When I was at SPARK U this summer, I set some goals that have been taped to the top of my desk ever since:
1) High Expectations
2) Clear Objectives
3) Check for understanding before moving on to the next step
4) Effective practice more often.
Basically, I wanted my class to be collaborating and learning every single day.
After I attended SPARK U, I feel I had the tools to reach those goals, with effective activities and ideas that could easily fit into my teaching style.
Yesterday was my evaluation with my administrator, where I was going to be rated either an “unsatisfactory”, “developing”, “proficient”, or “excelling” teacher. As a new teacher, I rated myself as “developing” in all areas, because I felt like I had a long way to go before I was as awesome as my more experienced co-workers. As I was talking to my administrator about my strengths, I noticed the things she mentioned fell under the goals I set for myself at SPARK U.
The part I was most proud of was when my administrator felt my strength as a teacher was planning intellectually engaging lessons. She said my kids are always doing something math related and working together.
By the end of the meeting, I was rated an overall “proficient” teacher, which was WAY higher than I would have expected, since it is my first year.
This was so huge to me because when I set my goal at demanding 100% every day, I knew that was going to be a challenge.
But, through what I learned at SPARK this summer, I got my classroom management under control, and was able to set up an atmosphere where I felt comfortable holding my students up to a high standard.
I still have a long way to go, and a lot of improvements to make, but I am so thankful to SPARK for getting me pumped up and prepared to be a more effective teacher.
Allison, 6th Grade Math Teacher