January 28, 2019
Become familiar with and practice Expeditionary Learning (EL) core practices.
Work with mentor teacher to design and deliver curriculum consistent with school and district performance indicators and standards.
Incorporate positive literacy methods in each lesson and unit.
Develop and practice classroom management techniques that uphold a student-centered social-emotionally safe learning environment.
Be involved and integral with student PBIS and MTSS work with fellow staff and administrators.
Seek opportunities to observe and engage with staff in students in other grades and subject content areas.
Be consistently engaged in and a part of a supportive educational community at cooperating school.
Attend school community events such as music program concerts, sports events and fundraising as schedule allows.
Seek to learn about students' lives outside of school in the communities that they live and engage in.
January 28, 2019
I’ve struggled how to put into words what I believe my larger purpose for teaching really is. In the past I’ve thought about teaching as a service to youth, giving back the things that great teachers provided me or because I felt that it is important for young people to understand the world. Eventually I realized, or rather synthesized, that the larger purpose of why I want to be a teacher is so that I can provide a platform and environment that young people can feel accepted.
Being accepted has so many obvious statistical positives. Less likely to engage in crime or substance abuse, more likely to do well in school, lower rates of mental illness. Every one of these and more are important and it is imperative that they be actively addressed. To me, acceptance in young people can go farther and deeper than what is statistically available to prove. A student feeling accepted for their differences can, and will, go on to great things.
A student who is awarded poor grades, put in classes for those who are struggling (and conversely removed from others), or chastised because the work they have no interest in will be forever taught that their deficiencies are what is defining their education. An 8th grader who hates Shakespeare shouldn’t be told that they need to enjoy it or else they’ll fail. They need to be affirmed that their feelings towards the subject are real and genuine. It is up to the educator(s) at that point to find the means and materials that this student will enjoy outside of the standard repertoire.
To often are in schools are the standards that are put in place taken as the absolute. If the list of books that your state gives you don’t allow this student to learn what they need to learn about the English language, then you need to find books that will. And it can’t seem like a chore or annoyance for the extra work. It’s not extra work. It’s the work of a teacher. Children spend so much time with teachers throughout their lives, I believe it is my purpose to make that time as beneficial to them as I can possibly do it. And if I can’t do it by myself, I get help. Schools are full of aids, counselors and psychologists who are all employed to find positive alternative solutions through a child’s educational journey.
Receiving extra help through school services should always be viewed as a process where more people are willing to help, because this student is unique. They need to be accepted for their uniqueness and differences. Being accepted and inversely accepting will give them a stronger sense of self-efficacy that will carry on for the rest of their lives.
A paraphrased version of the serenity prayer is “accept the things I cannot change and change the things I cannot accept”. This can have wildly different meanings to many people. To me, I cannot change a child, they are who they are, and they are to be accepted for that. What I can change is what happens to that child in school. I can do absolutely everything within my power to ensure they have a positive experience, because that is my purpose as their teacher.
Mentor Teacher and College Supervisor Observations and feedback
May 10th, 2019