Archive for the ‘G. Standard 5’ Category

Standard 5.D

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

“Analyze the effects of teacher dispositions, decisions, and actions upon others (e.g., families, other personnel, and all students, including those with disabilities)

and adjust interactions accordingly.”


When I think back to the teachers I had throughout school, usually my initial memory is of my person-to-person interactions with them, and then what I learned from them. I have found that how a teacher interacts with students, parents, and other school faculty members greatly influences others’ perceptions of that teacher. Positive relationships are crucial to successful learning communities. This starts with the teacher’s overall disposition about teaching and radiates to the decisions that s/he makes throughout a school year.


In my opinion, positive behavior and attitude should be a starting point for all good teachers. If students see that their teacher respects them and is excited to help them learn, those students will be more apt to be excited to learn. When I taught during Maymester, several of my students told me that they appreciated my teaching style because I did not yell at them. They told me that this made them want to behave for me, since I respected them and found respectful ways to ask them to focus. Also, during my student teaching, on my last day with the students, several of them expressed their gratitude for my patience with them when they were rowdy or inattentive. Adolescents may not show their appreciation right away, but they really do appreciate being able to enter a safe learning environment.


During my student teaching, I had my first experience with the Power School program. This program immediately posts student grades online for parents and students to see, as soon as the teacher’s gradebook is updated. I learned quickly that certain students’ parents punished their kids if they saw that they were missing any work. Because of this, I tried to enter grades as quickly as I could so that grades were always as up-to-date and accurate as possible.


Regardless of how strict a teacher is, I think that all teachers should set a foundational positive environment within their classroom. Students should always feel safe within their learning environments. In addition, it is important to be observant and responsive to the ways in which actions affect students and their families. I have found that students are usually very honest and constructive when asked for feedback about a specific unit or overall teaching methods. Throughout my teaching experiences, I have sought student feedback to know how to better my teaching practices.



          Maymester exit survey

          Student poems:

Standard 5.C

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

“Develop positive relationships with other teachers, parents/guardians, students, administrators, counselors, and other personnel to benefit students and to influence one’s own professional growth.”


I believe that positive relationships are the foundation to successful teaching. During my student teaching, I was able to develop relationships with a handful of teachers, with several students, and with the high school counselors. Also, I had some interaction with parents at parent/teacher conferences and during phone calls home, both of which laid a foundation for future interaction and collaboration. Each of these interactions helped me in some way to be better able to understand my students, as well as to seek extra support in helping individual students (whether through parental support at home, support from other teachers, or support from students’ respective school counselors).


One teacher in particular, another English 10 teacher, worked closely with me and my mentor teacher to share lesson plan ideas and to develop common assessments. This teacher taught English 9 the previous year, and was able to give me insight on some of the students that I had in my classes. It was helpful to be able to have extra input on how to accommodate certain students’ needs. In watching this teacher interact with my mentor teacher, it was also so encouraging to see two teachers putting their heads together to come up with even more creative lesson plans.


Through one-on-one tutoring during 3rd hour lab class, lunchtime, and after school, I was able to develop some meaningful relationships with students. I was able to help students with their English, as well as work from other classes (including Spanish, Biology, and Algebra), and also had some deep conversations about things that these students were encountering outside of school. In knowing some of the struggles that students were encountering, I felt as though I was better equipped to teach them. Also, these students trusted me, and were more responsive to my teaching than earlier in the semester, before I got to know them. At the end of my time with these students, I wanted them to know that I appreciated our one-on-one time together. I wrote them a letter, encouraging them to push forward through the tough stuff they may be encountering. At the end of my student teaching, my mentor teacher had the students write me ‘goodbye’ poems. From many of these poems, I could tell that these students had appreciated our one-on-one time, as well.


School communities should be considered communities first. Every member in the community has a different role, and developing relationships with different members of the community helps to keep the whole school running well. I have learned that relationships with various members within the school community are vital to successful learning.



          Letter to students

          Student poems:

Standard 5

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Responsibilities and Relationships to the School, Classroom, and Student

“Systematic reflection to organize and improve teaching and develop effective relationships.”


a. Uphold the State of Michigan Professional Code of Ethics and engage in meaningful self-evaluation


Leadership Ethics helped me to start addressing ethical issues regarding positions of power/leadership (i.e., teacher/student relationships).


My action research project during student teaching worked towards helping students have more open minds toward diversity.


During my student teaching, I worked with students one-on-one to make sure that they were keeping up with their classes.



b. Identify and use current research to reflect on and improve one’s own practice related to content, technology, pedagogy, and other factors that impact student achievement


The action research project that I worked on during my student teaching used current research about social learning about racism/prejudice to drive action research project centered on how to combat racist attitudes in the classroom.



c. Develop positive relationships with other teachers, parents/guardians, students, administrators, counselors, and other personnel to benefit students and to influence one’s own professional growth*


During my student teaching, I developed relationships with other English teachers, made phone calls home to parents of students (both for feedback and praise), and worked with counselors and administrators in IEPs.



d. Analyze the effects of teacher dispositions, decisions, and actions upon others (e.g., families, other personnel, and all students, including those with disabilities) and adjust interactions accordingly*


During my student teaching, I learned that some students would get in trouble at home if grades weren’t plugged into the gradebook immediately—after realizing this, I tried to get grades in as soon as I could so that their current grades would be as up-to-date as possible.


In my three weeks of working with students during Maymester, one main piece of feedback I got continuously from the students was that they appreciated that I didn’t yell at them, and that it made them want to work harder in class. Many of these students have had discipline problems, but I learned through this experience that even students who need stronger discipline and structure appreciate it when they are respected and treated nicely. I think it is so important for teachers to develop relationships with their students so that they always feel safe in the classroom setting.



e. Embrace and model teaching as a lifelong learning process and continue efforts to develop professionally


For each unit during my student teaching, I would do my own background research on the literature that we were doing and provide supplementary materials if necessary, or even draw on my own research in order to explain things in class.


All of my coursework has helped me to have a liberal arts understanding of learning, and has helped me so much already to be able to explain things to students, because I can conceptualize topics on many levels (i.e., climate change or obesity).



f. Involve and work effectively with parents/guardians and implement school-wide parent involvement plans to maximize opportunities for student achievement and success


During student teaching, I made phone calls home to parents of students who deserved praise or who may need extra help succeeding in class, and discussed student progress at parent/teacher conferences.



g. Interact with parents/guardians using best practices for personal and technology-based communication, to maximize student learning at school, home, and in the local community


During my student teaching, the Power School program allowed parents/students to see current grades as soon as they are saved in the gradebook.


During student teaching, we had e-mail contact with parents.



h. Participate in the development of individualized plans for students with disabilities (IEP)


During student teaching, I went to a couple of IEPs for students and tutored one student as an accommodation decided upon in her IEP.