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Emily Miles

Dr. Ollie Bogden

End of Program Essay
ED 799 Seminar

During my time as a student at the University of Saint Mary, I have

encountered many opportunities that stretched me to become a more
creative and student centered teacher. When I consider the growth from this
program, I cant help but to recognize the hard work that was put in to
produce such a successful student teaching experience. Now, join me as I
reflect on the growth that has occurred over the past two years and how that
will shape my first few years in the classroom.

Growth in Research:

To fulfill a portion of the graduate level requirements, I was given the

task of writing and conducting a research study. Initially, I was unable to find
an educational issue that was relevant to me as an educator. Through this
process, I learned about the various types of research and gained confidence
to conduct my own research study on character education. When I finished
the study, I realized that the research process is always evolving into
something new. For someone who is focuses on the details, I was challenged
to step back and look at the big picture. As a result of the rigorous demands
of the research class, I was able to create a research study that subjectively
looks at the current methods of character development in a local classical
Christian school and I discovered a variety of ways that character education
can be used not only in private schools, but also in public schools as well. In
the future, I will use action research to help my students behaviorally and

Include information from interview with Heidi

Growth in Leadership and Scholarship:

Leadership was a major focus for me during the time that I was a
student at Saint Mary. While participating in practicums, I was able to
demonstrate leadership qualities that impressed most of my mentor
teachers. I noticed that principals look for teacher leaders who are flexible,
constantly try new strategies in their classroom, and are team players. Other
leaders, like my Rabbi, Shmuel Wolkenfeld, demonstrated similar leadership
qualities while he leads the congregation. As a teacher leader, I am learning
to take advice from those who have gone before me. They have so much
wisdom from years of teaching experience. It would be foolish of me not to
take their advice. Additionally, I am consciously making an effort to build
relationships with colleges and to learn from them. It is very important to be
a part of a professional learning community (PLC) and I believe that my PLC
at Saint Marys and has helped me to strengthen my ability to communicate
professionally and to encourage fellow teachers in their journey towards
licensure and beyond.
I have grown a tremendous amount in terms of scholarship! Before
starting the program, I was unaware of the vast amount of resources that
were available to me via the internet, local library, and personal contacts in
the local school districts. Once again, my scholarship, and level of
pedagogical understanding was deepened through the teachers that I met
during my time as a substitute and a practicum student. These master
teachers would recommend that I read a blog, book, or watch a video and I
would immediately go home and find these resources and start unpacking
the content they contain. It is very important to me to continue being a part
of a PLC with new and master teachers and to continue reading and learning.

ED 723 Curriculum Design and Assessment Field Experience and Course

During this course we learned about backwards design. This model, created
by Grant Wiggins and McTighe, emphasized the concept of starting with the
learning objectives that the students will have accomplished at the end of
the unit. Through this lesson, I learned not to create learning activities simply
for the sake of filling time. I also learned that covering everything doesnt
guarantee that students will learn the content. This led me to think
strategically about the scope and sequence of my instruction. I was also able
to include all of the six facets of design (list here) in a unit that I created
about Thanksgiving for 2nd graders.

Also during this course, I was in a particum with a talented 2nd grade teacher
in the Olathe School District. While observing Mrs. Adee, I learned about
classroom management, lesson planning, implementing instruction, and
organization. While watching Amanda teach, I was able to see EPR and brain
based learning in action. I am now a firm believer in teaching with the brain
in mind. Now, I use many strategies that I learned from Amanda including
hand signs, and conscious discipline. My time in her classroom has helped
me to become a more intentional professional and individual.

ED 723- Field Experience and Course Reflection

While taking the research course, I was able to identify the problem that
plagues most public schools. That is, the lack of character and virtue. I did a
great deal of research to find a school that successfully educates the hearts
and minds of their students. Eventually, I landed at Whitefield Academy in
Kansas City Missouri. The staff at Whitefield graciously offered to have me
and helped me find all the information to for the study. During this time, I
was challenged with the idea that my research project was not like most of
my peers. It was not an action research study, but rather a case study on
Whitefield Academys character education philosophy and implementation. I
must admit that I had a great deal of self-doubt during the early stages of
the research course. At the end of the course, I realized how much I had
grown and still my research project was a work in progress.

While I was creating the template for the research project, I was granted an
interview with a principal at a classical school in Lawrence Kansas. The
principal, Kelli Huslig, gave me a great deal of information about how her
school builds the character of each and everyone of their students.
Relationship building was a core principal at Veritas Christian school and I
believe this virtue is a foundational element in character education. Initially, I
had hoped to conduct my research project at this school, but I was unable to
gain clearance with the school board. Fortunately, this interview was a intro
into the world of classical education as well as character formation within the
classical Christian world.

ED 727- Field Experience and Course Reflection

During Legal Issues in Education, I learned about the endless legal

entanglements that trap individuals who are not using common sense. I
revealed in the course reflection that most of those traps could be avoided if
common sense were used. In the end, it is the teachers responsibility, as a
public servant, to think of the kids first. As stated in the reflection paper, if
you dont want to harm your students, or your reputation then it would be
wise to avoid a dangerous situation.

For the field experience, I interview Ms. Chausee Druen, who is the principal
at Merriam Park Elementary in Shawnee Mission Kansas. While visiting with
Cho, I learned a great deal about the legalities that contribute to the
operation of a title one school. The most important piece advice that I
acquired during the visit was to immediately speak to the principal if an
interaction with a parent or student seems volatile or could result in the
parent acting against the teacher or the school. I reflected that it is better to
deal with the problem while it is still small than play catch up after the issue
has snowballed into a law suit.

ED 737 Leadership and Change in Education:

Course Reflection:

During ED 737 Leadership and Change in Education I learned a great deal of

what it looks like to be a teacher leader in the modern public school. In my
reflection paper, I noted that before taking the course, I never considered
myself to be a leader. I concluded that everyone is a leader in some degree.
Some people are leaders in the home, others are leaders in industry or in the
classroom. For me, being a teacher leader means that I work with fellow
teachers in my building to provide students with opportunities to grow both
academically and personally (CLO 5).

Additionally, I also reflected heavily on the idea that character education

plays a key role in the development of a child. The research project I
conducted at Whitfield Academy supported my claim that education lacks
power when it only addresses the mind of the student. I responded to this
problem by stating that I will be a teacher leader who truly leads by example.
This will require a great deal of humility, but it will be worth it if the kids truly
grasp the habits of good character that I am trying to teach them.

Field Experience Reflection:

For the field experience for ED 737, we were given the mission to interview
an individual whose leadership we respect. I decided to interview my Rabbi,
Shmuel Wolkenfeld. After the interview, I was able to learn from Shmuels
responses and have used them to impact my leadership in the classroom. For
example, Shmuel mentioned that he always has the attitude that he has not
arrived at compete perfection. In education, I would say that I have a growth
mindset and that I am always looking for new ways to teach and engage my
students (CLO 3 and NBTS 1). In my reflection, I went on to say that a leader,
not matter what position they are in, is always learning. This aspiration to be
a life long learner was revived during the interview with Rabbi Wolkenfeld.

ED 742- Foundations of Education:

Course Reflection and Field Experience Reflection:

I took this course while attending MidAmerica Nazarene University for a
degree in Music Education. During this time, we learned a great deal about
basic education theory, some history, and we went on a field trip to an
elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas. The field experience for this
course was a good way for me to decide what not to do. The teacher that I
observed did not have a passion for his students and for their future. The
students looked bored, and not the least bit engaged. After observing in this
classroom, I have decided to be the teacher who is always thinking what is
best for her students and to invest into their future. This course taught me
that all students can learn and that they just need the encouragement from a
trusted adult to help reach their goals. (NBTS 4)

ED 744 Diverse Learner-

Course Reflection:
While taking Cultrual Diversity at MidAmerica Nazarene University, I was able
to gain a deeper understanding on how the students culture affects the
culture in the classroom. During this class, we talked at length about topics
such as multiethnic education, ethnicity, race, prejudice, and much more! At
one, we had to present a lesson on an ethnic group that was different from
one that we had experienced and explain how this would impact our
professional practice. After viewing all the presentations, I was learned that
diversity is more than just the ethnic makeup of each student. The classroom
is diverse because each student has different learning needs and abilities.
This class did not talk specifically about addressing diverse learning needs,
but it did leave the impression that teachers should take a personal interest
in their students and work tirelessly to provide help them succeed. (GPO 2)

Field Experience:
The professor of this course required that each student attend a church
service that is different from what we were accustomed too. I attended a
church located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. The church was small
and my father and I were the only Caucasians in the building. This
experience brings me great joy as I remember being fully welcomed to this
congregation even though I did not have the same skin color as most of the
people there. As a future teacher, I realized that I should also have the same
type of hospitality and love towards my students and colleges. No matter
what their need, culture, or economic statues, I want to love them for who
they are. They are people who need to be noticed and valued and it is my
responsibility to fill their cups, to a certain degree, when they are in my
classroom. (GPO 2)


Field Experience: