At the beginning of this year I set a goal that I wanted to work towards throughout the school year. This goal read, "My goal is to create a rigorous and differentiated learning environment that meets the needs of all students based on data collected from multiple assessment tools (iReady,ESGI) and increasing student centered learning activities that keep students engaged as well as meet learning target expectations." I strived to make progress towards this goal by using formative and summative assessment data to drive my instruction. While I still have a lot of room to grow in this area, I have become more confident and knowledgeable about how to create lessons that are targeted towards the needs of the students, rather than lessons that just keep moving along regardless of whether the students full grasped the concepts. In addition, I have become more creative and independent when designing lessons that are engaging and student-centered. While co-piloting the curriculum this year I felt as though I had a minor set-back in creating a student-centered classroom, as much of the "scripting" for the curriculum focuses on teacher-led instruction. I have since learned to add my own twist to the curriculum, while still maintaining the content being taught, and in turn have increased student engagement.
A professional goal I have for myself as I continue through my teaching career is to never become complacent or comfortable in the classroom, but rather push myself to be creative and innovative in creating "magical" lessons that will foster a love of learning in all of my students. I plan to achieve this goal by seeking out passionate teachers to collaborate with (collaboration breeds creativity), as well as always making sure I am staying connected to my students' passions and interests, and integrating that into the academic content as often as possible. I will know I am achieving this continuous goal if my students are excited to come to school and engaged in the learning. I believe that if Ic an achieve this, an increase in test scores will follow and I will know I have been successful.
I plan on remaining a connected educator by utilizing social media to follow and gain inspiration from like-minded educators who are doing amazing things across the country. I also want to continue to seek out meaningful professional development where I can learn new ways to provide awesome experiences for my students.
Professionaly, I can sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students by using creativity throughout the lessons that I plan. If I am bored teaching it, I am sure my students will be bored while learning it, so making our days exciting and fun will give me the motivation and energy to keep going. Personally, I need to increase my work-life balance so I do not experience teacher burn out. This includes exercising, traveling, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
"I love and appreciate how motivated Miss Myers is in planning innovative, collaborative, creative, and engaging activities that “strikes a spark” in her students to love learning! She continuously reflects on her teaching practices and its effects on her student’s learning. Her reflections has lead to stretching and moving all her students forward in a positive way. Her love for all her students is evident in everything she does. I am happy to call her a friend as well as a colleague." -- Macy Swope
My advice to any new teacher entering the profession would be to give yourself grace as you move through what can be a very overwhelming first year. You will see awesome teachers doing amazing things around you, and often it can feel like you might be failing your students if you aren't doing every single thing that the veteran teacher in the classroom next to you is doing. Take it slow and know that they, too, once had to start somewhere. You will continue to add and tweak things in your classroom to get to the level you want to be at. :)