A Teacher's Happy New Year!

The first month of the New Year is coming to a close, and many of us have spent some time reflecting on the past year and contemplating changes we wish to make in the New Year. This year, I decided to take a survey about my past year in the classroom, and draft a few goals I wish to achieve with my students this year. Below you will find the guiding questions along with my responses. A link to these questions can be found in the Resources section of the READ 180 Community page as well. I always enjoy sharing within the 180 Community Resources. Check it out.

2018 is in the past, but it did bring a few changes and opportunities...

Major changes in 2018:

  •         I am teaching in three different classrooms and have no place to "hang my hat." I knew I would need to establish my space and comfort.
  •         My READ 180 class meets for 42 minutes a day versus the double block I previously had. Talking with my HMH team members, I know there are flexible models, but it is a shift in planning that I knew I will need to continue to adjust and learn through 2019.  
  •       My Intensive Reading class (READ 180/System 44 together)  meets every other day for 42 minutes. Again, a shift in prioritizing and processing how I will maintain the same growth rate.

People/places/things that were good for me:

  •         Training in the Glass Analysis for Decoding Only reading method. This method helps some of my classified learners in learning the key clusters inherent in our language that is necessary to learn as they navigate the "Look/Spot/Split/Read" method that is integral in System 44.
  •        Learning and successfully navigating  HMH Teacher Central.  I learned that ALL of the resources for System 44 instruction are readily available and that I do not need to carry around the RDI book to find answers and information as to how I can reteach lessons to my students' needs. Also, the Phonics and Word Study Lessons for each series are available under the Resources tab. The lessons for instruction appear with a simple click! YAY!
  •        Implementing Google Classroom in all of my classes. I post writing assignments from the software and ReaL Book onto my Google Classroom so that I can edit and give feedback on my students' work.  It's great and it works!
  •       Reading Buddy by M.H. Herlong and having my students participate in an author's video conference with her

People/places/things that creating a little bit of negativity:

  •        Giving too much of my time listening to naysayers who claim that "some kids can never learn" or that "this program will never work." I began to practice how to tune out this noise and respond with a data point that may support changing perceptions.
  •        Compulsory attendance at Staff Development workshops that didn't enhance my skills as a teacher and were completely unrelated to the work that I do. I would like Staff Development to focus on the intricacies of IEP writing and tips to increasing success with students on the autistic spectrum.

The happiest days of 2018:

  •        When one of my students won a Gold Medal for skiing in the Special Olympics
  •    When eight of my students were awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Reading certificate at the Board of Education Student Recognition Ceremony
  •        When 85 percent of my students showed growth in their Lexile scores
  • My trip to India and Nepal, where I got to visit schools in impoverished areas, speak with students and teachers, and realize that literacy skills can be developed wherever there is a desire to attain them.

The saddest days of 2018:

  •       When one of my students got suspended for 5 months for a serious violation of school policy when she should have been attending in my class
  •       When I found out my READ 180 classes would no longer meet for a double period because of school administration logistics (scheduling)

To move forward, I have to leave this one thing behind:

  •        The time I spent with educators who are not "marigolds." Click this link to learn more about MARIGOLDS. I know you will because you are a MARIGOLD!

2019 is here...

One thing I want to change:

  •          Advocate for Intensive Reading classes on an everyday basis

One thing I wish to remain the same:

  •          The high quality of HMH's literacy programs. This is why I stay so active in the Community and look for tips from other bloggers as well as respond to posts from Madigan and Noelle.

One thing I want to achieve:

  •       Helping my students fully realize, on a personal level, that being literate is their key to opening doors in their lives

One thing I want to learn:

  •        Newer methods to better meet the needs of my students on the Autistic Spectrum

One thing I want to do for fun:

  •         Take my students on a field trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty

One thing I must avoid:

  •        Self-doubting and staying too concerned about the change in time so that I focus on my instructional decisions.

People I want to get to know better:

  •         Other READ 180/System 44 teachers (email, Instagram, Facebook, conferences, etc.)

People I need to set boundaries with:

  •       Educators who have lost their passion
  •       Parents who think I am on call 24 hours a day. I now wait until the next school day to respond to a matter, unless, it is urgent.

One person that I need to trust more:

  •        Myself, my intuition. "Yes! I got this!"

At the end of 2019, I hope to see myself as a teacher who:

  •         Continues to be passionate about teaching reading and believes in the best in every student
  •         Is open to learning new computer applications and technology that can enhance my students learning in class.  I need to request more access to Clever for all of the applications my students use in my classroom.

Other thoughts about the New Year 2019:

  •          I am grateful for my job, the school district, the materials that are given to me to do my job,  supportive friends/colleagues, students, and the parents that care.

May the year 2019 be the best year of your life as an educator...ever!!! Share some of your reflections and goals for the new year.

System 44 Educator
  • tvickers

    Wow Sally! You have had a lot of challenges thrown at you this year. I love your tenacity and how motivated you are to continue to serve your students with excellence!