Teacher candidates from the Athens State teacher education program are trained to successfully apply culturally responsive teaching practices, create collaborative environments and implement developmentally appropriate instruction. The following artifacts reflect my ability to effectively and efficiently meet these goals within the classroom and maintain my teaching methodology as student-centered rather than teacher-centered.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
The first artifact that I have chosen that represents my ability to apply culturally responsive teaching practices and employ a variety of texts that meet the needs of learners from a variety of different cultural backgrounds is my group project on evoking awareness in young readers through young adult novels. In this presentation, my group members and I used Reader-Response theory to analyze how three particular young adult novels could be used in the classroom to evoke emotional, cultural, and social awareness in readers concerning a variety of relevant issues, such as prejudice, teen depression, teen suicide, alcohol/drug abuse, and discrimination among others. In utilizing works such as these within the classroom, one can not only engage students with literature that was written specifically for their age group, but also address several major issues that impact teens all over the world each day despite their differing backgrounds or cultures.
The second artifact I have chosen that best represents my ability to employ culturally responsive teaching practices is my Poetry Notebook from Poetry and Poetics. The Poetry Notebook not shows my understanding of the various writing styles of diverse poets as well as poetic terminology, but also enables me to utilize and teach a variety of works that represent several cultures, historical events, and ethnicities. Rather than limiting my poetry unit to works of well-known poets from my own cultural group, I can effectively present a range of poetic works to give my students a greater grasp and connection to poetry that may not occur if a selection is extremely limited.
The artifact I have chosen that represents my understanding of the importance of collaboration skills is my study and research on the six models of co-teaching. In reviewing and analyzing the models of collaboration, I am better able to understand how different co-teaching styles can be used to meet the diverse learning needs of students to help them grow and learn to their fullest potentials inside the classroom. In previewing and understanding these different methods regarding co-teaching, I also have a basis on how to function in a co-taught classroom if the opportunity or need arises.
Similarly, another artifact I have chosen that represents my ability to work on collaborative projects is my group presentation on Early Renaissance Theatres during my Dramatic Literature course. For this project, my team members and I worked together to present a timeline of the development of playhouses that existed before and after Shakespeare's Globe.
The artifacts that I have chosen that best represent my understanding of the importance and necessity of developing appropriate instructional activities for learners with special needs in the immediate learning environment is my Individualized Education Program (IEP) case study assignment. In this activity, I was able to determine how to relate IEP information into those of the current standards of Alabama, and in doing so, I was able to further compare and summarize the information provided to not only make positive changes in my own curriculum to meet the unique learning needs of that specific student, but also understand the different factors that will influence what and how my instructional methods should be adjusted to meet those learning needs.