Recently, I met with first and second year teachers at I.S. 229 to discuss their successes and learning experiences in the 2004-2005 school year. Summarized below are their reflections:
- Ms. Hood, was an excellent mentor. She assisted with management issues including rules and standards.
- Gave assignments that required deductive reasoning. Nature of tasks inspired and motivated students to complete assigned tasks.
- One issue I had were grade 6 and 7 students illegally invading the art studio. Their frequent invasion disrupted lessons and destabilized classes.
- Communication must be improved among teachers, clerical staff, and supervisors. When students' classes are changed/classes go on trips the information should be disseminated systematically.
- Back to back grade 5 classes is excessive and tiring.
- Ms. Hood was a wonderful mentor and provided lots of feed back and support.
- Ms. Pizarro was very supportive and sympathetic to issues I had with classroom management and with the curriculum.
- Simple housekeeping matters were not done on a timely basis. This shortfall could be resolved by improving organizational communication. Action steps that were presented: set up an email system to communicate with staff on a timely basis; set up a committee to organize and manage the email communication system.
- I gained a lot from interacting with many teachers in the Explorers Academy. They are a great model for new teachers.
- My positive year was a direct result of the location of my class. An experienced and strong teacher taught adjacent to my classroom.
- Set up new workshops for new staff
- My students were inadequately programmed for science and the science lab.
- Establish more rituals, namely, assemblies and events to honor most improved students
- Overall, the year was positive.
- Explorers' senior staff provided exemplary mentorship. Their assistance is responsible for my transition to being a successful grade 5 teacher
- The furniture was extremely poor. It made the job difficult.
- Student access to computers was unreliable and haphazard
- Post lunch periods were chaotic. Students are restless and noisy. Teaching is impossible.
- Establish more intramural sporting events.
- Played an overt quasi dean role. Role is the reason "I was recruited to be on the detention team."
- Moving to class from one academy to the next is time consuming. It resulted in lateness and loss of instructional time.