At Stonefields School, part of our Teaching As Inquiry process is reflecting on the Teacher Effectiveness rubric. Check out my doc here. The rubric outlines key areas that effective teachers need to improve on. Within each inquiry the teacher needs to reflect on a few key areas and how they see they are going to improve on this.
At the start of this inquiry, I chose the following 2 areas to improve on.
Using the SAMR model to deepen my teaching practice with digital tools was a big focus of this inquiry. I have always had a passion for using digital tools in education, but it was important that I wasn't just "throwing" these tools into my practice. I wanted to be deliberate. I wanted there to be a purpose for every tool I used. I wanted to know WHY I was using each tool. Using the SAMR model to make me reflect on how creatively and deliberately I was using a digital tool has been great. Before each tool I think to myself "How is this going to cause a shift for my learners? What gap am I trying to close by using this tool?". Teachers can not use digital tools in the classroom just because they are cool, or the hip new thing. Part of the final end of the rubric, where the teacher effectiveness element is considered "Part of me" is that the teacher "Continuously reflects on the affordances of digital technologies and their impact on student achievement.
Part of the philosophy behind the SAMR model is enhancing the experiences that learners are exposed to, deepening the cognitive engagement they experience. For my particular focus, this was how I could use digital tools to design more cognitively engaging experiencing in reading. Reflecting on where I started on the rubric, I most closely aligned with the description "Designs tasks that motivate and have some level of mental effort. Evidence of shared goals and enjoyment." This is fairly low on the rubric and showed that while I could provide some learning experiences where learners were somewhat challenged and would make "okay" progress over time, it wasn't enough to be considered impressive. I wanted to move towards an area where my practice was more aligned to"designs connected relevant, engaging, challenging tasks that motivates learners mental effort to develop understanding, over time." I believe over the course of this inquiry I have started to use apps such as Explain Everything, iMovie, CoSpaces, and Storyboardthat.com to make learning more exciting and engaging, and through this motivate learners to work harder and put more effort into their learning. My recent use of CoSpaces to try organise ideas in writing really showed how much learners were willing to reflect on and change their writing in response to using the app.