Statement of Professional Goals

Statement of Professional Goals
Margaret Tarbox
As a teacher, my goals are two-fold. First, is to combine high expectations with a
supportive environment. Second, is to address each student’s strengths and weaknesses
in a deliberate manner, through interaction and data, in an effort to assist each student
toward reaching his or her highest possible achievement.
High expectations from teachers across all disciplines is essential in developing
life-long learners and, effective, productive people who have the skills necessary to
succeed in the 21st century. Thus, my role as teacher has changed from instructor to
mentor and/or coach. My goal is to teach students how to think, rather than what to think.
With that in mind, my focus is to work with students with analyses, evaluation, and
developing their own interpretations of the world around them.
High expectations do not include assigning students busy-work, nor does it
necessarily mean an overly heavy work load is placed on students. Rather, high
expectations include; moving students towards mastery of the many faceted discipline
that is English; sustained improvement in each strand as measured by the Connecticut
Mastery Test; and clear, age appropriate course expectations.
A supportive learning environment is a place where students feel safe. They feel
safe to express themselves, both verbally and in writing. They also feel safe that I have
the qualifications and expertise to teach them how to succeed in English; in my classroom
and beyond.
Addressing students’ strengths and weaknesses is the key to instilling confidence
in, and mastery of, reading, writing and thinking skills that are so necessary in today’s
world. By effectively identifying, and working with, my students’ strengths and
weaknesses I move them forward to becoming reflective, thoughtful citizens of the 21st
century. In order to effectively teach needed skills I must first analyze standardized test
data; pre and post test data, know my students and continue to grow as a learner even as
they are growing as learners. Without effective analysis of all types of data, teaching can
be very hit or miss in regards to student needs.
As a person who admittedly knows that when she does not know; she should learn
and read; I make every effort to instill the same quality in my students. By admitting
when I do not know something, I am telling my students that it is all right not to know,
but it is not all right to remain ignorant. I believe that this goes a long way toward
empowering students to search for; seek out; and create knowledge from their own life
experience and perspective.