Developing as a Professional Educator

When I compare my initial CSTP and final CSTP, I find that my area of strength is being able to adapt and learn on the fly.  At times through this journey, I felt that I got off track for my overarching goal, but now that I reflect back, everything that occurred and everything I learned actually helped me to make progress in it.  I feel stronger at the end of this year than I had thought I would.  I've surprised myself in that I had not expected to grow as much as I have.  I even feel more professional and knowledgeable in my job, which is what I have been striving for.  However, I also realize that I still have more to learn and grow from.  And I look forward to it.  

Now that Induction is over, I still want to set goals for myself professionally and continue to grow.  One of my goals is to become a "go-to" person on campus.  I want to become a solid leader and coworker with my peers.  I want to be more valuable to my team, principal, and students.  This is important to me because I take pride in what I do.  For the last few years, because I have been an intern learning on the fly, it has been a huge learning curve.  I feel that I did okay, but now it's time to grow into my profession.  I feel that this past year I did grow immensely, and I want to continue on this path.  I think making the change to switching classes helped this process as I had to be on a PLC team, something I did not have to do in the past.  Working as a team like this, and sharing classes, gave more perspective and insight.  It was really hard at first, but well worth it.  I am very much looking forward to the next school year already.  The action I will take is to be more decisive and valuable to my PLC team.  To continue to learn about the overall operations of the school to become more valuable to my principal.  And to continue to find new and engaging ways of teaching.  Nothing beats hearing kids say (even when they think you can't hear them) that you're their favorite teacher.  This is when you know that the subject matter is interesting and that they're learning.  

How I plan to stay connected as a professional educator is to not only use my new PLC team for next year, but continue to keep the relationships that I've already established while I build new ones.  I think that now that I'm done with CLAD and Induction, I will have more time as well.  This time will allow me to reach out to alumni from my university too and branch out from just my district.

A few things that I will work on to sustain the energy and passion I have for teaching is to keep being a learner myself, as well as allow myself to have time.  Last year, I found that I had way too many things going on at once, and it was just time to give up something so that I could have some time.  I want to continue that, make priorities, but still have fun in life.  To keep the momentum at work going, I will always strive to put myself in the perspective of the learnerand to study and brush up on what's happening in current events and technology.  Being able to relate is important and keeps our minds open to new ideas.  

One quote that my reflective coach texted to me after she signed off one of my PD's said, "I loved your reflection.  You're amazing!"  This quote came timely.  I was kind of feeling a little low and "beat up" at one point, and this quote really helped me.  I did feel that i had made a breakthrough during the PD, and hearing this from my coach made me feel recognized and uplifted.  I am very thankful for the coach I had.  Katherine is an amazing person and teacher.  She had a lot of insight to offer and was always helpful and gracious.

For new teachers entering the profession, I would say to plan, but not overplan.  And be humble.  I have seen a lot of people come and go already in my short time, and I think that humility and ego seem to get in the way at times.  Get over yourself.  Learn from others and listen.  Take advice.  And remember that they're were a kid once too.  Don't forget what it felt like to be a kid and the impact a teacher can make on you with remarks and actions.  Think back and reflect A LOT!!!