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The candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and

collaborative learning, includes teacher and student use of technology, and encourages
positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

The candidate should complete a reflective essay illustrating the learning environment
established in their teaching. Three artifacts are to be submitted and may include student
assignments, student feedback, lesson plans, teacher observations and evaluations, and
teacher reflections.

One of the only ways a teacher can be successful in the classroom is to create a positive
environment through positive student teacher interactions. Students need to feel that the teacher is
working for them, to push them and focus on their strengths. This positive interaction helps create an
environment conducive to learning. By including things important to the students like technology use it
promotes student engagement.
During my time as a substitute teacher I was able to create these relationships with many
students. These positive interactions also helped my classroom management as students respected my
boundaries, and I respected them. In my own teaching I was able to encourage student participation in
lessons like a group teach I participated in. We taught relevance of music and tied it to argumentative
essays. In this lesson we fostered a debate. While students were deciding on their arguments I walked
around the room and asked questions interacting with students, pushing them to participate.
During my student internship, in 5th grade I tried to find fun ways to include everyone. In one
lesson specifically, I encouraged students struggling with rhythms through an activity where students
would count and clap a rhythm with an upbeat backing track. They then would pick a note in a given
chord and play the same rhythm on their instruments. I had full participation. While they were counting
and clapping, I would walk around the room to help those who were struggling.
As a secondary music teacher these relationships can also be fostered in a group setting. Too
often teacher feedback during rehearsals is focused on things to work on. I believe it is just as important
to inform the students of what they do well. One way is to stop the ensemble after they do something
well. Let them know what they did and have them repeat it giving ample praise to show your
excitement. This excites the students, and they are more motivated to perform at higher levels.
These positive interactions produce students who become actively engaged in lessons. Students
actively engaged in lessons tend to be positive to each other as well. Teachers create the environment. If
the teacher-student relationships are not great then student- student relationships in the classroom are
not ideal either. By creating this environment students will learn more from me and each other as well.