What is something in your classroom you want to improve on in terms of either content or pedagogy (i.e. teaching, lesson planning, specific instructional strategies, etc)?
Somehow, the longer I teach, the longer the list of things I want to improve on gets. Perhaps this is because I feel I am finally moving into the phase of refining my practice after having spent a few years just figuring out how to survive as a teacher. This is a welcome shift, to say the least. I appreciate actually taking the time to reflect on my own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, a colleague, and learner. As my students spend this week goal setting for their Fall conferences, I too am choosing a few areas I’d like to work on over the next couple years in the Teacher Leadership program.
- I want to improve on my communication and engagement with families. I believe that when parents are involved in their child’s learning, particularly in reading skills, students are more successful. I work with students who are below standard and need to catch up with their peers by accelerating their learning. I am confident that the student’s parents play a significant role in that learning and I want to be able to support families in this endeavor. Because I am not the main classroom teacher, parents infrequently reach out to me to share or ask for information. Instead, I find I have to reach out to them to make sure they know what Safety Net is and how to best support their child at home. This can be time consuming. I want to develop some strategies for engaging my students’ home support members in an efficient, effective way.
- Also, I want to use technology more often and more creatively in the classroom. It has recently become apparent to me how rarely I expose my students to or allow them to use technology. Given that my classes are only 30 minutes long and that I am expected to use scripted direct instruction curricula, it is challenging to incorporate activities where my students are using technology tools. However, I am excited to learn about tools that might just apply well to my setting. I have a lot of room to grow in this area.
- As far as instructional strategies, I want to tighten up my classroom procedures. Every minute is precious in a pull out method because students are missing other instruction. I want my classroom management to be consistent and to provide for the best possible learning environment for my students. I want to eliminate wasted time in transitioning from one activity to the next. Also I’d like my students to be able to know exactly what is expected for each kind of activity we do together.
I am open to making changes in my teaching to improve my effectiveness as an educator. My work throughout the Teacher Leadership program will hopefully lead me to some useful discoveries and ideas I can implement right away.