I am a lifelong learner passionate about education. Both about my own learning and about helping others reach their goals. I have a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Central Washington University where I developed a great adoration for reading and analyzing texts. Books have opened up a great deal to me: a wealth of information and insight, foreign countries and cultures I have yet to explore, and rich fantasy lands that spark my imagination and expand my mind. I want to take my love for knowledge and translate it to the classroom where I can inspire others to be just as curious as I am. I hope to guide others to be critical learners so they will continue cultivating interests even after they have left my classroom and never lose the desire to always keep teaching themselves.
Interest and Experience in Education
Currently I am enrolled at Seattle Pacific University in their Master of Arts in Teaching program. I am pursuing an endorsement in Elementary Education and while I am open to teaching any grade I am hoping to teach grades two through five. I first came to the conclusion that I enjoy working with children in an educational setting during the senior year of my undergraduate degree. I spent my last summer in college volunteering with a children’s reading program though the local public library. More recently I volunteered with the public library again doing tutoring once a week and found it very rewarding. When I realized that the highlight of my week was heading to the library to tutor I knew that I needed to pursue a career in education. Attending Seattle Pacific University is the first step in attaining that goal.
Recently, I gained employment at an after school child care program inside a local elementary school and have the privilege of working with and creating engaging lessons and activities for a great group of kids. I believe that this experience will help me understand the concepts that I am learning in my master’s program in a tangible way. It will also imbue me with valuable skills in classroom management and creating engaging and effective lessons while attaining my graduate degree.
Purpose of this Portfolio
This portfolio shows my growth in teacher knowledge and skills over time as I pursue a teaching certificate at Seattle Pacific University. The program standards outlined guide my entries.
The SPU residency certification program goals are expressed in our program standards, a set of categories of competence that provide headings for groupings of the state residency certification standards outlined in WAC 181-78A-270. The program standards are carefully aligned to the School of Education Conceptual Framework, and are distinctive to the SPU residency certification programs.
Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval criteria shown in WAC 181-78A-270. Program standards include criteria (e.g. 1.), elements (e.g. 1.1), and examples. Any level of the program standard is appropriate for reflection, feedback, or evaluation.
1. Expectations – The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.
1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.
1.2 Communicating with Students
Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.
1.3 Engaging Students in Learning
The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.
2. Instruction – The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.
2.2 Engaging Students in Learning
Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.
2.3 Reflecting on Teaching
Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.
3. Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of students.
3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments
Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.
3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students
Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.
4. Content Knowledge – The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.
4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes
All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities
All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.
4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure
The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.
5. Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.
5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions
Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.
5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Non-instructional Duties
Efficient systems for performing non-instructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.
5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations
Standards of conduct are clear to all students.
5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring
Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.
6. Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.
6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards
Assessment criteria and standards are clear.
6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment
Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning
Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.
6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students
Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.
7. Families and Community – The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.
7.1 Communicating with Families
Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.
8. Professional Practice – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
8.1 Participating in a Professional Community
Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.
8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally
Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards
1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity – Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.
a. Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
c. Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.
2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments – Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the Standards.
a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.
b. Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.
c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
d. Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.
3. Model digital age work and learning – Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats.
d. Model and facilitate effective use of current an emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.
4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility – Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.
c. Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d. Develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital age communication and collaboration tools.
5. Engage in professional growth and leadership – Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.
a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
b. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.
*These five standards are the intellectual property of the International Society for Technology in Education and were found on http://www.iste.org*