Sunday, June 22, 2008


If nothing else, this past year has been one of reflection. Reflection on what I did five minutes ago, five days ago, five months ago, and 25 years ago--and of course how that all influences the way I teach. In yet another bout of reflection, I decided to take a look back at the ways I have developed as a teacher (and a student) over 12 months in STEP. With the help of Wordle, my current favourite website, here is a pictorial representation of my past year, based on important documents I wrote. (click for larger versions)

First, the resume and personal statement that got me into STEP in the first place:

Summer began with writing my "math autobiography". You can see what was--and was not--important to me.

In our "Centralities of Literacies" everything finally clicked when I re-framed math as a means of reading and writing the world. Here, my final reflective journal from the three week class.

In Equity & Democracy, I didn't write anything too earth-shattering, but Ray McDermott's three levels of cultural analysis rocked my world.

Fall brought the five million page case study on one of my students (with the pseudonym Malik):

And my favorite assignment of the year, a deep dive into what it means to assess for conceptual understanding in a math class:

Finally, in Classroom Management I made a first attempt at verbally articulating my teaching philosophies. Worst assignment ever. At least up to this point.

By winter I designed an entire unit plan (guess what it was about?)

And I wrote a grading policy that I could use in the ideal world

Spring brought PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers), which topped the classroom management plan as the worst assignment ever. It was long and painful, but it got me my teaching credential.

Finally, I summarized all my reflections over the year in--what else?--a summary reflection. Actually, it does a pretty good job reflecting what I think my year was about.

Obviously, these are all papers and writings on different topics, so it's hard to compare across them. However, I still like the trends I see. In particular, my favorite is the growth of the word "students" throughout the year. I like what this meta-analysis says about the kind of teacher I'm becoming.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Me, too. Before I even read your last paragraph, I thought, well, Geetha has her priorities straight. STUDENTS were front and center so often.

BTW... on June 20th, there was a blogblast for Education where different bloggers posted anything on the topic of education. There's a link on my entry for that day that brings you back to the main site. It might be interesting for you to see some of the entries. There are a couple of other teachers of underserved populations who wrote affecting pieces. I also ended up with *quite* a discussion in the comments section of my post. Ms. H, Dingo, and Teacher Patti would be of most interest to you, I think.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Hey! CONGRATS on the graduation, new job, new apt., etc., etc.

Linda said...

Wordle is great. I am suggesting it to folks left and right. I can think of many ways for teachers and/or librarians to use it.