Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reflection on my change and growth this year as a teacher in the areas of environment/relationships, insrtuction, discipline and assessment.

This year has been an enlightening year for me as I’ve always wanted to know more about best practices in the area as kindergarten as well feeling renewed as to why I teach the way that I do. 

The Master’s program at St. Mary’s University has really encouraged and pushed me to research current ideas in a topic I was interested in, reading, as well as implement new ideas.  This year I’ve introduced several new strategies to help guide and strengthen my reading instruction.  I’ve included Daily Five as a way to manage guided reading time as well as increase the time students are spending on reading.  We discussed how to read a book, practiced good reading habits, how to find a “good fit book” and built our stamina.  Prior to this year, I had never discussed these ideas with my students.  I’ve also been using more choice for my student in picking the books that they read. It’s been a great motivator for the students as well as takes the responsibility of organizing books off of me.  I’ve increased my repertoire of effective instructional strategies and now when I plan a lesson I take a second look to ensure I’m teaching with an essential question and using Morzano’s list of ideas.  In the future, I’d still like to look more closely at my units and find ways to have the students guide the instruction and provide more time to get in depth with topics.

Through reflection and self-analysis I was more aware of my interactions with my students in pursuit of achieving quality relationships with each student, even the difficult ones.  I had several challenging student with behaviors this year so I know I can still grow and develop these skills.  I also felt encouraged to have the right “mind set.”  Teaching with intention, having a daily gratitude list and improving the way I problem solve and interact with co-workers have all created within me a new awareness.  Again, I can’t say I’ve perfected it all but I’m taking baby steps to be a better teacher and a better me.

Lastly, my spirit for teaching feels renewed.  I’ve been out of the student role for ten years and I’ve forgotten about some of the reasons and theories behind the way I teach.  It’s been exciting to still see the University encouraging us to play and use creativity with our students.  I love taking a worksheet and creating a hands-on experience.  I’m glad the educational world still sees the value of learning that way.  The constructivist teacher within me is happyJ


  1. Rebecca-You have grown so much this year! It is such a pleasure to work with you and to go through the SMU program with you. We have very similar issues and goals being we teach the same grade level. I too have enjoyed learning and applying new instructional strategies using Marzano’s high yield strategies. I LOVE the fact that you are allowing your students to select their own books for their take home program. You are leaning towards giving up some of the teacher control and letting it be more student-led. How does this type of instruction feel for you? Do you think the kids are benefiting from this “new” style of teaching you are applying in your classroom? You are moving into a more constructivist model in your teaching. It is so refreshing to watch and learn from your different transformations this year while going through the SMU program. I think we have both worked hard on building our relationships with our students, and having true intentions behind our relationships. It is exciting to continue to improve our teaching in more of a facilitator role…wow, this is all so new for us!

  2. You are so right this has been a transformational year for us. I'm excited to try new things and learn best practices however it can be scary and uncertain. I was not sure about how this year would go having students picking books and making more choices. I worried about classroom management and losing books. I only had one student not return a book the entire year. That is a record for me! The kids really were excited to make choices about what to read, where to read, what to write, and they loved being in the front of the room sharing it all to their peers (and me). I'm loving molding myself and my classroom into a constructivist learning environment!