Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mid-Term Appraisal Chat 2015

2015 MID
End of Year Appraisal Chat/Focus
Part 1: Please prepare for this, making written notes, comments or paragraphs.  You will need all records to appear, as evidence of reflection, self-evaluation and discussion on your professional blog.
(A) Discuss Criteria 4 of Professional Relationships and Professional Values (from Registered Teacher Criteria)
  1. Reflective Question: How do I continue to advance my professional learning as a teacher/leader?
I think because I missed out on so much learning time during high school, I am trying to catch up! I find learning very rewarding. Deep down, I am a huge geek. I love the process of identifying something I need to get better at, setting myself a goal and then working hard to achieve it.  I love the feeling of success once I have mastered a new skill.  I am a social learner, so I find JK and collaborative teaching very rewarding. I continue to learn form my colleagues around me. 

Over the past 2 years, I have grown my PLN (personal learning network) via Twitter (check me out! on @fuse711). I can't believe just how much I appreciate connecting with like-minded educators from around the world; connecting with movers and shakers! There are iPad, techie tips, minecraft, inquiry, learner agency, growth-mindset, numeracy, literacy ideas galore! It's pretty open to challenge each others' ideas and have a conversation about learning. More recently, I have joined the NZ Teachers Facebook page. I am not quite sure what to think about this yet. I haven't agreed with everything that has been shared or said but I'm not sure if it's the same forum or setting to challenge ideas. However, there are still some peals in there if you sift through the clams.  

In sum, teaching and learning is fast growing to online, global connections. We have to get amongst it.

This year, my goals are around being an effective leader. I now see my teaching colleagues in a new light.  It's hard being a leader at times - there are some tricky conversations to have with people so I am "in the learning pit" knowing how to approach different situations.  I watch David like a hawk: how he listens, or jumps in, or parks something and moves on; how he challenges people. I like how he is always very good at explaining how and why something relates back to a policy or law. James also mentors me once a week.  I talk with him and we unpack the what and the why. This is very helpful as I try to make sense of everything :).

 (B) Discuss Criteria 6 of Professional Knowledge in Practice (from Registered Teacher Criteria)


6. Reflective Question: What do I take into account when planning programmes of work for groups and individuals?

Planning for individuals, I think is one of the hardest aspects of teaching (or maybe it's just the hardest for me?).  I believe that the best learning takes place when the teacher has developed a positive relationship with the learner.  Teachers need to take an interest in their learners and really find out what makes each tick.  What are their habits? What is their personality? What mindset do they possess? Are they introverted?  Are they extroverted?  What drives their learning?  What are they passionate about?  

It takes time to discover this for 30 students. 

So once a teacher has established this relationship, individualised and personalised learning can flourish. Initially, I believe the role of the teacher is to provide inspiration, controversy, challenge and support. Then carefully, purposefully and strategically coach, guide and provide timely feedback and feedforward for learners.  

I think I'm about at that point now with most of my students.  There might be one or two that I haven't worked out, yet.  But I'm working on it.  Now that I have developed those important relationships, I can tailor my examples, questions, directions and better extend kids thinking. 
  1. Reflective Question: Outline what the drivers (principles) of your maths programme are. Explain your developing ‘theory of action’ for maths. (How you are teaching it and why) Refer back to your writing ‘theory of action’ …where are the similarities?
Wow! I can't believe how many similarities there are between a writing theory of action and a mathematics theory of action! Working with Dinah this year has been some of the best professional development that I have been a part of! Is this because maths for me is something I have to do, not something I love?  Because this year, for the first time ever, if I have some extra time in my day to do something - I'm doing maths!  Crazy eh?  Dear Ms Wall (my 3rd form maths teacher). I am so sorry for all the pain I caused.  Maths is actually really amazing. 

Let's look at some of the similarities:
  1. Fluency: you know when kids really know their basic facts when they are able to tackle more challenging problems and concepts.  Fluency is mathematics is very important!  However, we develop fluency by doing real maths NOT practising basic facts sum after sum, page after page...
  2. Purpose: exactly as I said above, the learners are motivated when they see a purpose to why they are doing it.  The focus needs to be on the teaching of strategy and fill the knowledge gaps where and when necessary (knowledge shouldn’t be holding them back in strategy - i.e. give them a times table chart if they don’t know these instantly);
  3. Hands-on: Learners need to be able to visualise concepts before they can use them mentally; The use of materials is key throughout all stages;
  4. Real life contexts are essential
  5. Parents need to be able to see strategy, knowledge and rich tasks as equally important (often the only maths they see is knowledge)
  6. The teacher is the coach (“The teacher is the conductor not the violin player.”);
  7. The learners need to be engaged in ‘hard’ work (who is doing the thinking?);
  8. Teachers need to know what knowledge learners need to solve each strategy;
  9. Deliberate acts of teaching are key.

Part 2: Coherence –Teacher Self-Check
See (survey monkey) survey. Use the scale shown.  When meeting with your Team Leader, table this and lead any discussion that may be important.

Part 3: Inquiry/On-line Reflections
Bring up your staff blog. Outline progress in your inquiry to date.  What change has there been in your focus group?  How do you know?  How has your practice changed? Where do you think this might go next?