Blogging Challenge Day 3: Observation
Discuss one “observation” area that you would like to improve on for your teacher evaluation.
This is a difficult question for me to answer! There are lots of things I’d like to improve in my teaching, but in terms of observation areas, it’s tough. In ten years of teaching, I’ve been observed about four times, total. Three of those times were in the past two years! So I don’t feel like I’ve gotten much feedback from which to improve.
However, I try to reflect on my teaching often and one weakness that I’ve noticed is that I don’t always use a wide variety of instructional strategies. The strategies I use are developmentally appropriate and for the most part are fine, but I know that I can do better.
Fifth grade social studies in South Carolina focuses on Reconstruction through the present day. This is a lot of information to cover, and it’s full of dense, murky concepts, especially for ten year olds. Sometimes, I find myself providing bulleted lists of notes on Powerpoint presentations, because there’s just so much information, and it’s overwhelming to try to present, especially when some of the information doesn’t seem developmentally appropriate in the first place.
In order to improve this aspect of my teaching, I will research various strategies to determine what will work best for my students. I love to facilitate while my students tackle inquiry-based scenarios, so I want to incorporate those ideas which support critical thinking. I’m also very excited about using text-mapping as a method of providing information. Text-mapping allows students to narrow down big chunks of information and pull out what they determine to be the most important facts.
It’s easy to recognize that using a wider variety of instructional strategies is something that will help my students immensely. I’m excited about the opportunity to try new things and give my kids new experiences!