Artifact Cover Sheet
Competency 12 [InTasc std. 12] – The teacher understands the process of continuous lifelong learning, the concept of making learning enjoyable, and the need for a willingness to change when the change leads to greater student learning and development. (Teaching Scholar, Educational Leader)
Name of Artifact: Competency 12
Date: Fall, 2014
Course: Clinical Teaching/Pre-Internship 1
My artifact is competency 12 and is about understanding that I need to focus on making learning fun to create lifelong learners out of my students. I am aware that I need to be willing to change for my students’ sake so that their best shines through.
This artifact demonstrates that I understand the competency because I am aware of how shaping lifelong learning begins at creating a positive learning environment and adapting to my students’ needs. That I will have to create a safe and judge free place for my students so they feel safe enough to dig further, ask questions, and to figure out what they enjoy about the topic. For them to really be able to continue down the path of becoming a lifelong learner I need to be able to be flexible and meet their needs so that I can help them become their best.
Through this competency I am aware that to ensure my students become lifelong learners that I need to build a positive learning environment and be flexible to my students’ needs so they are able to succeed.
Pre-Internship I Reflection
Community, District and School Factors
I am an Elementary Education major. I was at _______ Elementary School, in the Special education class where I observed grades 3-6 and subjects Math, English, some social studies and science. _______ elementary school is an urban school located on a busy street but feels like it is in the middle of nowhere. Student population is 87% African-American, 100% free or reduce lunch, mobility is at 21% and 8% students are in Special Education. The poverty rate of the district is 23%. Enrollment at _______ during the 2012-2013 school year was 406.
The classroom I observed was a smaller room with an area for group lessons, and desks at the back for independent work. Along the left wall there were computers for the students to do activities and tests on. The left wall had the list of the eight expectations of students, a wall chart with kid-friendly websites that the students could go to do under it. There were anchor charts hanging around the classroom so students could access the information for math and reading.
The types of activities that I have done so far in Pre-1 are assist students with their tests, assignments, fluency and put up anchor charts.
Students I have observed in my internship were those who had various behavioral and mental problems. The type of instruction and assessments that I would use would be structured and consistent so that they know what to expect. I would use activities that involved some type of movements during the lesson and for transitions. I observed the students who were in grades fourth through sixth who had special needs and their teacher was accommodating a lot of their needs so they could get the most out of their lessons, since her class for them is a supplement for their general education classrooms.
Pre-Internship I Analysis
Student-Directed or teacher-Directed instruction
_______’s class is more teacher directed because her class is a place where the students can get extra assistance and more time on a topic.
I believe that there is a positive learning environment in the classroom. She lists what is expected in the classroom, rules, and she refers to them when she is disciplining or reminding students about what is expected of them in the classroom. She regularly tells the students that she always follows through with what she says, and this applies to not just disciplinary actions but also if they are having issues. When her students are not having a good day, she will stop and allow them to talk to her or pause/walk around to shake it off and get back to the lesson.
She does focus on making the learning enjoyable through letting them pick the colors, and the activities that she uses to teach the topics. She does not have any problem with acting silly when the moment calls for it, either.
Content Subject Area
Students were engaged in the lesson about division and the students followed along with her as she wrote on the paper. She would pause and ask questions allowing students to answer or try to apply what they just went over. The students all had marker boards and were encouraged at different points to write down the math problems and solve them. High expectations were communicated when she would remind students about the tools they have that they can access to solve the problem on their own and she often encouraged them to solve problems independently and not relying solely on her. From my perspective the students during this lesson did learn and a few brightened up as the material started making more sense to them as they continued on.
Implication for the Future
Implication for the future is that I am aware of the importance of lifelong learning not just for me but for them as well. In order for me to encourage my students to continually learn on their own, I will need to create a positive learning environment for them. They need a safe, and judgment free place so they are able to explore and discover the answers without the fear of being put down. Also, I know to be aware if what I am doing is not working for my students I will need to change and adapt to my students’ needs. This will allow my students success because they are learning in the way that leads to greater student learning and development.
Implication for the future is that I have a personal plan for lifelong learning and will continue on this path so it will be familiar to me as I try to encourage my students to pursue their path to becoming lifelong learners. I will create a positive learning environment for my students so they have at least that one space they get to explore what they find interesting or very least talk about it.
Implication that I reflect on my level of commitment toward lifelong learning, positive learning environment and the amount of change I am willing to do for my students. I understand that these things are connected and are the blocks to build up my students to their greatest potential in my classroom and possibly into their adulthood.
Lifelong learning is important because it allows you to acquire skills that you may need in your personal life but also in your career. If you are able to learn how to do repairs, cook, and mend on your own, you not only gain a sense of pride because that is something you did on your own. But these are things that can cost you less in the long run because you are not having to pay specialists. In your career the more skills you pick up and master the more valuable you are to the company that you work for.
For personal life, it allows for you to learn about who you are and what you can do. For example, sometimes people do not feel they are artistic but may start to dabble in it, which leads to joining a group or taking classes and they find out that they do enjoy it and are moderately well in it. That was something they did not believe was important to their life until they started to try it. Also, it is a great way to learn what things that you just do not enjoy. For me, I crochet and other crafts for fun but I am not fantastic at these. I would not have known that I enjoyed it though until I tried it.
Lifelong learning is also important because it can be fun to learn new things and explore new ideas, especially, when it is on your own time and you are able to learn it through your preferred learning styles. It sticks better and you are going to remember it more. Plus, it is a positive learning experience when you are learning your way so you are more prone to go further into the subject or continue to explore new ideas and topics.
Positive learning environments create positive impact in our students because they do not fear participating and joining in activities. They know that their contribution to the class is important and vital for the class to function. If they do not participate and feel as if they cannot freely communicate in the class, their education experience suffers as does their peers.
It is important for me to be willing to change to meet the needs of my students because this is about them learning and growing, not me. I already know what I can do to help with materials in classes where the teachers do not teach the way I learn. Students in elementary school are just learning the basics and they are just coming into figuring out how they learn the best.
If what I am doing is not working for my students I need to change to find ways that will help them.
Currently, my personal plan for lifelong learning is enrolling in free classes that are given through Edx and Coursera throughout the year. I enroll into subjects that I want to learn about but do not want to pay out of pocket or if I do not have time to look for everything on my own. It is nice to have because it is structured but without the stress of passing or paying for the class. I have a queue of things I am planning on studying and learning so I am always busy doing something.
I will establish and encourage lifelong learning with my students by learning new things with my students. For example, by talking about new things that I have learned and express an interest in hearing what the class has learned.
I will establish a positive learning environment by setting standards and a routine. The standards are what I expect of my students and what my students should expect of me.
I want my classroom to be a place of learning and to do this I would show my students that our classroom is a place of respect and acceptance. A way I would be able to show my students to do this is to do activities through cooperative learning groups to help students learn how to be friendly to one another. If I am able to demonstrate and show students how to be friendly with one another from the start, they will know what I expect and what they should expect from their classmates.
Another way to help establish a positive learning environment is to make sure that my students all have an opportunity to work with one another. I would make sure that the groups that they get into are not with their friends every time. They will have time to interact with their friends during recess or lunch. But inside the classroom it is a great place for students to learn and socialize with different students any chance that they can get.
I would need to keep and maintain a routine and this includes discipline. I would need it to be consistent so students are aware and will see that everyone is treated equally in regards to the punishments. My students need to trust me and a way to do this is to know that the consequences are fair and not based on favorites.
I am already committed to being a lifelong learner. I am far from knowing everything and work toward learning what I can about what I am interested in. Currently, I take free online courses, read books and articles over things that I want to know about.
I have always had the desire to figure out things and learn as much as I can. I want to be able to encourage my students to continue their learning deeper and further than what they may be getting in my class. I would set up a way that they are able to write about what they have learned on their own. For example, to keep it related to what we are doing in class I would encourage students to pick out something they like about what we are learning and dig into it deeper. Then they can write about it in reflection journals, or for small groups, or as a presentation for the class to show what they learned and discovered. In doing this they will be able to show their passion and learn without it feeling like the teacher is trying to torture them.
My commitment to creating a positive learning environment starts when I interact with students. I assure students that whatever way they need to work to get an answer go for it. I am not a classroom teacher but I still strive toward creating a positive learning environment when I am tutoring or interacting with students.
As someone who is a kinesthetic learner in an auditory preferred teaching environment I am completely committed to change to lead to greater student learning and development. I can understand struggling through a class setting that is not geared toward the way you learn. So, I am learning to think about the other types of learning styles and how to accommodate them.