Standard Reflection- E1

November 14, 2012

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.

An important part of effective teaching is being able to reflect on one’s curriculum and how to make improvements to it. I attended a meeting in October with the other teachers at Lindbergh High School in Renton that sought to improve how teachers approach using feedback and assessment effectively in their classes. This meeting tied in with a meeting earlier in the year on checking for understanding, an important part of any teacher’s skill kit.  By checking student’s understanding of concepts, teachers can seek to improve how their students learn and what they’re taking away from lessons and assignments. While we were assembling to talk about effective methods, the teachers leading the meeting handed out a rubric that included examples and descriptions.

Those leading the meeting started by presenting a Powerpoint presentation that helped lead discussion. At certain points, we broke into small groups and discussed what methods we had applied in our classrooms, and what changes could be made to improve our checks for understanding. I found this extremely helpful as different perspectives can provide helpful insight that we as teachers can use to help our own practice. After discussing these methods, we referred to the handouts, one from the previous meeting and the one from this one, and how we could better integrate these methods into the classroom.

My mentor teacher admitted to having challenges with checks for understanding given his subject matter and how it is taught to the class, but was extremely enthusiastic about improving his assessment to better help his students. This was extremely motivating and inspirational as I also find some of the methods for assessment difficult to implement into the classroom. The rubric that was provided was extremely helpful in forming some idea of how to improve, particularly the chart that provides examples of unsatisfactory to distinguished assessment. As an art teacher, I think it is sometime difficult to check for understanding on a group level, but it is much easier individually. Applying these individual assessments or checks for understanding in an art class would be extremely beneficial in a myriad of ways.

Being able to examine and reflect on how to improve is an important skill for any teacher to have. By utilizing  researched tools, a teacher can seek to improve their practice to improve how their students learn and create effective learning environments.