Having goals is very important when embarking on a new adventure. These goals formed the foundation of my first field experience and I look forward to expanding on them and other goals in my pre-internship and internship experiences.
1) Become better at accepting criticism
Critique is part of the professional journey and it is something I need to become better at accepting, both the positive and the negative. Having ADHD makes this an even greater challenge because it makes me more sensitive to criticism then one would expect. I need to work on strategies to help me frame what is said in a way that I can understand the true message being provided. My strategy that I will start with is to try and get as much feedback in writing as possible. The purpose for this is so I can take as much time as I need to assess the feedback, work on a strategy to deal with it, and then create an action plan to implement it. This may seem like a lot of effort, but it will be necessary for me in order to succeed going forward.
2) Keep the passion in check
Passion is a great thing to have in teaching. Too much passion can sometimes be a detriment to teaching. I will have to catch myself when I start going off on a tangent that is irrelevant to the concepts being presented. I need to keep track of time and ensure that I’m not going overboard during a lesson. Passion is a wonderful thing, but it needs to be moderated to ensure every student is getting a chance to learn and not just those that are as excited about it as I am.
3) Keeping it simple
There is a place for complexity and extravangance, but I will have to monitor myself to ensure I’m not going over the top on every concept presented. I have to make sure I’m breaking things down and explaining things fully instead of presenting information in a way that is too advanced for the concept. Keeping things simple will be the best way to ensure every student is engaged and understands the material.
Each of the three goals above can be directly related to a teaching area. They are broad enough to encompass what I want to achieve as a developing professional, but specific enough in that if I can work towards success in those areas it will have significant impact on me as a professional.
There are, however, specific teaching areas that I would like to focus on while out in the field:
1) Assessment: I have a passion for assessment and finding innovative ways to assess students. I would like to discover new ways of assessing students and seeing how students react to new assessment methods.
2) Instruction Strategies: as a pre-service teacher I want to expand my “book of tricks” so I can create a better default strategy than direct instruction. Lectures have a time and place, but I want to expand my comfort zone to ensure that if I need to make adaptations to lessons on the fly I am not going straight to lecturing in order to present the material.
In order to measure these goals I will rely on feedback from my students, my cooperating teacher, and my faculty advisors to see if I strayed from them at all. I will also keep a close eye on my “emotional barometer” to ensure I’m keeping things in a proper frame.
These goals are ones that I feel are important to my success as I future educator and I look forward to the challenge.
Image Source: https://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/5-ways-to-get-a-free-education-1212/