Continuing To Grow:
As a professional educator, I strive to continue to grow each and everyday by reflecting on my practices. When I initially began my induction program in year two, I was hoping to learn new ways on how to engage students with outside resources and develop new ways to gather feedback from students on classroom activities. My progress towards achieving these goals has had great strides with learning new ways on how to engage students with outside resources, because I have implemented activities that integrate technology. I have used the chrome books more often and taught less out of the book, because the textbook for Geometry was confusing the students more. On the other hand, I have not really had a lot of luck on creating surveys to receive feedback from students on how well a project went or their expectations of the course. I think this is partly due to many teachers at my site not using surveys to understand how students think and feel about the classroom environment.
Comparing the Old Me to the New Me:
Reviewing my initial CSTP and final CSTP, I realize my strengths are in creating a rigorous course and constantly wanting to develop as an educator. A few areas changed from applying to exploring, because I felt like I needed to further explore areas concerning how to design course materials for all types of students and understanding how subject matter relates to individual learning. I came into this year thinking I would be applying new pedagogical strategies learned from last year, but learned even more information that I would like to explore first before implementing into the classroom. An area of opportunity for continuous improvement would be learning how to design new materials for all students because students change every year especially classroom to classroom. I think I really surprised myself this year with how determined I am to implement new techniques into the classroom, because no matter how tired I was, I tried to find new ways to teach a unit. I didn't want the students to get bored and the students always enjoyed new activities.
A professional goal that I have for myself beyond induction is being able to speak at a mathematics conference on how to conduct project based learning activities. I have identified this as a need for me because many teachers are afraid to change teaching techniques even though research on common core shows students need to learn differently from traditional methods. The actions that I will take to achieving
my goal are facilitating project based learning activities in classrooms for other
teachers to practice and then creating a workshop for the district on how to implement
these types of projects. When I do the workshop, I will provide a survey for teachers to
fill out to gain feedback on areas of opportunity and will determine my goal attained
when I speak at a conference with other 50% positive feedback.
The actions I can take to remain a connected educator throughout my career are attending professional development activities, reading the latest research on my subject area, and continuing to collaborate with teachers on subject. To sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students, teaching, and learning, I plan on asking for help when I feel overwhelmed and constantly planning family fun time to ensure I am not stressed out. Setting aside time for me with my family always rejuvenates me and gets me ready to teach for the week.
Some words from my reflective coach:
"Alexandra has a refreshing out-of-the box approach to teaching and learning that keeps the students engaged until the last minute." by Linda Faulk
Advice for New Teachers:
Lastly, for the new teachers entering the profession, I would suggest that they ask as many different teachers as possible on how those teachers connect with students. Many times its not what the teacher knows but what the teacher does in the classroom to keep students engaged for the entire class period.