|“Teach the young people how
to think, not what to think.” ~ Sidney Sugarman
I have wanted to be in the education field
ever since I made a connection with Mrs. Menkins, my second grade teacher.
This stayed with me throughout my entire now and over the past four years
I have had the opportunity to grow as both a student and as an educator.
Now I stand here, about to graduate, there is no doubt in my mind that
this is what I was meant to do with my life. Looking back over the
past four years I know that I am ready to become a teacher and make a difference.
I entitled this entry: The Production
Book and Choosing the Next Season. The production book in a directing
class is presented after the play is over. It's a showing of all
the work that went into the production and it says a lot about the director
and I feel this portfolio is the same for an education major. The
second part of the title refers to the point in UVM theatre year when they
get together and decide as a group what plays they will be doing in the
following season. This is my piece about what I want to do in my
future as a teacher, in my next season.
As I sit here today and evaluate myself
as a future educator, I think about my strengths as an future teacher.
My greatest strength is a passion for teaching. I genuinely enjoy
working with children and live for the look on a child’s face when they
finally “get it.” One of my other strengths is that I have is the
ability to write clear lesson plans and follow them flexibly. Things
change all the time in the classroom and flexibility is the key.
I also have the ability to look back at lessons and evaluate where things
went wrong and come up with ideas about how to change my plans for the
next time. I can create projects that children get excited about.
I also have strengths in many fields such as music and theatre that make
a wonderful addition to any classroom.
I also feel that I have room for
growth in many areas. One of these areas is assessment. This year
I really got a taste of how to create formal assessments and how to use
them to guide instruction. However, I have much to learn in this area and
am looking forward to continued growth. I also hope to improve on
my classroom management. Although I learned a lot this year and began
to use management techniques that my mentor teacher employs in the classroom,
it was not my class. I walked into a situation where there was already
a nice system in place for me to work with. I need to grow in creating
and structuring one to fit my classroom. I would also like to continue
to gain knowledge about group work, especially Complex Instruction.
As I saw the results of my small unit, I became aware of the possibilities
and the strengths of using such a system. An area of growth that
needs much work is accommodating students with special needs. I haven’t
had much of an opportunity to work closely with many students with IEPs
or other special needs and I would like to expand my knowledge of this
In order to improve on my weaknesses I
need to continue to educate myself. "Whether this means attending
workshops, taking classes, observing more classrooms, reading education
books, talking to colleagues, or finding a mentor to help me grow, I will
use this knowledge to make myself the best teacher that I can be.
One important part of my future classroom
is that I intend to effectively establish group work as a staple in my
class. In my classes at UVM I read a lot of Elizabeth Cohen’s book,
Groupwork, as well as a lot of writings on cooperative learning.
Through these readings and implementing CI for the first time, I
have been able to see the different dynamics of group work and what they
do for children. With my strength for creating fun projects for children
I will be able to use Complex Instruction to get students to work together
for a group performance or project.
With all that I have learned here at UVM
and what I know about myself, I can confidently say that I am ready to
have a classroom of my own. (PC 1b, 2d)