E1- Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.
This standard for effective teaching practice is a large umbrella that covers myriad requirements for best practice. However, at the core of professionally-informed, growth-centered practice, for me, is reflective collaboration with the whole school, having assumed appropriate leadership responsibilities. I was fortunate to be influenced by many talented educators throughout my three years of service at the school where I performed my internship. During this time I had the opportunity to self-identify as professional educator and a leader. The evidence I am presenting is a letter of recommendation from my mentor school’s Assistant Head.
In this letter she speaks to my active commitment to collaboration within my classroom, grade-band, and the community as a whole. Vislocky (2013) is one of many contemporary educational researchers that draws a strong correlation between effective teacher collaboration and student achievement. When teachers are intentionally listening to one another, sharing ideas, and keeping an open-mind, students receive instruction that is informed by depth and breadth of many minds.
I have engaged in weekly Collaborative Reflective Practice with my mentor teacher and team band. I learned a professional learning structure through this engagement that will inform my ability to collaborate effectively in my future school community. In addition, I have broadened and complimented my internship experience by teaching Roots of Empathy to a second/third grade class this past year. Roots of Empathy is a social/emotional curriculum that has been proven to reduce bullying and grow empathy in classroom community through cultivating a relationship with a baby. I collaborated with administration, the classroom teacher, the baby’s parents, and the Roots of Empathy organization to facilitate this experience.
I am inspired by the emergence of teacher-led schools in the United States. Perhaps I will seek a position in a teacher-led school in the future, or look into starting one myself. Regardless, I have learned from my experience of studying and collaborating to fulfill various leadership roles within my school community that I want to continue in this manner as I transition into my career as a lead teacher.
I have seen students benefit most from instruction that is informed by professionally-informed, growth-centered practice that is grounded in effective collaboration. I want my future students to see a strong teacher who models that it is everyone’s responsibility to self-identify as a leader regardless of personal culture, learning profile, or temperament.
Vislocky, E. (2013, June 3). The importance of collaboration in school and student performance. . Retrieved June 6, 2014, from http://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/the-importance-of-teacher-collaboration-in-school-and-student-performance/