My BTSA Journey - Year 2
Revisit the overarching, long-term goal you set for yourself in your Initial CSTP Self-Assessment. Compare and contrast your Initial CSTP and your Final CSTP. What are your areas of strength? Where are your opportunities for continuous improvement? In what ways have you surprised yourself?
After revisiting my self-assessment from the beginning of the year and comparing it to the end-of-year assessment, I have found three areas of strength and growth. First, students are much more engaged in learning during full-class lessons now than they have been at any previous time in my career. Second, most of the instructional routines I have established are enjoyable, consistent, and work very well for my class. Finally, all students, whether they are high achievers or performing below expecatation, are able to access the content I teach due to implementation of proven strategies I have learned along the way. I attribute my growth to improved class management skills, my growing confidence as a leader, and the valuable input of mentors, coaches, and teaching peers along the way. Professional development courses have also gone a long way towards my growth as an educator.
Opportunities for continuous improvement include organization, planning, and assessing. Teaching is a balancing act, and experience has shown me that these three areas can often slip through the cracks for me. Next year, I plan to start the year off right with an organizational system I can implement on day one. This hasn't been easy in the past! Now that I have a better understanding of classroom structure and routine, I feel I am ready to improve. Planning ahead can also be a challenge when jumping into a new school, grade level, and curriculum each year. I hope to get settled in a school and grade level (Kindergarten) so I can put down my roots and get ahead of the game. As for assessing, I will continue to embrace the coaching cycle and professional development opportunities to improve my approach to assessment so that I can make the process consistent, well-thought-out, and more useful for informing instruction.
Describe a professional goal you have for yourself beyond induction. Why have you identified this as a need or interest? What actions will you take? How will you assess goal attainment?
After induction is complete, I hope to implement more inquiry into my lessons and improve my questioning techniques to raise the level of rigour in the classroom. I also want to improve my reading and writing instruction. I am interested in improving in these areas because they are linked to student success and I want each student in my class to be successful! I will be working closely with an academic coach next year and plan to establish specific goals during the coaching cycle.
What actions can you take to remain a connected educator throughout your career?
To remain a connected educator, I will work with grade-level team members during PLC, attend professional development courses, and continue my education by getting a master's degree.
What can you do personally and professionally, to sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students, teaching, and learning?
Caring for my physical health will need to take a priority in the years to come! Exersize, nutrition, and healthy living habits will help me maintain my energy. I will also be sure to carve out time each week to pursue outside interests and hobbies, such as art, writing and reading, and enjoying nature.
Include one quote from your reflective coach or administrator about your talents or strengths.
The “scouts” are a very powerful tool to “engage children as leaders in the classroom” to notice what is “good decision making” among one’s peers. Gives the children a “sense of authority” and enhances self-confidence among the child.
- What advice do you have for new teachers entering the profession?
Have fun. Ease the burden on yourself and don't let the stress of multiple expectations get you down. Doing your best doesn't mean staying up till all hours trying to meet every single expectation! Choose one or two goals to work on each year and things will fall into place. Don't expect that it will all make sense and fit together right away. You will feel overwhelmed and aggrivated at times, and at other times you will feel so lucky, if not for the joy of being around children, then at least for the nice long breaks that other professions don't give you!
For me, confidence and class management have been my biggest hurdles on the road to success. I found that each year of experience has built my confidence and skill. Approach your weaknesses with an open ear and an open mind, and forgive yourself for your shortcomings. Remember that each year, you get a fresh start to try again. The bumps will start to smoothe out and your enjoyment will increase!