Friday, February 22, 2013

Writing Goals

Writing Workshop Student Goals!
I saw the neatest class today.  The kids had sat down and had conference with a teacher to work on their writing goals.  When I asked some of them what their goals were, they gave me clear, specific things they were working on.  Some said, "Write 8 sentences or more."  Some said transition words, some said using spaces.  The goals were specific and measurable.  The kids were aware of them, and using them in their writing.  I didn't see a way the teacher kept track of it, like the poster above, but maybe she has a clipboard or something.  The point was that the teachers and the kids communicate so well that a substitute who spends only half a day with the class can see it.  The kids also had goals for "read to self" time, but those are harder to measure unless you sit with a child and listen to them read (and from personal experience, I can say that you're lucky to have time to do that with even 3 kids a day.)  

The school I've been subbing at this week is so impressive.  I've always felt that walking through the hallways and looking at the walls is a great indicator of what kind of school you're in, and the walls at this school are covered in student work that asks deep questions and invites multiple answers.  The students are introduced to famous artists and musicians, which is something I've always wanted to make a priority in my classroom.  So many of the students are very self-motivated, and they stay on task with a stamina that belies their elementary age.  I miss my old school and my kids so much, but after being at this school for and a half days, and another school where two of my student-teaching buddies work, I'm finding myself slightly more comfortable at a school besides mine.  I think about my former kiddos everyday, but it's not every moment.  I'm seeing great ideas from new teachers and new perspectives - yesterday I was in a class who had a sub binder that not only included a class list and attendance slips, but the log on for the computer, student behavior dos and don'ts.  I also put my 3 days of bilingual kindergarten experience to work as I navigated that classroom for half a day.  Talk Translate, you are a God-send.

I've filled out applications for two of the Education Consortium regions here in NTX, and I've written a generic cover letter to go with my resume at job fairs.  I know the next step is to research my top 6 districts, write cover letters to the principals at those specific schools, and get emailing.  As you can see, I have my own writing goals.  

It's a huge hurdle, where I feel like I've been taking baby steps.  It's like when Ross is trying to get Chandler to the wedding, and they tackle all of these little jobs - take a shower, put on a tuxedo, drive to the church.  Then they finish those and the next step is to get married - it's a BIG. DEAL.  From there, it'll be more big steps, like INTERVIEWS.  Then (hopefully) A. JOB.  Oy, this growing up business is scary.  

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