In 2010, my first year at Michigan State University, I found that teaching, not medicine, was my true calling in life. With that I moved back home, transferred to GVSU, and started classes in August of 2011. I then started my preparation for this semester and at the time it seemed like it was going to take forever before I was able to start my teacher assisting. During this time I spent learning about how to teach middle school and high school mathematics, what assessment looks like, how to create problems and activities that promote conceptual understanding. Now that the semester if finally here I have some goals that I would like to accomplish using what I have learned since August 2011.
One of my main goals is to improve my skills in the behind the scenes part of teaching; lesson planning, using effective means to test student’s knowledge, making sure the required targets are being hit. I think this side of teaching is my weakest aspect right now, I think mainly from lack of exposure. My CT has been really helpful throughout this first week and I think I will be able to learn a lot from her.
I would also like to try out some activities that allow my students to explore a topic on their own while having fun. I spent last semester developing Common Core aligned math activities for use in the library. I had some very promising pilot sessions with students who seemed to really enjoy that type of activity. I am interested to see how these types of activities would work in a classroom setting.
My last main goal is to improve my teaching overall. I feel pretty confident about being able to do this. I haven’t done much teaching in a classroom setting so I know this semester will help me accomplish this. I’m looking forward to learning how to look for ways to improve, as it is something I feel I must do for the rest of teaching career in order to be the best teacher I can be.
How will I know if I’m accomplishing my goals throughout the semester? I think that’s a great question because right now I not even sure if I as a teacher could ever confidently say that I have accomplished any of this goals. What I can say is that I am confident that I will improve in all of these areas compared to where I am right now and will continue to improve as I continue to teach. I hope to find things that work and expect to find things that do not and I will use this to evolve as a teacher. Stay tuned the rest of the semester as I reflect on my feelings about working towards these goals.