PSMT Standard Group #6: Responsibilities and Relationships to the Greater Community

6. RESPONSIBILITIES AND RELATIONSHIPS TO THE GREATER COMMUNITY

Participation in professional, local, state, national, and global learning communities, including the ability to:

a. Understand the structure, function, purpose, and value of education and schools in a free, democratic, and pluralistic society;

Over the past three years I have had many opportunities to see more of the administrative and political side of education through staff meetings, educational conferences, and in-service training. Coupled with my own background, I have only increased my understanding of education’s value to society.

As a requirement for Education 202, I also attended school board meetings.  Click here to review my write-up of one of the board meetings I was required to attend.

b. Synthesize a teacher’s role in a changing society with the evolution of educational foundations and policy perspectives;

Through engaging in constant personal reflection and seeking external perspectives, I have realized the value of being a continual learner-teacher, adapting my practices to the ever-changing needs and issues in society.
c. Demonstrate an understanding of and participate in related organizations and activities in the communities in which the teacher works;

In my Boundaries Crossing class (Maymester) I created a Community Connections Documentary, in which I made a short film about the city of Albion and interviewed my fourth grade students about their city.

In conjunction with this documentary, I also designed a Unit Plan: Creating a Community, which focused on the important aspects and elements of a community.  Click here to view the unit’s overview and meta-narrative.

d. Use community and home resources to enhance school programs and instruction; The most important home resource I used during my student teaching placement was the involvement of the parents and guardians, though the letter journals, through telephone and e-mail correspondences, and through discussions before and after school.  Parents also came to volunteer and share their knowledge with students.

During Maymester, my unit plan was connected to another college student’s unit plan, and we took the fourth graders to Albion College for a morning in order to let them record a song there.

During my freshman year of college (Spring 2008), I was involved in a Girls’ Club at Washington Gardner Middle School, and we frequently used college resources to help improve the confidence, motivation, self-esteem, and respect of middle school girls.

e. Design learning activities for students that involve volunteer groups, civic and social organizations, and relevant public service agencies;

As a part of my unit plan designed during my student teaching semester, my second graders came up with ways that they could help improve the community.  Click here to view some of their writing samples.
f. Participate with professional educators, school personnel, and other stakeholders in collaborative and cooperative planning, decision-making, and implementation, to improve educational systems at all levels.

During my student teaching I completed all of these by working with my mentor teacher and colleague, the other second grade teacher. I participated and attended school meetings and development meetings to further help me have an in-depth experience to prepare me for my own classroom.