Over the course of the last four months, I have seen great improvement in many aspects of my teaching. My confidence has improved greatly while standing in front of a room. I have seen great strides in my preparation and instruction. My classroom management is allowing for open and engaging lessons to take place and I have learned to reflect even more on a daily and overall basis.
When I first started teaching I would spend hours each day planning for all of my preps. This was because I was not sure how students were going to respond to the different ways that I thought about teaching the material. Throughout this semester the time that I have spent on planning has greatly decreased, but the effectiveness of this time has increased tenfold. I know how students learn and have activities that I have created previously and can modify for the new material. This has been a great part of teaching to improve on because it allows me to complete other tasks that are required from teaching besides planning and preparation.
Another area that I have seen improvements on throughout the year is my instruction. With the less time spent on planning, I have been able to research different effective instruction models and adapt these to the ways that I like to teach. I am also more confident in front of the room which also increases the effectiveness of the instruction. I still need improvement on my instruction, but as preparation time continues to decrease, more strides will be made with instruction.
Classroom management is one area that I still struggle with. I have improved from my first time in front of a classroom sounding like a scared, lost child, but I still need improvement. I now have more confidence with my classroom management and I will put up with fewer distractions, but I am still afraid of confrontation with students. I am trying to be their friend instead of their teacher. Being their friend isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it does help to create an open and trusting classroom. But they need to know that I am their teacher and they need to respect that. Once I improve on this, I see my classroom management as well as my instruction effectiveness improving greatly.
The last area that I have seen improvements on over the course of the year is my ability to consciously reflect on what is happening each day as well as overall. This is by far one of the most important aspects of teaching. Reflection is the one of the best ways to improve, and improve quickly as a teacher. I have become more involved with reflecting on twitter as well as more involved with using my blog to reflect. Through both of these I have also achieved great responses from educators around the world which helps with professional development.
Overall, this year has been a great year and has only helped me realize that teaching was the right choice for a career and if I keep improving and having professional development on my own, I will become an effective teacher in a few short years. I will continue to improve after those years; I will be spending only the time needed on preparation, my instruction will be effective and engaging, my classroom management will allow all students to learn undistracted, and I will continue to reflect upon each day and year to improve for the next time.