Thursday, March 5, 2009

Online Assignment #1 - Juliana Kirmeyer

My Professional Growth Goals:

1(a) using instructional strategies that make the learning meaningful and show positive impact on student learning

1(b) using a variety of assessment strategies and data to monitor and improve instruction

1(d) designing and/or adapting challenging curriculum that is based on the diverse needs of each student

I became a teacher to share my love of science and mathematics. Looking back at my first years as a teacher, I find myself feeling terribly sorry for the students I initially had. I was self-centered as a teacher - I only chose to teach those things (with the standards in mind) that I felt I enjoyed. After reading "Life Cycle of the Career Teacher" I see how my behavior was very typical of a teacher at the novice and apprentice stages. However, I don't see myself quite at the professional stage.

I am the sort of person who always seeks something new, something different, and something better than what I am doing. I have kept my head above the waves of “withdrawal” with this sort of attitude. I cannot stand teaching the same lesson twice; there is nothing I do that is untouched and unrevised, no activity where I do not first think, “will the students enjoy this?” and get their feedback and suggestions after completion. So, I have a type of reflection process embedded within me. But what reading the first four chapters (plus Appendix) has given me is a direction to my constant need to revise and regenerate.

I have chosen to look at how I assess because it is always the question for me “ are my students learning?” But, I also want to find ways to have the students tell whether they are learning and growing. I have students identify their learning goals twice a trimester, but it is never tied to standards for the state or school. Providing students with a road map of what they need to master by the end of the year might be a good way to introduce goals for learning to them and provide them a way to reflect.

Because I teach math, it is essential that students gain ways to “cope” with learning new information. I can see how my explanation do not always help my students learn best, and I want to learn how to better teach them strategies to learn new information and content.

Reading the first four chapters of the "Life Cycle of the Career Teacher" has further cemented my professional growth goals. I can see where I need to grow as well as where I am growing.

Source: Steffy, B. E., Wolfe, M. P., Pasch, S. H., & Enz, B., J. (2000). Life cycle of the career teacher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

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