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Final Portfolio

Shannon Creedon
Standard 1

Advocacy for Social Justice


Educators who embrace a social justice perspective are attentive to
inequalities associated with race, social class, gender, language, and other
social categories. They consciously look for alternatives to established
educational practices that support the learning, development, and
academic achievement of children whose backgrounds place them outside
of the dominant culture. They employ multicultural, anti-racist, anti-bias
educational practices that foster deep engagement in learning and high
academic achievement among all of the nation’s children.

The concept of advocacy for social justice as a future teacher holds a lot of meaning to me. I

came to Wheelock back in 2015 with a miniscule concept of social justice and what advocating meant. I

was young and naïve and ready to start a new chapter of my life. Over the four years of undergrad and

almost one year of graduate school, I know that advocating for social justice is one of the most important

parts of being a teacher as well as being a person. I came to Boston after living in a small town in

Connecticut that had little to no diversity. I knew that there was no diversity in the town I was growing up

in, but to me it did not seem like a big deal at the time. When I came to Wheelock, I started to take

courses that began to change my mindset in so many ways. I started to realize that the place I grew up

was mostly white because of the systematic racism that people of color were facing. Taxes in my town

were high, the overall cost of living in my town was high and it was built to keep people of color away

from it. I started to reflect on my experiences growing up realizing that my privilege as a middle class

white woman was something that people of color would never experience. The comfortability of being a

white person was something that people of color would never know. Advocating for social justice also

includes being an ally for the LGBTQ community as well. People who are a apart of the LGBTQ

community need to know that school is a safe place for them and that their teacher is an ally which is
something that I will always strive for in my classroom. Having these realizations so early on in my

college career makes me believe that as an educator who has been reflecting and advocating since early in

my college career that I am ready to advocate for my own students in the classroom.

A reading that significantly impacted my thinking about this standard was the book Yardsticks by

Chip Wood (2007). This book discussed how to effectively teach children you have to understand

children’s development as well as what is going on in a child’s life. If you are naïve about one of those

two things, you are not going to be able to fully and proficiently teach the students in you class. You

should be invested in understanding children’s development so that it is known what students need to be

successful. You also need to know what is going on in students’ lives so that you can take into

consideration what the child may need from you since most of the time they will need more than just

explicit instruction. They may need someone to talk to that they can trust, and as a teacher you need to be

able to build that trust.

A theory that effected my thoughts on this standard is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (McLeod,

2016). Maslow states that every person needs to have all their needs met so that they can be a successful

learner. For example, if a student is not getting enough food at home they are not going to come into

school and be able to focus on their work if they are hungry. This has influenced me because it reminds

me that as a teacher you need to remember that your students are human and they need to trust you. This

is why having a social justice curriculum a part of your classroom is crucial. Students need to know that

you are an ally for people who are oppressed in our country and that you will fight for them no matter

what.

While at Wheelock I had the privilege to meet and learn from Dr. Susan Redditt in my Racial and

Cultural Identities class. She gave us the privilege to watch her build a community in our classroom that

made the tough conversations we were going to have feel unavoidable in a comfortable way. That I think

can be one of the hardest tasks to do but she did it with ease. In this class, I wrote what I am considering

my first piece of evidence towards being a social justice advocate. For the final project of the class we
had to reflect on an interview we conducted on ourselves at the beginning of the semester (artifact 1.1).

During the initial interview, I stated that I would consider Wheelock’s population to be 50% white and

50% people of color as well as how there was no discrimination on the campus. During my final paper I

took time to reflect on this statement which lead to me stating that it was ignorant for me to believe that

the population was 50/50 as well as there being no discrimination on campus. I stated in the paper that me

believing that there was no discrimination on campus showed that my white privilege was still prevalent

to my opinions. Although my white privilege will always be a part of me, being aware and cognizant of

my privilege to use it towards advocating for social justice is key. I think that this artifact shows how

much my mindset grew just through semester and how much I have grown and will grow even more.

The second artifact that I have chosen to show how I am a social justice advocate is my final unit

project for my Introduction to Elementary Education course that was also taught by Dr. Susan Redditt

(artifact 1.2). For my unit project, I wrote a unit that focused on the misinformation that text books give to

students. It includes reading through a book that discusses Christopher Columbus as a hero and then

reading through books that tell the real story of Christopher Columbus. I chose this topic because when I

learned about the real story of Christopher Columbus when I was in college, I felt really betrayed by my

teachers that I had in elementary school and middle school. I had grown up thinking he found our country

and did all these great things when in reality he was the opposite of that. This unit shows that I am not

afraid to advocate for social justice in the classroom even when the reality may be gruesome.

The last piece of evidence that I have is a group project that I recently did in my Democracy in

Education class with Dr. Eleonora Villegas-Reimers (artifact 1.3). She is one of the most influential

professors that I have had through my college career and has played a huge part in the growth of my

mindset. In her class, we had to do a final presentation on something that we are passionate about that

relates to democracy and education, so my group and I chose to do our project on METCO. METCO is a

program that busses minority students from Boston to the suburban school systems to desegregate schools

in the city and the suburbs. We chose this topic because the three of us have seen METCO in our schools
and how it effects the students that are a part of the program. Seeing how these students have been

effected by the long bus rides and the overall feeling of isolation makes me want to advocate for these

students wants and needs. This project shows that while being an advocate for social justice I will take the

time to research as well as pull from my own observations to make sure that what I am fighting for is

what is best for my students.

Standard 2

Understanding All Children in Their Many Dimensions


Educators should know their students as individuals and as learners, and be able to relate to
them in a variety of ways. They should be familiar with the cultures, histories, and values of the
communities and families they serve, and know the attributes of the individual children and
families with whom they work. Educators should be aware of the range of special needs their
children may have, and seek out information concerning the strengths of specific children as
well as resources to address their developmental and learning needs. They should use their
knowledge of variations in development, second language acquisition, and disabilities to
support children’s physical, emotional, social, cognitive, linguistic, intellectual, and creative
development. Educators should observe and listen to children as they work, learn, and play in a
variety of settings to gain insights into what their students know, how they think, what they
value, who they are, where they come from, and what motivates them. Their knowledge of
children and families, language and culture, and community development should motivate
educators to view children’s actions and responses through multiple lenses. The more they learn
about their students, the better they can tailor their teaching to engage children in active
learning and meet their specific needs.
Every student learns differently which is what makes teaching so intricate and what makes the

successes in teaching so rewarding. Each child is unique and has different needs that need to be met in

the classroom so that the student can have a successful learning experience. The child’s success is also

based on the teacher knowing, respecting, and incorporating the individual’s cultures in the classroom.

When I was working towards my undergrad and in my full-time practicum there was a student who only

spoke Hebrew in my class. He was struggling to express what he was feeling during the day and was very

angry the first few weeks of school since nobody spoke Hebrew except for one teacher who was not

always available. I knew how hard it must be for him to not only not be able to communicate with the
people in the classroom but also to be transitioning to America from Israel. I did my best to help him

during independent work so that he could start to feel included in the classroom and he ended up

coming out of his shell and showing how intelligent he was and became much less angry throughout the

time that I was in the classroom with him. When the time came for me to leave since my full time

practicum had ended, the class had a party for me on my last day. His mom came up to me and told me

that even though he didn’t know how to say it he really appreciated my kindness and he would really

miss me when I left. This shows how I knew that this student would need extra supports in the

classroom and I was able to give him the support that lead him to succeed and feel at ease in school.

This standard states that educators should be able to use their knowledge to help second

language acquisition which is what I did with this student. I went back and looked at my SEI materials

from my SEI endorsement course and came up with strategies that helped this student succeed in the

classroom. I used picture cues so that the student could point to things like the bathroom or water so

we knew where he was going when he left the classroom. I also reinforced those picture cues by always

saying what the picture meant when he asked for it so that he would be able to ask in English once he

felt comfortable. I used my resources that my SEI endorsement gave me to help support this student

fully in the classroom.

A theory that has influenced my thinking on this standard is Howard Gardner’s Theory of

Multiple Intelligences. This theory states that the idea that intelligence is not a narrow concept but

rather a concept that pertains multiple ways a person can be intelligent. This theory is important to me

because it embodies what I believe as an educator, which is that all students are intelligent but they

cannot spark that intelligence if they are not being taught through the eight different types of

intelligences. The eight different types of intelligences are musical, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-

mathematical, linguistic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and nature (Gardner, 1993). Through the
years that I will be teaching I am going to strive to make sure that all students can show their

intelligence which means that all of these intelligences will be a crucial part of my classroom.

A different book that has influenced my thinking when it comes to students learning differently

is The Development of Children by Cynthia Lightfoot, Michael Cole and Sheila Cole (2009). This book goes

through every stage of life that humans go through from birth to adolescence. In one of the chapters

that was discussing social emotional development, the authors discussed a theory that is referred to as

theory theory. This theory states that young children have theories about how the world works from the

environment that they are in. This influenced me because it reminds me how imperative it is to have a

safe learning environment in your classroom because students are constantly taking in their

environments and learning from them.

This standard represents that all students have diverse needs and educators need to be able to

meet all of those diverse needs. One piece of evidence that shows that I have met diverse needs in a

classroom is my child study that I am currently continuing during this semester but I originally presented

the first part in February (artifact 2.1). I presented on a student in my classroom that struggles with his

working memory. I took data on the student and brought in a presentation that described what the

student is like, what his strengths and weaknesses are, what his IEP goals are, and what I want to help

the student develop. I concluded that I wanted to help the student develop strategies that will help his

working memory in math. I concluded that I would do some sort of exit ticket where the student

discusses what they did in math that day and we could come up with a few different either pictures or

symbols that he could symbolize his learning with so that the next day we would start the lesson with

looking at those pictures or symbols and he would remember what we did in math the day before. This

shows that I am noticing what a student is struggling with, collaborating with peers to find the best way

to help develop a skill, and I am going to implement that strategy soon.


My second piece of evidence is a lesson plan that I wrote for an observation for a math pull out

group. I wrote the lesson plan using the format of I do, we do, you do (artifact 2.2). This is a format that I

follow for all of my lessons which I feel is important for all the learners in the classroom. Starting with

me doing what the activity is the students will be doing gives them a concrete example of the activity. I

may do it two or three times alone so that the students understand what the activity is. The we do part

of the lesson is where I assess where the students are and if most of them are feeling confident doing

the activity together so that they can then go off and do it independently. Once I have assessed most

students to make sure they are comfortable and understanding the content, then the lesson turns to the

I do part which is independent work. This organization for lessons is important so that students have

explicit instruction on the content and activities that are being done in class. This helps all learners feel

comfortable with the different topics that are being taught.

The last piece of evidence that I will be using is my FAIR plan that I made in a class I took on

behaviors (artifact 2.3). The FAIR plan included taking data, analyzing the data and then making a plan of

action to fix the behaviors that a student was presenting. I am using this assignment because I feel that

some student’s needs may be behavioral rather than academic. Students may need more attention so

that they are able to complete their work or they may just need different locations or circumstances to

have a successful working period. This student that I did my FAIR plan on was having behaviors that was

not only deterring his learning but was also deterring his peers learning. For my FAIR plan I took lots of

data on the students’ behavior and was able to find a pattern that lead back to the student having math

first block every day and that was the subject that seemed to create disruptive behaviors. After I took

this data, I brought it to the teachers in my classroom and with the help of the whole fourth grade team

we were able to switch math to a different time in the day which lead us to be able to start his day

positive and have a check in before math which lead to discussions about what we were doing in math

and what types of supports he would need from the teachers to succeed during that time. This shows
that I will be looking for both academic supports as well as psychological supports for my students so

they can have a positive and successful learning experience in the classroom.

Standard 3
Knowledge of Content and Integrated Curriculum
Educators should know, understand, and use the central concepts and tools of inquiry
appropriate to the subject matter and age/grade levels they teach. They should be able to
create meaningful learning experiences that develop children’s understanding of subject matter
and increase their skills. Educators should plan integrated units of curriculum, instruction, and
assessment based upon their knowledge of subject matter, curriculum goals, and
developmentally appropriate practices among the families, communities, and cultures from
which their children come.
This standard essentially states that all educators need to have an understanding of the content

that they are going to be teaching to their students. As a teacher I need to have been prepared enough

so that if the students have questions I am able to provide an answer the scaffolds the explicit

instruction that is given for the content that they are learning about. If there is a time that the students

ask a question that I may not know I think that it is a great life skill to teach the students that it is okay to

not have all the answers all the time, but show them how to work towards finding the answers to

questions we both do not know. Having the students understand that I am there to help them but that I

also am learning just like them will put into perspective that learning is a continuous and constant

journey that all people are on, including them. In this standard it also states that teachers should be able

to create meaningful learning experiences. Being able to create meaningful learning experiences means

that students should enjoy learning and that the content should be presented and explicitly taught in

ways that make it significant. Making the concepts that are being taught engaging and challenging in a

way that gives students information in a meaningful way that shows there was energy and thought put

into it.
One reading that influenced me was Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

(2008). This books discussed how to focus on lesson planning so that all students were engaged and

learning. This book also reiterated the importance of knowing the content before you teach it. It sounds

like something that should be common sense, but there are times where some teachers are trying to

juggle all of the subjects and their content that they forget that having a complete understanding of the

content not only helps you teach it but it helps the student’s understand it. Another reading that

influenced me what the book Explicit Instruction by Anita Archer and Charles A. Hughes (2011). This

book introduced me to the I do, we do, you do lesson plan format. I still use this format to this day so

that each of my lessons start with me introducing the lesson and doing what the activity is myself, then I

do the activity with the students together, and then they can do the activity individually. This type of

learning gives students explicit instruction that gives them the confidence to take academic risks in the

classroom.

The first piece of evidence that I have for this standard is a curriculum critique that I did for my

teaching science course (artifact 3.1). In this evaluation I look at a curriculum that was developed for a

unit on liquids. The book gave a large amount of lessons and worksheets that a teacher could use while

going through this unit with their class. I explored the different experiences that the students would be

having throughout this curriculum and discussed how I felt the appropriateness of the curriculum was

for third grade. I reflected and thought critically about this curriculum which is what I will do with all of

the curriculums that I am given in my future as an educator. This critical thinking about curriculums will

lead to meaningful learning experiences for my students and will give them the opportunity to learn the

content from someone who has put work into being a good educator.

The second piece of evidence that I will use to support my quality of performance for this

standard is an assignment that I did for my elementary mathematics class (artifact 3.2). I focused on a
student whose name was Nathan1 and I looked at work that he did for math class and analyzed what he

was doing wrong and the next steps to help him fix his mistakes. This shows that I am able to analyze

not only curriculum but also individual student work so that the next time we have math the student

who may be struggling can be the focus so that it is ensured that student is having a meaningful learning

experience and is understanding the content.

The third piece of evidence that I have is my motion unit that I did during my full time practicum

during my undergraduate career (artifact 3.3). This unit includes a topic and rationale, the unit goals, a

content outline, an overview of the unit, eight lesson plans, and a unit bibliography. This unit was made

from a cluster of lessons and different worksheets and assignments. This shows that I am able to find

the best parts of a curriculum and make a unit that follows the standards for the grades as well as

incorporates all different types of subjects like writing and reading. Being able to make a unit that brings

together meaningful learning as well as incorporating curriculum standards is a key skill to have as an

educator so that students can be completely successful in the classroom. Overall, I believe that I meet

this standard though the different curriculums I have and will critique as well as the units that I have and

will produce as my career as an educator moves forward.

Standard 4
Educational Practices that Foster Learning, Development, and Achievement in All of the
Nation’s Children
Educators should use teaching strategies and educational practices that develop children’s
capacity to think critically, analytically, and imaginatively, and extend their knowledge and
understanding of the world. They should provide multiple ways for children to deepen their
grasp of concepts. Stretch their thinking, express their understanding, and learn critical skills.
They should search for appropriate materials, experiment with new technologies, collaborate
with specialists and colleagues, and consult with families and community members to meet the
instructional needs of all their students. Educators should establish caring, inclusive,
stimulating, and safe learning communities in which all children feel they belong and in which
they can assume responsibility, take intellectual risks, make mistakes, explore alternatives,
participate in decision making, and work both collaboratively and independently. They should
understand principles of effective classroom management as well as human motivation and
behavior from the foundational science of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. They should
understand cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning and how these
processes can be stimulated. They should also understand language development and the role
of language in learning. Educators should understand principle and techniques, and advantages
and limitations associated with various teaching strategies They should be able to communicate
effectively with in many domains (oral and written discourse, mathematical/symbolic
representation, non-verbal communication, audiovisual and computer-based technologies), and
model effective communication strategies in conveying information and in asking questions.

Throughout my time at both Wheelock College and Boston University I have learned how to help

students cultivate skills that allow them to think critically and increase their knowledge of the world

around them. This standard represents how teachers need to provide opportunities for students to

grasp concepts in the classroom and outside of the classroom. Students should be given the materials to

be able to understand the content in the classroom through creativity. This standard also incorporates

how students should feel safe in the classroom by the routines and rituals that a classroom should have.

This safety is a crucial part of the classroom so that the students feel as though they can take academic

risks and be their true selves. I want to have a classroom where students feel comfortable and safe

enough to take those academic risks as well as feel like they are their true selves when they enter the

room.

A book that influenced me a great deal was written by Chip Wood and is titled Yardsticks. Wood

states how as teachers we need to understand children’s development because the current curriculum

throughout every state does not included every mode of learning which can be helpful for students who

may need physical activity to get their brain going (Wood, 2007). He believes that the more that

teachers understand a child’s development the quality of their instructions will increase (Wood, 2007).

Another book that influenced my thinking when it comes to this subject is Power and Emotion in Infant-

Toddler Day Care by Robin Lynn Leavitt (1994). This book was based in an infant and toddler day care,
but the way that the book talked about children’s development gave me an understanding and made

me feel comfortable about my knowledge of my student’s development. Knowing how children develop

is crucial to being a successful teacher.

One of the pieces of evidence I will be using are the morning messages that my teachers and I at

my internship in a co-taught classroom collaborate to make every morning (artifact 4.1). There is a

google slide document that includes a lot of different slides that we have worked on this year. Every

morning the three of us take the time to sit down and discuss what we want the morning message to

say so that it incorporates what the day looks like for our students and what share question or joke we

want to include. This proves that I have met this standard because it incorporates how I created a

routine in the classroom for the students to always have when they come into the classroom in the

morning. It also incorporates collaborating with my colleagues to make sure that the students are

feeling safe and have routines that are being followed in the classroom that are shown to prove the

teachers’ thoughtfulness about these routines and rituals in the classroom.

My second piece of evidence that I will be using is a lesson plan that I wrote for a pull out writing

lesson with a few of my students (artifact 4.2). For this lesson I planned a 30-minute lesson on topic

sentences where we would start by reviewing what a topic sentence was, I would then write a topic

sentence, then we would write a topic sentence together, then they would write three independently.

After that we were going to look at a few passages and determine what their topic sentences were and

we were going to play a game once all that had finished. The lesson had to be pushed into 20 minutes

rather than 30 due to a schedule change which lead me to only be able to introduce a topic sentence

and then go over how to write a topic sentence. In my lesson, I structured well enough so that the last

minute time change did not affect the lesson too much. I was able to meet the diverse needs that the

students had by stretching their thinking, having the students express that they understood, and I had
them learn critical skills. The main goal for this pull out group is to have them learn and be able to

produce a paragraph and to start they have to learn how to write a topic sentence. We worked together

to make topic sentences about different topics and we also took the time to come up with supporting

details that we would write after the topic sentence. This shows that I was able to provide the content in

an understandable way that stretched the students thinking and had them learn a critical skill.

The last piece of evidence that I will be using is a lesson report that my supervisor provided after

a lesson I did on sight words and phonetic sounds (artifact 4.3). My supervisor focused on well-

structured lessons, adjustment to practice, meeting diverse needs, and safe learning environment. My

supervisor stated that I planned well and that the tasks were paced from easier to more difficult. This

proves that I am able to lead the students to stretching their thoughts in just one lesson by having them

start off with some that may be considered easier to extending their thoughts to harder tasks by the end

of the lesson. In this lesson report it was also noted that I was able to gently tell the students that I

“disagreed” with their answers if they were wrong which was a gentle way of telling the students their

answers were incorrect. This supports this standard by me providing an inclusive learning environment

where students feel like they are able to take risk and not be scrutinized if they make a mistake. Overall,

I feel that I have met this standard through my ability to stretch student’s thoughts as well as create a

safe learning environment for students.

Standard 5
Assessment in a multi-racial, multi-cultural democracy
Educators should understand that assessment is an integral part of teaching, and that children’s
development and academic interests, accomplishments, and challenges should drive their daily
instructional decisions. They should know that various types of assessments, including self-
assessments, have different uses, advantages, limitations, and biases. They should understand
that appropriate assessment must consider cultural, familial, and community contexts from
which children come. Educators should know how to use a variety of formal and informal
assessment tools and strategies to monitor and promote each student’s learning and
development; use both formative and summative assessments to determine students’
understanding in each subject area; and be aware of technological tools that can facilitate
assessment.
This standard states that the importance of assessment to a classroom is crucial. Educators need

to know that assessments, whether informal or formal, need to happen often in order to be completely

sure that the students are fully grasping the concepts that are being taught. Having formal assessments

like quizzes and tests is one thing, but there should also be informal assessments like thumbs up or

down so that the students can show you that they either feel good about the content or they feel like

they next extra help. Using both formal and informal assessments are a great tool to have as an

educator. A different way of assessing is using formative and summative assessments. For example, I

would use a formative assessment during a unit on different types of energy and do an activity in class

where the students have to watch a short video that shows different objects moving so that the

students can write down what type of energy that object has. Students should be assessed using various

means as well, which means they should be tested by writing as well as oral assessments and

assessments that only require them to circle or check off different concepts relating to the content being

taught in the classroom.

A theory that has manipulated my way of thinking about assessment is Howard Gardner’s

theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1993). Assessments need to be shaped to the way that

students learn just as much as instruction does. Students learn through their multiple intelligences and

they should be able to show what they learn through their multiple intelligences as well. For example,

for homework if the students would rather write down their homework that is fine but there is always a

second option like draw or create a structure of some sort that shows what they have learned about the

homework’s content. I only need to see that the student is grasping the concepts that are being taught

and the way that they show me can be through different means.
A book that influenced my understanding of assessment is Explicit Instruction by Anita Archer

and Charles Hughes (2011). This book influenced my understanding of assessing because it gave me a

new perspective on how to close the gap between the knowledge that the students already have and

the knowledge that you want the students to know. That perspective was the importance of feedback.

Feedback can be a crucial part of closing the gap of knowledge of your students. When the students

know what you are looking for and know where they can improve and where they are doing well they

have a more solidified idea of what kind of knowledge you want them to have.

The first piece of evidence that I have that proves I am able to assess students is a lesson that I

implemented this year during my internship (artifact 4.2). Before the lesson even started, I had my

students do a few deep breaths so that they were able to tune in their brain for the lesson. This helps

students focus and clear their minds so that they can be good listeners and do their best learning. I also

had a laminated sheet that discussed whole body listening which we had used before. I went through

the sheet quickly but made sure that they saw that the sheet was on the board so that if I referenced it

they knew that they had to reset their bodies. This really helps students who have behavioral needs.

There are times where I feel like people can overlook the behavioral needs that some students may

require during lessons. The sheet that I had as well as the deep breathing gave us a head start on

behaviors that could have happened if I just jumped right into the lesson. Being able to informally assess

that students need an extra moment before a lesson starts can be crucial for students minds and their

behaviors.

My second piece of evidence for this standard is a child study that I am currently doing for my

practicum (artifact 2.1). For this child study, I took detailed notes and data on the student so that I could

combine an intervention that I brainstormed with a group as well as an evidence based intervention. To

meet diverse needs of students, educators need to be able to take data and analyze the data so that
they can help the student in the best way possible. For this student specifically, I wanted to work on

helping build their working memory since they struggle with remembering content day to day. I did a

presentation on the student and worked with my team to come up with an intervention that I will

eventually implement in the classroom. This student has very distinctive yet intricate needs but after

collecting data and collaborating I will hopefully find a way that helps him succeed in day to day content.

For this project I was able to assess the student in different ways by taking notes during math as well as

taking samples of his writing. I was able to take these assessments and write down different ideas and

thoughts that I had to help improve his learning in the classroom.

My final piece of evidence is a unit that I created during my full time practicum on motion

(artifact 3.3). This unit included a topic and rationale, the unit goals, a content outline, an overview of

the unit, eight lesson plans, and a unit bibliography. The unit consists of many different visual and tactile

activities that allow students to experiment with motion through different experiments. These

experiments give these students the hands on and visual learning that they may need to full grasp the

concept of motion itself. Having activities that included both visual stimulating resources as well as

demonstrative resources makes the unit accessible for all students who need to both see how motion

happens in the world as well as be a part of the motion that is happening around them. Overall, I think I

met this standard by meeting behavioral needs as well as academic needs by incorporating data, visual

stimulants, and behavioral expectations into lessons I have done in the classroom. During this unit I

informally assessed many times by having exit slips to do as well as worksheets that they were filling out

during their experiments. These worksheets that they were filling out was giving me the concepts that

these students were grasping during their time to work hands on with materials. These concepts that I

got from their worksheets gave me an idea of what kinds of vocabulary and main points I needed to go

over the next time we had science so that they could start connecting each experiment and lesson to

each other.
Standard 6
Reflective Practice
Educators should continually reflect on their practice to extend their knowledge, improve their
teaching, and refine their evolving philosophies of education. They should stay abreast of
developments in the profession, and be able to think critically about various teaching practices.
Educators should continually strengthen their knowledge of subject matter through scholarly
study, professional reading, and discussion with colleagues. They should deepen their
understanding of children’s learning and development through classroom-based action
research. Educators should be open to change and innovation, continually engaging in the
process of professional growth.
Reflective practice is one of the most mindful way to grow as a professional. Being able to sit

and either write or think about how you are doing in the classroom and what is working and not working

for you gives you the tools to grow as a teacher so that your students are getting the most from the

learning experiences that you are providing them. What I expect for myself once I have taken over a

classroom and become a teacher is that I am constantly trying to grow my knowledge on how to make

sure I am meeting all of the students need and I am giving every student what they deserve. I also

expect myself to be continuously expanding my philosophy of education. I consider myself to be

someone who has a growth mindset, but I want to continuously remind myself and stay mindful that

could change and I need to make sure that I am continuing to reflect and collaborate enough so that my

growth mindset continues as I go through my career.

Throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, I was given many opportunities to start to

see how I reflect and start to use my reflection as a tool for my teaching career. One of the main

influences about my reflective practices, which I mentioned prior, is Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s

book Understanding by Design (2005). This book discussed how reflection is a crucial part of teaching so

that as a teacher you can improve your instruction to help students and scaffold their success. A

different book that helped me establish my reflective practices was Explicit Instruction by Anita Archer

and Charles Hughes (2011). This book helped me establish my reflective practices by providing reflection
questions that I could ask myself after each lesson that I taught. This helped me establish a reflective

routine that allows me to ask myself these questions without having to reference the book anymore.

Having a routine that involves reflection is a helpful tool that has increased my understanding of what

the next steps are for each of my future lessons.

A paper that I wrote for my Racial and Cultural Identities class my sophomore year of college

represents my reflective practices (6.1). The paper was about an event that represents the culture of

where you grew up. I felt that this was a tough question for me because I had never felt completely

immersed in a culture until I started reflecting on what my culture would be. In this essay, I reflected on

my hometown, which is a primarily white town, and I thought about an event that it is important to my

town. I reflected about how it incorporated the culture of my town and my own personal culture and

was able to relate it to the different readings that we were doing for that class. I was able to reflect on

my hometown and was able to connect it to different parts of the class.

My second piece of evidence is a reflection that I did for a lesson that I taught in the fall (artifact

6.2). I reflected on both what I thought went well and what I thought I could do better. I was honest in

both of these categories. I was able to think about what happened during the lesson and talk about

what I thought were the high points of the lesson and what were the low points of the lessons. I was

able to do this reflection in a timely manner and sit down the day that the lesson happened and reflect. I

wrote both what my supervisor and I discussed as well as other parts I feel I may need to work on or

that I did well.

My third piece of evidence is a self-reflection that I did on a micro-lesson I taught for my

Teaching Students with Special Needs (artifact 6.3). In this reflection, I looked at how I engaged the

group in different ways by discussing different grammatical concepts like punctuation and capital letters.

I also reflected on how I informally assessed the students in the group by asking for a thumbs up or a
thumbs down on whether or not they understand what I am saying. I also reflected on what I could have

done better during this lesson and what I would do next time I taught this lesson which is an important

skill when it comes to teaching. Being able to discuss what I would do next time shows that have

reflected thoughtfully and extended my reflection to the next steps.

My last piece of evidence is my reflection after my second takeover week (artifact 6.4). After

taking the time to reflect on the week, I wrote down some of my strengths that came out of this week as

well as places where I still need to improve. I discussed areas that I felt I had already improved from

when I had my first takeover week which gave me the chance to give myself positive feedback which is a

great way to show how I have a growth mindset. I discussed how nerves got the best of me during my

first takeover week and it made the lessons feel less natural but during my second takeover week that

was not the case. Realizing how I improved is a great skill to have when it comes to reflective practice

because acknowledging that improvement gives you a sense of confidence and satisfaction. Overall, I

believe that I met this standard by reflecting on the successes and places for improvements throughout

the lessons that I have taught as well as being able to reflect on my background and culture.

Standard 7
Family, Community, and Professional Partnerships in a Diverse Society
Educators should view their students’ families as partners in their work. They should understand
that children’s academic success is fostered by strong communication, shared goals, and
mutually reinforcing practices, and that children’s motivation and sense of well-being in the
classroom is supported by the setting’s affirmation of the child’s hoe and culture. Educators
should define their professional responsibilities to include a commitment to the continuing
growth and development of their colleagues, their setting, their profession, and their
communities. They should be familiar with legal, ethical, and policy issues, and understand the
importance of advocating for children, families, and themselves in a variety of professional,
political, and policy making contexts.
This standard states that communicating and collaborating with the students’ families,

community, and professionals is a critical part of the learning process. Keeping the families up to date on

what type of learning is going on in the classroom is crucial so that the students can make connections

between home and school. Those connections are essential to the learning that the student is receiving

in the classroom so that they know that what they are learning is going to be part of their life at home as

well. The support system at home is going to come from the child’s caregivers, so those are the people

that educators need to be in constant contact with. Maintaining contact with students’ families can look

many different ways. These ways include meetings, websites, snapshots, and emails. There are so many

useful tools that can help educators and families stay in touch which is great for students. This standard

also includes community and how to incorporate the community in your classroom. Having a sense of

community in the classroom both as a classroom and as a town is essential to the students learning.

Having these connections to home and the community in which the students are growing up with gives

the educator ways to connect with students and makes the students feel more comfortable in the

classroom since they know that it all relates.

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (Paquette &Ryan, n.d.) has influenced my

understandings and thoughts around the role that every person plays in a child’s life. It is important as a

teacher to understand that every person in a child’s life is important, including themselves. Events that

happen around the world could be effecting students in our classroom and it is crucial to remember that

as an educator. Although making sure that instruction is conceptual to all students, it is also important

to remember that you as an educator are one of the most important people in the lives of students. You

see your students every day and it is critical to have good relationships with their parents and other

important people in their lives so that students start to see that all the different worlds around them are

connected.
A different theory that has inclined my ideas about community is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

(McLeod, 2016). This theory discusses how if a person’s basic needs are not being met they are not

going to be focused on instruction but rather that they are either hungry or they are worried that they

smell because they have not showered in a few days. Knowing what is happening in student’s families

and communities so that you also know that your students are getting everything that they need from

these other people in their lives. Behaviors tend to stem from student’s situations at home and it is

important to not fault a student for their behavior if you are not sure if their basic needs are not being

met.

The first piece of evidence that shows that I met this standard is a community project that I did

in my Understanding Autism course (artifact 7.1). This community project had me collect information on

a student that I currently have in my class who has autism. I first analyzed the community that the

school is in and then discussed the student himself. I incorporated his friendships since friendship can be

a struggle for students with autism. This project gave me the opportunity as an intern to engulf myself

into the community that surrounds the school that I am interning at as well as dive deeper into the

community the students have at school. It made me realize how many ecological systems students have

and how complex each one is.

My second piece of evidence (artifact 7.2) is a consultation project that I did for my Parent and

Peer Collaboration class. This consultation project had me collaborate with another teacher on a

problem that the teacher had been having with another student, whether behavioral or academic. This

teacher decided to talk about a student who has been having severe behaviors in the classroom. I was

able to go and observe the student a few times and I took some data on the student so that I could look

for patterns. This shows that I was able to effectively communicate and collaborate with another

professional about a student who may need extra support in the classroom.
My final piece of evidence (artifact 7.3) is the second part of the FAIR plan that I referenced

earlier in standard 2. This FAIR plan was actually used in a meeting with the parents of this student. The

data that I took on the student was about his behaviors in the classroom. This shows that I am able to

take productive data on students that can be shared with the people who are a part of the students’ life.

This collaboration with the students’ parents gave the parents and idea of what has been happening in

the classroom and makes it easier to start a heavy conversation about the behaviors that they see at

home. Since this data was not an opinion about the student but rather real situations that had

happened, it made the conversation easier to bring up since there were no estimations being said. I

think that I have met this standard since I was able to collaborate with peers and with parents

respectfully and productively.

References

Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit Instruction. New York City, New York: Guilford Publications.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: The theory in Practice. New York: Basic Books.

Leavitt, R. L. (1994). Power and Emotion in Infant-Toddler Day Care. Amsterdam, Netherlands:


Amsterdam University Press.

Lightfoot, C., Cole, M., & Cole, S. R. (2009). The Development of Children. New York: Worth Publishers.

McLeod, S. (2016). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from simplypsychology.org:


https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Paquette, D., & Ryan, J. (n.d.). Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. Retrieved from
floridahealth.gov: http://www.floridahealth.gov/AlternateSites/CMS-
Kids/providers/early_steps/training/documents/bronfenbrenners_ecological.pdf

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2008). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Wood, C. (2007). Yardsticks. Turner Falls: Northeast Foundation for Children.