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Sara Chapman

5011 South Canyon Road

Rapid City, SD, 57702



Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction (May, 2018)

Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD

Elementary Education Certification (May, 2014)

Dakota State University, Madison, SD

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (May, 2014)

South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Teaching Experience

August 2014-present

4th Grade Elementary Education Teacher

General Beadle Elementary School

Rapid City, SD

Committees & Organizations ~ Past & Present

Literacy Committee

Mustang Moral Corral

Educational Philosophy

Education is always changing in order to adapt to our fast-changing world. The goal of educators

is to help students obtain their fullest potential. Using student’s success as our driving mode of

motivation, educators thrive in the field of education themselves when learning about new

instructional strategies and information, collaborating among other educators and reflecting upon

their teaching. Students deserve the best education possible and need an educator to deliver the

information in various ways to meet needs of all students. Therefore, a strong, effective teacher

is a teacher characterized by many traits. Of those traits, it is important to collaborate, truly know

the depth of the content they are teaching, willing to reflect upon their teaching and be passionate

about delivering that information to their students.

Personal Reflection of the MSCI Journey

As an Educator, I have learned to embrace the growth mindset for the benefit of my

students. One of the many attributes to student success is teacher confidence in subject matter.

As a teacher, we understand the importance of recognizing both students’ strengths and

weaknesses, then building upon strengths and taking weaknesses and making them a strength.

Upon reflection of myself, I knew Math was definitely a weakness of mine. I had the privilege of

being mentored by a very experienced teacher, whom new the ‘next-steps’ to present every
student. I was amazed on her elegance of teaching challenging content, and helping students, and

myself know they could attain success in various subjects. In awe, I would always ask her, “How

do you know all these strategies?” She would always contribute her wealth of knowledge to

South Dakota Counts and the master’s program through Black Hills State University. After that

moment, I was eager to know more, found a way to enroll in the master’s program and South

Dakota Counts. It was one of the greatest choices I’ve made as an educator. Throughout the

program, I have met amazing educators, professors and have challenged students and been

challenged myself in powerful ways.

I had the privilege of taking part of the South Dakota Counts program through Black

Hills State University, therefore was able to experience face-to-face classes as well as online

classes. The professors in both areas had a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The most

impactful pieces of knowledge I had retained was the understanding of mathematical content

from Kindergarten through High School. This education helped me to identify their gaps of

understanding, build on their strengths, and provide them with next-steps. As for the professors

at Black Hills State University, they helped to educate me on theoretical framework, which

ultimately helped identifying gaps of understanding, and reasons students were struggling to

retain concepts. I am grateful for the high standard of accountability and the useful feedback

these professors provided me.

The learning community both online and in person, helped me to communicate in a safe,

supportive environment. I loved interacting with peers and gaining insight on their instructional

strategies, projects, activities they used in their classroom and how they affected their students.

These conversations helped to challenge me and helped me refrain from continually using

comfortable activities.
I feel as educators we continually need to challenge ourselves, I feel throughout my

MSCI journey I embraced challenges and grew as an educator. I became a more effective teacher

and am now more confident in addressing students’ strengths and weaknesses. In fact, my

students’ overall growth increased across all forms of formative assessments throughout my 4

years of teaching. My next challenge I am going to face is transferring to a 1st grade classroom. I

am hopeful the information I have learned throughout the last 3 years while working on my

MSCI will reflect in the success of my students. In the future, I am interested in continuing my

education in Reading.