Goals for Next Semester
Every professional should set goals for themselves. We can be good at something but we should strive to be better. We need to continuously work on ourselves professionally to be the best we can be.
I have five goals that I am working on for next semester:
Time management is at the top of my list. I need to work on time management when it comes to time spent on assignments and lesson plans as well as time management when teaching a lesson. I spend countless hours on assignments and lesson plans. My husband tells me that I will kill myself if I continue to work like this and that it is unrealistic for teachers to spend so much time on lesson plans. I need to learn to get things done in a timely manner. The problem is that I doubt myself a lot and I don't feel confident in my work so I go back and change an assignment or a lesson plan 5 to10 times before I hand it in. Realistically teachers cannot spend countless hours on a single lesson plan because they will burn out quickly.
I also need to learn to work on my time management with my lessons. Lessons do not go according to plan and I may not be able to get through the whole lesson that day and it's ok. I shouldn't take time away from another subject, instead we can return to the lesson the next day. Since I am only teaching one lesson a week I try to fit it all in and I have gone over by 5 minutes almost every lesson (one lesson I went over by 10 minutes...opps) but I plan on working on this. I need to work on time management and work more efficiently and spend less time explaining at the front of the class so the students can get started right away.
2. Use of Technology
Technology is the future of learning, this is not news. However, I need to learn how to integrate technology into the classroom. Many of my peers strongly feel that students have enough exposure to technology at home, they need a break when at school. I disagree, if we do not integrate technology in our classrooms, students will fall behind. There are many benefits to integrating technology in the classroom. It makes learning more fun which creates engaged learners, it prepares students for the future as our use of technology is rapidly increasing, and technology allows students the opportunity to learn at their own pace. As our dependence of technology increases and as technology advances, teachers must prepare students on the use of technology. I am not very tech savvy but I have quickly realized how not educating myself on the latest technology will be a disservice to my students. I plan on learning about different ways that I can integrate technology in my classroom to help advance my students. I have a goal to integrate the use of technology during my 3 week teaching block to either use it as a tool to teach the students the unit I am teaching or to use it as a tool for assessment.
3. Balancing Small Group and Whole Group Activities in My Lessons
So far in my 7 week field placement I have predominately taught whole group activities. My first lesson was a small group lesson and I would like to integrate more small group lessons. Whole group lessons are great for introducing new concepts but students learn better in small groups as they are able to interact more with the teacher. I am going to work on learning how to integrate more small group lessons and find a balance between both.
4. Including Treaty Education
Thus far I have not included any Treaty Education outcomes in my lesson plans. As a future educator in Saskatchewan it is imperative that I begin to incorporate Treaty education in my lessons. It is part of the curriculum and I am not doing my part if I neglect to incorporate it into my classroom. I have not felt confident as of yet to include it as I am still learning about Treaty Education. However, I have learned some interesting facts about Indigenous ways of knowing thanks to my ESCI-310 class. My professor has been encouraging us to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and I kept asking him how. He did not have an answer for me so I began to do my own research and discovered that Western science can benefit from Indigenous knowledge and in fact Indigenous knowledge can advance modern science and technology. I plan on researching and learning different ways that I can introduce Indigenous knowledge into my lessons to target Treaty education outcomes.
5. Creative Differentiated Content
Through my field placement I have learned that there are a wide range of learners. Not many of my students are interested in school work and many of them struggle academically. I want to learn how to be creative with differentiating content for my students. I do not want any student to be left behind because I am instructing in a fashion that does not work on their strengths. It has been difficult to navigate this only being in the classroom for 1 day a week. I look forward to my 3 week block where I will be working with my students every day and figuring out ways to adapt the content to interest them and play on their strengths.