Standard 5

Standard 5:  RESPONSIBILITIES AND RELATIONSHIPS TO THE SCHOOL, CLASSROOM, AND STUDENT                             Systematic reflection to organize and improve teaching and develop effective relationships, including the ability to:

(a) Uphold the State of Michigan Professional Code of Ethics and engage in meaningful self-evaluation; I was constantly striving to uphold the State of Michigan Professional Code of Ethics every day while in the classroom.  Upon entering student teaching I have become more self aware of my actions and how I carry myself as a person.  I am determined to be a person of high qualities of character including a person of heart and integrity. After every lesson plan I reflected on my demeanor and responses to students throughout the lesson to check myself to make sure I was upholding ethics I so strongly believe in.

(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;  In one of my prior education classes I was introduced to Yardsticks, a book about different age groups and their common behavioral patterns.  I found this book very helpful in my student teaching process and when I conducted my teacher research project.

(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;  I believe it is important to develop positive relationships with other people within the school system.  I made it a point while student teaching to get to know and talk to as many faculty, parents, supervisors as I could.  I can proudly say I would be able to say the names of about every teacher in the building.  I got to know a lot of the teachers by name and they knew me as well.  Whether it was interacting at a meeting, in the teachers lounge or just a friendly hello through the hallway. I believe I built strong connections with the secretary, my mentor teacher, the other two fourth grade teachers, and a long term substitute teacher.  I would talk with them regularly about school and non school related issues.  They were interested in my family and my activities.  I genuinely felt apart of their teaching community.

(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; Throughout student teaching I was constantly looking for and discussing feedback from my mentor teacher.  We would discuss moments of joy and work on how to make not so great moments or situations better.  I asked for criticisms and areas in which I could have improvement.  My mentor would make suggestions and I would always try to use those suggestions the next available moment. I also had feedback from my supervisor on strengths and weakness of a lesson and I took those with deep thought and tried to better myself as a teacher after reflecting on feedback.

(e)  Embrace and model teaching as a lifelong learning process and continue efforts to develop professionally; I constantly would tell my students that I am learning just as much as they are.  I would never be ashamed to tell my students that they are teaching me so much more than I could ever even imagine.  Through student teaching I found it completely true that teachers are life long learners.  I learned so much through teaching different topics and would do my own research on topics so I could better teach the students.  I never ever stopped learning while in the classroom.

(f)    Involve and work effectively with parents/guardians and implement school-wide parent involvement plans to maximize opportunities for student achievement and success;I made efforts to involve parents in their students learning process.  I believe it is important that parents work with their students at home on projects, assignments, and literacy.  Learning does not stop when you walk outside the classroom door; it is an every day occurrence, an every day blessing.  I sent home various work in students Friday folders for parents to look at and be knowledgeable of.  I included them in encouraging the students to have their parents help with two projects I came up with while student teaching.  One was a diorama of a scene from The Van Gogh Café a book we read, and on their Biography project.  I sent home rubrics and guidelines for the projects to their parents so they could be apart of the process. 

(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;  I interacted with parents when they came into the classroom and I also sat through parent teacher conferences.  My mentor teacher allowed for me to give feedback and have a discussion with the parents during the conferences as well.  I also sent home letters telling the parents that I was going to be a part of their child’s learning experience for 13 weeks while I was student teaching and gave them a quick overview material I was going to cover and teach their students.  I also sent home reminder letters when appropriate.

(h) Participate in the development of individualized plans for students with disabilities (Individual Education Plan (IEP)).  Working with students with disabilities is challenging but during student teaching I was give a lot of help and support when I worked with Darien in my classroom.  I had many conversations with his special education classroom teacher and his mother as well.  I was introduced briefly how to conduct an IEP.  My mother is a special education teacher and for years I have come to appreciate the unique and individual needs of a student with learning disabilities.