I recently had my mid-year evaluation meeting with my supervisor, the Chief Academic Officer of Elementary Education. These evaluation meetings always bring different feelings. I know I've done good work as an instructional coach. I know I've connected and made an impact in the district. As much as I think I've done a lot with my coaching, I always know I can do more. It's with this stance that I find it hard to write about my successes. There's always so much more I can do. There's so much more I can learn. There's always so much more. However, I also know that it's important to pause, reflect on the work, celebrate the growth, and also identify next steps.
Have you taken time to pause, reflect on your work (in any position or capacity), celebrate your growth, and identify your next steps?
Below is my beginning of the year write up, followed by my mid-year reflection.
Professional Development Plan
For this third year in this role, I have identified 4 elements of the CSTPs: 3.1, 4.3, 6.3, and 6.2.
3.1 – Demonstrating knowledge of subject matter, academic content standards, and curriculum frameworks.
Continuing my professional learning and deepening my understanding of standards in both Math and Science, I plan to invest time to understand the NGSS framework before, during, and after the NGSS Rollout #4 professional learning days in December. I plan to work on ways to help teachers understand how to use curriculum frameworks in both Math and Science to better address content standards and the needs of their students.
4.3 – Developing and sequencing long-term and short-term instructional plans to support student learning.
Throughout my career and the past two years serving as a TOSA, I have always looked for and encouraged teachers to identify immediate next steps after any particular lesson as well being mindful of the long-term plans and goals for students as a class and individually. I am excited to support teachers develop and refine clear, rich, rigorous, and measureable objectives for each lesson, unit, and more and their reflective adjustments for their short-term and long-term instructional plans. It’s a combination of being proactive and reactive.
6.3 – Collaborating with colleagues and the broader professional community to support teacher and student learning
Being on this tight TOSA team has been tremendous. I plan to support the TOSA Team by doing my part in team tasks, AND sharing my perspective, experience, skillset, and more to build up the entire team. A key phrase for me that reflects this focus is: “Don’t aspire to be the best on the team. Aspire to be the best FOR the team.” Working with other educators on the STEAM Inquiry Group and the South Bay Science Collaborative will also help me address this CSTP – to support teachers within PAUSD and beyond.
6.2 – Establishing professional goals and engaging in continuous and purposeful professional growth and development.
This fourth goal reflects my continued focus and need to develop both professionally and personally. As we’ve discussed, I have a strong drive to create flawless products and have had difficulty in that process. Experiencing failures, shortcomings, and stumbles is one half of this focus. The more important half is recovering from those failures. Identifying monthly (perhaps weekly) goals will be part of my process in addressing this CSTP.
It’s been a wonderful year so far during this third year in my role as a Teacher on Special Assignment. I have really embraced the process of developing positive and productive coaching sessions. It’s been a rewarding process beginning with building relationships, impacting instruction through individual and group coaching, and circling back by sending resources and follow up messages. It’s been great leading lab days and learning walks that guide teachers in the implementation of Bridges in Mathematics, analyzing the major clusters of standards, and identifying the progression of math content standards and math practice standards across the grade levels. Leading the STEAM Inquiry Group to look at the Next Generation Science Standards and the science frameworks has been another focus of this year for CSTP 3.1. Partnering with teachers for their unit planning, project based learning experiences, and other educational initiatives definitely addresses my focus on CSTP 4.3. Proactive and purposeful planning of curriculum rollout and professional learning experiences helps with CSTP 4.3 and long-term instructional plans. I have really enjoyed connecting with my fellow TOSAs, other educators, and connections outside of PAUSD for CSTPs 6.2 and 6.3. I truly believe we are #BetterTogether and we have so much to learn from each other. I always strive to bring what I can to collaborative planning groups and to arrive at a better solution together than anyone of us can accomplish alone. As I reflect on this year and also the past two years, I can really see how I’ve grown to just keep going. It’s about progress and not perfection. Just keep going because every bit of effort is definitely effort in the right direction.