CSTP Growth & Development

My long-term professional growth goal is to have students work collaboratively to share their thinking with classmates and engage in meaningful academic discussions.

Over the past year, I have been working towards this goal. It has been a struggle because of the pandemic, but I believe I have been successful at achieving part of this goal. We started the year learning virtually and within the first month, we were back on campus with a hybrid schedule. However, only having half my students in person created a problem with working collaboratively and sharing their thinking with each other and myself. There were so few students that they didn't want to share. We were only in class two days a week and they didn't feel comfortable. In order to help students feel comfortable sharing academically we started each day with a morning meeting and check-in. This allowed students to get to know each other and feel more comfortable talking to each other. It took the remainder of the year to have the students engage in meaningful academic discussions. They work well in groups, but only with certain people. We are now back on campus for 5 days with all students. It has changed the climate of our classroom drastically. Students are not as comfortable sharing with students that were not in their cohorts. We are working on sharing our thinking and working well with most of our classmates, not just friends. It has been steadily improving and anticipate meaningful academic discussions happening in the next few weeks.

My areas of strength for my initial CSTP self-assessment were:

  • Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning
  • Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning
  • Developing as a Professional Educator

My areas of strength for my final CSTPĀ  self-assessment were:

  • Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning
  • Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning
  • Developing as a Professional Educator

My areas of strength did not change which makes sense because my focus was on creating an environment where students felt comfortable and confident sharing in class discussions and working collaboratively with their peers. Due to the pandemic, this has been harder to accomplish than I originally anticipated.

My areas of improvement for my initial CSTP self-assessment were:

  • Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for all students
  • Assessing Student for Learning
  • Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning

My areas of improvement for my final CSTP self-assessment were:

  • Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning
  • Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for all students
  • Assessing Student for Learning

Again, my areas of improvement did not change. I expected this because I could not teach to my full potential this year. Likewise, students could not learn to their full potential. We have made social-emotional learning a priority in our classroom this year. It has helped students deal with the isolation and loss that some have experienced.

While I still need to grow in some areas, I feel that I have made improvements in all areas this year. I have learned a lot about myself and my teaching style as well as watching my student thrive as best they can during this unpredictable time. Reflecting over this past school year I noticed a few changes in my life. I have learned to say no to things that I don't want to do. Previously, I would always say yes because I am a people pleaser. However, with the added responsibilities of teaching in-person and virtually simultaneously, I learned that I could only do so much. My teaching style has shifted as well. I am more focused on my students' learning needs. I have been able to find different resources that will help me differentiate my teaching so all students can get an equitable education. I have learned to focus on creating lessons that are relevant to my students' lives. This year I am proud of myself, my children, and my students. We have all been through a lot and we live in a small community. We are like family more than anything else. However, I am that most proud of my students. They have proven how resilient they are during this pandemic. I know that they will make it through anything.