Monday, June 5, 2017

A Time of Year for Reflecting and Planning

The end of the school year has quickly come upon us. It is a hectic time of year filled with standardized assessments, summative exams, capstone projects and of course many field trips. For most teachers it is a time to provide a self reflection and meet with an administrator for a summative evaluation meeting.  It is also a time to present evidence and a reflection of your professional growth goals for the year.

Depending upon your district and administrative requirements this process of reflection may require structured responses to guiding questions, mountains of evidence and a scripted dialogue in a conference. While this method provides a significant amount of content to fill up a summative evaluation it can easily become a task without a great deal of true engagement.

I would prefer to see a more personalized approach for educators. Allowing for a true reflection of the year with an emphasis on "what would I truly like to improve on or learn more about next year?". The idea of pursuing an intrinsic passion is not new. We have had professional learning goals for years. However, the delivery and the process seemed to make it "another thing I have to do for my district". We have repackaged this idea by creating new vocabulary such as "Genius Hour" or "Mastery Minutes".  The idea being that you are mandated a block of time to pursue a true passion or interest that will assist in developing you as an educator.

While the idea and packaging have evolved the concept remains the same. In order to maintain "engagement" it requires personal passion. What worked for you this year? What do you see evolving within your classroom, school, the greater educational community and the world? Is there something that requires exploration, collaboration and reflection? Make that your professional development goal for next year!

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