Sunday, October 21, 2012

Professional Development Ramblings

To me teaching is not only a science, but an art. 25+ years ago, when I was working on my undergraduate degree, the emphasis was on the science- the pedagogy.  Teaching in a cookie cutter manner never appealed to me.  As an English Ed major, I had a passion for classic literature, literary analysis, theater, and creative writing;  I sought, as most other novice teachers, to ignite a spark in my students. 

Teaching exclusively from a textbook was certainly not going to work for me.  It was too confining and not nearly creative enough.  Thank goodness I entered a teaching gig during the Whole Language heyday and worked in a school system that encouraged creative thinking, thematic teaching, and risk taking. Early on in my career, I realized I had a passion for curriculum and assessment. Writing curriculum, performance assessments and benchmark assessments at the county level with other literacy resource teachers was something I really enjoyed and now miss.

Having my hand on the pulse of education is important to me. Being aware and understanding the new CCSS standards is not enough. Knowing what current research suggests as best practice for instruction is a priority for me. My dream day:  having time to pour over and really read and reflect on my professional journals and piles of professional books.  I want the freedom to artistically design my curriculum, daily instruction, and intervention methods for my students.  However, I owe it to my students to do so in an informed manner using not only a research base, but my own professional judgement as an educator with twenty-four years experience.  I am blessed that I can achieve this and more in my current position at a private school.

Recently, I ran across this quote on -where else- Pinterest!

teach for tomorrow - Great quote from John Dewey.YES YES YES !!!!!!!!!

Even with our youngest students, we teach realistic goal setting and mapping out a plan and process to reach our goals.  Reflective learning not only applies to our students, but to us as 21st century educators.  To prepare our students for tomorrow, we are responsible for our own professional development in addition to that provided by our school and/or district.  For me, and I'm sure for you, I constantly evaluate my effectiveness, my strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests as a teacher.  Where are my students at this point in the year?  Where do they need to be, as per CCSS or our curriculum, or developmental milestones?  How can I help them to growWhat can they do to take responsibilty for their learning?  What has worked this week?  What has not worked? 

With this in mind, I am reflecting on the professional goals I set at the beginning of the year. I am required to submit them to my principal, but I would still do so if not required.  Not only do I have a passion for literacy and learning, but a desire to model what I teach:  learning is a journey that never ends and I am responsible for mapping out my itinerary.

So, what are my professional goals for this year?  My goals are fluid and are directed by my students' needs and interests.  Currently, these are my professional goals for the second marking period:
  • Continue to research best practices for teaching fluency using the works of Pinnell and Fountas and of course Rasinski 
  • Learn more about planning PLC meetings by reading  On Common Ground: The Power of Professional Learning Communities
  • Continue to revise a plan for implementing Daily 5, CAFE, and Whole Brain Teaching into my intervention groups. As a literacy coach, how will I share with my colleagues beyond the required PLC meetings?

 Yes, these are lofty goals, and I still must map out a plan, a process for how I will attain them. 

Do you set professional goals?  What is your #1 goal for this marking period or school year?  Do you have any recommendations for additional readings, workshops, webinars, etc. that would be beneficial?

 A bit heavy for a Sunday, so I leave you with this funny:

Say what?


  1. I'm here from Ms. Fultz's Corner for her birthday giveaway. I enjoyed reading your Prof Dvlp Ramblings!

  2. Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings! :-) Lauren


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