This program has emphasized over and over again how accomplished teaching requires us to be reflective practitioners, both individually and in a group setting. However, I also was encouraged to reflect upon the reality of challenges that can get in the way of reflective practice.
Engaging in analysis of teaching and collaborative practices means:
• Applying frameworks such as Marzano or Danielson Framework to guide professional reflection and standards.
• Demonstrating effective teaching practices
• Recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs
• Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum
• Implementing protocols to assist in professional reflection
• Participating in active professional reflection individually, with partners, in small groups and in teams
• Utilizing collaborative practices using new technology
I appreciated the explicit and simplistic nature of the text we read
York-Barr, J., Sommers, W. A., Ghere, G. S., & Montie, J. (2006). Reflective Practice to Improve Schools (second ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
I also realized along the way that there are many areas of accomplished teaching that I was already practicing in my classroom. These included:
- Criterion 2: Demonstrating effective teaching practices: Reflecting on my practice regularly on an individual basis and adjusting my instruction and practice based on this reflection.
- Criterion 3: Recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs: I am using national standards to assess students’ baseline proficiency level and then design engaging, interactive experiences based on the Organic World Language (OWL) model. I also am constantly using formative assessment in class daily and adapting immediately, in the moment to give corrective feedback and adapt the lesson’s trajectory to better address students’ needs.
- Criterion 4: Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum: Teaching to National Standards (ACTFL) and assessing students based on proficiency. This year implementing the OWL methodology has given me a more intentional focus and better understanding of my students than ever before. I also have access to a much wider variety of authentic resources in Spanish than ever before.
- Using the Charlotte Danielson Framework to guide my reflection as an educator.
At the beginning of the Quarter, my goals for this program were:
- Standard 02: Analyze learning to promote student growth-Collaborating with peers to improve my selection, organization and use of data to improve student learning.
- Working to push students in their critical thinking skills and creative skills. For this I would like to learn from colleagues on questioning strategies and specific methodologies used to push students to the next level, while maintaining a student-centered environment.
- Building not only a student-centered environment, but one where students are responsible for and initiate learning.
- Standard 11: Utilize formative and summative assessment in a standards based environment-Improving the quality and consistency of my use of sound formative assessments in my classroom.
I now feel that I was able to explicitly focus on:
Goal #1- In accomplished teaching we practiced how to reflect in small groups and implemented a variety of protocols to aid the reflection process. We wrote a lesson plan for this and then filmed the lesson. With a partner we then reflected on the lesson, using a protocol to assist us. A few of the protocols I appreciated and would like to use in the future in my professional practice are
Utilizing this protocol helps keep all involved focused, as unbiased as possible, and allows us to work with a meaningful structure to our reflective session.
Goal #3- I conducted my final research paper on Formative Assessment and the use of student self-reflective practices.
Heading forward, as I focus on becoming a teacher-leader, I will focus on leading by example and continuing to share the new learning I gather in this program with colleagues. This may mean suggesting we use a new protocol in PLC meetings for example, or utilizing my new skills to help my PLC analyze student work and proceed afterwards to use the results of this reflection to improve instruction.
I would also like to look further into the work by Matthew Poehner on advanced linguistics and language acquisition. His research has direct implications for the reflective activities I design for my students, as well as the performance assessments I design and implement.
Lantolf, J.P., & Poehner, M.E. (2011). Dynamic assessment in the classroom: Vygotskian praxis for second language development. Language Teaching Research, 15(1), 11-33.
Poehner, M. E. (2012). The Zone of Proximal Development and the genesis of self-assessment. Modern Language Journal, 96(4), 610-622.