Reflection on School Year Goals #4 – May

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 three reflections can be found here, here, and here. My fourth remarks are in italics below.


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.

Our last unit was the first of the year I was not totally satisfied with. There was a lot of great stuff there, but also some problems that would need to be addressed before moving forward. The full refection of that unit is here.

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 four projects hit all 9 criteria. We ended up scrapping the planned fifth project to do a couple of higher-level thinking DBQ essays, which seems to be better preparing students to do well on the New York State Regents exam.

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. Since there is no shared content, this goal did not really apply to the History Day unit, though everyone wrote essays as part of it. In our fifth unit, students participated in a Choices simulation of the French Revolution, wrote multiple essays, and participated in a Socratic Seminar on Locke and Rousseau. Our sixth unit, on Resistance to Imperialism, has a simulation of the partition of India & Pakistan, which we’re doing this week.

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.

This goal will not be met, as nearly 100% of department time is spent on the first step of unit planning, without much time spent on the second step. In hindsight, this was not a realistic goal given the limited time we have to meet in departments.

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. For two of them, it’s going to come down to how they do on Regents, and it’s a coin flip for both of them. I have one advisee who I see once every two weeks, and need to figure out a different long term plan for 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.

For a slew of personal reasons, my blogging has dropped off recently. I hope to finish the year strong.

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

Check. Check. Check. Check.