Carrie Majewski SPED 53324 December 14, 2000 My Portfolio
That Noble Title: Teacher Teacher – you are a poet, as you weave with your colorful magic language a passion for your subject. You create a vast and grand mosaic of curiosities to imagine, secrets to unfold, connections only to begin the cycle of learning. Teacher – you are a physicist, as you bring magic, logic, reason, and wonder to the properties, changes, and interactions of our universe. Teacher – you are a maestro, a master of composing, as you conduct and orchestrate individuals’ thoughts and actions from discordant cacophony into harmonic resonance. Teacher – you are an architect, as you provide each student a solid foundation, but always with a vision of the magnificent structure that is about to emerge. Teacher – you are a gymnast, as you encourage the contortions and gyrations of thoughts and the flexing and strengthening of ideas. Teacher – you are a diplomat and the ambassador of tact and sensitivity, as you facilitate productive, positive interactions among the multiplicity of personalities and cultures, beliefs, and ideals. Teacher – you are a philosopher, as your actions and ethics convey meaning and hope to young people who look to you for guidance and example. As you prepare for each day, when your students enter and you encounter their attitudes, ranging from eager, enthusiastic anticipation to uncomfortable, uncertain apathy, recall the powers you have within…from poet to philosopher…and present yourself to those students as a person worthy of the noble title…”Teacher”. - Irish Marcuzzo (Wong p.vi, 1998)
Table of Contents • Introduction • Educational Experiences • Educational Philosophy • Instructional Strategies • Learning Environment • Instructional Resources • Assessment Protocols • Technology • Deaf Education Resources • Instructional Unit • References
Introduction When did you decide to become a teacher of d/hh students? Why did you make that decision?
My Decision • I was never entirely certain about what I wanted to do. I only knew that I wanted to work with children. As the end of my high school senior year approached I considered several different majors. I narrowed my choices to two areas: occupational therapy and education. I decided to enter into Ohio State University’s occupational therapy program with the intention to help children. After one quarter in the program, I came to realize that this major was not appealing to me. I then changed to child development and considered other education programs. Soon after I entered Ohio University as an early childhood/primary and elementary education major. Throughout my years in this program, I enjoyed working in the various classrooms with different children and teachers; however, I continued to feel that I wanted more. During my fifth year as a double major at OU, I began considering diverse courses to explore different areas. Continued….
My Decision - Continued • I was very interested in taking ASL, but it did not comply with my schedule at the time. I have always been interested in learning about deafness, Deaf culture, and ASL. My parents were friends with a couple who had a Deaf daughter my age and we often played together. I learned several words in sign language that helped to communicate; however, communication breakdowns often occurred. I frequently thought of her and how badly I had wanted to know ASL so that we could communicate more effectively. I was so interested in learning more about her and her deafness. I simply never considered that I could actually do something in this area. As I performed additional research, I found several deaf education programs. I realized that I could enter into a Master’s program in this field. I felt very excited and interested and soon applied to Kent State University. Upon my acceptance, I was extremely eager to begin, yet nervous since I had no background in this area. When I began the program, I finally felt that I found what I had been looking for.
Educational Experiences Teaching Characteristics of My Weakest and Strongest Teachers Resulting Insights Regarding Effective Teaching
Introduction “Efficient: Doing Things Right Effective: Doing the Right Thing The Effective teacher Affects lives.” -Wong (1998) In deciding to become an educator, I reflected on past and present teachers and what qualities made them effective or not. I realized that a main difference between my strongest and my weakest teachers was their impact on my life. I remember my strong teachers and the enjoyment and success of their classrooms. I remember my weak teachers and the fear, dread, and boredom of their classrooms. The following characteristics describe these teachers as I remember them.
Teaching Characteristics of My Weakest Teachers • Unclear expectations • Insecure • Unfair • Biased • Boring • Impatient • Negative attitude • Unmotivated • Limited experience • Favored students • Made students feel unimportant • Lack of classroom management skills • Disrespectful toward students
Teaching Characteristics of My Strongest Teachers • Encouraging • Enthusiastic • Consistent • Creative • Collaborative • Secure/Confident • Supportive • Caring • Respectful • Personable • Organized • Flexible • Fair • Positive • Open-minded • Available • Aware of limitations and reflective • Meets individual needs
Summary “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” –Haim Ginott (Wong, 1998) Being an effective teacher requires problem solving skills. You need to analyze, synthesize, and create materials to help students become successful learners. Effective teachers utilize resources, including their colleagues, who have so much to offer. These teachers reorganize, rearrange, and problem solve to work toward a goal. It is critical to develop good teaching strategies and maintain a positive attitude because “good habits are easy to develop”, but “bad habits are difficult to break” (Wong, 1998). Reflecting upon and developing these lists has helped me to maintain my perspective of an effective educator and helped me to realize how I can accomplish that.
Insights Resulting Insights Concerning Effective Teaching
Insights • In my experiences as a student, as a student teacher, and as a teacher, I have learned and observed teaching methods that work and some that do not. I feel that the most important aspect of being a teacher to remember is that every student learns differently. Adjusting your method of teaching to the diverse abilities of your students is crucial. There is no one right or wrong way to teach. It changes day to day and you must be flexible and creative to meet the needs of your students. Also in being an effective teacher, you must be able to communicate well. You will not only be working with students, but their parents, other teachers, student teachers, the principal, and many others as well. You will be introduced to a variety of cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as varying family structures that you must respect. Teaching is a learning experience. Being open to new ideas and to your students’ opinions and comments provides a great learning opportunity for you to improve as a teacher and as a person. Having a positive attitude and being able to laugh also helps to reduce some of the stress of this occupation. Teaching is an honorable and very important profession. To me, it is my opportunity to change the life of my students and make a positive difference.
Educational Philosophy What are your essential beliefs about teaching?
Philosophy – Introduction“Education is not a process of putting the learner under control, but putting the student in control of his or her learning”. -Alison Preece(Wong p.210, 1998) • As an educator, I will have expectations of myself and of my students. These expectations will change with experience and various classes. I will also have goals for myself as well as the students. I will set the student goals with the students by listening to what they feel is important, what their needs are, and what they want to accomplish. Their input allows me to have a better idea of what I need to provide as their teacher. The student-teacher relationship is a very important one. The roles of the student and the teacher make up the environment in which both explore, discover, and analyze different ideas and perspectives. As a teacher, I will play many roles in the classroom. Although all of these roles are important, I feel the roles of motivator and guide are the main roles.
Teacher as a Motivator • In order for me to motivate students to want to participate or become actively involved, I must be motivated myself. I will model and express enthusiasm for teaching. Simply having a positive attitude can make all the difference. I will also ensure that the activities are student-centered, relevant to their lives, and have hands-one experiences, which will also enhance student motivation. If I am going to motivate my students, I should also realize their needs, both in the classroom and beyond the classroom. I will need to take into consideration the varied developmental levels, interests, and lives of the students. Children need experiences that will help develop their thinking, afford considerable activity, stimulate language, and help them develop social skills and self-confidence. If the needs of the students are being met and become a consistent part of the learning environment, they become self-motivated, better communicators, more confident, and more independent. As an educator, I hope to provide a comfortable environment where students become self-motivated and independent thinkers.
Teacher as a Guide • I will also, in many ways, be a guide for the students. I will provide guidance through facilitation of discussions, encouragement, feedback, and support. If I am actively involved and show an interest in the lives of the students, the students will react more positively. I hope to also guide the students in their exploration of the world around them. I will provide the students with plenty of time to experiment, discover, and examine relationships between themselves and their environment. My classroom environment will be one in which the students feel comfortable exploring and asking questions and become independent and critical thinkers. I want the students to feel free to make their own predictions, solve their own problems, and find their own answers. I will be there to provide support, encouragement, and ask open-ended questions in order for the students to investigate other perspectives and ideas.
Philosophy - Questioning • Questions can form new ideas and theories and foster thinking and problem-solving skills. Questioning also will provide me with an opportunity to assess the students, the activity, and myself. In order for questioning to be successful, I need to develop a strategy to decide which questions to ask, when to ask them, and in what order to ask them. If I want my students to develop thinking skills, I must implement a questioning strategy that will be successful. Besides offering appropriate questions, I must also be aware of the amount of time I allow for a student's response. Increasing wait-time results in improvement and changes in the students' language, logic use, and also in overall student attitudes. I will need to decide what the students' needs are, how the questioning and wait-time will best supplement the activity, and what appropriately works in my classroom. I want to provide enough wait-time for the students to formulate their own thoughts, ideas, theories, etc. in order to prepare a reply. I hope to offer questions that will foster discussions and further experimentation. Teachers should allow student responses to drive activities, adjust instructional methods, alter content, and seek elaboration of the response.
Philosophy - Assessment • I want to have a successful curriculum. In order to have this, I will need to develop methods of assessing the students as well as myself. Assessment provides guidelines and goal setting, exhibits concept development, and gives the teacher and students an idea of where they stand in the education program. The students can also assess themselves through such ways as a portfolio or journal. I will assess myself through the assessment and feedback of my students, a journal, colleague feedback, and videotaping. I will accept suggestions and ideas from my students to enhance the classroom environment and to improve the activities offered. Knowing the opinions and thoughts of the students will help me improve as a teacher. I also want to involve my colleagues in my self-assessment. Through their observations of my classroom, they can inform me of such things as my questioning strategies, wait-time, student involvement, and how well I interact with the students.
Philosophy - Multiculturalism • Teachers must create a multicultural learning environment in their classrooms. Education is for all children, and the activities should be as well. Multiculturalism encompasses students from diverse backgrounds, ways of life, and different cultures and ethnicities. Students need to be in a classroom environment that allows and encourages them to use their cultural tools. Some of these tools are language, cognitive referents (including myths), beliefs, learning style, and time to apply the information to problem-solving situations. Children learn using their own language, unique learning styles and thought processes, and at their own levels of development. I will provide a classroom environment where all students are treated equally and fairly.
Philosophy - Communication • Communication, in my opinion, is the foundation for an effective education program. Communication has many forms and occurs in virtually all situations. Communication occurs between teacher and student, students in the classroom, teacher with other teachers and administrators, and teacher with the community. Positive and open communication provides a more successful and productive classroom environment. I would invite any other teachers, parents, or community members to participate in any activities. I would also be open to any suggestions, information, or contributions they could offer.
Philosophy – Summary“You must become and advocate for what you believe, otherwise you will become a victim of what others want you to believe.”- Jesse Jackson (Wong p.285, 1998) • In conclusion, I hope to have a classroom where all of the students are actively engaged in exploring and investigating new ideas and perspectives. Real engagement in the activities comes from empowering students, not superficially but intrinsically. My classroom will be one where the activities are enjoyable, hands-on, meet the students' needs, and are appropriate for all of my students. These are my overall ideas of a successful learning environment; however, every day offers new ideas and perspectives. I will be open and flexible to change and grow with each new day.
Instructional Strategies How will you teach?
Instructional Strategies – Introduction“ Those who can, do. Those who teach, can do wonders”.-Anonymous(Teachers Touch Tomorrow: A Calendar for the Year 2000) My instructional strategies will put my philosophy to practice. It is easy to say something and not actually do it. My instructional strategies will allow me to implement and use what I believe. Key instructional strategies are used to guide your lesson plan designs. It shows how you will incorporate your teaching philosophies into classroom instructions. I based my key instructional strategies on what has worked best with my students in past field experiences. I found that by teaching with the above strategies my students have learned in the most effective way. My key instructional strategies are how I implement instruction for my lesson plans that best suit the learning styles of all my students. I am flexible and realize that all of these strategies will not work all of the time with every student. I need to change with each class and continue to develop and change my strategies so that my students will have the most effective learning opportunities I can provide.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Have positive expectations for student success “Students tend to learn as little or as much as their teachers expect. Teachers who set and communicate high expectations to all their students obtain greater academic performance from these students than do teachers who set low expectations” (Wong, 1998). • Effective classroom management Discipline is…”helping children learn personal responsibility for their behavior and to judge between right and wrong for themselves. The emphasis is on teaching as we help youngsters learn responsible behaviors rather than merely stopping unproductive actions. Instead of just enforcing rules about what not to do, we want to help children learn to make wise choices about what they should do.” (Fields and Boesser, 1994)
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Create an engaging classroom atmosphere When students are involved in an activity that interests them, they really explore and want to learn. If they are provided with opportunities, the can become independent learners and thinkers.The more time the students spend engaged in an activity, the more they learn. • Design lessons for student mastery It is the responsibility of educators to help the students realize their full potential. If the students cannot display learning or achievement, then we, as educators, were unsuccessful. We should build upon their strengths and interests to help them achieve. The information should be meaningful and relate to them.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Collaborate Effective communication between colleagues, administrators, parents, and the community is an extremely important aspect of education. Collaborating and working cooperatively to achieve and succeed is critical for an effective education program. • Take advantage of those “teachable moments” There are times when the activities or lessons we implement introduce other questions and/or ideas proposed by the students. There will also be times when an unexpected event or situation may need immediate attention. It is important to take advantage of these moments as they happen and use them as a learning experience.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Ensure mental and physical safety of students Students should have a learning environment where they feel comfortable, secure, important, and respected. Establishing rules together and consistency are very important in ensuring safety. • Be a positive role model Educators constantly provide an example for their students. Children constantly observe and learn from those involved in their lives on a daily basis. By providing an appropriate and positive example, the students can learn and observe what is expected of them.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Evaluate student learning Using formal and informal assessments allow me to not only evaluate my students’ learning, but my teaching as well. Their success depends on mine. • Attend workshops and seminars for additional training Continuing education is important for educators to keep current on important issues, instructional strategies and resources, and to continue learning. This increases our effectiveness as an educator, which impacts the students’ learning as well.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Cooperative learning Form cooperative learning groups, where students can discuss lessons, collaborate, and work together to brainstorm, research, and find answers. “Cooperative learning enhances students’ academic, management, and social skills” (Orlich, Harder, Callahan, Gibson, 2001). In cooperative learning, the students are focused on the task at hand, they cooperate and interact to work together, each member holds an individual responsibility for their learning and must participate. • Problem-solving Use activities in class that encourage students to use critical thinking and problem solving strategies. Query-based learning process – students search for answers to a question related to themselves and their culture – student actively engaged – teachers is clarifier or definer and help students - involves systematic exploration and examination of the problem and the proposing of solutions. It is very important to make time to use this strategy effectively. Also there needs to be continuous monitoring and feedback by the teacher. (Orlich, Harder, Callahan, Gibson, 2001)
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Discovery learning Discovery learning is an inquiry process that provides opportunities for students to create meaning from information and explore different hypotheses. Discovery learning also involves “knowing that…knowing how” and “discovering that …discovering how” and communicating the what and the how to others (Orlich, Harder, Callahan, Gibson, 2001). • Observations Regularly observing my students may provide important information that I may have failed to notice without doing this. Consistent observations can offer insights that can be used to assist student’s and attend to more specific strengths and needs.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Encourage autonomy I believe in encouraging independence by not doing for learners what they can do for themselves. Independent learners are able to examine and monitor their own behaviors in the learning process. Students should be expected to take responsibility for tasks, such as establishing classroom rules and editing their work. • Multimethodology I plan to use a variety of teaching methods, techniques, and procedures in order to meet the learning needs of all my students. In doing this, I hope to encourage and motivate my students to want to learn. • Reflection Reflection allows me to consider what worked, what didn’t, and why for each day that I teach. Through reflection, I can improve and change those areas that were not as successful.
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Be organized, planned, prepared A cluttered or barren room sends a negative message to your students as well as visitors. A well-organized, attractive, and inviting room shows that you care and is given respect. • Teacher as motivator, guide, and facilitator (monitor environment) I believe that the other roles center on in particular. In order for me to motivate students to want to participate or become actively involved, I must be motivated myself. I will model and express enthusiasm for teaching, toward the students, and toward the subject matter, which will provide students with a positive example to follow. I will encourage autonomous learning, but monitor the environment and make myself available as a guide and facilitator of learning. “…While I cannot teach my students everything that they need to know, I can teach them how to be better learners” (Dr. Harold Johnson, 2000).
Instructional Strategies – Putting My Philosophy To Practice • Questioning Effective questioning strategies, such as using a multiple response or open-ended techniques of questioning, can encourage discussion, critical thinking, as well as students learning to form questions of their own. The students can improve their communication, listening, and social skills. Also important is the amount of wait-time provided. Student’s need an efficient amount of time to think and respond. • Effective communication Effective communication skills are critical to successfully accomplish a task. Students learn to effectively communicate through cooperative learning, discovery learning, through questioning, and also by observing others communicate successfully.
Instructional Strategies – Summary“Knowledge grows when teachers cultivate it.”-Anonymous (Teachers Touch Tomorrow: A Calendar for the Year 2000) • In conclusion, I look forward to having a classroom where all of my students are enthusiastically and actively engaged in discovering and exploring new ideas and perspectives. Actual engagement in the activities occurs from empowering students, not superficially but intrinsically. My classroom will be one where the activities are enjoyable, hands-on, meet the students' needs, and are appropriate for all of my students. These are my overall ideas for implementing successful and effective instructional strategies; however, every day offers new ideas and perspectives. I will be open and flexible to change and grow, learning more with each new day.
Learning Environment How will you create an effective learning environment?
Learning Environment – Introduction“The highest stake of all is our ability to help children realize their full potential.”- Samuel J. Meisels(Wong p.197, 1998) • “Schooling is not just to impart cognitive knowledge; the schools have a responsibility and an interest in helping children develop into well-adjusted individuals with positive attitudes and positive self-esteem” (Orlich, Harder, Callahan, Gibson, 2001). The teacher should organize a well-managed classroom where students can learn in a task-oriented environment and feel secure with no surprises, no yelling, and where everyone knows what is happening. This is a classroom with procedures and routines and one that is conducive to learning.This is a productive working environment where students must pay attention, be cooperative and respectful of each other, exhibit self-discipline, and remain on task. For this to occur, the room must have a positive climate, all materials ready and organized, and furniture arranged for productive work. A successful classroom is a predictable environment where work is ready (desks, books, papers, assignments, and materials), the room is ready (classroom has positive climate that is work-oriented,) and the teacher is ready (has a warm, positive attitude and positive expectations that all students will succeed).
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Students know what is expected Teacher holds positive expectations for all students, which are “set high, consistently reinforced expectations for behavior and academic performance.” (Survival Guide for New Teachers, 2000). In addition to positive expectations, the teacher needs to ensure students completely understand the task at hand in order for them to achieve what is expected of them. • Students are actively involved with their work “Effective teachers know that the more time on task, also called academic learning time, spent by the student, the more the student learns” (Routman, 1994).
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Parent Involvement “Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers.” (Wong, 1998). Effective parent involvement has been shown by research to positively affect academic achievement. Parents should be a continuing part of their child’s education. Parents are also one of the most valuable resources that educators can utilize. They have far greater power to effect change than the teacher does. I will always welcome parents and their ideas and suggestions. • Teacher serves as a motivator and guide As an educator, it will be my responsibility to motivate my students to have and maintain a desire to learn. I am not there to do things for them, but to guide them through the learning process.
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Teacher is prepared and organized, but flexible It is very important to be prepared for each day and have all the lesson plans and materials organized. However, it is also important for a teacher to understand that things come up unexpectedly, lessons do not always work, and students all have different learning needs. For these reasons, flexibility is very important. • Hands-on activities and lessons with some basis on student interest It is important for a teacher to get to know his/her students. This includes getting to know not only their individual abilities, but their interests as well. If you know what they are interested in, you can build your lesson on that and create a successful learning experience.
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Effective classroom management Many aspects are involved in effective classroom management. First, it is important to establish procedures and routines with your students. If the students are involved in the process of organizing and setting up the classroom, they will take more responsibility for it. Also important is student involvement. If students are interested and involved in their work, the less likely there will be behavior problems. • Little wasted time, confusion, or disruption In a successful classroom, the teacher uses the time efficiently and effectively, the students know and understand what they need to be doing, and there is little or no distraction. The majority of the time spent in the classroom is for academic learning time, in which the students are actively engaged in their work.
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Arrange room for positive interactions (stress cooperative learning) can collaborate comfortably, open spaces where class can gather or small groups can meet, centers of designated areas where student have opportunities for talk, exploration, writing, reading, and sharing. • Accessible technology Ideally, every classroom should have up-to-date technology, not only computer systems, but calculators, televisions, etc. This technology should also be accessible by the students. They can learn about the uses of technology as well as how to use different technology for different purposes.
Learning Environment – Utilizing My Instructional Strategies • Expecting self-evaluation of behaviors When students finish working together, they can be asked to reflect upon their behaviors and what they learned. With teacher guidance, students can constantly examine how they might improve the functioning of the group, and gradually, they may take more responsibility for their behaviors. They will also learn the importance and use of reflection. • Modeling and role playing appropriate and inappropriate behaviors It is important that the students know and understand what behaviors are appropriate an which are inappropriate in your classroom and why. Modeling and role playing are two ways that can help the students understand why certain behaviors are appropriate and why others are not. It is also important that the teacher consistently praise and encourage positive behaviors.
Learning Environment – Summary“The purpose of teaching is to help all people succeed, not to brand people as failures.”(Wong p.242, 1998) • In an effective classroom the students are actively engaged in meaningful work. The procedures manage what they do and they are aware of how the class operates. The teacher is moving around the room, also at work, helping, adjusting, answering, guiding, facilitating, smiling, and caring. The teacher is highly organized, students have opportunities in setting up the environment, students understand, respect, and share responsibilities for classroom management. Consistency and routine provide for an inviting, comfortable, successful and effective implementation of instructional strategies. Along with learning expectations and the emotional climate, the physical layout and setup of the classroom support the teacher’s philosophy of learning and teaching. The way the room is organized affects children’s views of themselves and has an impact on their attitudes toward school and learning. Displays of children’s work, space for exploration, learning centers, and a library, create an attractive and pleasant atmosphere. My beliefs about learning and teaching will be evident in the format and content of the classroom as well as the bulletin boards, which are done by and for the students so they can take more pride and responsibility for how the room looks and functions.
Instructional Resources What academic content will you teach?
Instructional Resources • The Kent State University deaf education web site ( www.deafed.net ) provides links to national organizations, national standards, and grade level specific curricular resources. The following academic content areas will have links to national organizations, national standards, and curricular resources: Math, Science, and Deaf Studies. These links will offer beneficial information for teachers as well as parents and students.
Instructional Resources Mathematics
Instructional Resources - Math National Organizations: • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics http://nctm.org Found by: Adrienne Rossi and Catherine Wilson Kent State University 2001 • The Mathematical Association of America http://www.maa.org Found by: Adrienne Rossi and Catherine Wilson Kent State University 2001
Instructional Resources - Math National Organizations: • The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Educationwww.enc.org Found by: Terina Brazek, Amy Chickini, Jayme Ruby, &Janet Wuertzer Kent State University 2001 • National Organizations:American Mathematical Society http://e-math.ams.org/ Found by: Adrienne Rossi and Catherine Wilson Kent State University 2001
Instructional Resources - Math National Standards: • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards http://nctm.org/standards Found by: Adrienne Rossi and Catherine Wilson Kent State University 2001 • National Mathematics Standards Grades K-4 http://www.education-world.com/standards/national/math/k_4.shtml Found by: Adrienne Rossi and Catherine Wilson Kent State University 2001 • The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Educationhttp://www.enc.org/reform/journals/ENC2280/280dtocl.htm Found by: Terina Brazek, Amy Chickini, Jayme Ruby, & Janet Wuertzer Kent State University 2001