I just returned from another meeting with my critical thinking group, and I must say, despite the learning goals of our group, I, myself, am learning much more than I ever imagined.
I’ve realized in the past few weeks how little professional development I’ve done. I haven’t really attended classes nor have I kept up on reading about current pedagogues and theories. Mostly this is due to time constraints: there’s just not a whole lot of time to pursue professional growth while working full-time and parenting two kids.
But this group has forced me to read articles about critical thinking, assessment, and researching. And in completing these assigned readings, I’ve gained tools for my own instruction. For instance in my argument and writing course, I have yet to develop a rubric, and rubrics, I believe, are fundamental not only in grading but also in giving students the tools and guidance to understand an assignment and the expectations. The few articles I read for my group, however, have given me model rubrics, which I plan on developing into my own this weekend. It’s like I just struck gold mine.
I’m so incredibly thankful for this group, but I have to admit, I’m more thankful for participating in some true professional growth, the kid that I can use and apply in a very practical way to my classroom.
For me, professionally, it doesn’t get much better than that.