As we near the end of 2015-2016 school year, now is the perfect time to reflect upon whether or not we’ve achieved our professional goals.
Did you incorporate small group instruction into your classroom?
Did you confer with students more?
Did you use more formative assessments to adjust your instruction?
Recently I came across an Edutopia article, Mid-Year Reflection: Setting PD Goals by Monica Burns. Even though the article addresses mid-year reflections, I found it to be relevant to year-end reflection as well. There are many aspects of teaching that demand your time not to mention our busy lifestyles outside of school, and as a result we tend to push reflection to the back burner. The author suggests teachers take the time to 1.) pause and reflect on your accomplishments to determine where they have spent the majority of their time and professional development on, 2.) Make a plan of action for where you would like to focus your efforts, and 3.) Plan to hold yourself accountable. Even though the article addresses mid-year reflections, the points outlined in the article perfectly match a new teacher appraisal system many districts will be adopting next year.
Next year, a new teacher appraisal system will be adopted by several districts across Texas. The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System, T-TESS,will have three measures of teacher effectiveness: observation, teacher self assessment, and student growth. Teachers will be required to map out a plan to achieve their goals under the new system. The plan could include all forms of professional development not just the traditional courses or district whole staff professional development. Now, professional development includes working with professional learning communities (PLCs), with an instructional coach, administrators, and other teachers working on improvement goals. Take a proactive stance. Start preparing yourself for the new appraisal system and taking steps towards self evaluation, goal setting, and developing a plan of action to achieve your goals.
You may be able to pinpoint your areas to focus on, or your may need to look back at your observations, talk with an instructional coach, campus administrators, or a trusted colleague to gather feedback to help you develop your goals and plan of action. Your Instructional Coaches would love to help you set goals and create a plan of action! Find others that share similar goals and hold each other accountable. Ultimately, the ones that will benefit the most are our students.