Student Teacher Midpoint Self-Evaluation
Faculty of Education University of Alberta
Student Teacher: Course: (Check one)
[ X ] EDFX 325 – Elementary IPT [ ] EDFX 350 – Secondary IPT [ ] EDFX 425/426 – Elementary APT [ ] EDFX 450 – Secondary APT
University Facilitator: Dorice Swensrude
December 4, 2012 Date
Subject(s) and/or Grade level(s) taught: Grade 6- Language Arts, Math, and Science
School Name: Ecole Fox Run Middle School Mentor Teacher(s): Patti Gette
_____Julie Nielsen__________ Signature of Student Teacher
Description of the School and the Context of Teaching: I am very fortunate to be placed in Fox Run for my first practicum. As a former student of Fox Run, I know the environment and atmosphere fairly well. Every morning I am welcomed by the office administration, EAs, Teachers and Students. I feel very comfortable in the school and supported by all of the staff. I have begun to develop more relationships with other teachers within the school as well as a great relationship with my mentor teacher and university facilitator. The classroom I am teaching in is a unique group of students but I feel that I have now established good relationships with each one of them. My mentor teacher is so supportive and encouraging. I knew I had a great mentor teacher when Patti said “I am not here to watch you drown.” It is a privilege to be learning so much from my mentor teacher, our classroom EA, the students and other staff. The knowledge I will have gained by the time my practicum is done will be extremely helpful for me in future practicums and in my future as a teacher. This experience at Fox Run has been great and I would be honored to come back and teach in such a great school. Preparation, Planning and Organization I enjoy the planning aspect of teaching. Having the ability to be creative and decide how you will teach a unit or a single lesson is great. I did struggle in my first planned lesson, thinking that the students would accomplish more in the class period. I planned a lesson on making a brochure and cover page. I was worried that they would finish too quickly, but I didn’t quite yet understand the rate at which the students in my class learned. Now after planning a few more lessons, I feel I am able to plan a lesson that suits the students. It is interesting to me that I am teaching from the same curriculum which I was taught. I feel comfortable while teaching, as I remember so much from grade six, and I am able to think back to how I was taught something and compare it to how Patti teaches it now. It is nice to see different teaching strategies. In every lesson I make sure I state a clear objective and outcome for a lesson. For example, in my poetry lesson plan I stated that the
students will be able to complete a rough and good copy of a haiku poem, followed by the curriculum outcome. Also for that specific lesson, I created my own worksheet, as I couldn’t find any that I thought suited my lesson. I don’t feel that I am lacking of any resources. Patti is always sharing resources and materials with us. I have stayed organized by starting a plan book. I keep all of the lesson plans I develop, lessons that my partner Cody creates, any resources that I can use in the future, daily and weekly plans, grade six team meeting information and eco club notes. I keep them organized by subject and topic which makes them easy to find and share. Each lesson plan is structured and easy to follow including an introduction, body and assessment method. I try to keep the different learning modalities in mind while planning lessons. For example, using videos or interactive web sites is very helpful in reaching the needs of all learners.
Teaching Skills and Strategies In classes at the college they stress monitoring, checking for understanding, as well as providing clear expectations and instructions to your students. I felt prepared with this responsibility when beginning this practicum. Watching Patti teach her class has put all of the things I have learned into action. She rarely sits in her desk. She is constantly circulating, monitoring and provides the students with clear expectations and always provides the students in advance when things might be changing or if a sub is coming in or when upcoming events are taking place. Patti also reinforces rules and guidelines numerous times throughout the year so the students don’t lose sight of what is expected of them. Learning from Patti is very beneficial so far. When I am planning and teaching my lessons, I feel that I take on her strategies and they work well in this classroom and with classroom management. To ensure that time is well spent during instruction and work time, I have learned to plan my lessons that included an appropriate and reasonable timeline to ensure that the students will benefit from the lesson. During independent practice, with the help of my mentor teacher, my partner and EA, we always circulate to make sure that the students understand what they are supposed to be doing and that they stay on task. Every day I look forward to being in the classroom. I love having the experience of teaching the students. Being well prepared with my planned lessons, I get excited knowing that the students will be learning from me. After teaching a lesson, I am then able to reflect on what works and what doesn’t work, which allows me to revise my lessons. It is rewarding to see that the students have learned something from me. For example, I taught a math lesson on factoring rainbows and later in the week I noticed the students using factoring rainbows to help them list the factors of certain numbers. I also like to allow for a lot of class/group discussion while teaching. I know that kids like to talk, so letting them talk with one another or discuss topics as a class seems to work really well.
Communication I wasn’t worried about communicating as I always try and make sure that I have good communication between myself, mentor teacher, partner and university facilitator. Fox Run is in the same building as Mother Teresa Catholic school, and fortunately our university facilitator is the principle, which makes it easier for her to come over an observe or for Cody and I to go see her. Two other members from my cohort are doing their practicum there. We set up a cohort meeting so Cody and I could share ideas with Samantha and Tessa and vice versa. It was nice to hear what other student teachers were doing. I have also established good relationships with the students. I do find it hard to not be as “buddy-buddy” with them. I know I am not here to be their friend, but having a connection with the students has enabled good relationships. I love talking to them and asking about their lives, and letting them get to know me as well. For example, one specific student needs one on one time after school and I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and walk her to her bus. This time was great because I got to get to know her better and see her in a different light, whereas in the classroom, behavior is an issue. I don’t feel that I have any specific students that I have better relationships with than any other. I feel that I have established well rounded relationships with each one of the students. My relationships with other staff members are positive as well. Being a former student at Fox Run, I know most of the other teachers. This made coming here very easy. Other teachers have also given me permission to observe their classrooms as well. Only in observation week did I observe a grade 8 class. The observation week was so valuable with beginning the relationships that I now have with teachers and students.
Management and Classroom Climate The classroom that I am lucky enough to be doing my practicum has a great classroom climate. The classroom has a SMART board, plenty of posters that will help with learning, and is very organized. Everything we need is in the classroom. I was a bit apprehensive about Classroom management. Because our class is such a diverse group of kids, I wasn’t sure how I would handle things, but I am quite surprised at how well the students behave most of the time. I think that Patti’s classroom rules and guidelines make things so much easier. For example, she has five positions such as 1. Ready to learn, 2. I have a question, 3. Heads down, 4. Pondering and 5. Leaving. We also implemented a color system for the students to self-regulate their behavior such as no talking is green, whispering is blue, talking is yellow, yelling is orange and screaming is red. It seems much more effective to say we are at yellow and we need to be at green. Instead of telling the students to stop talking, just simply stating the color allows the students to change their behavior. I have used the counting down signal to gain the students attention and that works well. Every lesson that I have taught, I feel that I have the majority of the class engaged in the lesson and class discussion. I haven’t had any problems with the students not volunteering to answer my questions or join in on a discussion. One struggle I am finding is getting some of the students to stay focused and get their work done. I am becoming much more confident with my abilities to manage a classroom. Because there are so many students that need more help, it is hard to reach to all of them in every lesson. I try and stick close by some of the students that struggle so I am there to help. Understanding Students’ Needs I am so very thankful for observation week and having the opportunity to get to know the students a bit before going in a teaching them. In our class we have an autistic student, an ADHD student, ODD, ADHD and attention seeking student, and a DiGeorge syndrome student. Fifteen out of the twenty-eight students are on IPPs or have been tested. I am learning more and more about them and their needs every day. I am still learning more about the rest of the class as well and how they learn. When students ask for help, I try to let them figure most of the answer themselves. For example, when a student asks me how to spell something, I want them to be able to figure it out by sounding out the word and then using the “Franklin” spell checker to see if they got the spelling correct and if not, what they did wrong. Also in math I try to get the students to underline numbers in written questions so they know what they are working with. I feel better if I can give them the confidence to try and figure things out with what they already know. I am discovering my strength in knowing how each student learns and what subjects they like and dislike. This is becoming helpful to me when I plan my lessons.
Professional Qualities and Attributes I feel that I am professional, organized, and always willing to learn. I am here to learn as much as I can so I will be able to become the best teacher I can be. I am on time in the morning and eager to teach my lessons and spend the day in the classroom. I have also sat sit in on the renaissance
meetings, grade six team meetings, and meetings with the behavior specialists, and found this to be extremely informative, as there is so much more to teaching. My plan book is very organized and is becoming filled with many resources and plans that I will be able to use in future. I have been doing daily reflections, but I feel that I seem to be lacking in doing them as the weeks go on. If there is something that I need to reflect on, such as misbehavior and how it was handled, I will reflect. Most of the day I jot down a few notes, pointers, and new resources. I do like to look back on my lesson plans and how the taught lesson turns out. I donâ€™t usually write much about myself, it is more of an internalized self-evaluation. Again, I feel that I have established good relationships with the students in my class and I am very comfortable working with all of them. As of now, I have thoroughly enjoyed being at Fox Run, and will be sad to leave. Reflection and Self-Evaluation My reflections happen throughout the day. I feel that my reflections have helped in my development of my teaching identity. I am able to jot down what I think is going to benefit me, or a situation that I have learned something new. I find this to be beneficial because I am able to look back and see how my reflections have changed from observation week until now, and see what where I have grown. Evaluations between my mentor teacher, partner Cody, and university facilitator have been done orally, but I usually write down comments and suggestions that I am given. My confidence seems to build up more and more after each lesson as I have been given great feedback and comments. Mentor Teacher Comments