H2- Honor student diversity, development, and their right to learn through student access to content material.
To me, the honoring student access to content material means consistently working on all areas of best practice to insure those students’ dynamic and varied learning needs are met. I designed, taught, and reflected on a 1st grade math lesson sequence as a practice for a Content Methods course over the past quarter. Below, in Figure 1, I provide evidence of the 3rd lesson of this math sequence.
I was able to develop competence in the H2 standard in a comprehensive way by applying the new knowledge of effective instruction that I gained in Content Methods directly to my math instruction. Specifically, my growth as a teacher due to this course was informed by discussions with my cohort mates on 8 elements of effective instruction: prior knowledge; student assets; academic language; scaffolding; alignment; deepening; feedback; student reflection; and teacher reflection. Our community discussion over the past quarter was informed by research-based techniques for providing all of these elements of effective instruction in order to provide students with optimal access to new knowledge. My cohort-mates shared insights from their internship experiences that have been markedly beneficial to my recent growth as a teacher. I have learned the value of deep and broad reflection on one’s own teaching practice alongside a group of compassionate and committed preservice elementary school teachers. My process of reflection is synonymous with Larivee’s model which challenges teachers to consider a myriad of factors that influence children’s success in school, including an intrinsic calling to better the lives of children by offering them a portal into love of knowledge. I have witnessed a 1st grade math class growing in success and enthusiasm since I began informing my instruction with mindful reflection. Having this opportunity to reflect on, and apply my teacher training in such a supported and informed way has reinforced for me how important it is for teachers to consistently gain perspective on their instruction through professional development forums. The implications for student learning when teachers step back and refine their practice through professional development and deep reflection are a shared morale in the classroom community where all students find access to content material. Moving forward, I would like to continue to seek out professional development resources as a way to ensure that I maintain integrity with all elements of best practice. I feel like I have just touched the tip of the iceberg when I consider mastering the art of teaching, and I want to keep a beginner’s mind attitude throughout my teaching career.
Boody, R.M. (2008). Teacher reflection as teacher change, and teacher change as moral response. Educational Vol. 128, No.3, 499-506.