Monthly Archives: March 2017

Internship Reflection 1: Expectations

1 Expectations: The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.  Establishing high expectations for student learning means creating a structured environment and limiting distractions and interruptions.   This is a key element of successful classroom management and allows teachers to make the most out of their time with their students.  Students will stay on task when expectations are understood and can spend more time on learning instead of needing to be redirected.

I decided I needed to clearly communicate expectations during my lesson Measurement of Time.  The lesson included multiple activities and transitions so I wanted to make sure they went as smooth as possible to maximize their learning.  I demonstrated emerging competence on Standard 1 by going over what I wanted students to do before letting them transition to the next task.  For example, before the students went from teacher instruction on the carpet to independent work at their tables, I told students I expected them to be silently working through their workbooks.  If they had a question or wanted to share ideas with a peer, that would be okay but only if it was math related.  I noticed in a previous lesson that students were having off topic conversations at the table so wanted to make sure they understood my expectations during math time.

I learned through this experience that setting expectations improves performance from students.  They worked well during their independent work with few interruptions.  During another activity using white boards, I instructed students to only use the white boards for math, not decorations or drawing.  Although these expectations were set up, not all students followed them and I missed some opportunities for addressing these concerns.  Next steps to increase effectiveness with expectations would be to follow up with certain behaviors and hold students accountable.  This is another key aspect of creating a structured environment where students should be reminded if they are not following directions.  I will continue to communicate high expectations for student learning before beginning a new task and follow up with students who need it.

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EDSP 6644 Reflection – Peer Review Assignment

The Peer Review Assignment for EDSP 6644 Educating Exceptional Students helped me become a better educator because it allowed me to research what current educators are working on to improve special education services.  I was able to look at a variety of sources, which will be helpful whenever I have a question, or need to research a topic that comes up during my actual teaching in the future.  My topic was co-teaching, which includes important aspects of teacher collaboration.  It was great to see what this model looks like in reality and the benefits and challenges it can bring.  This will help better prepare me when I am involved in similar teaching approaches.

Co-teaching is an effective model but one that requires patience and flexibility.  It is important to interact with faculty throughout the school to get different perspectives and opinions that are different from your own.  Co-teaching is not a teaching method where teachers should operate independently from one another.  Having time to debrief, reflect, and plan is crucial for a successful and positive system.  Learning from one another’s methods helps faculty grow as educators and provide best supports for students that need it.

The articles I researched also discussed the importance of professional development and training when adopting the co-teaching model.  In order for this model to be effective, teachers need opportunities to learn methods and skills that have positive effects when collaborating.  The program should be one that is meaningful and worth a teacher’s time.  Educators have many responsibilities and need to be efficient with their duties throughout the day, including a new approach such as co teaching.

The peer review assignment allowed me to analyze and synthesize documents about a topic to learn more about different approaches to special education.  I now have a broader view of special education and particular teaching strategies.  I will take these concepts with me as I work in the schools and develop different approaches for helping students succeed.