Prompt 3: Professional Responsibilities #AprilBlogADay Challenge

Side Note:
This morning I found myself looking forward to the new prompt.  I was talking to my husband last night about how much I enjoy this short form writing.  I have done NaNoWriMo a few times, never getting more than about 20,000 words (the goal being 50,000).  Blogging allows the writer to create a vignette- a complete movement of story telling, that follows an arc and takes the reader on a journey- even if it is just around the corner and not across the country.  I have felt the most inspired when I have been blogging, never forcing the writing but letting the ideas come and the words flow.  It is when I feel the most authentically me.

I was talking to a couple of my colleagues about the April Blog A Day Challenge- about how I am enjoying the network it is helping to cultivate and pushing me to reflect on my practice. It is often difficult to find the time to reflect on the day to day but in thinking about the larger pieces I am able to do the reflection that is so helpful to my development as an educator. That said...

Prompt 3: 
What's our most important professional responsibility outside the classroom?

Many of us over the last 5 or so years have gotten to know Ms. Danielson and her Framework for Teaching well.  It is the language NYC Principals use to talk to teachers about their development and ultimately how we are evaluated at the end of the year.  Last year all 22 elements of the FfT were used.  This year, with the new contract, there are 8:  1a, 1e, 2a, 2d, 3b, 3c, 3d, and 4e.  Domain 4 is the one that is all about professional development. 4e is Growing and Developing Professionally. The elements of component 4e are:
  • Enhancement of content knowledge and pedagogical skill
    • Teachers remain current by taking courses, reading professional literature, and remaining current on the evolution of thinking regarding instruction.
  • Receptivity to feedback from colleagues
    • Teachers actively pursue networks that provide collegial support and feedback.
  • Service to the profession
    • Teachers are active in professional organizations in order to enhance both their personal practice and their ability to provide leadership and support to colleagues.
I remember as a newer teacher, finding time to do all these things was challenging.  Even now, between the 16 classes I teach each week (plus advisory) and grading and planning... when do I find time to do things to develop myself? I have always found the most time in the summer- last summer I took a class offered by the College Board for teachers of AP Lang at I took at Hofstra University.  It was a week of challenging work and inspiring thinking with teachers who were amazing.  It had been a long time since I had been in a classroom setting and it was an excellent reminder of what it meant to challenge myself, to stretch my thinking in order to get better at what I do.  

When I returned to school in August as we began our summer PD and Teacher Development (integrating a new group of teachers into a growing school- next year will be our first year with all 4 grades) I was surprised by how new so may of them were.  New teachers work hard.  New teachers are pliable. New teachers are inexpensive.  And New Teachers Are Young.  As a career changer, I came into the system at 30, not 22.  For the first time in my career I was senior- by years of experience and by age.  I am not an administrator though so I don't have that kind of status with the staff.  I am a model teacher, a new position in the DOE this year, which has pushed me further into the teacher leadership role.  This was also the first year where I didn't feel like I fit in with my colleagues.  At my previous school there were only 12 teachers and we stuck together for the most part, but I was also new and there were teachers who had much more experience than me and I looked to them as mentors.  Now I am the do I continue to develop my practice while supporting the development of new teachers?

This winter I FINALLY made the decision to pursue my administration certification.  Less because I want to be an admin and more because I NEED to continue to develop and evolve in my practice and the skills I have. I am begging to create a vision for what I want the next 10 years to look like and it is my professional responsibly to grow, to challenge myself and be an example for new teachers as well as students: practice what I preach!  EVOLUTION is our most important professional responsibility. 


  1. Continuous growth as a professional obligation: BRILLIANT.


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