I just had my annual goals meeting with our administrator and thought it would be worth sharing the three goals I’ve set for myself this year. They’re each fairly specific and I’ll probably be inquiring about other teachers’ solutions to these in the near future.
1. Develop a stronger understanding of how to teach the writing process (rather than just the product); specifically, methods for conferencing with students while keeping the class engaged in meaningful learning.
2. Find creative and purposeful ways to model thinking (including reading and writing strategies) in front of students. Part of this is being willing to make embarrassing mistakes in front of students.
3. Become innovative in creating and assigning papers, projects and other assignments by employing role playing strategies to raise real-world problems for students to solve.
One of the things I appreciate about these goal meetings is the opportunity to lay out my vision for my own development as a teacher, and for my students’ development as readers, writers, thinkers, and most importantly, people. I am forced to reflect on my own teaching critically and find areas that need to improve if my students are going to get the best possible education in my class – something I enjoy thoroughly.
I should note that both goals 2 and 3 are in part inspired by the book our administration has us reading: Teaching for Tomorrow: Teaching Content and Problem-Solving Skills (a link to the book’s Shelfari page – something I’m going to be doing when I mention book titles). I was pleasantly surprised to find myself marking pages with sticky notes and plowing through some of these big ideas and little strategies.