From day one in a college classroom learning, to the first day in the classroom on my own, to the end of year two, we all say we do it for the kids. If you don't, you are in the wrong career. My advice is not long, it is not a deep comment, it is not something that will be remember 1000 years from now. It is simple, remember this:
There are kids who need you. In your class, someone is being abused, someone is hurting, someone needs a friend, someone needs to know they are loved, and someone needs a champion. Be that person; grow them academically, psychologically, and emotionally. Do this, and you will love every minute of your career.
"Mr. Lute has taken the feedback provided to him regarding instruction strategies and incorporated them into his teaching style to ensure that his student's needs are being met...Thank you Mr. Lute for always having an open mind to new ideas and for being flexible this year."
- Mrs. Espinoza (Principal)
Teaching is a job that can drain you both physically and mentally. It is hard. Teachers are not only an educator, you are a police officer, a councilor, a friend, and many more things. The biggest quesiton is how do we continue to, both personally and professionally, sustain the energy it takes to be passionate about students, teaching, and learning?
I plan to ensure that I keep the drive and passion I have by doing a few things to keep me going.
First, share my passion with my students. This will allow me to feed off their energy while they feed of mine.
Second, I will let students share their passions with me to help me build on the passions I have.
Third, allow students to take control. That is, let them drive the class, the energy, the learning, and all me to guide, not be the "fountain of knowledge."
Fourth, to enjoy my personal passions outside of work. To spend time with my family, to do the things I find fun, and to ensure my life is not controlled by my work.
Doing these things, learning how to better do them, and to continue to grow will ensure my passion is never lost.
A vital aspect of teaching is staying connected. Staying connected in the classroom can be hard. There are two aspects in which a teacher must stay connected. First, a teacher must stay connected to all aspects of educational studies. This allows a teacher to adjusted based on new data and knowledge. The second thing is to stay connected to students. This can be hard. For example, my students are 11 - 13. I am 32. Students who are 30 years younger than me can be hard to connect to. Thus we must find way in which we can connect.
To address the first manner in which I plan to stay connected, I will continue to use PD. That is to say, once CTI is over, I will not stop learning and working to ensure I understand the needs of my students.
To address the second need, that is need to connect on a personal level, I will continue to build relationships. I may not be able to connect based on interests and activities but I can create relationships and address the needs of my students.
It is important to continue to grow and develop as an educator beyond years one and two and within CTI. Beyond this year, I want to continue to grow my ability to meet the needs of the students based on individual need. I want to grow in this area because I feel this is the point of teaching. I believe it is important to create relationships and trust with students. However, the purpose of creating those relationships and that trust is to be able to meet their needs. Because of this, I believe my students would grow best if I continue to grow in this area.
Goal attainment can be found looking at scores from beginning of the year tests (i.e. Star Reading, Beginning of the Year placement tests, etc.) and comparing them to the end of the year testing. This will start with a benchmark score and then an ending score. This will allow me to see the improvement over the year.
The initial Self-Assessments I placed myself on twos in each category. I did so for two reasons. First, I find it impossible for a first year teacher to be anywhere beyond exploring, and two I want to hold myself to a standard to grow. During the last two years, I have worked to achieve improvement in my CSTP's by using project-based learning, creating relationships with students, and by trying new an innovate ways to help them reach mastery. I feel that I have shown strength in creating a project-based learning environment. Overall, on my final CSTP I gave myself 3's. There are some 2's, but we all have room for improvement and I believe I still do. I do feel that this year I have seen a lot of improvement and am working toward a better execution of my position. However, the use of front loading needs improvement. Furthermore, my use of data to create lessons, and projects, can also use improvement. These are areas I feel I have improved in, but still struggle. I have, this year, surprised myself in the use of centers and more one-on-one instruction. I have used a "pull back" method to ensure I am meeting the needs of my students and ensure that they are reaching mastery.