Recently I received an evaluation. I want to say how thankful I am for an administrator who offers constructive feedback. I often wonder how many teachers would take that constructive criticism personally or take it to heart and actually reflect on how they can better themselves. Not to float my own boat, but I do A LOT of reflecting on what I need to do to make my students more successful. Often times, I am up well past midnight thinking about different strategies and lessons I can implement.
With the Common Core being fully implemented into my classroom and having less than 2 years under my belt of teaching 7th graders, I can’t help but feel I am not doing an effective job getting through to them. Am I going too fast with my 7th graders? Right now I feel as if I am not following my own advice where I said I would teach a mile deep and not a mile wide. I don’t want to push through curriculum for the the sake of saying I got through all of the curriculum, yet I know I have a responsibility to get through the standards.
Could the CCSS have anything to do with the way I am feeling? Even with having minutes added to each of our core hours for more instructional time I find myself running over class time trying to squeeze in last minute details and key points with lessons. Could there ever be enough time added to get through everything?
As I look back through what I have done this year, I am pleased with what I delivered in the way of curriculum to my students, despite the fact we have had snow days (I think I am one of few teachers who always wants school). However, did the content I deliver to my students really sink in? Perhaps I did a better job of just skimming over content rather than making it rich and meaningful. Quizzes, unit test, and other forms of assessments show positive growth, but how much are they truly retaining and would they retain more if I slowed down?
Pacing for 7th graders has to be different than my 8th graders. I have found plenty of support from other district’s pacing guides that help me draw that conclusion. I am going to continue to reflect on what I can do differently in way of pacing and I am hoping I can continue to help my students to grow academically.
I am always going to be a life long learner and will continue to strive to be my best. If there are any middle school teachers out there that would like to provide some suggestions, I am all ears.