My professional growth goal focused on behavior management and change.
Actions Taken: I attended more ABA trainings for the Desert Mountain SELPA, did IRIS Modules created by the Claremont Graduate University and Vanderbilt Peabody College, and consulted with my teaching coach.
Assessing Goal Attainment: I left Joshua Circle Elementary near 2/3 of the way through the school year. This allowed me to see how my student’s old students behaved with me and how they behaved afterward. The teacher who took my place was a veteran teacher and this was my first year not being an intern. I left behavior plans for each of the students and trained the teacher on what worked best for each student. The students were familiar and prepared for a new teacher before I left. If they behaved better or were more successful with the new teacher it was likely I was not doing a very good job behavior management wise, but if they did better with me it would indicate my behavior management strategies were working.
How Did Professional Development Foster Growth?
It forced me to take time to think about why I was doing the things I was doing.
Remaining a Connected Educator: I talked to my colleagues and engaged in helping with school activities outside of my normal duties.
Sustaining My Teaching Passion: I experiment and try new things in and out of the classroom. I engage with my colleagues and enjoy going to lunch with them. I my keep a focus on my students, and not on minor paperwork details educational politics.
Administrators Quotes: “The student is ALWAYS first but paperwork is a very close second.” “Would you present on that at our meeting,” for special education personal development. I had a disciplinary meeting for the way I was doing my paperwork and asked to present on it to teach all the other special education teachers how IEP paperwork should be done, all in the same week. It demonstrates how things that seem bad can be turned into positives, just like with disabilities.
Advice for Teachers in the Profession: Know what is important enough to fight for. Build relationships with people who can help get you what you need for your students. Do not get sucked in to education politics. Find ways to make failures and limitations into opportunities.