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Amanda Rake

Culminating Reflection
This past semester I was at Milwaukee Preparatory School
teaching seventh and eighth grade science. As a teacher candidate I
have grown tremendously both while teaching [in the classroom] and
planning to teach [out of the classroom]. During this field experience,
which was my first middle school experience, I have learned more in
depth the importance of planning lessons and can connect to the
Wisconsin Teaching Standards as well as the Alverno Education Abilities
more deeply.
First looking at the lesson plan design, I have grown in all of the
components because I had to create an interactive lesson for not a
second grader but a middle school scholar. The language I used was
more complex and I had to be a bit more flexible in my lessons
because I was teaching three lessons all back to back. Remembering
what I said in one class but forgot in another was important to not do;
therefore it was important to be prepared and well organized. While
planning my lessons I thought about the range of readers and writers
as well as what I had experienced through observing them in the
classroom. The component that I feel I have grown in the most from
this past experience is planning and preparation. I have really got to
know my students this past semester because I went in the classroom
before the semester started. I have created many unique lessons that
involve diagrams, manipulatives and use of one technology: an

Amanda Rake
overhead. Not having many resources like technology was actually
okay because it helped me become more creative while creating my
lessons. I had the students become independent while giving them
guidelines when giving my lessons. However, having a strong lesson
plan with a structure based around what exactly you wanted the
students to learn was important because it not only helped me but my
students when learning.
One component I feel I need to further develop is the assessment
portion. While looking back at my first lesson and my last couple
lessons at Milwaukee Prep I have improved the assessment portion,
however it is something that is struggling because not everyone
participates fully in finishing their assessment portion. I do a lot of
informal assessing and would like to work on formally assessing my
students. When having the students create diagrams, they all
participated and shared great answers when asked. I want to go
further and look at each individual diagram and critique them using a
guided criteria sheet. Perhaps as a class creating a criteria for
assessments would be helpful for both the students and me. In my
next middle school field I plan to improve on looking at the
assessments more closely.
One Wisconsin Teaching Standard I have grown in this semester
is WTS #3 which can be defined as: a teacher understands that lessons
and the classroom environment need to accommodate to diverse

Amanda Rake
learners. This refers to understanding that students learn differently
and it is essential to differ instruction based on a childs need. I have
differed my instruction by having the students create diagrams during
the lesson to help them organize their thoughts and what they feel is
important. Students were able to their books, the teacher and one
another to add information to their diagrams. I supported their social
skills by allowing them to talk to table partners.
Another Teaching Standard that I displayed growth in was
WST#9. I understand the importance of evaluating myself before,
during and after a lesson. I believe that being able to evaluate myself
will benefit me because I will become a stronger teacher understanding
my flaws as a teacher. I will not only evaluate my performance as a
teacher to my students, but as a professional to other teachers, the
school and parents.
The Alverno Education Ability that I displayed this year is how
teachers use different forms of communication in the classroom to
encourage learning can sum up the Alverno Education Ability
Communication. Communication is key in a classroom. Everyday we
communicate whether it is via writing, listening, speaking reading and
giving non-verbal and/or verbal cues. Being in a middle school the way
I spoke to students was different from in my second grade class. It was
easy for me to adapt because I have many teen siblings. When
standing in front of twenty-five eighth graders you have to be a

Amanda Rake
confident speaker who gains their interest otherwise what you plan on
teaching may not be retained. Again, being prepared and organized
helps because then your not worried about what your lesson is going to
accomplish but rather how happy and euthanized as you are teaching
it. On the other hand, I have learned to not be too overly excited and
peppy in front of a tiresome group of eight graders [although, it is okay
to be that corky fun teacher].
Another Alverno Education Ability that I displayed was in social
interaction. When walking in and out or my field I respected the
teachers, students, parents and other faculty. While working with
students we had to talk and agree on choices in the lesson and come
to an agreement.
One Wisconsin Teaching Standard that I would like to work on is
Standard eight. I understand the importance of using a variety of
assessment however I would like to incorporate different ways to
evaluate them. The techniques that I would like to use would be selfassessments, projects and peer assessments. I believe that having
themselves or their peers assess the will have raise their performance
levels because they are having others in the class look at their work;
they may take their learning more seriously.
Another Wisconsin Teaching Standard is standard ten. Standard
ten discusses how important it is to be connected to other teachers
and the community. In my next school I would like to get to know the

Amanda Rake
teach more prior to teaching and have more discussions about lesson
plans. This next school year I would also like to teach a lesson that my
teacher has taught. I will be in a middle school classroom this semester
and plan to use what I have learned this semester and apply it to my
next science classroom.
The Alverno Education Ability I would like to work on isDiagnosis.
This relates to assessing students more formally and accurately. I
would like to use more exit slips after lessons to ensure that all
students have grasp the objective being taught. Another ability I plan
to strengthen is my communication. Although I believe that my
communication skills are good, I believe that communicating directions
and rules while I am teaching needs to be addressed clearer. I would
like to work on being more aggressive and assertive in the classroom
by using my voice [and non-verbal cues as well].
Another Alverno Education Ability I would like to work on is
effective citizenship. I would like to use this ability in my next
classroom with my students.
Having the students and I be involved in the community would be
great because it involves teaching science and hands on learning while
being active in the community.
Overall this semester has really inspired me to make creative
unique lessons that incorporate students to put their special touches in
their work. I know that I continue learning from my students and

Amanda Rake
cooperating teachers as I move forward in my last couple fields before
student teaching. By practicing and continuously referring to the
Wisconsin Teaching Standards and Alverno Education Abilities, I will be
able to strengthen my teaching abilities.