One of the big projects I must complete as part of my Education Degree is called the TPA – the Teacher Performance Assessment. It’s something that the State is implementing in order for teachers obtain certification…although because it’s still a “pilot” program, it won’t be required for my certification just yet. But anyways, it’s a big enough deal that we actually must attend a weekly workshop dedicated to teaching us what is necessary to be in this big paper. There are lesson plans, accommodations, rationale, and TONS of self assessment and reflection.
One of the big things they stress to us is the concept of alignment. Our “Long Term Learning Goals” must align with our “Learning Target” for the lesson, which must align with our “Teacher Tasks” which must align with our “Lesson Closure” and on and on. The rationale behind this is that aligning these elements will ensure that each lesson will build upon the previous one, reaching towards the Ultimate Goal. Beginning with the foundation, each lesson will build up from there. While each lesson is different, there is always a reference back to the foundation, then to the first floor, then the second, and so on. Each element is necessary in order for the unit to stand.
Back in June, I wrote about my desire to someday work with Eating Disorder patients, and how a job possibility was now on my radar. This job would entail tutoring at an in-patient eating disorder clinic, and finding ways to incorporate music therapy. Basically, my dream job. I don’t have an update on the specific job, however, I do have an interesting observation on my “calling” to work in the field of Eating Disorders.
Of course, a lot of people in my life are aware of my history with ED. They also know that I care about people who may be dealing with similar things. And now, some of them view me as a resource.
In the course of 1 week (ONE WEEK), two people have come to me looking for some type of guidance in helping someone in their life realize they need help regarding an eating disorder. Either of these folks could have gone to other people, or even Google for the answers they sought, but they chose me. It’s humbling, to say the least.
And then to top it all off…last night I had a dream that a friend pointed out a person who needed help in realizing that they had an Eating Disorder. In my dream, I remember speaking to that person about getting help, and feeling very passionate and concerned, even though it was just a dream.
So what does all of this have to do with alignment? Go back to the lesson plan. I wrote that the Long Term Learning Goals must align with the Learning Target for the day – that each Learning Target is the foundation, then the first floor, and so on. Perhaps for me, the Long Term Learning Goal is to work with Eating Disorder Patients, and the Learning Target for today is to be a resource to my friends who want to reach out to others too. This is a foundational piece. An exciting piece.
And I believe that’s it is all a part of God’s plan.
God is faithful. He begins something in all of us – and will be faithful to complete it. What is your “Long Term Learning Goal”? How is your “Learning Target” building on the foundation upon which God is building in you? I’d love to hear about it!
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