Reflection of School Year Goals #1

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 reflections are in italics below.

Teaching 

I will improve the way I give feedback to students.  Formally, I hope to develop a system to give students feedback about writing that meaningfully a) tells students where they are, b) what they need to do to improve and c) is efficient enough that I can provide frequent and timely feedback to all students.  I also need to make sure I am giving informal feedback more frequently to all students.  (I hope that moving to a Standards Based Grading system will enable these things to happen organically).

While there have been some road bumps in getting students on board with SBG, I think they are starting to get the hang of it.  Thanks to SBG, students are getting clear feedback for each assignment on where they are and how to improve.  I need to create better systems to get students to make the effort to revise their work.  While still not where I need to be, I am doing better with getting students work back in a timely manner. 

Students will have multiple opportunities to rethink and revise their answers to large essential questions throughout each unit, and will also reflect on and revise all major work.

I wrote about this earlier, but I feel like I’m just starting and therefore haven’t really done much major work yet.  Students have returned to some essential questions, but with all the time I’ve spent on various current events, there hasn’t been much unity or flow from week-to-week.  I planned way too much for the course, and need to start thinking about how to pare things down for next year to focus on only a few questions, while still developing the wide range of citizenship-literacy that students need to thoughtfully and actively participate in our democracy. 

I will solicit bi-weekly feedback from my students to ensure they understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and to give them a voice in what happens in the class.

I’m off on this goal, as I’ve only gotten feedback from my students twice to this point.  I’m not thrilled with the form I was using, and will create a new one to use with my students this week.

Leadership
The Social Studies Critical Friends Group will meet once a month, and will be valuable for its participants.

We’ve had two meetings so far, and things seem to be going really well.  I got a lot of positive feedback from participants after each the first two meetings, and am excited to see the group continue to develop and grow.

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

Fourteen out of fifteen on pace.  I have a meeting set up with the family of the fifteenth for next week to come up with a plan to help get him on track.

100% of my advisees will be accepted to college, and will have a plan to pay for it or whatever else they choose to do next year.

Wonderfully, 3 of my 15 students have already achieved this goal.  My school is part of something called the Pipeline project for Southern Vermont College, which allows us to choose five students to send there with nearly-full scholarships.  I was very excited for three of the five this year to come from my advisory.    

Personal / Professional Development
At least once per week, I will write and publish a piece of writing about teaching social studies, be it about my practice or teaching in general.

I’m very excited to be on pace for this goal.  This is one I was worried about maintaining, but am happy to have achieved. 

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

Check.

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