving through my first year has made me a more reflective and goal-driven teacher. This year, as my first full year of teaching, I worked to focus on my state standards, data analysis, setting goals and working with families to help improve success. Having these sets of goals kept my mind focused and reminded me to continue to focus on the tasks at hand. Through the process I believe it was a great opportunity to revisit some of my old techniques from 2011, when I took my first teaching job. However, this process has shown me the major changes in the education system, not just in the state (South Carolina to California) but in the generational differences with my students prior to this year.
The biggest thing I have learned this year as a teacher is that when you feel as though you are lost in curriculum and resources, always revert back to your standards and basics. It is OK to allow your students to learn without lots of fancy activities. Finding time to insert fun activities is important, but also making sure you are covering standards and teaching effectively is the most important attitude and mindset is key when assigning work. The second thing I have learned is that this generation's trust needs to be earned. It is not just given freely because you are an adult. Now, more than ever, students tend to respond to mutal respect, honesty and a commitment to their growth before they will trust you.