Appraisals… and professional development

Appraisals at my school are part of the on-going development of teachers and the school. So far it seems like a very supportive and exciting opportunity to learn and become a better teacher. It is intended to be more for the teacher than just the school. It sounds great.

Yesterday was my first meeting, to establish my goals. Goals… I brainstormed those some weeks ago, based on my interests, my experiences and the school’s recommendations for improvement provided by the International Baccalaureate in the school’s authorization report.
I tend to be a big goal person. I guess, in a way, I start with the end in mind, just like planning in the PYP (or backwards planning). I tend to go for something big I want to achieve, then I break things down. My degree in Learning, Technology and Research, a work-based and action inquiry-based qualification, has helped me to handle my “big ambitions” and to be reasonable in what I can do.

The areas of interest and development I had in mind were:

  • English as an additional Language (EAL): Taking into consideration the philosophy of all teachers being language teachers, and the fact that 10 out of 11 learners in my class are EAL, I feel I have a lot to learn and much room for improvement.
  • Assessment: In particular portfolios and how we use them in class, as well as the recording of student learning and progress.
  • Inquiry: Teaching and learning through inquiry is something that I want to learn more about all the time. Inquiry as a stance, as Kathy Short put it, is something I want to develop my own understanding of.
  • Technology Integration

The latter I do not see as a goal, but as an on-going process. I have every intention of using a new tech tool authentically in every unit of inquiry, and to continue using the ones I introduced all the time. I also continue to see technology as a must, a natural tool, and my students are slowly picking up on it. The fact that we have few laptops available and only one computer in the class, but a huge computer lab, has not stopped me. I guess as we grow, this can be addressed. I will also join the educational leadership team with technology in mind, and plan to offer techie brekkies or similar quick workshop/break-out sessions to staff who are interested.

More about my goals for appraisal later!

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