I. Am. Saturated.
I think I've absorbed more information in the past two weeks than I did in the entire year previous. Seriously, at this point, I'm not even registering most of it... It's just being moved into temporary folder until I can find time to reference it again.
Yesterday I learned all about the new evaluation process for teachers. I'm definitely glad I have a heads up on that. I've been evaluated before, but I've never been given the actual rubric in advance. Knowing makes me much calmer. It's pretty official stuff, but not extremely daunting. For one, I've been asked to do a self-assessment at the beginning of the year, to establish my baseline on where I think I excel and where I'd like to improve. I'll use that to help me develop my professional growth plan, where I will set a couple of goals that I'll focus on through the year. I'll be observed four times in the classroom, and all observations will influence my year-end evaluation, where I'll revisit my growth plan once more and see exactly what I've accomplished.
I think the hardest part of this whole process will be trying to narrow down my goals. I've been told not to spread myself too thin -- pick two or three specific goals and really concentrate on them. But there's so much I want to work on, I'm finding it difficult to prioritize one over the other. Getting used to a new school system, new curriculum, teaching to reach different academic levels, infusing global awareness into my instruction, and mastering an inventory of technology. How do I pick?
Everyone here has been extremely nice, accommodating and helpful... It's really making the transition 100% easier because I know that my questions can be answered without judgement. I haven't met anyone yet who has rubbed me the wrong way (well, maybe one) or hasn't acted as if I wasn't an equal. They are excited to work with me, trust me to do a good job -- everything that encourages me to strive to live up to their expectations.
There's still LOTS to do in the next week to prepare for my new classes, but every day I feel a little more accomplished. If my blogs are sparse for a little while, it's because I'm working hard and don't want to bore you all with my lack of an exceptional lifestyle! I've already started tweaking the blog and will be adding a few little "extras" in the days to come, when I've got some spare time. And if you want to hear from me, all you've got to do is fill out the comment form and send me some love!