Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Room for Growth

Day 3 of the 30-day blogging challenge asks teachers to discuss one observation area we would like to improve on for our teacher evaluations. In Georgia, we us a teacher evaluation system called Teacher Keys, which contains 10 standards in which teachers are evaluated. Some of these include Professional Knowledge, Instructional Strategies, and Professionalism. The one area I feel I could improve the most in is Assessment, specifically the data piece of that standard. I feel I use several different assessment strategies and incorporate higher level thinking questions, but I'm working on really using data to help guide my instruction.  
My district uses the STAR Reading assessment by Renaissance Learning for our beginning, middle, and end of the year benchmarks. My school has also begun using Fountas and Pinnell this year, which has helped us level and group our students for reading. I'm working on using the data from both of these assessments to help guide my instruction in my Guided Reading groups. 
To be clear, I've never been one for testing. When I think about what I want my students to become, I don't want their one skill to be that of a good test taker. I want my students to grow up to be good people who contribute to their community, their country, and even to the world. But, I do understand it takes a lot to get them there. Evaluating current abilities, and using that information to improve the education they are receiving, is one of the ways they will get there. 
If you're new to the blogging challenge, check it out here.