Cooking with Kim An Autobiographical Study of My Life EDUC 612
Table of ContentsAppetizers-Myself as a Learner* Key Influences *Multiple Intelligences & Learning Styles *Cultural InfluencesMain Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional *Teaching Belief statement *Teacher Experiences & Classroom Actions *Content Knowledge & Teacher Knowledge & Role in ClassroomDesserts-Myself as a Teacher Researcher * Conclusion Introduction Welcome to my cooking journey! I have a passion for cooking many kinds of food for my family! Naturally, cooking was chosen as my theme for my project. My interest in cooking started as a young child as my mom was a GREAT cook. She gave me the opportunity to explore many kinds of foods and to experiment and make creations of my own. My interest in cooking deepened when I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2000. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which makes you highly allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is found in EVERYTHING! I had a new challenge ahead of me-What do I eat? At the time of my diagnosis, gluten-free items were difficult to find, so I had to learn how to cook in a different way to meet my dietary needs. I have developed and perfected so many delicious and healthy recipes. Most of the time, my family and friends don’t even know they are eating gluten-free! Please join me on a tasty journey of my life!
-Appetizers-Key InfluencesMy MotherPat Kolesar My mother, Pat Kolesar, was a big influence in my life as a learner and an individual. She was a women who only achieved a high school diploma, but had incredible artistic skills that made her a career. She was an internationally known doll and bear artist. She started her career as a sculptor and painter. She made money selling her work to private collectors and studios. She eventually found the love of sculpting dolls and bears. She opened her own store and had a successful business. Her creations interested large doll and bear companies such as The Effanbee Doll Company and Gund. She even sold her collections on QVC. Later in life, my mom discovered the love of writing children’s books. Her books were whimsical and the illustrations captured her artistic talent. They were wonderful! My mom has influenced me by her creativity and drive. She always told me I could be anything I ever wanted to be. Her love for creating things to make children happy really influenced me to become a teacher. I often do creative projects with my students. I also instill the love of writing and creating books with my them as well. I believe in working hard as she did. I decided to get my master’s in my forties and balance my life as a mother, wife, teacher and now a student!
-Appetizers- Key Influences My Favorite Teacher Mr. Barcelo Another big influence in my life is my favorite teacher, Mr. Barcelo. He was my fourth grade teacher in 1980. He was the first male teacher I ever had. He was so much fun! He loved teaching and it showed. I remember how he shared his love for literature and writing with the class. Mr. Barcelo inspired me to become a writer. I was always told before by other teachers that my handwriting was horrible and that no one could read it. Mr. Barcelo help me to develop my handwriting and then inspired me to write. He told me, “Write about things you know.” Well, as a child, I collected troll dolls. I especially loved my troll animal collection. I thought I would write about them. My book, “Can We Find Wringles?” went on to win a Young Author’s Contest at my elementary school. As a reward, I was sent to a Young Author’s Conference to represent my school. I was very excited and felt validated as a writer. I was so proud. My love of writing transfers to the classroom. I love sharing my book and telling my story to my students. They get such a kick out of it. I remind them to write about something they know and love. Those are the best kind of stories! My own children are also inspired by my book. My daughter writes all the time. She is now the age that I was when I wrote my book.
-Appetizers- Key Influences My Family Aaron, Kaleigh and Kameron My greatest influence as a learner and an individual is my family; my husband, Aaron and my children, Kaleigh and Kameron. My family inspires me every day. I was a teacher before I met my husband. After we married, my husband supported my move to new school. He took me to the interview and then eventually helped me move into my classroom. He gave up many delicious meals, I would normally cook him, to let me work late. I felt like I needed to do my best at my new school. Soon after we were married, we wanted to start our family. I decided that my next roll in life was that as a mother. I was a teacher for ten years and now I was going to take time off to become a mother. I took eight years off and gave birth to my son, Kameron, in that time. I felt like I grew as a learner through the eyes of my children. I watched all the developmental milestones in language and learning happen before my eyes. I feel that I am a more empathetic and understanding teacher since becoming a mother. Now that I am back to work and a ASTL student at GMU, my family has been so supportive. They have sacrificed time with me to let me do my assignments. They have given up home cooked meals for “quick” meals. Most of all, they have given me encouragement on those days that I felt like I could do no more. I have become a life long learner!
“Multiple-intelligence theory is centered around the content of learning.” “Learning style revolves specifically around the individualized process of learning” (Silver, Strong, & Perini, 2000, p. 41). -Appetizers- Key Influences Multiple Intelligences & Learning Styles Bodily-Kinesthetic Journal Entry-7/18/13-How I Use M.I. in my Classroom. “I would say that by using M.I.in my classroom that I am recognizing that all students possess all the intelligences but may be gifted in just a few of them. I would like to get to know each of my students’ dominate intelligences. I use different strategies to touch on learning styles that fall within each intelligence. I would challenge students to use some of their “other intelligences” so they can become stronger in those when content is presented in another way.” Musical Image retrieved from-http://www.angelfire.com/tcutrone/Theory2.html
-Appetizers- Myself as a Learner & Individual Multiple Intelligences & Learning Styles Taking the Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles inventories, taught me a lot about myself as a learner. I found out that my dominant intelligences were bodily-kinesthetic and musical. I always thought I was a visual learner. I have always been athletic and love music. I do prefer to move than sit. I seem to remember things better when an action is applied to it. I take step aerobics and I excel at remembering routines with music! I can hear a melody once and replicate it pretty easily. I do love learning through rhymes and chants. After some thought, I guess I do prefer to use those intelligences when learning new content, although I use all my intelligences to take in information. I discovered from the Learning Styles Inventory that my dominant learning style is sensory-thinking. As a sensory thinking learner, I prefer mastery. I like to practice what I have learned. I follow directions one at a time. I would rather be active than passive. I like knowing exactly what to do when given a task. Even as an adult learner, I appreciate immediate feedback and being acknowledged for my thoroughness and detail (Silver, Strong, & Perini,2000, p. 28). I do enjoy teaching in my preferred learning style, but I am aware that I must differentiate my instruction to reach all my learners dominate intelligences and learning style preferences. Gardner suggested that people can develop in each of the eight intelligences to varying degrees (Denig, 2004, p. 107). I feel my classroom instruction is more engaging when activities vary and an array of teaching strategies are utilized.
-Appetizers- Myself as a Learner & Individual My Cultural Influences Kim’s Mixed Culture Salad Kim’s mixed culture salad is a savory blend of Hungarian spices with subtle Irish undertones. The flavors mixed throughout the salad were grown in a small, farming community in Ohio. The salad is unique and to be enjoyed with any main course. Ingredients: • 2 cups Hungarian Upbringing • 2 cups Irish Upbringing • ½ cup Rural Farming Community Directions: My upbringing laid down the foundation of the person I am today. My father is a 1st generation Hungarian from Queens, New York and my mother is 1st generation Irish from Brooklyn, New York. I was born in New Jersey and moved to Jamestown, Ohio when I was 6 years old. We were viewed as outsiders because we had an accent and looked different from the people in town, who have lived there for generations. They looked different and sounded different. They were white and had a different dialect. We had an eastern accent, ate different foods and was of a higher- socio economic background than most. Initially, it was a difficult transition, but kids being kids, we made friends quickly. We learned that the “locals” were hard working, friendly people. The community I grew up in instilled a sense of acceptance, family and hard work in me. Journal Entry-7/9/13-What is culture? Culture is who you are. It is all your experiences. It is how you see yourself in the world. It’s more than food, music, clothing and language. Our culture is the values, beliefs and influences. It is such a hard term to define.
-Appetizers- Myself as a Learner & Individual My Cultural Influences Kim’s Mixed Culture Salad Directions Continued: My parents instilled good work ethics in us as well. I worked hard in school. I was in the National Society and got a scholarship to college. My parents believed college and a good education was very important and how you moved up in life. Many of the kids I went to school with stayed in that town or neighboring communities to work and raise families. I could not wait to leave and make my own path in life. My parents always followed their dreams and did what they wanted or needed to do to be happy. I believe the same. I feel it’s never too late to follow your dreams. You are never too old to pursue your ambitions. As a mother and a teacher, I instill this in the children I have and work with!
When I think about my “Teaching Beliefs,” I remember a poem I was given to me during my student teaching. It says so much! -Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional WHOSE CHILD IS THIS?Author Unknown"Whose child is this?" I asked one daySeeing a little one out at play"Mine", said the parent with a tender smile"Mine to keep a little whileTo bathe his hands and comb his hairTo tell him what he is to wearTo prepare him that he may always be goodAnd each day do the things he should""Whose child is this?" I asked againAs the door opened and someone came in"Mine", said the teacher with the same tender smile"Mine, to keep just for a little whileTo teach him how to be gentle and kindTo train and direct his dear little mindTo help him live by every ruleAnd get the best he can from school""Whose child is this?" I ask once moreJust as the little one entered the door"Ours" said the parent and the teacher as they smiledAnd each took the hand of the little child"Ours to love and train togetherOurs this blessed task forever."
-Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • How Students Learn • I believe all students can learn. • Every child should be given an equal opportunity to learn in a safe, nurturing and caring environment. • High expectations are set for every child and they are encouraged to reach them. • Student’s prior knowledge and experiences are valued in the classroom and used as a springboard for learning. • Students are encouraged to make academic and social goals for themselves and given every opportunity to reach them. • Student achievement is recognized and celebrated. • Students are encouraged to share their ideas and respect the perspectives of others. • Students thrive with choice. When students have choice in what they are learning and how they show their knowledge, they are more committed. • Knowing that they are decision makers and that they are an integral part of everything that happens in the classroom is empowering for students. • Students are valued members of their classroom community and should feel vested in their learning.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • My Instructional Beliefs • I believe that we are all lifetime learners. • I model and foster the love of learning in my classroom. I share the books I am currently reading, excerpts from my writing journal and projects and books I have made and written. I also model my learning by thinking aloud, how I interact with text, and demonstrate inquiry by asking a variety of questions. • I encourage students to investigate their own interests about a topic. Research skills are an essential ability to develop in third grade. When students are provided the opportunity to research a “curiosity” of their own, they tend to enjoy the experience and gain a lot of experience from it. • I relish “teachable moments.” Often students ask interesting questions related to our learning. It is important to take time to answer those questions and even encourage independent study. That is when students are at their peak of engagement.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • More Instructional Beliefs • I understand that students have differences in their learning abilities, backgrounds, culture, motivation and values that may influence their learning. • I differentiate my instruction so that it will meet the social and academic needs of every learner. • I recognize that every student has their own learning style. • I utilize a variety of resources, materials, technology and teaching styles to present my content. • I provide a variety of modalities in which to learn such as cooperative groupings, academic choice, small groups, whole groups and the opportunity to work across classrooms and grade levels. • I implement flexible grouping so children are always working on their level and have the opportunity to work with different students.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • Improving My Practice • I believe my teaching practices are always evolving. • I believe in teaching children in their zone of approximate development. • It is important to gather information about each and every child so I can meet their educational needs. I gather information through anecdotal notes, interest surveys, and formative and summative assessments to inform my instruction. • I do progress monitoring checks so I can keep children’s learning on a continuum. • I learn from my colleagues by observing their teaching practices. I would like to do an inquiry about my practices. I feel it is important to identify a need in my room and investigate it through research and reflection to try to find a practical solution. • I believe learning should be ongoing through my own inquiry and by reading research in professional journals, attending workshops and taking university courses to keep my teaching current and researched based. • “The inquiry classroom is an active one that seeks authentic learning that reflects the needs and understandings of all participants” (Fecho, 2004, p. 50).
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • My Critical Reflection • I believe critical reflection is an important part of becoming an informed teacher. Through reflection, I analyze my teaching practices and how they affect student learning. • Critical thinking in my classroom is often in action (Schon, 1983). I observe how students are responding to my teaching and make adjustments to help them with their understanding. • Critical reflection also happens when the day is over and I have time to think back on my day. This is when I jot down notes in my plan book on student behavior and how my lessons went so I can document what worked and what part of my lesson needs improvement. • I like to reflect on my teaching by putting on different lenses, through the perspective of students, colleagues and theory (Brookfield, 1995). • I feel that seeing the classroom environment through my student’s eyes would make my teaching more effective. Viewing my teaching from a student perspective may help me see what will make my lesson successful or unsuccessful.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teaching Beliefs Statement • My Critical Reflection • I would also invite fellow teachers into my classroom to get their input regarding my own practice. I feel receiving an outside perspective is very effective because sometimes we are too close to the action. • Using a colleague’s input and discussing their observations can help make change. My weekly CLT (Collaborative Learning Team) meetings give me the opportunity to discuss my curriculum instruction and bounce strategy ideas off other grade level team members. • Keeping abreast of current research will aid in my reflection as to see if newer practices have been adopted and supported. • Critical reflection makes me think systematically about my practices and helps me to create and maintain a great community of learners.
-Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teacher Experiences and Classroom Actions . My Teaching Timeline
I began my teaching career back in 1993, when I graduated from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton Florida. In 1994, I found my first teaching job at Poinciana Elementary –Math, Science, & Technology Magnet School in Boynton Beach, Florida. I had a minor in biology and thought this would be the perfect place for me to work. We taught our content through thematic science themes . We had a planetarium, and science and technology labs. I taught third grade. I was team lead for several years and I was on a language arts team and had written the language arts curriculum for the school. We were a text-book free school and had to create all our lessons to fit our curriculum. It was a lot of work! The school was very diverse and built in a low socio-economic area. The cultural influences and wide range of abilities made teaching a challenge. Parent support from the community was few and far between, but the children were amazing! I grew so much as a teacher working there. To this date, it was the most fulfilling teaching job I have ever had! Next, I moved to New York, New York and decided to work in Hoboken, New Jersey at the Hoboken Charter School in 1999. At this school, our charter was in community service. We developed many community service projects that tied into our curriculum. At the school, I wrote the science curriculum for grades K-6. I was a science and math teacher for grades 3-6 during my years there. One of my proudest community projects involved an Invention Convention in which my 5th grade students found a need in the community and made an innovation on a current invention to solve the problem. This project was created out of our simple machines and electricity unit. The children went through the entire invention process to create their invention. They invited the school and the community to their Invention Convention. It was a huge success! -Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teacher Experiences and Classroom Actions
The next teaching position I held was in 2001 at The Travell School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I taught fourth grade at this school. During my time at Travell, I was trained by Columbia University in Writer’s Workshop. We learned the craft of writing. My classroom was a writing lab of sorts. Colleagues and Columbia University students came to observe lessons. I learned so much about the craft of writing that year. In 2003, I left Travell after the birth of my first child to become a “stay at home” mom. During my stay at home, I always kept myself in the teaching loop by tutoring students of many ages. It helped me keep abreast of the current curriculum. After the birth of my second child, we moved to Virginia. Once my youngest child entered kindergarten, I decided it was time to go back to work and college. In the summer of 2011, I found a teaching job at Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia and joined the George Mason University’s ASTL program for my masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a certification as a Reading Specialist. I teach third grade at Willow Springs. We are an AAP and autism center. Our school has always scored well on state tests and has made AYP yearly. With recent boundary changes, our school population has grown and has become more diverse. We are finding that we need to address many different needs such as different languages, cultures , socio-economic levels and abilities. We plan carefully as a team to meet the needs of our diverse learners. Also, at my grade level, I have implement several new language arts programs such as Daily 5 and 6 +1 Writing Traits. I also do most of the language arts planning for my grade. We are a “Responsive Classroom” school, so our social curriculum is as important as our curriculum. Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional My Teacher Experiences and Classroom Actions
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge I have chosen the ASTL Reading Specialist program for my concentration. At the time of my program selection, I was embarking on a teaching career after an eight year hiatus. In the eight years I was off, I had two children. During that time, I continued to work with students by tutoring. Once my youngest child entered kindergarten, I decided it was time to go back to work. I also felt my skill set was out of date. That is when I decided to apply for graduate school at George Mason University and selected the ASTL program. I had 9 years of elementary school teaching in several states under my belt and was excited to learn something new. I have taken seven courses in the Reading Specialist concentration. I feel these content courses have greatly prepared me to pursue a position as a Reading Specialist in a Fairfax County public school. The first course I took was EDRD 630-“Advanced Literacy Foundations and Instruction, Birth to Middle School.” This course provided a research-based foundation in literacy development for younger learners. Our study included investigation of cognitive, socio-cultural, linguistic, developmental and motivational influences on literacy and language development. I learned instructional strategies that will facilitate learning for this age group. I also investigated comprehension development, fluency development, phonemic awareness, word recognition, vocabulary development, writing, spelling, family literacy, emergent literacy, oral communications, and the needs of diverse learners. During this course, I had to apply learning theories to my teaching practices. That research really made me reflect if my practices were research based and supported. I also made a PowerPoint presentation about emergent literacy. I made my audience parents because they are children’s first teachers. The presentation also addressed the needs of diverse learners. I demonstrated the stages of literacy from birth through elementary school. I provided research and practical application for parents at each stage of development. I would use this presentation as a reading specialist at a kindergarten orientation or Back-to-School Night. I felt this class has prepared me for early literacy teaching challenges as most of my teaching experiences have been with third through sixth grade. I also thought I had a lot to bring to the class with my experience as a parent of two young children. I have experienced literacy development from its very beginning through the eyes of my own children.
-Main Courses-Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge The next course I took was EDRD 631-“Advanced Literacy Foundations and Instruction, Adolescence through Adulthood.” This course provided the advanced study of literacy theory, research, and practices as it relates to adolescents and adults. It addressed socio-cultural, cognitive, linguistic, psychological, and developmental influences on literacy, including reading, writing, and oral communication. This course also addressed new and required state and national competencies for K-12 Reading Specialists. This course provided an advanced, research-based study of literacy professional development to prepare me for the Virginia Reading Specialist License. In this course, I was to find an adolescent struggling with reading from my school to work with. I collaborated with his teacher to develop an alternative text set for a unit of study. I then set up tutoring sessions so I could implement research based strategies to meet the needs of the student. This course was very helpful because I used literacy strategies that I could implement immediately in my own classroom. I was able to share the successful strategies I used with this student with his teacher so she could continue to work with him as well as other students in her class that needed additional literacy support in a content area. The third course in my concentration was EDRD 632-“Literacy Assessments & Interventions for Groups.” This course provided literacy assessments and interventions for groups of learners. It included exploration of assessment tools for classrooms and large populations. I had the opportunity to study our School Report Card from the state of Virginia and our school’s School Improvement Plan to discuss “at-risk” groups and testing implications. This class gave me the opportunity to administer whole group formal and informal assessments in which I used to inform my instruction. I learned how to implement and analyze a Word Study inventory. I used DRA scores as well as other benchmark assessments to create a spreadsheet of my student’s reading and writing scores. It gave me an overall picture of my students to identify each student’s strengths and needs to inform my instruction and establish small groups. I also had the opportunity in this course to be a “literacy coach” to a fellow graduate student. We both videotaped ourselves implementing a reading strategy to a group of students based on our needs assessments. We then conferenced each other to discuss strengths and to make suggestions to improve some aspect of the lesson. This opportunity prepared me to reflect about my own teaching practices and also how to be “tactful” in critiquing a fellow teacher. These skills are imperative to be a successful reading specialist.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge The next two courses were EDRD 633 and 637-“Assessment/Intervention for Individuals and Supervised Practicum.” These courses were taken concurrently as the practicum consisted of seminars in which I learned to administer and interpret assessments, followed by a schedule of 20 contact hours with an individual child while being supervised by a faculty member. This course provided literacy assessments and interventions for individuals. It included diagnosis and remediation for learners who find reading and writing difficult. In this course, I learned how to administer a diagnostic literacy tool called the QRI 5. This assessment helped me to identify the strengths and needs of an individual student. I was assigned to a school in Manassas Park and was given a student to work with that was identified as “at-risk” in reading and writing. During the class, I learned about successful intervention, literacy strategies that I could implement with my practicum student or in my own classroom. During the practicum, I used the information I gathered from The QRI 5 to identify my student’s strengths and needs in reading and writing. I also administered an interest inventory to discover what our students enjoy in order to tailor lessons based on a theme that my student would find motivating. I worked with this student for 20 hours. I was required to make parent communication about my student’s weekly progress. That communication came in the form of phone calls and a home-school connection letter that provided strategies the parent could implement at home to support their child’s learning. The child I tutored made gains in both reading and writing. The successful strategies I used were shared with the child’s teacher and parent in a diagnostic report I wrote. I found this practicum and course work very informative. The skills I gained have been utilized in my practice at my school.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge Another course I took in my concentration was EDRD 634-“School-Based Leadership in Literacy.” This course prepared me as a reading specialist and a school leader. I focused on designing and implementing literacy professional development activities. In order to develop professional development activities for the teachers in my school, I performed a literacy needs assessment survey at my school. I made a survey in which teachers could identify strengths and needs within the literacy programs we were using at our school. I then collected and analyzed the results from the survey to plan and implement professional development sessions based on a need expressed by the teachers. Teachers at the third grade level expressed interest in learning a new writing program that used county created rubrics for assessment. I chose do a literature study along with teachers implementing various strategies with their students. We met two days a week for a month. I found the teacher professional development powerful and a great learning experience. It was fun facilitating a professional development opportunity to fellow teachers. The next project was with my ASTL colleagues. We developed a “Diversity Website” aimed to reach parents as well as teachers in our school community. The site was created to describe the pillars literacy and how they can be implemented to meet the needs of diverse learners. The site provided links to other websites that parents could reference for more information or students could use to practice a particular literacy strategy. This project gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my technology skills. It was also placed on our school’s website to be available for teachers and families to access. My Diversity Website: • https://sites.google.com/site/thediversitysiteedrd634/
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge The last course I completed was EDRD 635-“School-Based Inquiry in Literacy.” In this course, I was required to identify a specific area of literacy interest. I course the use of nonfiction strategies in the elementary grades. I had to plan how I was going to research my topic. I then read and analyzed research and literacy studies related to nonfiction book use in the classroom. With the information I gathered, I wrote a coherent literature review. I then wrote an opinion editorial advocating for the importance of parents introducing the use of nonfiction with very young learners to prepare them for the school years ahead. I am working on trying to get my piece published. Finally, I wrote a grant proposal for the Target Early Literacy Grant. I developed a program called “Adventures in Social Studies.” It is a program targeted for third graders that promote nonfiction reading and the use of nonfiction literacy materials at home. Four units were developed to support the social studies curriculum being implemented in Fairfax County Schools. Nonfiction social studies trade books were selected because they are a need at our school. The grant proposal was submitted and I am waiting to hear if it has been selected. This class was wonderful as I have never written a literature review, an op-ed or applied for a grant. This skill set will enable me to be an effective reading specialist in the future.
-Main Courses- Myself as a Teacher & Educational Professional Content & Teacher Knowledge In conclusion, all of the courses I have taken for my ASTL Reading Specialist program have prepared immensely to purse a career as a reading specialist. The courses also enabled me to successfully pass the Virginia State Reading Specialist Certification exam. The courses also have strengthened my teaching in the classroom. I have learned how to use many reading strategies to improve my learner’s reading comprehension. I have also learned about a few writing programs, such as 6+1 writing trait, that I have in turn trained my colleagues to implement with their students. I was trained how to administer several types of assessments to help me form skill based groupings such as a spelling inventory and a literacy assessment called QRI-5. The combination of research, readings and practical application in the classroom have instilled a love of continual learning in my field. I feel I am a teacher who knows how to tackle a challenge, pursue learning goals and grow as a person each day. The ASTL program has helped me become current in the field and a researcher of further knowledge!
-Desserts- Myself as a Teacher as Researcher In the future, I see myself as a reflective teacher. As Farrell(2012) mentions, reflection is very much like a compass because “it enables teachers to stop, look, and discover where they are at that moment and decide where they want to go in the future” (p.7). I would like to think intelligently about my practices and make reflection routine in my day. I feel a systematic reflection will help to change my practices and help me grow professionally. I often reflect while I am teaching, which is supported by Schon’s(1983) reflection in action model. My reflection begins as an “issue” in my room. That is often when I stop and think about what has happened. In this moment, I need to think of why I did what I did and how students reacted. This is the “seed” I need to nurture. Out of my reflections, I may want to ask myself more questions and make observations to answer my questions. Essentially, I would like to develop an inquiry. Teacher research is a tool that can help me continue to learn about myself as a teacher. Pursuing my own questions about my teaching practices can help me better understand researched educational methods and how I can shape my curriculum to meet my learners needs (Falk and Blumenreich, 2005).
What are some similarities and differences between reflection and critical reflection? 7/2/13- Both require one to think about beliefs, actions, practices and outcomes. Critical is different in that you are thinking about the how’s and why’s. How can reflection be used to influence your teaching practice? I can use reflection to inform my instruction and to make better instructional decisions for students. What does reflection mean to you? 6/25/13- It means being honest to yourself about your thoughts and practices. 7/11/13-Reflection is a process of making assumptions, identifying a problem, looking for solutions and going back to think about your assumptions. These should lead to some type of action. Reflection can lead to change or a realization about an idea or belief. What does critical reflective practice mean to you? 6/25/13- Critical means to really break down your refection into smaller parts. What went well/not well and why. How can you make changes in your beliefs or practices? -Desserts-Myself as a Teacher as Researcher Journal Entries that Illustrate How my Definition of “Reflection” as Evolved
-Desserts- Myself as a Teacher as ResearcherMy Research Questions As part of an inquiry, I would like to investigate my struggle with implementing a writing program in my third grade classroom that ties into our FCPS languages arts curriculum and pacing guide . It needs to be conducive to the mandated writing rubrics, but still engaging and student driven. The questions I have about my writing program areas follows: • How can I make student writing meaningful while implementing the FCPS language arts curriculum and writing rubrics? • How can I structure writing conferences into my language arts block so I have the time to meet with each student and monitor their writing progress? • How can I develop a cohesive program that incorporates reading and writing? • What are the best methods for incorporating writing into my Daily 5 block?
Concluding Reflection of My Autobiographical Study Me During my autobiographical journey, I had to really take a close look inside myself and my teaching. This type of reflection was new to me. The last few years of my life have been filled with getting married, having children, moving several times and now working again and going back to college. I have felt overwhelmed to say the least and was just trying to keep my head above water. The last thing I had time to do was think about myself! Through my journey, I looked at my influences on my learning, my learning style and intelligences, and my cultural influences. Then I reflected on myself as a teacher and what my beliefs about teaching were, my classroom experiences and what I learned in my GMU classes that helped me in my classroom. It’s hard to believe how much all theses influences make me who I am and the teacher I have become. Now that I am approaching my third year of teaching, I feel I can be that teacher I really want to be. I want to be a teacher researcher who is constantly learning and trying to improve my practice. I want to reflect about my practices daily and make it part of my planning process. I would like to make reflections that make change. I am excited to implement practices I have learned through my content classes. I enjoy sharing research with my grade level team. I am going to try to implement reflection into at least one CLT meeting a month by asking those questions about our practices in third grade that don’t have a direct answer and that need time to think about. By taking this class, reading the literature, participating in class discussions and creating my autobiographical project, I have deepened my understanding not only reflection, but critical reflection. I realize it value in my practice and intent on practicing it as a teacher researcher!
References • Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming critically reflective: A process of learning and change. Becoming a critically reflective teacher (pp.28-48). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. • Denig, S.J. (2004). Multiple intelligences and learning styles: Two complementary dimensions. Teachers College Record, 106(1), 96-111. • Falk.B., & Blumenreich, M., (2005). The power of questions: A guide to teacher and student research. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. • Farrell, T.S. (2012). Reflecting on reflective practice: (Re)visiting Dewey and Schon. TESOL Journal, 3(1), 7-6. • Fecho, B. (2004). Is this English? Race, language, and culture in the classroom. New York: Teachers College Press. • Schon, D. (1983). Professional knowledge and reflection-in-action. The reflective practitioner (pp.49-69). New York: Basic Books • Silver, H., Strong R., & Perini, M. (2000). So each may learn: Integrating learning styles and multiple intelligences. ASCD: Alexandria, VA.