Internship Week 5: E1 – Exemplify Professionally-Informed, Growth-Centered Practice

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.This program standard emphasizes the importance of developing reflective, collaborative, and growth-centered practice. This can be achieved through regularly evaluating one’s teaching through reflection and feedback.  Reflections and feedback can come from many sources including self-reflection, mentor teachers, advisers, or other teachers. This is especially important for teachers to continually evaluate their teaching in order to ensure the upmost quality of instruction. The evidence presented is self-reflection notes as well as feedback given from my mentor teacher following a math lesson. I find it very beneficially to continually self-reflect upon my performance in all classroom aspects. It is especially useful to be aware of what went well or what could have gone better. This will help me to grow and develop as a teacher. Equally important is the feedback provided by my mentor teacher. Many times we ourselves don’t recognize our teaching tendencies. Having another individual evaluate my teaching performance allows for more insight and another perspective of what may have went well or what could have been better.

Self-Reflection and Feedback

This evidence shows specific feedback pertaining to number talk strategies. This was the first math lesson which I taught trying to incorporate number talk. A Number Talk is a short, ongoing daily routine that provides students with meaningful ongoing practice with computation. A number talk was something different and unfamiliar to me. Needless to say, the lesson did not go according to plan. Reflecting on the lesson and discussing the details with my mentor teacher allowed me to get a better understanding of number talks. It also provided me with important aspects to think about for when I plan future math lessons. One of the biggest take-away from the feedback was the emphasis on student equity of voice. My mentor teacher stated the importance for some students to turn and talk prior to speaking in front of the whole group. Many students need the opportunity to process the information, think about it, and articulate to their partner before stating their strategy to the class. As I continue my educational journey, I plan on continuing to self-reflect upon my lessons. This is important for adapting lessons in order to meet the needs of each individual student. Additionally, I will seek and welcome any feedback provided from my peers. This will help my own evaluation of the effectiveness of my teaching practices. Reflections and feedback provides opportunities for growth and development as a teacher. As a result of self-reflecting and discussing my math lesson with my mentor teacher, I feel I have learned how to more effectively implement number talks. The results are that students will be more actively engaged in meaningful talk ensuring more learning is occurring. In the future, I will continue to self-reflect and seek feedback from my peers. I will continue to reflect upon my instructional practices in order to continue my growth and development as a teacher. It can be difficult to make all the changes at once, so I plan on emphasizing the opportunities where students are able to think and share with a partner.

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EDU 6363: Reflective Thinking

As John Carroll states “without sufficient time for reflection, what is taught is not internalized or connected to other learning (Scheuerman, 2014). Many times, students are not given the opportunity to reflect upon their activities throughout the day. Sometimes the issue is due to the lack of time or the teacher’s preference not to do so. Whatever the reason, the opportunity for reflection should not be disregarded. Drake and Burns (2004) state, “that students learn best when the material is relevant to them (p. 53). How can we build this relevance within our students? One way is by giving students the opportunity to reflect. Reflection on how the lesson connects with other subjects or our own personal lives. This connection which students are making will help deepen their knowledge and understanding of whatever is being taught and learned.

Allowing the opportunity for students to reflect upon a lesson does not guarantee that the student will internalize or connect the lesson to other subjects. Teachers must create an engaging lesson that will excite their students, causing them to want to learn more. Teachers need to use a variety of teaching strategies to meet the diverse learning needs of each individual student (Drake and Burns, 2004, p. 58). One way this can be achieved is through various visual organization tools. Students can utilize circle diagrams, multi-flow maps, or bubble maps in order to organize and make sense of the information. These tools also provides component for those individuals who may learn better visually. When a lesson has many dimensions or aspects to it that will cater towards the diverse needs of students, incorporating a reflection will help students to be able to connect with information at a much better level.

References

Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Scheuerman, R. (2014, January 29). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 4: Reflective Thinking and Language Arts Standards