How Has My Teaching Changed?

I am currently in my eighth year of teaching. In that time I have taught Grades Prep, One and Two and have taken on a variety of different leadership roles within my school. I have learnt so much about children, education, schools, leadership, teaching and learning in the past eight years, and I feel I am a very different person and teacher now, compared to when I started teaching. 

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One of my favourite elements of blogging is the opportunity for reflection. I am constantly thinking about how I can improve as a teacher, but recording my thoughts, ideas and opinions takes that self analysis and growth to a higher level. I thought I would reflect on some of the ways I have changed in teaching Literacy over the past eight years.

 

 2004 2011 Literacy comparisons 1

2004 2011 Literacy comparisons 2

 

When reflecting on the changes I have made over the past few years, the increased use of technology is obvious. There were no interactive whiteboards in my school when I first started teaching, and now I would really struggle to teach without one. I also use my time much better now than when I first started teaching. Prioritising is so important! When I look at graduates now, I wonder if they feel as overwhelmed as I did in my first year. It is always interesting to reflect on how we first started and how much we’ve grown. Of course, after only eight years, I’m sure there is plenty of professional growth left for me yet!

How has your Literacy teaching changed over the years?

How do you think your teaching may change in the future?

 

  10 comments for “How Has My Teaching Changed?

  1. April 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for your outline of how your literacy teaching has changed. I’m only a second year graduate, and yet I know that things in my literacy teaching have changed greatly since I first started. Actually, they usually change considerably after each holiday with the extra time for reflection!
    As you know, I’ve taken up Daily5 as well, and am working towards implementing CAFE. I’m finding that the ideas and frameworks in these books have helped me see literacy teaching less like a ‘whack a mole’ game in which I’m trying to do a huge range of things at the same time.
    Probably the greatest changes in my literacy teaching time have been these:
    * I’m setting more specific expectations that students will work independently.
    * I’m selecting more realistically achievable individual tasks.
    * I’m collecting more useful data and using it better to create new goals and focuses.
    I still feel as if there is a long way yet to go. However, I don’t think there is ever going to be a “I’m finally there” moment at the end of the learning to teach literacy road. I reckon there’ll always be something else to tweek or replace or upgrade or integrate!
    Thanks for your inspiring posts!!

    • Miss Kelly Jordan
      April 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      @ Mitch,

      It is great to hear that as a a second year graduate, you are spending so much time reflecting and refining your program. Your students are lucky to have such a dedicated and hardworking teacher!

      I know how overwhelming and hectic the first couple of years of teaching are, and I don’t think I spent enough time really thinking about students’ needs in those early days. Just being organised and having a completed work program seemed to be more of a focus! I’m glad I have shifted priorities and my students’ personalised needs are now at the core of my teaching.

      It is great to see you are using Daily5 and setting individual goals for your students. Good luck implementing CAFE next term, it’s a great model!

      Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate it!

      Kelly

  2. April 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Kelly, I enjoyed reading your reflections on your teaching for the past eight years. This is a wonderful model for beginning teachers to examine. I can see from your changes in teaching that you are a believer and practice this: everyone in the classroom is a learner and everyone in the classroom is a teacher. You must all so believe that students should assume a huge responsibility for their own learning, even year two students! I bet you would even say that life is learning and learning is life or waking hours are learning hours. As I have followed your blog the last year or so, I can see that four walls do not contain the learning of your students. I serve with a great group of teachers at our school. Many have been teaching two or three times as long as you. They are still working on the concept that students and teachers are the instructors in the classroom. Good on you Mate! Keep on growing and changing. That is the essence of education.

    Speaking of growing and changing. Google Teacher Academy should be a marvelous opportunity for some exciting learning for you. Yes, I check the attendee list posted by Tania Sheko. I love the photography she posts. Also think about all the new learners you will be connecting with.

    High fives to you and your partner Kathleen as you journey into term two. You two are touching the world one student at a time!
    Your #1 fan in San Antonio Texas
    @rcantrell

    • Miss Kelly Jordan
      April 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      @ Rich,

      What a wonderful comment, thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂

      I certainly believe that all teachers should be passionate about life long learning and as educators, we need to be learners ourselves. It can be difficult to get that across to others at times, as some people consider it an “extra” part of the job. But really, if we are not learning and challenging our students and allowing them to become life long learners, we are doing them an inservice. As the saying goes, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

      I am excited about the Google Teacher Academy, it should be a wonderful experience! I am looking forward to meeting other educators and being inspired by new tools I can use with my students. I’ll be sure to blog about all that I learn!

      Kathleen and I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm! 🙂

      Kelly

  3. April 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    They are interesting reflections about how your teaching has changed. Have the main technology changes occurred in the past 2-3 years or have the technology changes been gradual over the 8 years?

    Coral

    • Miss Kelly Jordan
      April 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      @ Coral,

      I got an interactive whiteboard in my classroom in 2009 and that is also the year I started using iPod touches. So yes, I would say my increased use of technology has been over the past three years. Prior to that I had classroom computers, but that was about it. My technology knowledge really took off in 2009, when I ran “techy breakys” with two colleagues at my school. We taught other staff how to use the IWBs effectively (although I was still learning at that stage too!)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kelly

  4. April 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Kelly,
    Once again you have produced an informative and entertaining post. I always enjoy reading your tables.

    You asked the question: ‘How has your literacy teaching changed over the years?’

    In the 2 decades or so that I have been teaching, literacy teaching has changed a lot. Much of these changes can be contributed to technology along with the realisation that we were just ‘keeping the students’ busy.

    In the early 1990’s computers in the classroom were mostly used for word processing or publishing. Rather than the students having to handwrite a finished piece, they were able to type their work. Unlike today where a finished piece is able to be blogged, uploaded or made available to a global community, computer finished pieces in the 1990’s were still put up for the school community to read, stuck in books or taken home.
    Today, we teach our students to write for authentic global audiences where immediate feedback is possible.

    Prior to the past couple of years and certainly prior to Daily 5, I would spend hours creating materials or manipulatives for Literacy Centres. Most materials would be laminated and cut out so that they could be used again. One particular year, I kept count of the number of laminating sheets I used – over 700!! I have 3 filing cabinets full of Literacy materials that I have made.

    I’ll be looking out for your Google blogs.

    Lisa

    • Miss Kelly Jordan
      April 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

      @ Lisa,

      Thanks for sharing your reflections about how Literacy teaching has changed for you. I remember being in school myself and typing up my stories on the computers. It’s one of the only things I remember about how I used computers as a student. How times have changed!

      I think having students write for a global audience makes them more aware of producing their best work possible. It’s a great incentive for our students to know that people from all over the world can see their work!

      I also remember spending plenty of time at the laminator in the past! Planning for Literacy is certainly easier with the Daily 5!

      I appreciate your comment, Lisa!

      Kelly

  5. April 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I really enjoyed this post, it is really inspiring! I definitely feel a little overwhelmed at times and I haven’t even graduated yet! Blogs like this and my PLN help immensely. Thank you for sharing.

    • Miss Kelly Jordan
      April 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

      @ Ashley,

      I am so impressed with your dedication and committment to teaching. You haven’t even graduated and you already involved in so much reflection, self improvement and collaboration with other educators. So many established teachers could learn from your passion and drive!

      Any school will be very lucky to have you as a graduate teacher, keep up the great work!

      Kelly

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