Is the glass half-empty or half-full? My response to that simple question can be quite revealing. It’s a common question used to determine a person’s view or perspective about a particular circumstance. Am I a pessimist, realist, optimist, or opportunist? Regardless of my philosophical viewpoint, it is imperative to embrace two undeniable implications related to this question. First, there is always a perspective different from mine which makes us unique as individuals and equal as humans. Secondly, whether I am a half-empty person or a half-full person, I NEED A REFILL.

I need a refill. That’s how I view the new Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model or TEAM. TEAM has provided me with a renewed approach for consideration of what I do in the classroom day to day and week to week. How do my lessons correlate with standards? Are my teaching strategies effective? Are my assessment tools valid and reliable? Do they accurately measure my goals and objectives? Change is difficult. Personal reflection is necessary. I have been pleased with the impact TEAM has had on my classroom instruction.

I need a refill. I believe TEAM strengthens the resolve of our profession and establishes credibility across both the public and private sectors. That’s what I shared with the House Education Committee a few weeks ago. TEAM provides a model or a blueprint for the components of good teaching. As educators we model the “I Do, We Do, You Do” approach in our classrooms. TEAM utilizes this same approach to model good teaching and equips educators with the necessary tools to enhance teacher efficacy.

I need a refill. As an evaluator, I have had a remarkable opportunity to observe and learn from my colleagues at Central High. I knew we had effective teachers making a difference in the minds of our students. Through TEAM, I have seen first hand the effectiveness of our CTE classes and how those teachers implement writing across the curriculum. I have observed the complex and innovative approach to grouping special education students, English learners, and general education students in a collaborative English II classroom. I have observed real world connections and correlations with texting and determining an author’s point of view. I have been inspired by the behavioral expectations and academic prowess of a freshman honors class. This refill has challenged me.

I need a refill. Balancing duties at school between my ESOL classroom, my core academic collaborative models, my TEAM observations, and church and family obligations, the winter break came at a perfect time for me. I was mentally and physically worn from the demands of the TEAM evaluation process. I needed an opportunity to relax, reconsider, and refuel. Tennessee Commissioner of Education Huffman’s proposal to reduce the number of observations for teachers was a welcomed change. In my opinion that move has resolved the lingering issue I had with TEAM… time. Now I am prepared to embrace the second semester of TEAM and look forward to what I will learn about myself and my students.

Do you need a refill?