Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Thing with Feathers (2/5)

This is the second in a series of posts reflecting on the ideas I had this year to improve my teaching.

This week, it is time to buckle down, bite the bullet, put my nose to the grindstone and my shoulder to the wheel and employ other painful cliches as I look at what I just plain got wrong.

Goals that failed

2. Parent contacts - I always make this a priority and I have yet to follow through as diligently as I feel I need to. Part of it is that I work really hard to (try to) keep my teacher-time and my personal-time separate. And in order to actually TALK TO parents, I have to call in the evenings, when I could be spending time with the Hunk. It's not even that I don't work in the evenings or on weekends; I guess I just resent feeling like it's a REQUIREMENT. I'm not sure. I feel like I need to explore this some more. There's something here... some sort of mental block. And I'm not really sure why.

21. Teaching paragraph writing - I need to re-work the order of my units. I think if I take a week or so to examine good paragraphs in our SSR books, and THEN go into our extended writing unit, that'll help. Of course, a lot of that depends on when we get to schedule our research in the library. I'm not really happy with the research unit, but it's one that I have next to no freedom on, so... I suck it up & soldier on. :P

26. Portfolio - This ties in with (21), above. We didn't really do a lot of writing that built on previous writing. My writing curriculum NEEDS to be better. One of the things I should do this summer is actually create a plan for how the writing should progress through the semester, tying that in with our literature units.

You know, adding things to this section sucked, but going back and looking at the list I ended up with was actually quite encouraging, because it's way shorter than I thought it'd be! Plus I like feeling like I've got a plan for improvement. I hate feeling trapped. Figuring out what I can do to make things better gets me excited about the challenge of doing it!

The fun continues next week! Check out the schedule below:

I. Continuing: Ideas that worked well
II: Repeating: Ideas I didn't implement effectively
III: Discarding: Ideas I implemented that weren't effective
IV: Tweaking: Ideas that worked but might be improved
V: Exploring: New ideas for next year!

You can read about some of my earlier plans here; it also has a link back to the one before it. If I can keep this to a weekly schedule, I'll be finishing up just before finals.

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