So we we are now at the end of Term 1 and it time to check in with my goals! I will admit, it probably isn’t going to look too good at the moment as this term has been pretty full on. Some weeks it felt like I was just clinging to the edge of the cliff, but the over the last week or two things seem to have settled down a bit and I now feel as though I am ahead of the 8 ball (so to speak). Less chaotic. My goals have taken a hit though so I think it will be good to sit down and reevaluate them to see if I need to make any changes so that I can move forward with them a bit better.
My Goals – Recap
Professional Goal 1: To continue to build my professional blog with the focus on recording my experiences as a TA/Learning Support.
Steps to Take:
Note down observations and/or experiences through out the day
Try to blog regularly – maybe set a # blog posts per term/week/month etc
Look at creating a schedule for blog posts
Be more confident with my thoughts and opinions
Don’t stress over language – keep it sounding natural. No need to force it to be formal sounding.
Outcome: I will build and maintain a blog the reflects my professional self! (journey might of been a better word, so will use both)
Professional Goal 2: To build stronger professional connections and to work on building up my communication skills.
Steps to Take:
Try to attend school events
Connect to other co-workers twitter/blogs
Spend morning tea in staffroom
Be more confident when approaching others
– plan what to say
– deep breaths
– speak slowly
Outcome: I will gain better communication skills and have stronger professional connections!
Personal Goal: continue to work on my photography by building up my portfolio and creating my own personal blog dedicated to my photography.
Steps to Take:
Finish previous personal goal (completing PI course)
Start working on designing a new blog
Make time to focus on building up my portfolio
Look at online courses/videos to continue to build up my photography/editing skills
Make mini goals to help focus
Outcome: I will create a photography blog that will share and record my journey as I continue to build up my skill s as a photographer!
Goal 1: Building my Professional Blog – Reflection
Well, I did manage a couple of posts…. but it doesn’t feel like I have really been able to make time this term to write many posts about what I have been doing at work or to share my successes. I have a couple of drafts half written but they just felt a bit tedious or I just didn’t feel like I was really able to put my thoughts down in a way that I was happy with; getting too caught up in making them sound ‘professional’ or ‘formal’ rather than just getting my thoughts out there. It was something that I did note that I would have to work at in my goals, so I think that will be the barrier I might need to focus on at the beginning of next term. The ones I did end up posting I was quite happy with, its just breaking down the fear of sounding simple and pushing past my reluctance of posting anything that isn’t ‘perfect’.
Goal 2: Moving forward with my Photography – Reflection
I think I had a bit of success with this goal, and then I hit the brick wall. I managed to complete my course and gain a Diploma in Photography (go me!), but having a deadline that would end up costing me more to extend turned out to be quite a good motivator for me! I had also entered into a competition around February/March which meant that I had been really busy with my photography at the beginning of the year, so when I finally submitted my Final 6 images for my course I had to put my camera down for a few weeks. I have only just picked up my camera again last weekend, and I just snapped a few random pictures of my daughter’s school event without really worrying about the settings, or composure, or wondering if they would be an awarding winning image. Just kept it simple. As for my photography blog, I’d like to say that I have been working hard on it, but I am still sitting at the base of the wall, catching my breath at the moment, so no progress there. Much like my first goal, there has been some movement, but I am no where near where I expected myself to be by this time of the year.
Goal 3: Building Communication skills and Professional Connections – Reflections
This goal has probably been my biggest flop at the moment. In some cases I feel that I have actually gone backwards. I have become a bit more anxious when having to deal with others to the point where I feel that I haven’t been able to really work to my full ability in the classroom.
There are a couple of classes that I have really struggled in, to the point that I start the day off anxious whenever I have those classes. The thing is, those classes are not really that bad, I think it just that I have been a bit overwhelmed with how busy we have been juggling what we have to do to be able to support the students and their teachers, while also balancing out our own professional needs as a team. We have been starting to align our role as professional members to match the same expectations as the rest of the staff, which means that we will also be working on our own inquiries over the year, alongside critical friends and maintaining our blogs as part of our appraisal as well – hence why the first term has been so hectic!
It’s been a bit daunting at the moment as we just didn’t have any time this term to do the basics, let along start on some of the other projects along the way. Add in these classes that have been a big step away from how I usually work and interact with students (I tend to be more 1:1 with set students), and I just ended up having to pull back a bit in the end. I may need to break this goal down for next term so that I can start at a better place after the holidays.
So overall, a few small successes, but I haven’t made as much progress as I expected this term. We have been a bit more settled over the last couple of weeks so hopefully we will be able to start term 2 with both feet on the ground! I think I will also revise my goals so that I am not so overwhelmed, and look at ways which I can integrate my new responsibilities into my work life a bit better, rather than looking at them as large separate entities that want to swallow me whole! Keeping positive!