There is a one period release available at my school next year for a math teacher to work with the department to facilitate conversations and observations and help share best teacher practices. It’s a thing I am interested in maybe doing. In order to apply they want three letters of rec and a cover letter. Since it’s the only writing I’ve done today I thought I’d share the ROUGHEST draft of the first part.
I almost went to graduate school. When I was deciding to teach at Del Lago it was a debate between that and a PhD in Adolescent Psychology. I had taught for 3 years in a department that I thought was great. I was fairly convinced I was an excellent teacher. I was wrong. I was a good teacher. I worked mostly on my own and a little with the group. We all liked each other. That seemed like enough. My two years at Del Lago have taught me that it is not even close.
The curriculum comes first. As a department we have spent the last three years writing pacing guides and assessments. We know that all students in the same grade are receiving the same basic instruction and the exact some assessments. When we find time we have conversations around big ideas and important problems. I want to be the TOSA next year to give more opportunities for that. Our department has two positive pieces in this area already: we like each other and we like the curriculum. A little bit of questioning and some freeing up of time has the potential to push this work forward.
Secondly, the work we have done with Teacher’s Development Group has been invaluable. It has been hands down the most effective professional development I have ever done. This is the main reason I want to do this TOSA work. Every teacher in our department took away a little something different from the work with TDG we would talk about it and focus on it for the first couple weeks after the studio days. Then the conversations would be less frequent. Teachers work hard and there is always something to be doing.
That’s all I’ve got there will be more eventually but tomorrow is an all new Chalkline. 🙂