Sample Year-End Reflections
A candidate's reflection on practice and progress is an important assessment process in the induction program. At the end of each year of induction, the program may ask candidates to write a formal reflection of the year, reviewing experiences, lessons learned, progress achieved, and next steps for continued growth as an administrator. This could be a compilation and expansion of informal reflections that happen throughout the program year and could be part of the evidence gathered to demonstrate candidate growth.
In this sample, a program shares the following prompts given to candidates to help them assess and analyze their accomplishments.
End of Year 1 Reflection
Write a brief reflection on your experience in achieving the goals and action plan for each CPSEL area identified in your IIP during this first year of induction. Discuss what you have learned and how your leadership practice has impacted teaching, learning, and culture in your school or district. The reflection must address the following areas:
- Discuss your growth in leadership practice and the resulting impact you believe it made on teaching and student learning for each of the CPSEL areas identified in your IIP.
- Summarize your overall growth and development as a school leader in the past year, and discuss the areas of leadership practice that you plan to focus on in the next year.
End of Year 2 Reflection
Expand on the Year 1 reflective essay on how your experiences in the induction program have improved your practice as a school leader, and as a result, had a positive influence on teaching and learning in your school. The reflection must address the following areas:
- Clearly articulate your vision for school leadership that builds a learning-centered culture focused on the improvement of instructional practice and student learning.
- Discuss your growth in leadership practice and the resulting impact you believe it made on teaching and student learning for any CPSEL standards.
- Summarize your reflection of the past two years, discussing your overall development as a school leader and how you believe that you have influenced teaching practice and student learning for better results.
Year Two Candidate Assessment
In this scenario, Dr. Wilson, Coordinator of Special Education Services in River Road Union Elementary School District and induction candidate, is meeting with his district supervisor, program sponsor and induction coach to review his progress on his IIP objectives.
- The role of each meeting participant
- The preparation Thomas has done prior to the meeting
Dr. Thomas Wilson and his district supervisor, Barbara Cantrell, await the arrival of his Induction Coach, Andrea Stowell, and Dr. Sarafaliana, his Program Sponsor from the university where he completed his Preliminary Credential and his Ed.D program. He has known Andrea as a colleague since she was a principal and assistant superintendent in the district. She retired three years ago and became an education consultant/coach. He was delighted when Dr. Sarafaliana assigned Andrea to be his Induction Coach. From the beginning of the program over 18 months ago, Thomas has worked closely with Andrea, Barbara Cantrell, and Dr. Sarafaliana to develop his Individual Induction Plan (IIP). The team used the CPSEL and the DOP to develop goals, professional learning opportunities and assessment activities to support Thomas in areas of growth identified for the district and for his induction program.
The purpose of today's meeting is to revisit the IIP and talk about observed and documented evidence of Thomas' progress toward his goals. He has gathered data based on his reflections and self-assessment. His coach, Andrea, has prepared him well for this session by asking him to reflect specifically on these questions:
- In what ways can you demonstrate your growth over time for three overall goals identified in your Year Two IIP developed in September of last year?
- As you specifically examine CPSEL 1 & 4, what evidence will you share to demonstrate your most observable growth areas?
- How might you describe the impact of your leadership on your colleagues, students, and parents?
- What adjustments in your goals, outcomes, and data-collection process might you make prior to our final assessment conversation?
Thomas welcomes the team to the district and to his office. He has prepared the conference table with refreshments to receive his guests. He has also prepared a folder containing his data and evidence, as well as an e-folio version as suggested in his planning conversation with his coach, Andrea. He welcomes his guests and the conversation begins:
Thomas, thank you so much for hosting this assessment conversation. We are delighted to be with you today.
Barbara, thank you also, for taking time from your busy schedule to be here to support Thomas in his induction experience.
Dr. Sarafaliana, it is my pleasure to be here. Thomas is a shinning star in our district. I've watched him as a special educator for many years and knew he would be an outstanding administrator for our program. After he started his Preliminary Credential at your university, we saw him step up and take several leadership roles at the school site and at the district level. We had so few people willing to learn about special education law and serving special needs students in an inclusive environment; we were delighted when Thomas shared his new vision with us. The program at the university focused on social justice and along with Thomas' high value for inclusiveness this was a perfect match for us. So, you can see why we wanted and needed him as our new Coordinator for Special Education.
Well, Barbara, we appreciate the support you have given Thomas during the induction process. I am aware that today is not the first time you have sat with us in an assessment conversation with Thomas and Andrea. You have a clear understanding that the induction process is a partnership among the university program, the candidate, the coach, and the district supervisor.
So, Andrea, will you and Thomas begin the assessment part of today's conversation?
Thomas, as we look at the purpose of today's meeting, assessing your progress toward your IIP goals, what are your reflections specifically over this past year, Year Two of your induction program?
Uhmmm, well, I've spent time these past few days thinking about this question. (smile) This has truly been a year of growth for me. As I look at these goals on my IIP, I see that I wanted to make an impact with the site administrators. Andrea helped me think about that vision and put it into a goal statement that we could actually work on and measure. I also wanted to have an impact on students and their parents in some ways.so that they would know we care about them in this district. I wanted the site educators to learn new ways of interacting with students and parents...to demonstrate inclusion and how that would support all learners...not only students with special needs, but all learners.
To be more specific, I used the DOP to guide my strategic practice, focusing on CPSEL 1, Vision, and CPSEL 4, Parent and Family Involvement. Again, through Andrea's coaching, I was able to identify specific on-the-ground practices within those standards and shift my passion for SPED students and their parents into meaningful action: Goal Statement #1: "Lead site and district office administrators in collecting and sharing multiple measures of data that focus on equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes for students with special needs and their parents." Having information about what is currently the case helps me figure out what we all need to do and who is able to help.
Was there something in your induction program that helped you address your goal?
The university program had already designed four different professional learning opportunities around equity issues for induction folks. I gained more information about how to be a transformative leader focused on equity for all students, including students with special needs. Specifically, in Session 2 we focused on a Carolyn Shields' transformative leadership article which surfaced several questions for me. This led me to work with two colleagues, developing and administering a survey to collect information about current student assignment practices. I used the responses to check whether our program reflected a disproportionate representation of students of color. Would you like me to tell you more about this?
(Thomas continues to share his findings and actions in response to their nods of approval.)
... So, as I continue to reflect on this year, I can truly see that I have grown as a leader in so many ways. And, I have the data to prove it!! (Laughter)
Well, (laughter, also) you have had a busy year, Thomas. For you, this has been a year of opportunities to learn, taking the time to collect data demonstrating your growth, and reflection on your own growth.
As you look at the revised goals that we developed for your IIP at the beginning of this Year Two, what are the things that best demonstrate your growth over time aligned with your goals and the CPSEL that we talked about at the beginning of this year?
The conversation continued as Thomas shared various data and artifacts to support his growth toward his goals:
- District-wide Plan for responding to Students with Special Needs and their parents
- Site-specific plans for responding to Special Needs Students and their parents
- District and school site data (disaggregated demographically) regarding percentage of students assigned to Special Education and GATE
- District and school site data (disaggregated demographically) regarding proportion of students suspended or expelled
- Planning conversations with district and site administrators based on results of demographic data
- Feedback survey data regarding conversations about disproportionality data
- Data regarding changes made at school sites following data-driven conversations
- Self-assessment data, reflection journal
- Copies of agendas from university-provided Professional Learning Sessions #1-4
- Thomas's Reflective Journal (entries following each coaching session).
Thomas, clearly, this has been a busy year for you. You and Andrea will maintain your relationship as coach and candidate through next month. Then we will pick up this conversation when the two of you, along with Barbara, come to the university for our final assessment and conversation. At that session, we will review the following information: the coach's summative comments and data, the district supervisor's comments and data, and our final decision for recommendation for the candidate.
(She concluded the meeting.)
Thanks, Barbara and Andrea, for your commitment to Thomas' success; and to you, Thomas, for your commitment to growing as an administrator and leader. We are pleased to have you as an induction candidate in our program at the university.
- How could each type of data illustrate Thomas' growth during the year?
- How do Thomas' self-assessments show his understanding of his growth as a Special Education Coordinator?
- How does the assessment information presented relate to the IIP?
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