A comparison of my initial and final CSTP self assessment. My growth, my new goals, and what I would say to anyone starting the profession.
A quote from my induction coach:
"Mrs. Ballachey has an overwhelming love for her students. This love is evident with her repeated offering of tutoring during her own time and investment in the assignments she creates for them. She truly cares about their success!"
Growth this year
My greatest area of growth this year in the CSTPs would be in the area of alternative assessments. Without the aid of the pre and post self survey assessment, I wouldn't have necessarily picked this CSTP as the one thing I grew the most in. However, looking back now I think the survey speaks the truth. It is kind of ironic actually, that it took an assessment to see the growth I had in assessments this year. My progress in this area can be seen in the many different ways I allowed my students to prove their knowledge. This year the class did many different styles of projects and presentations, most notably the cancer research project and the ATP model building challenge. The class did over a dozen "so what journal" entries this year to help them put their learning into words and explaining the whole bigger picture. Something I added in this year was the "Quick Quizzes" that allowed students to not only be held accountable for reading material on their own, but as an open notes quiz it allows the student to self assess their note taking abilities. This year was also a good year for me to work on alternative assessments for IEP and 504 students. I now have several different versions of my quizzes and tests depending on the students' needs. I was able to look at a student's performance and determine if the student could be better served with a different form on the test.
My goals for next year include being more organized with material as well as pace of the classes I teach. I want to focus more on creating test items and assessments that allow me to get feedback to the students faster, but that are still efficient and rigorous to meet my standards. I am very interested in increasing the number of labs in the biology classroom. In order to do this I am thinking of offering several units as a flipped classroom.
For the newbies...
For those coming into this career I would say the following:
1. Patience is necessary.
2. Putting in the work up front will save your sanity during the year.
3. Always review the material you are teaching before you rush head first into the lesson.
4. This profession is a huge amount of work that has the potential to take over your life. Create boundaries for yourself! Having boundaries does not equate to being less passionate.
5. You have to be flexible! See what your students needs are and don't be afraid to stray from the path of what was planned.
6. Communication with the parents before there is a need will save your year and preserve your love of the job.
7. Try not to get caught up on the details so much that you loose the big picture of what you want your students to have an understanding of at the end of the year.
8. You are not just a teacher, you are an educator, a mentor, an advocate for the love of learning, and a trusted adult in their lives, and so much more!
9. Reflection never stops. Hone your craft and never stop improving!