Professional Teaching Standard #1

1.    SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE-BASE IN GENERAL AND LIBERAL EDUCATION
An understanding and appreciation of general and liberal arts including English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts, and the ability to:

a.    Synthesize, analyze, reflect upon, and write with clarity and structure about
ideas, information, and data from a general and liberal education, and the
relationships between the various disciplines;

During many of the assignments in my student teaching, students were asked to access information from other courses in order to complete work in Spanish.  Many times it went from simple tasks, such as solving basic math questions and supplying answers in Spanish, to using their prior knowledge from history and government classes while analyzing current cultural events in Spanish-speaking countries.

b.    Understand and appreciate free inquiry in English, literature, humanities,
social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts;

During discussions on new grammatical structures in Spanish, I would often ask students to draw their own connections between their native language and Spanish. Through these freely associations, students were better able to understand both of their languages, and grow accordingly.

c.    Understand global and international perspectives of the disciplines;

During my semester abroad, I had the opportunity to teach English in a Spanish university.  This opportunity allowed me to see how other cultures not only viewed teaching, but also foreign language acquisition.  This information has been vital in my teaching and has helped me to raise standards and implement new, and proven foreign language methods in my own classroom.

d.    Understand the tenets of a free, democratic, and pluralistic society;

During our unit on illegal immigration, students were asked to evaluate a number of new ideas that they had never considered before about what it means to be an “illegal immigrant”.  Students discussed questions such as if current Americans are illegal immigrants since the majority were not invited by natives to invade and reform the continent in their image.  Students also examined and discussed a person can truly be “illegal” in American society, or merely commit illegal acts.

e.     Understand and respect varying points of view and the influence of one’s own
and others’ ethics and values;

During student teaching, I had students evaluate their opinions on a number of topics, the most in depth being immigration.  Students were asked to not only examine their personal beliefs on the topic, but also to question them and view research from the other side.  Students were asked to write an essay on the topic expounding their own ideas, but also had to debate the subject. For most students, they were not debating the side they agreed with and they also had to research information from both sides. Prior to and during the unit, I also conducted research on the issues, and during the final day of the unit I shared my own beliefs with students while we participated in a round-table discussion.

f.    Understand and respect the role, rights, and value of the individual in a free
democratic society;

In my illegal immigration unit, taught during my student teaching tenure at Concord High School, I had students examine their rights versus those of illegal immigrants.  Many students were shocked to learn that immigrants, both legal and illegal, did not have the same rights.  During the project, students analyzed the differences between the rights of citizens and non-citizens, and came to a deeper understanding of the rights they have as Americans in our society.

g.    Understand technology and its use for gathering, processing,
evaluating, analyzing, and communicating ideas and information:

For this sub-standard, I have used technology in a variety ways throughout my undergraduate career and during my student teaching experience.  During my Maymester teaching experience, I employed the use of technology by way of internet research so that students could further investigate the effects of warfare on the environment during the United States’ various conflicts.  During my student teaching, I employed the use of webquests to study not only historical topics, like Mexico’s independence, but also controversial issues such as illegal Mexican immigration.  In all of the above instances, literary information was used along with various informational videos that are available online to further educate and inform students.

h.    Understand the similarities and differences within our culture that support
the importance of common good and responsible citizenship within our
American society;

In my Pedagogy of the Social Sciences class, we discussed the importance of being a good citizen and what it means to be a good citizen in modern society. During our field placement for the course, we practiced what we learned and modeled what being a good citizen meant while in the classroom.

i.    Understand the constitutions and histories of the United States and Michigan:

During my student teaching experience, my classes discussed in depth what it meant to be a “United States'” citizen in regards to illegal vs. legal immigration.  Students led discussions about what it meant to be a citizen and an “American”, and ultimately came to an understanding of what being an “American” is based on the constitution of the United States and their own opinions.

j.    Understand and respect individual differences, including the differences
identified within the State Board of Education (SBE) Universal Education Vision and Principles; and

Since there are as many learning styles as there are students, I have adapted to the differences between students and applied different teaching techniques in the classroom.  Between speaking, writing, listening, performing skits, and the multitude of other activities, I attempted to make an environment in which every student could excel in at least one activity.  Many students enjoyed the variety in activities and participated whenever given the opportunity. In my Action Research Project for student teaching, I continued this study by examining the pros and cons of different types of teaching on students (Click here to viewAction Research paper – A Study of the Efficacy of Student-Led Learning Versus Teacher-Led Learning).

k.  Demonstrate the abilities and skills necessary for effective communication
in speech, writing, and multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience and purpose (e.g., to reflect, persuade, inform, analyze, entertain, inspire).

In my student teaching classroom, there were a wide number of technological and non-technological resources available for use.  During the semester, i tried to use and become proficient with all of the technological resources.  These technological resources, allowed me to move around the classroom and better interact with students. In addition, I used classic resources to accommodate some students who respond better to these. In the classroom, I also liked to be high energy so that students could get excited for the material and become willing to participate.


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