Archive for the ‘F. Standard 4’ Category

Standard 4.F

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

“Use a variety of teaching methodologies and techniques (e.g., lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, cooperative learning, small-group activities, and technology-enhanced lessons), and objectively assess the effectiveness of various instructional approaches and teacher actions for impact on student learning.”

 

As a learner, I learn best when I am engaged in interactive and diverse lessons. For instance, I know from my own experience that I tend to lose attention when a teacher lectures for an extended period of time. Because of the way I learn, I try to make a point of teaching interactive lessons. Over the past several years, I have been able to develop my personal philosophy of teaching. Included in this philosophy is the belief that young people should be given the opportunity and encouragement to drive their own learning. I believe that people learn more, and become excited about learning more, when they feel as though they have ownership over their learning process and products.

 

While planning lessons, I try to appeal to the different styles of learning, so that all learners can come away from the lesson with something to help them remember the information that we covered. For my visual learners, I usually try to have some sort of projection on the screen, or a diagram or guided notes to fill out. For my audio learners, I try to guide discussion in a way that will make sense sequentially when they review class discussion later on. For my social learners, I try to do small group activities at least once or twice a week. For my hands-on learners, we have our yoga stretches at the beginning of the class, plus I try to get students moving around the room for certain activities. I have found that all students learn best when instructional methods are varied. I have also found that sometimes certain hours prefer certain methods, and that sometimes lesson plans may need to be altered slightly depending on the class hour.

 

During my student teaching, I tried to vary my instructional methods as often as possible in order to keep student attention and to appeal to all types of learners. I found that projecting supplemental materials on the front board was really helpful, and that most 10th graders appreciate structured, task-oriented activities, such as filling out a worksheet or diagram. Whenever we discussed key information, I made sure to convey these ideas in many ways (through speaking, writing on the board, discussion, or illustration). One specific example of this would be the diagram packets that I had students fill out as we read through Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. There is a lot of information to remember from this novel, and I knew that not all of my students would remember this information just from talking about it in class. The diagrams in this packet helped students to organize themes from Ender’s Game in sections, so that it was manageable and easy to remember. When students wrote their persuasive essays (their main assessment for the unit) later on, these diagrams were helpful reference tools.

 

In the future, I hope to continue to develop interactive lesson plans that appeal to all types of learners. Professional development, collaboration with other teachers, and independent research will also be helpful tools to help me stay up-to-date with new teaching methods to incorporate into my lessons.

 

Artifact:

          Ender’s Game diagram packet:

Diagram Packet Cover Page

Character Diagram

Internal and External Conflict Diagram

Nature vs. Nurture Tchart

Timeline

Chapter Top 5 List

Standard 4.E

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

“Understand and uphold the legal and ethical responsibilities of teaching (e.g., federal and state laws and SBE policies pertaining to positive and effective learning environments, appropriate behavioral interventions, student retention, truancy, child abuse, safety, first aid, health, and communicable disease).”

 

I believe that teachers should be positive models to their students in all aspects of their lives. This includes upholding the law and maintaining ethical relationships with their students. One specific legal and ethical responsibility I have explored throughout my coursework has been the issues related to educators’ legal requirement to report child abuse.

 

For my senior honors thesis, I conducted interdepartmental research into educators’ roles in child abuse intervention. During this research, I first studied the actual policies in place regarding reporting requirements, as well as how reports are sorted and investigated once they are sent to Child Protective Services. After familiarizing myself with the actual policies, I sought to find how much our current educators knew about these policies and issues related to child abuse. I found that many educators had little to no formal training on issues related to child abuse and child abuse reporting, and that many educators often refrain from reporting suspicions of abuse due to disenchantment with the CPS system.

 

One of my interviewees, a clinical therapist at a prison, told me directly that we could clear the prisons if we could find a way to eliminate child abuse. The psychological effects of child abuse are devastating and hard to overcome. Prevention and awareness are good primary steps to take toward eliminating child abuse, but more needs to be done on an intervention level. Child Protective Services is not able to follow through on many reports because of a lack of resources (which is often the source of disenchantment that causes educators to not want to report abuse), but state funding to CPS agencies is in direct correlation to the number of reports each year. In order for CPS to be able to better investigate cases of child abuse, all suspicions should be reported so that CPS’ funding can reflect the real need for intervention.

 

Outside of the family, educators are the adults that spend the most time with young people. We are role models to students who may not have other positive role models in their lives, and we have the legal and ethical responsibility to make sure that students are taken care of. Students cannot function in school if their basic physiological and psychological needs are not first being met. In the future, I will continue to fight hard to bring further awareness to this issue, and will continue to encourage schools to provide formal training on issues related to child abuse.

 

Artifacts:

          Educators’ Roles in Child Abuse Intervention research abstract

Standard 4

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Effective Learning Environments

“Management and monitoring of time, relationships, students, and classrooms to enhance learning.”

 

a. Engage students in meaningful learning experiences while maximizing the use of instructional time

 

During my student teaching, I tried to time out instruction so that we would either be reading or discussing bell-to-bell—if we had extra time, I would expand discussion or have students write journal entries.

 

 

b. Structure the classroom environment to promote positive peer interactions and positive self-esteem, to ensure that each student is a valued participant in an inclusive learning community

 

During my student teaching, we did several group activities and had class-wide discussion during which students were encouraged to share their opinions about certain topics. Also, our instructional arrangement in the classroom was usually 5 hexagonal tables, which promoted positive peer interaction.

 

 

c. Construct a learning environment and grading process where both teacher and students have high expectations and mutually understand what is expected of each other to foster optimal achievement of all students

 

During my student teaching, students received “Welcome to English 10” packets on the first day of school, which outlined the general highlights of the course, as well as classroom expectations.

 

During my student teaching, instead of “punishing” students who had not completed their work by giving them a 0, I would require students to finish their work, and come in during lunch time or after school to finish up their uncompleted classwork.

 

 

d. Design and implement a classroom management plan that utilizes respectful disciplinary techniques to ensure a safe and orderly learning environment (e.g., instructional procedures utilizing the concepts presented in the State Board of Education’s Positive Behavior Support Policy 2006), which is conducive to learning and takes into account diverse needs of individual students

 

As a whole, classroom management during student teaching came primarily through one-on-one relationships with students. Students who were behaving inappropriately were first conferenced with, and then parents were called. Discipline was approached as a collaborative effort between teacher and student.

 

 

e. Understand and uphold the legal and ethical responsibilities of teaching (e.g., federal and state laws and SBE policies pertaining to positive and effective learning environments, appropriate behavioral interventions, student retention, truancy, child abuse, safety, first aid, health, and communicable disease)*

 

During my student teaching, I attended IEPs and helped to develop and implement individual accommodations for students with special needs, all of which were properly documented.

 

My senior honors thesis (“Educators’ Roles in Child Abuse Intervention”) explored the context of teachers’ legal responsibility as mandatory reporters of child abuse, as well as case-by-case relational issues relating to child abuse.

 

 

f. Use a variety of teaching methodologies and techniques (e.g., lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, cooperative learning, small-group activities, and technology-enhanced lessons), and objectively assess the effectiveness of various instructional approaches and teacher actions for impact on student learning*

 

Throughout my Education coursework, I have been able to gradually develop my personal philosophy of teaching, which includes the belief that learning should be interactive and all types of learning styles should be stimulated during lessons.

 

The lessons that I taught during student teaching integrated individual, small-group, and class-wide activities; also, I began to understand that different hours of the same prep may require different activities in order to learn the best (i.e., some hours may need more individual work, others may need more discussion-based activities).

 

 

g. Establish a learning environment which invites/welcomes collaborative teaching practices

 

During my student teaching, I worked with PLC (Professional Learning Community), which encourages the collaboration of teachers within a discipline.

 

During my student teaching, class discussions about varying social issues allowed students to share their individual viewpoints on certain topics.

 

 

h. Differentiates between assessment and evaluation procedures and use appropriately

 

The book Educative Assessment, used in a couple of our Education courses, helped me to further understand the differences between assessment and evaluation.

 

Throughout my Education coursework and student teaching, I have had assessments built into every lesson, as well as evaluations throughout teaching in order to guide curriculum.