Responsibilities and relationships to the school, classroom, and student
When I first met with my mentor teacher before the start of my student teaching, she shared with me that they had recently, as a district, instituted the workshop approach to reading and writing. She allowed me to borrow the Lucy Calkins units of study books as well as the introductory books to reading and writing workshops. This was helpful to an extent, but I realized that I didn’t have the information to put this approach in context. Consequently, I ordered The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins to better understand the theoretical and practical framework behind this approach (5b,c). This illustrates the active nature of teaching and the need to continually assess and evaluate one’s own learning and proficiency and to take steps to grow as an educator (5b,c,e).
Fortunately, my mentor teacher was not the only professional to assist me in improving my practice. While I was expected to attend district professional development events, this was less a requirement than an opportunity to learn from the other teachers in the district and to be included in discussions about changes coming in the field of education. I was also invited by the school principal to attend the semi-regular lunch meetings to discuss various professional literature relating to reading and writing in the classroom (5b,c,d). This involvement, as well as the regular meeting s with my field supervisor, peers and seminar instructor, allowed for continual self-reflection and self-evaluation throughout the semester (5a).
My involvement was not limited to interactions with teachers though. I also attended all the parent-teacher conferences to discuss student achievement and performance as well as things like speech IEPs (5f,g,h). Even when not meeting face-to-face, I was interacting with parents through letters home, notes on schoolwork, etc. (5f,g).