Going into my student teaching semester I had 3 big learning goals set for myself. Based on my previous experiences in classrooms and my knowledge of the duties and responsibilities teachers have, I knew there were a few major areas that I had to focus on.
My main goal going into the semester was to make sure that my behavior and level of professionalism aligned with that of a teacher, rather than just a college student. I had slipped into the habit of being late or missing classes here and there, or submitting the occasional late assignment. Although I felt fine about my overall level of professionalism as an undergraduate student, I knew there were some areas that had to be cleaned up if I wanted to be taken seriously as an educator. I made it my main goal not to miss any days, to be on time, and to submit all lesson plans and materials to my cooperating teacher in a timely manner.
Another goal that I set for myself during this semester was to push myself to embrace teaching subjects or lessons that I was not completely comfortable with in order to build my confidence. I have always felt comfortable planning and organizing lessons whether I was comfortable with the content or not, but I often feel nervous before teaching lesson plans, even more so if it was something like math that I don’t teach often. This can lead me to rushing or skipping steps in lessons, so I wanted to get more practice in order to build up my confidence.
Finally, I wanted to learn more about and gain some experience with planning. I have always been comfortable planning lessons based around TEKS, but I was unsure of the order we should be teaching them in, or what teachers referenced to base their larger unit plans on. I made it one of my main goals to observe my teacher planning, understand the resources they use, and contribute to the planning of larger units than just single lessons.
I feel like I did a great job working towards these goals this semester. I kept these goals in mind during my time in the classroom and I feel as though I achieved all of them. I had perfect attendance during my total teach semester and submitted lesson plans and assignments on time. I spent extra time and effort teaching lessons and subjects that I was unfamiliar with such as math. I actually taught so many math lessons and came up with so many new math games that I actually feel like it is now one of my strongest subjects. Finally, I feel like I made huge strides in understanding the long term planning process. I became familiar with the curriculum used in my school and district, and even planned my own week long unit on fractured fairy tales. I am so proud of all I’ve learned this semester, and am leaving my student teaching placement with more confidence in myself and my abilities than I have ever had.