One of the things I ask my students to do each year is to create a set of learning goals. This is separate from their IEP, but sometimes is intertwined. When students set goals for learning, they are taking charge of their education. Each quarter, I ask them to revisit these goals and reflect on their progress. Sometimes goals are modified to fit recent accomplishments or lack of motivation. Sometimes goals are thrown out and new ones emerge as their desires and ideas change through the year. I always tell them the important part is that you have something in writing to remind you, and that you are in a state of continuous reflection. This past year, I personally shared myapproves signal goals with my students. Each quarter, I spent time reading my own goals and reflecting on my progress. I consider myself a life long learner. Even as teacher, I am constantly learning and striving to improve myself. As I began the process of he goal setting, I neglected an important step. Sharing mynresults. With that said…
GOAL #1: By the end of the school year, I will complete my coursework for obtaining my added supplement for Autism.
Reflection: I have met this goal. As of March, 2012, I obtained my added authorization for Autism as required by .
GOAL #2: Throughout the year, I will offer my students frequent opportunities to choose their own method of practice and demonstrating understanding. I will create a list of acceptable “options” for students which will be frequently reviewed and discussed with the class to increase engagement and motivation.
Reflection: I have met this goal. We began this past school year with a number of activities pre-determined. Through the year, several activities were added. On a side note, my students, especially the Freshmen group, needed much more guidance than originally anticipated. In my experience over the past year, given too much flexibility was not a good thing. They were often confused without clear expectations. Oncei recognized this, I began limiting their options to two or three and made sure they committed to selecting an option that fit their strengths, and assistend them in following through with completing the option they selected. In retrospect, I would not provide the variety of options I did at the beginning of the year.
GOAL #3: I will teach, enforce and frequently reward Lifelong Guidelines and Lifeskills for character development.
Reflection: I have met this goal. We spent the first month of school visiting each Lifelong Guideline word as well as the Lifeskills. We investigated exales of each. In addition, throughout the year, we discussed specific examples as students used these skills. Students also received rewards and “badges” through .
GOAL #4: I will commit to maintaining my class blogs on a daily basis and encourage students to do the same.
Reflection: I partially met this goal. I did maintain my blogs on a weekly basis initially. It was very overwhelming to maintain separate blogs for each class and in retrospect, I should have had ONE blog. However, my students did not utilize the blogs to their potential. I was disappointed in their response to the introduction and ongoing posts to the Blog. It was not an enjoyable experience for them as I had hoped, therefore have selected to do an alternatives to blogging this year in an effort to encourage more interaction and participation.
GOAL #5: I will impliment portfolios for student growth and commit to quarterly documentation.
Reflection: I have met this goal. Is was. Challenging activity for my students as they first, were not experienced at reflecting on their academic work in efforts to improve. Several students lacked the general motivation to maintain their portfolios independently as the year went on. Frequently reteaching had to occur which was time consuming as well. It was a work in progress for myself as well, so along the way, I figured out what worked, what didn’t and what is worth spending time on. However, I did see many students who learned the art of self-reflection and who did make marked improvements based on our focus. It also allowed us time to discuss the IEP process and their future goals, which to my surprise were strikingly different than their parents views. Students became empowered to speak out at their IEPs and became involved in setting their own academic goals.
Overall Reflection: I am very happy with my accomplishments is past year. I will continue to encourage my students to spend time reflecting on their academicaswell as personal goals. I will continue to use portfolios this next year, however with the use of iPads, I know hope to make them “digital portfolios”. I will also continue to work on providing options for students, however, I will limit those options and follow through more directly in completion of those projects that demonstrate learning. I will also continue to focus on Lifelong Guidelines and Lifeskills as they apply to college and career readiness. we will also spend more time looking at people in history and their personal strengths and weaknesses in these areas as they contributed to their success or demise (remember, I teach Social Studies).