Understanding by Design…. new year, new teams…but old ways!

 Back to school in a week and this kitchen remodel has placed me well behind my goals.  Still…it is a good experience for someone who loves to plan and keep chaos at bay…because, there has been so much I could not manage.  Sometimes, I realize I just need to “Let it Go!”  (My summer mantra.)

PlanningbyPool

Getting started for the new year!

Well, now that I have a floor, I have started to clean inches of concrete dust, have a clean space, and I have found my work!!   (Although, I am wondering why I didn’t just hang out here by the pool most days.)  All in all, it was needed.  I can honestly say I barely thought about the new Florida standards and this year, which I think was good.  I also better see my priorities…I have an amazing husband and family that needs my time.

As far as school, I’m fresh and unfocused…sometimes needed for creativity or starting a new path. 

To gear up, I have started Wiggins’ “Understanding by Backward Design.”  Although I usually start with the standards and student outcomes, with all the changes this year I figured I needed to go back to the foundation. So, I’m heading back to the ‘old ways’ –  focusing on assessment for learning and student outcomes.understanding by design

This blog will be up and going more this 2014 to 2015 school year.  There was a lot of great things that happened over this past year, but time seemed so fluid it was difficult to write down my reflections.  And yet, I felt I should have.  There were times I thought things through, had great ideas, was trying to self-assessment a path I was on…and I would wake up, or drive home, and it was gone!  Sometimes temporarily…sometimes I would think, “I had it all figured out and it’s lost.”

I was going to start my MA in Ed Leadership.  However, I am the 4th grade team lead, on the team for the new Florida Standards Implementation at our school, and have 2 interns from August to December.  Although my degree is important (  :0 )   , I want to achieve better balance this year (don’t laugh).  I want to be more present with my family and more targeted at work.

I have always wanted to be a teacher trainer, and now it’s here!  I love teaching and want to share that.  At the same time, I am curious when it comes to adult learners.  Having taught grown ups in the Air Force, I have some experience; however, I expect this to be very different.

Teaching can be personal.  It is not a career that ends at 5pm and you leave at the office. Curriculum, students, events, moments…all stick in your head when it comes to the children you teach.   They are not computer programs or ‘widgets’ you walk away from when you turn off the lights.

Although I wonder if teaching has to be a passion or calling, I do feel that our education mentoring program here in Brevard (education in general) could be improved – and I hope to see if my thinking has positive outcomes.

Just like I believe in assessment for learning, metacognition, and personal goal setting with my students, I intend to use those strategies with my interns.  At the end of our time, I want these new teachers to feel stronger, more knowledgable, more skills, and better prepared for teaching with a greater idea of their personal strengths and challenges.

Therefore, “Understanding by Design” will not only help me think through the new Florida standards, but I intend to ‘plan’ my time with my new teams and my interns.  We’ll see.

We will see.  All very grand ideas and then the school year hits….

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