Saturday, 7 November 2015

Term 4 Reflection on Desired Reality

My January desired reality was:

I altered it slightly at the end of term one when I had a better idea of things. My goals were:
1 (continued from Term One) Develop a strong understanding of students and their relationships (personal and learning) in Y1-4.

2 Build effective and and interesting literacy practises to engage foundation (emergent) students into reading and writing.
3 Be proactive about interactions with parents

In the middle of the year I wrote about my progress on those goals. And now I get to do the final check off! It's nearly time to complete the appraisal process for the year and so it's a good time to have a think about where I am with my goals. 

I've really enjoyed the appraisal process as an on-going event. Not a scramble at the end of the year to check the boxes. It is especially important as being part of the foundational team to keep the culture of reflection and not lose sight of the "climate of possibilities".

1 Develop a strong understanding of students and their relationships (personal and learning) in Y1-4.
I have learnt so much about 'junior' teaching this year and I'm grateful for all the professional development opportunities I have had from the experts within the school, and also externally - particularly with literacy. I recall one of the SLT saying at the beginning of the year "you've all had children you've taught at Level One, the only thing that changes is the age." And, it is so true! I've really enjoyed my learning here and I hope I get another chance in the near future to consolidate my new understandings here.

2 Build effective and and interesting literacy practises to engage foundation (emergent) students into reading and writing.
This has been a big learning curve here and the biggest thing I've learnt is that I can, and need to, push harder. I've seen massive improvements in my literacy groups and it really has proven that 'if you focus on the learning, learning will happen'. 

3 Be proactive about interactions with parents
Wow, I'm actually a little bit chuffed with myself on this one. I was a little like this penguin in the video - but once I'd made a 'stumble' and was 'thrown in' I realised it really wasn't so bad. It's scared me for so long and I really don't know why. I've been making an effort to go out of the classroom at least a couple of times a week at the end of the day and mingle with parents. It's really not that scary and it's made necessary conversations so much easier and far less 'eventful'. Toastmasters has also probably helped a little with confidence too. 

I defined my job to be: to make learning successful for all students.
How did I go on this? 
I think all students have progressed this year in all areas - including growth in character. I have absolutely done my best job in achieving this with the time, resources and energy I had. Having said that, there is a lot of improvement that can happen from here. I feel like I've had too many focuses, and therefore flitted from one thing to the next. 

Development in reading has been one of the biggest areas I've focused on and I know a great deal more now, but I wish I knew it all from the start. Writing has been the area of least development for me, and the least satisfaction, yet it was probably one of the ones that I thought I would be more competent at. Maths has been great. I've loved teaching collaboratively all year and having the chance try different things out with my teaching buddy. My struggle is that with so many children I don't feel I know them as well as I would like to in terms of knowledge and strategy ability.

SPS Teacher Criteria and looking forward to 2016
I have also had a look at the teacher criteria I need to meet and reevaluated the progress I have made along the continuum. My appraisal team will be able to see this doc, where I had made judgements at the start of the year of what I was doing. Now I have highlighted my progress for each of the criteria and also my goals for next year.
Some of the things I will be working on (one from each area)

  • communicating confidently, especially in leading difficult conversations
  • coaching individual children to know their potential as well as to know they're supported in goal setting and action
  • recording the actions I take from reflections
  • knowing that children are engaged by the process of learning
  • using the physical environment to show value to the learning process and children's work
  • taking on a whole-school leadership role
Many of these things I am kind of doing, but have little evidence to prove it or I'm not doing them to a standard where I feel I can say it's being done. 

The first point will be my main goal for 2016. I feel it's a good continuation of my 2015 Desired Reality 3 and applies not only to parents, but to colleagues too. 

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing journey this year, Alice! Your reflection affirms much for me that Level 1 is Level 1 at any age (thank goodness) - perhaps what has been also rewarding working with the younger children this year is that we have been privileged to observe their faster rate of growth and progress as opposed to the older children who have been working on Level 1 for a longer period of time and their progress needs to be broken down into small incremental steps.

    I love your penguin metaphor and the fact that you acknowledge that you have challenged yourself with regards to being proactive with relationships. I believe that our community is really enjoying our transparency and openness.

    I appreciate your feedback on the appraisal process as well. Bring on 2016, eh! I think we are ready for it!