I am feeling good about my unit this week. I happened to get observed by my principal during the unit whom was very pleased with my teaching and students’ performances. At present, he is not aware of the fact that I am taking a class. I tend to keep it to myself that I am student, because I don’t like others thinking I am spread too thin. I am a mother, teacher, friend, and student which makes me fear that others will think I am not capable of doing my job effectively. The truth is, taking this class pushes me to be a better teacher. I see the difference in my teaching, which mostly is a direct result of reflecting on what I have learned as I am planning and teaching.
It really has helped me tremendously improve my teaching skills. This past Friday my principal asked me if I would be interested in teaching more than one remedial math class–4 to be exact. He had mentioned I am good or talented, I can’t remember his exact words, but that he would like it if I would do consider it because he sees what I am doing as effective. The secret lies in using technology to differentiate instruction and following the UbD design. I am so thankful I decided to take up classes again.
Regardless of how successful I felt, we all know success doesn’t come without challenges. And believe me there were challenges throughout the week. My biggest struggle is making sure I am documenting the success as required for this class. I believe I struggle with it, because as I am teaching I am so busy in the moment adjusting as needed that taking notes is the last thing on my mind. I will be the first to admit, I get so into teaching that when the lessons are over I usually need a brain break.
Although, I know I take mental notes of these successes/struggles the challenge for me is laying it out nicely out on paper for someone else to see. My goal is to keep it simple and focus on a what I really did by quickly adding notes to the daily lessons with post-its. In retrospect, I think I could have benefitted from videoing the lessons. However, one thing I found particularly helpful for myself was taking pictures of what I was seeing while teaching. I figured I could go back later and and browse my pictures to remember whatever “Ah-hah” moment I was having.
Another struggle for me was selecting 2 students. At first I wanted to pick the two lowest students. However, I decided to look at more than 2 until I can decide how I want to lay it out on paper. Some of the struggles with selecting 2 students in particular is the fact that they might not always attend. At first, I thought I would reselect a different student but I think it might be interesting to see how this student performs due to a missed day. Currently, I am lucky because I can spend time working one on one with students or assign an aide to help with any skills a student might be missing.
This weekend I enjoyed reading through the blogs of others. Kendra and Jules I always make sure to read and comment on probably because they were so helpful when I first started to take this class. Nonetheless, I equally enjoyed reading through others’ blogs as well. Overall, it sounded like we all deal with the same issues, maybe not at the same time but they were all issues I feel I know all too well. What I personally like best about reading about others’ struggles and successes is learning from how others respond. I know sometimes, it feels so overwhelming and it is easy to want to give up, so I find it refreshing to see others overcome hurdles. I look forward to reading about how we all have overcome our struggles to see successes again next week!
In the meantime I plan to organize my papers, pictures, and notes I have collected from my lesson thus far. I hope to add a little more commentary and make a better picture for my case studies. Cheers! To being almost complete with this larger project.