SHOWCASE OF WORK
I am so grateful for the opportunities provided throughout my pursuit of a Master of Arts in Education degree. In looking back on the work I’ve done, I can see just how influential my professors, classmates, and readings have had on my teaching.
I currently teach two different contents: Spanish and Speech / Drama. One thing I really appreciate about the MAED classes I’ve taken is that I can use the knowledge immediately.
When teaching Speech, I took assignments from a writing course to enhance the rigor and quality of feedback to my students. The speaking part of the speech class comes second to the writing piece. As I tell my students, it doesn’t matter how well you speak if you are unprepared.
After teaching Speech, the second half of the year’s focus is Drama. Performing arts, and arts in general, had been endangered classes in favor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, in researching more about education in my graduate classes, I have justified the program and its funding to my district’s school board. I have also taken what I’ve learned about giving effective feedback to encourage students while building them up.
Teaching Spanish is an entirely different beast. While I didn’t take any courses that explicitly taught foreign language instruction, I did take classes that opened my eyes to new ways of approaching challenges. In applying these creative problem solving strategies, I was able to create better, more effective Spanish lessons for my students.
The last category I’ve chosen is Classroom and Behavior Management. Throughout my graduate work, instructors have placed emphasis upon setting students up for success. I use the work from the program to do just that. I have clear expectations and policies in place that make it possible for students to succeed.
My journey is by no means done, for my thirst for knowledge is not yet quenched. Especially looking back on my progress, I am even more motivated to search out more information.
Being able to express oneself clearly and concisely when speaking begins with being able to write. Using this assignment, students are exposed to a variety of topics and types of writing. With between two and twelve minutes to answer the prompt, students must write the entire time, which challenges their creativity and stamina.
The Daily Bellwork Writing assignment shows my ability to establish and follow through on routines that give students regular practice in an engaging way.
For this assignment, students worked at their own pace on a speech on a topic they chose. This was their final speech, so direct instruction was not necessary. Students shared this document with me so that I could provide feedback. It was highly effective and yielded great results.
The Writing Instruction assignment shows my ability to differentiate instruction by allowing students to work at their own pace and get personalized feedback.
One of the biggest questions educators face is what to teach students. What is important for students to know? For more contemplation, we can look at educational philosophers of the past and apply their ideas to modern scenarios. As a Drama teacher with a lot of curricular freedom, this reflection focused my ideas about what education is and what it could be.
This short essay shows my ability to express the value of content areas that are not considered academic.
Providing effective feedback on performances is not an easy task. When assessing creative assignments, it’s important that teachers have clear criteria that isn’t subjective. Students should be encouraged to take risks and express themselves without worrying about what will make the teacher happy.
This rubric shows my ability to give students feedback on the technical elements of a performance while still allowing them freedom to explore and express themselves.
Creativity comes into play in education on several levels. One way teachers can use creativity in the classroom is to provide students with opportunities to use fun in the classroom while learning. When fun and learning merge, effectiveness increases. Think about how toddlers learn about their world- they explore, play, take risks, and experiment.
The assignment “A Story Without Pronouns” shows my ability to create material that allows students an opportunity to explore abstract grammar concepts through play.
Another avenue creativity can be useful in education is behind the scenes. While planning lessons, it can sometimes be helpful for teachers to separate content into components. After doing this, it’s easier to find patterns that weren’t visible before. In looking at conjugating verbs with fresh eyes, I was able to redesign my instruction to make it easier for middle school students to understand.
This assignment demonstrates my ability to find creative solutions to address students’ needs.
Student behavior is a form of communication and it’s important that teachers be able to interpret it. One way teachers can help students communicate in a healthier way is by having the students reflect upon their behavior. Then, they can repair any damage they caused and move past it.
This “Think Sheet” demonstrates my ability to give students an opportunity to change their behavior through discipline and not punishment.
Here are some of my reflections after watching When the Chips Are Down by Rick Lavoie. It addresses some common misconceptions educators and parents have about what students behavior means.
This reflective piece demonstrates my ability to identify strategies that set students up for success and avoid many difficult behavior situations.