Habit of Mind 1

Anne Seelbach

Reflective Portfolio

Habit of Mind # 1: To be thoughtful and caring learner-teachers, open and eager to know and to be known and to respect self and others

As the education department at Albion College stressed, one cannot be a great teacher until they know themselves. Throughout my college years I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to find out who I am and what kind of teacher I want to be. One example of different ways I have tried to learn about myself is through self-reflection and journals. When beginning the education program we had to reflect on a time we saw who we really were, this is an example of my self reflection. It sounds simple but another way that I have learned about who I am as a teacher is through having more experiences in classrooms. The more time that I spend in classrooms the more I learn about who I am as a teacher and as a person. I know that I will continue to change throughout my life and that I will need to continue to reflect who I am and adapt my teaching strategies.

Knowing who I am is an important step to becoming the best teacher that I can be and related to that is knowing who the students in my classroom are. Until student teaching, I never realized how important it is to know your students. Even putting in the effort to find out about the students lives can help students to achieve in your classroom. It was such a meaningful experience during student teaching to get to know each and every one of my students. They are all so unique and different from each other. They all are individuals and have hidden interests and talents. I found that some of the best experiences that I had in the classroom were due to getting to know who my students were outside of my classroom. One example of this would be a student in my Basic government class is one of the best drawers that I have ever met. She can draw the most detailed and realistic animals. She ended up showing me her pictures and she told me I was the only teacher she had showed these pictures too. The pictures were such a key to who she was inside; her interests were absorbed in her art. At the end of the semester she drew me a picture of a horse, her favorite animal. I would include this as a artifact but this is something that was very personal to her so I do not want to share it.

On the first day of maymester and of my student teaching, I taught I gave out ‘Just to get to know you’ surveys so that I can learn about my student’s lives, families, and interests. These surveys let my students know that I care about who they are. I also gave my students time to reflect on their lives and changes they wanted to make during their lives. During a particular exercise in my maymester when students were listening to music on making a change, students shared very personal written reflections with me that allowed me to get another step closer to understanding my students.

 I know that, as a teacher, in order to really be successful in teaching kids I need to understand who they are, respect them, and adapt my teaching styles to their personalities. This is by far my favorite part of teaching and my student teaching experience.

 

Artifact 1: just-to-get-to-know-you

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