Reflection of School Year Goals #5 – Late June

2010-11 Teaching Portfolio Entry #4

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 four reflections can be found here, here, here, and here. My fifth and final 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.

We taught an amazing course this year that I am really proud of.  My students developed as deep thinkers and communicators.  They are better prepared to be critical citizens in the world, and to do so as historical thinkers.  But they, as a whole, did not do nearly as well as I hoped they would on the Regents.  Only 60% of my students passed and what that means depends on your perspective.  It is above average for similar students in New York.  It is impressive when you think that we only had one year to help students learn two years worth of content.  However, that means that 40% of my students are not ready to graduate, so it can hardly serve as a comprehensive model for the school.  There are some changes that can be made to the course to improve results next year, but a comprehensive review of how our department spends its time will probably be necessary moving forward. Final Assessment: Half met, half failed.

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.  The second half of the year focused on getting students ready for the Regents, so there weren’t any real projects. Final Assessment: Met for all the projects we actually did.

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 was 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, had a simulation of the partition of India & Pakistan, and multiple essays. Final Assessment: Nearly met.

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 was not 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. Final Assessment: Failure.

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

Unless a miracle happens on the last test, it’s looking like 6 for 9 for June.  I’m hoping for 8 0f 9 by August. Final Assessment: Not done yet.

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.

This happened for a while, but it totally trailed off as I began my job search process.  This is the one goal I will be carrying over to next year. Final Assessment: Did not meet my goal, but I am satisfied that blogging once again was a regular part of my life.

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

Final Assessment: Well, at least I got one.