Standard 2.A

“Apply knowledge of human growth, development, and learning theory to design and implement instruction for the continuing development of students’ cognitive, affective, physical, emotional, and social capacities.”

 

As part of my coursework for the Education department, I have taken Intro to Psychology and Developmental Psychology at Albion College. Through these courses, I have learned about the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development of people throughout the different stages of life. Because of these classes, I realize that my students are still in their last stages of development, and so their capacity to focus on people and issues outside of themselves is sometimes limited. As a teacher, I realize that it is my duty to help my students through this last stage of brain development, to help them to be high-functioning members of society.

 

After working with 12-15 year-old campers for three summers, I have learned that this age group is strongly in need of guidance and support, as well as the room to grow on their own. They are just starting to see themselves as budding adults, and want to explore their independence, but also need peer acceptance as well as compassionate guidance from adults.

 

Throughout my student teaching, I developed many meaningful one-on-one relationships with students. During this time, some students shared their current struggles (in and outside of school) with me. I offered a listening ear for these students, as well as advice when they asked for it. I so valued this time with individuals, as well as the knowledge that I was able to help encourage them during a time with many growing pains. I think that these one-on-one relationships are a meaningful foundation for classroom management, especially with 10th graders. Students who know that they can trust their teacher are much more likely to respect their teacher, as well as to work hard in that respective class. It was important for me to show these students that I truly wanted to support them. One way that I showed this support was in my final letter to the students, given to them on our last day together.

 

At this stage of students’ cognitive and social development, I know that one of my roles as a teacher is to help challenge them to “think outside of the box.” During my lessons, I tried to come up with discussion and written-response questions that pushed students to critically think about the material we had covered. I also implemented some social learning mini-lessons about prejudice, after observing that many of my students were overtly racist. In the future, I would like to address different aspects of social learning in all of my lessons, in an attempt to connect literature to students’ lives and to help them have greater awareness about their role as a member of society.

 

Artifacts:

– Evaluation forms citing one-on-one time with students:         

 Evaluation form 1

Evaluation form 2

Evaluation form 3

Evaluation form 4

          Letter to students

          A Class Divided lesson plan

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