Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How Can I Be a Better Teacher Next Fall?

I think reflecting is a huge part of what teachers great. I'm always reflecting on what happened during x lesson or at y staffing. But reflecting back on the whole year is tough. I came across this on Edutopia and it got me thinking about what changes I was thinking about for next year. So much has changed since I walked in this past fall--I got iPads, new principle, and a new team mate. (Well next year I have a new principle and a new team mate.) Dr. Richard Curwin, points out somethings but I really liked the  idea of thinking about changes as:
           A. Major things you will definitely do
           B. Minor changes you will make
           C. Major things you will never do
           D. Minor things you will never do

I think when I break down things this way it helps to clarify what I'm wanting to take on next year and not take on.

So what things will I definitely do: I'm going to move to being paperless. I'm sure how but with 1 to 1 iPads in small groups-I'll find a way. I think that the benefits for my students would include motivation,  immediate feedback through our class email, and more timely communication with their classroom teachers. I'll share as I work out kinks. I think by moving to being paperless, will also help me to tighten up how I work the "science of teaching" but give me room for the "art of teaching." I"m also going to push for a four day seeing students schedule with one day being meet with classroom teachers, paperwork, testing, and all those "other" things that I have to get done during the week. I NEED to strength students knowledge of "how" and "why" they are using an iPad to complete instruction-so they can understand and explain to someone else why they are doing the assignment on the iPad and not on paper or explain why they chose to use a particular app over another.

My minor changes increase how my students use iPads. Now that I have my feet wet, I'm ready to dig in and make some big moves with how I use them in my daily instruction. I think being part of iPUG will help with new ideas and ways to use them. I'm hoping that maybe I can get more of my building teachers on board. Maybe-we're still worried ALOT about PARCC.  I need to create a better way to assign iPads to students if they are going to have more than one student on them. I'm also going to do more anchor charts and force students to use them as resources. We do them together but I don't always force them to use them-I give in and give them the answers but why should I when they were created as a group and have the information on them that students needs to be using in class. It might help the careless mistakes.

I don't have any major things I not doing. A minor thing that has gotten to me since Spring Break is the way students walk in and out of the room. I think I'm done letting them bring themselves as nice as it is it has started to drive me crazy-maybe I should have been more on top of it when it first started to fall apart after state testing. I'm not going back to interactive notebooks. I love the idea of the foldables and have encouraged other teachers to use them but if I'm going to move to a paperless classroom than they I think they are on the way out the door. My students loved them and used them during math since Spring Break but I'm not sure I see how they are work at there best if they aren't being used in the classrooms. I'm thinking on the iPads that I'm going to strip them down to only what we used this year, instead of having over 100 apps on them because I think we only used maybe 30 (if that) on a regular basis. I think would make it easier for me to maintain them--so they are look more alike.

This is something you could also do with students. It would interesting to see what they would have to say/ Anyone have changes they plan on making for next year? Have a great weekend.

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About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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