Thursday, December 11, 2008

Personal Reflection

Throughout the past months I have been had the opportunity to provide extra help to students in need for educational psychology. There has been a great deal of progress throughout the months that I had spent doing this. I was able to work with students and also work on the effectiveness of my teaching in a more formal setting. This experience was very important to me because I felt that through helping the students I was able to further my own experience as a teacher. Through the prior experiences I have had working with people and learning the skills of becoming an effective teacher this was the perfect opportunity for me to put some of what I had learned to action and see how responsive my students were and how effective my teaching skills were to their knoweledge as well as their abilities to learn. Below is an excerpt from a student who had written a short essay about teacher quality and their feelings on how the quality of a teacher plays a role in student learning.

Teacher quality is important for the success of a child's educational career. Teacher's qualifications both on a personal level and educational level essentially provide a quality learning enviornment. There are many teachers who are prepared to fufil the demands of the occupation, others are not properly equipt for teaching.I feel that the teacher education curriculum should be the same from state to state. There is a significant difference between the requirements for a teaching certificate in each state. I feel that the certifications should be universal.Therefore, teaching content will stay consistant.In order for the nation to regulate the quality of teachers the interview process I feel should change. I as a student staff member of residental services went through a training program that helped me develop. This kind of program included various real life simulations of what teachers may face during their time in the classroom. It really shows how the teachers can apply their knowledge in the classroom.

After sitting and helping this student understand some of the concepts about teacher quality and how important it really is to the over all understanding and comfortability of a professional relationship between teachers and students the student re-wrote the essay and I feel that it was a much more informed opinion and had better justification with more knoweledge and information provided throughout the response. Below is the re-written essay.

Teacher quality is the most primitive issues in the educational system of today. There are many components that contribute to this issue but three main areas that enhance teacher quality. Scientific-based Research, Collaboration, and Reflective Teaching are successful tools that a teacher can use. Scientific Research has very recently become very important in the teaching profession. Methods in which teachers teach must be effective. In order to find out if these methods are valid and reliable, research must be done on their effectiveness in the classroom. The Department of Education addressed that there has not been a major improvement in math and reading scores across the nation. This caused them to question if the teachers educational methods are effective. In order to keep tabs on teachers and their effectiveness of teaching they implemented the No Child left behind policy. This policy forces teachers to use a more science based approach. Teachers must use an evidence-based method and show the validity of it in order for it to be supported by the Department of Education. This allows for standards to be set for teachers so that there is consistency in teaching methods.Consistency allows for a better learning environment for both teachers and students. Along with consistency collaborative teaching is a method used by teachers allows for a more educationally sound school experience. Collaborative teaching is the meshing of teachers in order to cater to each child’s needs. Teachers are trained for specialized subjects and disciplines. This interdisciplinary teaching methodology helps teachers use their specialized skills effectively. Using other professionals that are experts in a certain area can help the growth of the student in all subject areas. Collaboration can also help the teachers themselves grow in knowledge of other branches of learning.The growth and development of teachers also requires the use of Reflective Teaching. It is important for a teacher to evaluate their own work and its effectiveness. Improvement is what teachers strive for. In order for improvement to occur teachers must look back on their successes and downfalls of their instruction. The teachers ability to criticize their own teaching, allows for creativity, and decision making which can assist them in their quest to being an effective teacher.The culmination of Scientific-based research, Collaboration among teachers, and a Reflective teaching style are ways in which an effective teacher can be generated. Great strides are being made to steer teachers towards these using these tools. These schemes can be critical in improving teacher quality throughout the nation.

It brings me a great deal of gratification and satisfaction knowing that I made a difference in a students understanding of a very important topic based on the knoweledge that I had and the way I was able to relay that information to the student based on the techniques that I had learned in the past few months. I can only imagine and strive for more improvement in my teaching skills as time passes and my learning of teaching skills and techniques progresses.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Witness the Progress!

Finally as we were approaching the conclusion of our wrestling unit, I encorporated a lot of modified games into class, inorder to be successful in these types of games you had to use the wrestling techniques that were taught throughout the unit. This particular game was called mat chess where 2 teams are made and each team selects a king. Much like chess the main objective of the game is to eliminate as many players until you get to the king and then eliminate the king. You eliminate or get eliminated by scoring a takedown or getting taken down by someone else using any of the wrestling techniques that were taught throughout the unit.
As we progressed into the wrestling unit we made the transition from offense to defense. This is a picture of me demonstrating what is called a defensive "sprawl" I compared this to a donkey kick. My cues of action were to kick your legs back and bring your hands down in place to where your feet were.

Here we are during the beginning of our wrestling unit. Where I am explaining and demonstrating the proper technique for an offensive stance in wrestling. This being a timed lesson I knew that I had to cover certain aspects and did my best to accomplish that. The cues inwhich I used to help my students understand this easily were to keep your knees bent, and your hands up.

Climbing the Mountain

It was rather recent when we were asked to teach yet again in class, I taught wrestling. Which to me was not difficult at all because it is an area that I am very familiar with being that I have been wrestling since the 4th grade. (If I didnt know how to teach it after that long of being involved with the sport there would be a problem!) Anyway. I felt very confident with my lesson plan and the selected techniques that I used for my lessons. One thing that I was very suprised about and did not expect to happen was the first minute or so of my first lesson. My plan was to explain a basic stance to the class and have them find their own stances and move around in their stances to understand the concept of always being on the defense. What suprised me was that the students imitated what I was demonstrating without being told to do so. I felt that It was wonderful communication between myself as the teacher and the students taking an interest in what was going on and what I was doing that they wanted to try it themselves and see where the rest of the lesson was headed. Thinking about the first time I had taught in class only a few months ago compared to now, I have made some major progress. I am very pleased with the way I have improved in my teaching areas. I am now able to realize when I did something wrong and how to correct it to make my over all teaching more effective.

Monday, December 1, 2008