I am continuing to very slowly jump onto the blogging train and an upcoming school year is always a good way to try to get myself into new habits. Over the past several years, I have thought a lot about the ways that schools and districts do corporate professional development and contrasting that against what I seek as an individual for professional development. I have found the MTBoS to be a great resource for my individual needs. I tend to pop in and out around the edges, but have been hesitant to dive in. The recent conversations about #MTBoS versus #iteachmath and #PushSend have been encouraging to me to just put my voice out there and even if no one reads it that the process of reflection for yourself can create the value.
Professional Development Goals:
- Actually read the books that are on my bookshelf, including 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction, and How Children Succeed.
- Participate in whatever form #geomchat ends up taking. I already posted once in the forum and was excited to read others ideas for the first week of school!
- As Geometry team lead, encourage my fellow Geometry teachers to expand their own thinking whether that is through books, Twitter, blogs, etc.
Classroom Teaching Goals:
- The AVID conference this summer really encouraged me to think about notes differently. Previously, I would have classified notes as something almost to be avoided, I think largely because giving notes just felt like I was failing to provide students with a more meaningful learning experience. After AVID, my perspective is more that notes are a necessary resource for students, but where my feelings of failure come in is that notes should not generally be the way that students are coming in contact with new material. My goal is to change some of my own perceptions about note-taking, specifically focusing on 1) the timing of the notes, both in terms of length and relationship to new content and 2) help students to know how to use notes as more of a learning resource rather than something that we write down and then lose.
- I would like to improve my parent communication. I genuinely do not mind communicating with parents, but I do dislike talking on the phone. I am still thinking about how I can open up those lines of communication without sticking myself with 10 phone calls every night.
- The way that I did test corrections last year seemed to discourage students rather than encourage. I want students to learn from their mistakes and truly consider how to become a more active learner, rather than checking a box off for a grade. I have some ideas, but will certainly be thinking about this and discussing this with my Geometry team in the next couple of weeks. (Or maybe on the #geomchat forum?)
I have found that these two areas come together on the MTBoS, both in encouraging me to consider the bigger picture ideas that make up our thoughts as teachers, but also the nitty-gritty details that make up our daily lessons. I look forward to seeing how I can continue to be part of the MTBoS.