Daily Reflection from the Teacher’s Desk

Last night on the Mastery chat https://www.teachbetter.com/masterychat/, the conversation centered around the power of self-reflection. As a person who reflects often, journals and gets excited to notice patterns and strengths that show up in my thoughts being intentional about reflection in regards to my job sounded like something to try. One of the questions that the chat featured asked how we could go about incorprating reflection on a more regular basis. My first thought was that I could include a section of self-reflection on my blog. And so, here it is. I am excited to notice what is going well, and where growth opportunities are possible.

March 26,2021

As the 3rd marking period came to an end, I am proud to say that I feel good about how the year has gone so far. It has been a tough one logistically, but at the same time, I have never enjoyed teaching more! I am finally in the sweet spot. This year I have been reminded about how much I love my conent. I get really excited to analyze literature and discuss character motivations and show students how to gain wisdom from books. Everything is not perfect, and I know there are things that need to be improved. But I am on the right track! Today’s journal inspiration was from Joy Kirr and her book, Shift This. https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/35102505-shift-this She said, “Just keep tweaking, just keep tweaking”. Today for example, I realized that one of the reading programs I am using is not serving the purpose I want it to, so I am going to make changes. I am also hearing several things related to standards based grading. As the fourth marking period approaches, I am excited to slowly take a look at a few areas in regards to grading and see what I notice. I am intrigued by the conversation, but am incredibly nervous to change someting I have always done and am familiar with.

My PLN is growing like crazy! Last night I was interviewed for a podcast, I have been consistently writing for an educational publication, and collaborate constantly with educators across the world! I am in a great space to continue growing in my craft! As more resources are available, I am excited to think about the opportunities that are becoming available that I am not even aware of yet! They say you are the average of the five people you hang out with, and I cannot help but be really excited about who I am hanging out with professionally lately!

March 28, 2021

Somettimes you read something, and it makes a lot of sense. Today I read about humor and how a student might use it as an opportunity to escape. One of the students featured in the book, The Perfect Ten by Dr. Kevin Leichtman explained that there where days where he felt like he was hitting rock bottom It was by being silly, making jokes, reading stories or comics that made him laugh gave him the opportunity to forget about the really tough things. It makes a lot of sense when I think about it from this perspective. I also think back to the number of times that students have been silly and used humor in the classroom. I know there are times that I have been quick to shut it down in effort to move ahed with my plan. Understanding a student’s motivation gives me a new perspective about the reason why students do certain things.

March 29, 2021

I am reading a lot about assessment. Right now I am unpacking Dave Schmittou’ s book, Making Assessment Work. The book is fascinating so far and giving me a few new ideas about assessment and Feedback.

April 10, 2021

This was the first week back after after Spring Break. We continue to be virtual. While it is not ideal for every student, and I understand that in-person learning would be more effective for a number of reasons, I am making the best of it. It is always a good thing to log in and see a bunch of students interacting and working hard. I get excited to see them on Google Classroom and through emails and a number of different connections.

This week I listened to The Teach Better Team talk about Standardized Grading on Wednsday night. I am not sure how and what I will apply to the future, but it has me thinking a lot about what I do with grading, and the communciation fostering through the grades students earn. I think I need to continue gathering information since I don’t feel ready enough to talk about my thoughts overall. I still have a lot of questions and confusing swimming around in my head.

I really enjoyed teaching students how to create a synthesis essay this week. It was need to share application for it. I also liked talking about The Great Gatsby (Man I love that book!), and thinking about how I will approach teaching To Kill A Mockingbird for my 9th graders next week. All in all, it was an exhuasting week, and I was more tired than usual, but overall I enjoyed it, felt good about it- and I would say it was a successful week!

April 20, 2021

As more and more students go virtual in our district, I am reminded that I have to find more ways to have the students interact with each other. I am working on better discussion groups and opportunities that are not limited by the classroom walls. Students in person typically enjoy the face-to-face interaction and conversation. I am always on the lookout for ways to make the hour more meaningful and interesting. I am determined to reach students every day. However, how this is done, changes all the time.