Reflective Teaching

The people at te@chthought have challenged teachers to do a reflective blog post every day this month. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up, but today’s a holiday–so I can at least start the month off with reflection. The prompt for today is to reflect on my goals for this school year.

First off, I have to admit that I haven’t done much formal goal setting for the year, at least not in relation to my teaching. I’ve focused so much of my energy on the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project that most of my goals have to do with that organization. This blog post prompt reminds me that I really need to do some reflection about my teaching, as well.

Although my classes are very different this semester (one writing class and one literature class), both are G.E. classes . . . meaning that I have the opportunity to help students see the importance of literacy. In the writing class in particular, that should be a relatively “easy” thing to do–the students are preparing to be elementary teachers and an important part of their job will be to support their students’ literacy learning. In the literature class, though, I’m still feeling my way towards where they are in relation to literacy. I guess my goal in that class is to introduce different genres and authors to the students in hopes that they will develop a broader interest in literature.

There’s a part of me that thinks these goals are too generic. I think I have to be honest with myself, though, that I have so many goals in relation to my work with local teachers that I can’t take on much more than this. Of course, I’ll try every day to be a good teacher–and I’ll reflect on what happens in class and shift instruction appropriately.

But the goals that will weigh more heavily on my mind will be the ones I have in relation to SJVWP:

  • make a smooth transition to a new leadership structure
  • build site capacity by developing new leadership and also trying to reach out to Teacher Leaders who were active in SJVWP in the past
  • renew our technology focus, which has lagged over the last few years
  • get our young authors programs going
  • create places for our teachers to carry out inquiry projects
  • learn more about elementary writing pedagogy
  • explore how teachers take what they learn in professional development and transform that into every day practice
  • foster new partnerships with local teacher organizations

See? These goals are specific and demanding. They will challenge my thinking this year. . . .

One Comment

  1. I’ve been trying to get my students in English 31—a sophomore-level literature survey course at Fresno State—to think of themselves as public thinkers. So far the experiment with having them communicate their ideas, their questions, and their findings about literature on Twitter is working well. Perhaps I need to write a blog post about this. Thanks for keeping up with your blog, Kathee, and for inspiring others to be public learners/scholars/teachers, as well!

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