Evidence of Continual Growth as a Teacher Candidate
Athens State teacher candidates are reflective practitioners who embrace student-centered learning, maintain a comprehensive knowledge of disciplinary content, possess excellent foundations of professional and pedagogical knowledge, and model social justice through social responsibility. Used together, these characteristics result in teacher candidates who possess the knowledge and ability to significantly and positively impact P-12 student learning and development, classroom instruction, and schools. The following artifacts represent my development as I continued through the program beginning with my Introduction to Teaching course and concluding with my Internship experiences.
I. P-12 Impact Knowledge
I have chosen my critical analysis of the movie, Dead Poets Society because I believe it reflects my understanding of the role of a teacher inside and outside of a classroom setting, characteristics of effective teachers, and the influence a teacher has on the lives of one's students. Effective teachers must not only cover the content, but must also positively interact with the students in the learning environment to stimulate and impact their social, emotional, and academic growth overall.
Through continuing my teacher preparation courses, I have gained a vast amount of knowledge and instructional strategies that have assisted me in learning how to adapt to the changing needs of students, interacting with students to gauge their understanding of the content, and balancing instruction to allow for more hands-on practice. The artifact that I have chosen that best represents my growth as a future educator and my understanding of how to implement a variety of strategies, including modeling/scaffolding, small group and independent instruction, and question prompting for discussions, is my edTPA lesson plan that I not only drafted, but also successfully taught during my practicum field work at the middle school level. My planning, considerations, differentiation, and detailed instruction methodology reveal my growth and understanding of how to effectively educate students as well as how to allow them to guide their own learning experiences with relevant discussion input.
The artifacts that reflect my growth and abilities gained from my higher level teacher preparation courses are my lesson plans from my practicum experience at the high school level. Much like my first lesson plans taught at the middle school level, these lesson plans not only show my ability to use scaffolding and the gradual release of responsibility (GRR), but they also show my ability to plan engaging assessment activities for the beginning, middle, and end of lessons. Following my Alabama Reading Initiative training, I incorporated various literacy strategies to monitor the understanding of my students prior to their summative assessment at the conclusion of the learning segment. In addition to using a variety of learning strategies to help students gain new knowledge, I also revised my lesson plans and made professional decisions as I taught to foster deeper thinking and understanding among the students.