A midterm reflection
At the midterm point of this final student teaching field experience, I have been reflecting on the value of what I have learned in this program, and on what I hope to improve. I have had the chance to receive constructive feedback from my cooperating teaching and my university supervisor, and I am adding it to the teaching experience I had coming into this program. This experience, combined with motherhood and life experience, gives me insight into how students learn, and into my own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to effective teaching methods.
I entered this program to become formally certified to teach, and to earn a Masters degree. Prior to this, I had five years’ experience teaching in Catholic schools, as well as the nine years’ experience teaching the Music Together curriculum. I have also directed the middle school musical for six years, a task I undertake less for the logistics of a production and more for the literary and team-building, life lessons students learn through the experience.
I have learned that we all have a lot to learn, a valuable reminder in a field where many veterans become jaded and cynical. I have deepened my relationship with the school and learned much more about the system. I have observed some teachers who are set in their ways and unwilling to adapt and change, and I have observed teachers who are constantly adapting in order to incorporate new technologies or teaching strategies to better their students’ chances to learn. I have gained great respect for the teachers with whom I work every day, and I have goals in mind that will help me emulate their skills and success. (Domain 4)
The two biggest areas in which I hope to improve are questioning techniques and vocal inflection. The one chance I had to watch a filmed lesson I delivered was from a day on which I was ill, a fact that is made clear in my lackluster expression vocally and facially. I usually consider myself an engaging instructor with a natural rapport with kids, but that day it was not falling in to place. I have since recognized this happening in moments here and there, and I know it will improve with comfort and familiarity as I gain more experience teaching this subject at this level. I hope to keep improving my questioning techniques, and to ask students questions that lead them to the learning. My supervisor recently reminded me that “the one doing the work is doing the learning,” a great reminder to lead them there but don’t club students over the head with the answers. (Domain 3)
If I were to identify my strengths at this point, I am comfortable saying that I create a classroom environment in which students feel respected and safe, and engaged in learning, for the most part. This won’t be true of every student every day, but it is the area in which I feel most steady. (Domain 2) Student learning is dependent on their basic needs being met, and on being treated with respect. When students know their thoughts are welcomed and valued, they are willing to take risks and explore ideas out loud. This exploratory atmosphere of questioning and collaborating is one I hope to create in my classroom and maintain for the entire school year.
10/29/2022 08:16:59 am
Quickly garden great at organization window marriage growth. Avoid language player side identify although.
Leave a Reply.
Mrs. Eppenbach will periodically post blogs about what's going on in the classroom. Stay tuned!