Where I am as an Instructional Designer

Throughout this module I have studied key teaching strategies that I can implement as a new teacher. I also learned about some of the challenges that face education today and the methods that are being used to combat these obstacles. Is good education and resources available to all? No, but that should be the goal. In response to the achievement gap, Bertschi et al (2010) states that, “Excellence and equity are inseparable goals. We cannot attain one without the other” (p. 1). As I reflect on my future career as a teacher, I think that this was an encouraging statement to chew on. When I first read the article, “Closing opportunity gaps in washington’s public education system”, I felt an overwhelming sense of how extensive this issue is. I found myself asking, “if excellence and equity are inseparable goals, then how will we ever attain it?”. I can’t control how other professionals teach, but then I realized that I can make sure that my own instruction is excellently designed. I can be a piece of the puzzle that solves the achievement gap.

As I considered what was needed to develop a competence to teach all students, I realized that this is an ongoing process. It was interesting to read through Dell’Olio, and Donk’s (2007) research that displayed major teaching philosophies of curriculum and instruction because I was able to see their effects throughout history. I found myself disagreeing with some approaches which made me realize that as teachers, we need to constantly be testing approaches to make sure that they are the best instruction for our students. Throughout this module, we were asked to consider where we are an instructional designer and I’ve thought about this question over the week and through the discussions. The answer is that I am in a constant state of growth, trial and discover. In the past year, I was able to implement a lot of teaching strategies. Through trial and error I was able to figure out what processes work for me. Of course all of the teaching strategies in Classroom instruction that works: Researched-based strategies for increasing student achievement are extremely valuable, but it takes time to implement them in the classroom. With that said, I think that I need more experience using the strategies on a day-to-day basis.

In our small group discussion, we talked about how important the strategy of  “Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback” is. This strategy continues to help me develop as an instructional designer because it forces me to have accountability. At the beginning of a lesson I can tell the students what the objective is, give them ways to reach the goal and then I can give them feedback on their journey. According to Hattie and Timperly (2007), this strategy helps students “…better understand what they are to learn, what high quality performance looks like, and what changes are necessary to improve their learning.” It makes students take their learning into their own hands, which deepens the learning experience. I like how Dean et al (2012) described the effects when they state, “By using these strategies, teachers can move beyond ‘teaching content’ to teaching students how to learn-that it, find and evaluate content, connect with prior knowledge, and use that knowledge to solve authentic problems” (p. xix). These strategies are proven effective, but I need more in-classroom time to use them effectively.

I will continue to grow as an instructional designer. Even after years of experience that I will have someday, I never want to get to a place where I feel that I have achieved everything as a teacher. However, my plan is to continue to research, learn and implement strategies for instruction. I need to always look for ways that I can plan for instruction that goes beyond just giving students information and teaches them how to actually interact with the content.