Reflection on School Year Goals #2 – January

At the beginning of the year, I set a number of goals for myself, one of which was to reflect on said goals every two months. My first reflection can be found here. My second reflective remarks are in italics below.

Teaching

Along with my planning team, I will write an 11th grade Global History curriculum, that Humanities department chairs and school administrators agree is a model for how Humanities classes should be taught at Bronx Lab because they will support students in producing excellent authentic, project-based assessment work that serve as formative assessments towards high Regents achievement and college-readiness.

Halfway through the course, I am confident of achieving this goal. We have completed two units since my last reflection. The first, which I reflected on already, was not perfect but really raised the bar for the level of thinking we were asking students to do. Our third unit, whose reflection is forthcoming, stands as a model for two challenges history teachers face regularly: covering massive amounts of content, and critically engaging with the strengths and weaknesses of cultures in curriculum that rest on the great myth of the progress of civilization. I will write more about this in my next post or two.

Each of the six Global History projects done this year will meet at least 8 of the 9 criteria for Project Based Learning from the Buck Institute for Education.

Each of our first three projects hit all 9 criteria.

Students will experience at least one historical simulation, participate in at least one Socratic Seminar, and write at least one essay in each unit.

All three happened in the first two units. There was no essay in the third unit.

Leadership
By the end of the year, every social studies course will have at least four revised, authentic, project-based assessment that has received constructive criticism from other members of the Social Studies Department. These projects will assess students on at least 75% of the OAH National History Standards that the department agreed to use last year.

We have still not started work on this goal, and I am worried it is not going to happen. Nearly all of our limited department time has been focusing on unit planning, which is a necessary foundation for good project work. I may need to re-evaluate having this is a goal, as it no longer seems realistic.

Advisory
100% of my new advisees will either graduate or earn at least ten credits by June.

Six of my advisees are sure things for graduation. I have three I need to focus my efforts on, though one of them is nearing a point of no return and I’m not sure how to support him.

Personal / Professional Development
At least once per week, I will write and publish a reflective piece of writing to assess in my professional practice things that worked well, things that need to improve, and/or ideas for the future.

My blogging fell off in December, and I am trying to reestablish my commitment to the once a week schedule with four posts this week to get the ball rolling, two of which will be reflections on my professional practice.

Every two months, I will write and publish a self-evaluation of how I am doing on these goals.

Check. Check.

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