Developing As a Professional Educator

What was my goal this year?

At the beginning of this school year, my goal was to be data driven in the lessons I planned and the IEPs that I wrote and presented to the team and my students' parents. 

To this end, I created a system where I was able to more easily track data points for each student and their individual goals. I found that using my district google account to create a simple spreadsheet allowed me to quickly and efficiently enter data for IEP goals. 

A master copy of this sheet can be found here

I feel that I was successful in meeting my goal for my ILP; I was more informed of my student's progress, and knew when I could advance them to more complex concepts, or when I needed to review prior concepts. 

How did I grow as an educator?

At the beginning of the year, my initial CTSP self assessment showed my strengths in the following order:

  • CTSP 2 - Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning
  • CTSP 3 - Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning
  • CTSP 6 - Developing as a Professional Educator
  • CTSP 5 - Assessing Students for Learning
  • CTSP 4 - Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students
  • CTSP 1 - Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning

At the end of the year, my final CTSP self assessment showed my strengths in a new order:

  • CTSP 2 - Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning
  • CTSP 3 - Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning
  • CTSP 5 - Assessing Students for Learning
  • CTSP 4 - Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students
  • CTSP 1 - Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning
  • CTSP 6 - Developing as a Professional Educator

In comparing my two assessments, I was pleased to see that I improved in assessing students for learning (CTSP 5), just as I had intended at the beginning of the school year. I was, however, surprised to see that my strength in developing as a professional educator (CTSP 6) had decreased. 

What next?

Moving forward, I feel that I will be able to return my focus to professional development now that I have a better system of assessment to support my students' growth. At this point, I am pursuing a Master's degree in Education through California Baptist University, and I feel that I will grow more as a professional through that program. I look forward to connecting with other educators and professors who can enhance my understanding of the profession. 

Throughout this year, my administrator has complimented me on my ability to stick to my systems, whether that be in behavior management or my organization as a case manager for IEPs. As I enter my third year of teaching, I know that I will need to rely on the systems and organization that I have set in place so that I can create a healthy balance between teaching, a full time Master's program, and a perosnal life. 

If I were to give one piece of advice to new teachers, it would be this: maintain a balance, and avoid comparing yourself to other teachers. Find a system that works for you, and stick with it. Allow it to evolve over time as your needs change, but do not feel that you have to be like other teachers to be successful.