"In teaching others we teach ourselves" - Proverb
My goal of most effectively accomodating my students' needs is a continuous process to meet. It involves ongoing assessment, being aware of my students' strengths and weaknesses as well as their interests, and finding a way to make academics as accessible and fun as possible. I believe I have progressed, but it's an ongoing process, and there is no room for stagnation.
My biggest area of strength is engaging and supporting all students in learning. I believe that I'm in the innovating area in this category. I'm very good at providing multiple instructional strategies and resources to promote high levels of student understanding. In the other CSTP categories, I have improved as well for some of them and stayed the same for a couple others. I range from applying to integrating on all the other categories. There are many opportunities for continuous improvement, and even in the innovating stage, you can always get better and better.
The ways I surprised myself were improving from applying to integrating in understanding and organizing subject matter as well as planning instruction and designing learning experiences. I also surprised myself by staying the same in three areas. But I think sometimes growth and progress can take more time, which is part of why I love working with the population I work with. Sometimes it's important to see incremental growth that is real progress even if it doesn't get all the way to the benchmark at that particular stage of the evaluation process. One thing I really like about the CSTP self-assessments is that every single category you can rate yourself on can be considered positive. Even emerging is showing development and progression of one's ability.
A professional goal I have for myself beyond induction is to continue to work on balancing my personal and professional life. I have identified this as a need based on personal circumstances involving my health this year. The actions I will take will be to set better time limits, to continue to develop better health-related habits, and to learn how not to bring so much work home with me, or worry about things I cannot control. I will continue to work on mindfulness practices to help me do these things.
I will assess goal attainment by monitoring more carefully my hours after school and on the weekends, as well as meeting my own goals for healthy habits.
The actions I can take to remain a connected educator throughout my career are to take advantage of professional development opportunities, to be aware of evolving pedagogy, to network with other professionals, and to stay up to date on technology so that I can utilize it in my classroom as much as possible.
Personally and professionally, to sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students, teaching, and learning, I can continue to develop professionally; I can work on my own files and organizational strategies; I can better balance my professional and personal life; I can focus on what excites me and try to make sure I incorporate that into my weekly or monthly plans for myself; and I can try to focus on what excites my students and incorporate that into the curriculum and/or daily or weekly activities.
"Wow, when you set your mind to doing something, you really do it." (—my coach)
The advice I have for new teachers is to hold on to why you entered the profession. Remember that nothing stays the same, so even the hardest moment will get easier. Remember you are not alone. Many people are willing to help or advise. Remember that nothing is so urgent that you can't pace yourself. Remember to breathe!