My personal professional growth plan goal was to be a more reflective practitioner. This year, I have had a steep learning curve. I never imagined how quickly and how much I would have to learn. My saving grace at times has been that I am creative and quick on my feet. That being said, when I look back on my blog posts, in my sketchbooks and notebooks, and at the conversations I have with my friends and family, I realize that I know that in reflecting and sharing, my classroom practice has benefited the learning of my students.
I look at my decision to really focus on the work my students were doing and their love of small group work. By doing so, I made a decision to have my students do a major presentation in groups of 3 and record their presentations for me to watch afterwards. I have very high quality work from students and students who were reflective and put a lot of pride into their work. This decision was made from looking at what I saw from my students and where I saw the greatest success individually. The students feed off each other and want to share together.
I look at my decision to close the wall between my class and the class next to mine and I see kids who are thriving because I am taking risks that are either extremely rewarding or really good learning opportunities and we “fail” forward together. I get instant feedback from them and they get way more individual attention. We have grown as a community and we experience together. I try new things with them and we explore together. This decision was made from look at what kind of learner I am and what kind of teacher I knew I was from the experiences I had as it was.
Reflection was never something I thought I was good at but I am really forcing myself to really stop and take the time to look back to see what I learned so I can move forward.