So: I am prepared for the first unit of my course. I have a learning goal for my students, I have created a plan for each lesson, I can use my and my students’ reflections to improve my curriculum, and I can demonstrate all of this to the new reading teacher arriving this semester.
What worked: My goal motivated me and “forced” me to complete smaller goals over a long period of time. It helped my self-efficacy and made me aware that I can complete self-set goals without (much) external motivation. I completed goals that I had considered for my last four years of teaching that can help me in the future, and it showed me that I can do something similar for each unit. It also gave me insight into my own thoughts, and gave me some possible strategies to use moving forward.
What didn’t work: I fell back quickly on old habits. I finished most of the goals at the last minute, did not seek help or use a diverse group of resources, and my work was not specific and still relies too heavily on my ability to improvise in the classroom.
Why? The first problem was the virus affecting my work schedule. With no classes, I was unable to reflect on my lessons or see how they affected the students. But the larger problem was with my own brain. I could get away with doing things on the last possible day, and relying on my existing knowledge and skills. So I did.
What can I do to change? I hope the first step in changing was taking this course. Being aware of goal-setting, SRL and reflecting on my work has already increased by self-efficacy and I hope it will help me develop my skills more in the future. In reflecting on my goals, I believe that shorter, more numerous proximal goals would help me be more specific and to work regularly each day. I would like to experiment with setting rewards for myself, and choosing one specific day of the week to complete reflections.