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Developing As A Professional Educator

My Long Term Goal

My long term goal was to be a better communicator with the parents in my class.  I wanted to find  a written form to use as a 2-way communication tool between myself and my students' parents.  I also wanted to be a resource for parents, to offer information regarding child development, advocacy for their children in school, community resources and information related to specific diagnoses.

Comparing my Initial and Final CSTP Self-Assessments, there wasn't much difference between the two.  I think that is because I have been in the field of educating young children for a long time, and over the years, have developed my personal strengths.  Of course, as an educator, you are always improving, and always making changes for the better, it is hoped.   

I believe that my areas of strength are my knowledge of child development, and what skills are needed to acheive developmental milestones for children; I am calm, and my students sense that they can be safe, physically and emotionally in my classroom; and helpful and supportive in my relations with my colleagues.  In my district, they are constantly making changes to improve the quality of education available to our students.  These changes include opportunities to engage in trainings to improve our skills in teaching.  When possible, I tale advantage of these opportunities.  Even though I have been in the field of education for many years, it always surprises and touches my heart to hear from parents and other educators (my coach) that I have made a positive difference in the life of a child.

Since starting with this district, I have always wanted to be part of a staff that has the opportunity to run their own staff meetings.  Currently, we meet and listen to another colleague from our supervising department on topics that may not be of interest to us.  I would like our teachers to be able to choose the topics, as well as have the opportunity to run meetings, giving information that we can use to keep us excited about what we do everyday.  I would also like to have opportunities to have parent meetings for our parents, facilitated by staff at our school.  Now that this part of my credential will be finished, I am hoping to talk to someone about these ideas.

I will continue to pursue professional development opportunities by enrolling in whatever trainings are offered through the district.  I also want to become involved again with professional organizatons again, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  

By this time in the school year, my passion is depleted.  Between IEPs and getting new students and trying to keep my current students excitied to come to school, I am tired, physically and emotionally.  But then we have our end-of-the year party with all of my students and their families, and I am reminded why I do this.  I always have a comment or two from parents that their child was so happy to come to school, that they love getting on the bus and coming to school  and that they are talking and showing what they have learned.  And then I know that I will be ready for the next school year.

This is what my coach had to say:

"It has been a pleasure to be Teresa's reflective coach. Watching how she interacts with her students brings a smile to my face. Teresa is a caring and understanding teacher who takes the time to create memorable experiences for her students. The students love being in her class and they are having fun while they are learning. Teresa has created a safe and warm learning environment for her students. She is a wonderful teacher!"  Gina Wyller

What advice would I have for new teachers entering the field?

We have a new teacher on our team this year, and she expressed worry that she was not doing what she needed to do to be asked back next year.  My suggestion to her, and to other new teachers, is that the first year is a year of trying to find your feet, try to keep up with all of the new responsibilities that you have and enjoy the ride.  When I was an aide in the classroom, the teacher gave me a good piece of advice.  He said that you always need to be aware of each student's IEP, that IEPs drive the curriculum, and I have tried to keep that in mind as I juggle everything else that goes on in a class on a daily, weekly, yearly basis.  Hopefully, you never lose your original memory of why you wanted to teach in the first place.


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