Conversation with my students is vital in presenting lessons (Communicating and Technology). An awareness of my students’ prior-knowledge about the subject matter will inform me on decisions about what they need to learn. (Teaching Strategies & Techniques) I believe much learning is the ability to retain basic facts such as number recognition, addition facts, letter-sound recognition, digraphs, inflectional endings and high-frequency words. But when presenting the curriculum, I not only present it as facts to be memorized, I also develop hands-on-projects, centers, and games which help the students learn application, and develop purpose to what they are learning. The centers allow for opportunities that promote the development of critical thinking, and problem solving.
In order to improve my students learning it is essential to assess my students through a variety of measures (Assessment). Observation is one form of evaluation that takes place daily in my class. By observing my students, it allows for instant evaluation and adjustment that may be needed. My students are also assessed through weekly formal assessments to evaluate what they learned. After evaluation of the assessments it provides me with knowledge of what strategies need to be adjusted in my teaching for the next week.
In each class the ability level varies and with inclusion there is an even stronger necessity to augment my instruction with strategies that stimulate learning on all levels. Instruction is presented in a variety of ways which include peer tutoring and individual, small and whole groups (Educational Environment). Through the use of varied instruction it allows my student to draw on their own knowledge. It also builds a sense of community allowing students' to express their interests, and abilities. The increasing number of students from other countries is also an asset in the classroom. It allows for diverse perspectives from different cultures.
To the best of my ability I strive to take each student from his beginning level and encourage and motivate him to develop to his greatest potential. This is often very hard because so many students come to school with the desire to learn as a low priority. By providing opportunities for parents to participate in their child's education, often leads to a change in the students desire to learn. I firmly believe learning can and does take place when parents are involved, the classroom environment is positive, and the teacher is well prepared, organized, and knowledgeable.
As an effective educator I must stay on top of the latest educational theory and research (Professionalism) in order to develop learning experiences that are appropriate for my grade level and my curriculum goals based on Local, State and National Standards. In order to meet these criteria I attend workshops, read journals, develop in-depth lesson plans, and meet with other teachers to learn and stay up-to-date. I make sure that there is a large variety of learning tools available for my students.
As a teacher I not only impart information. I am a mentor, example, friend (not buddy), and oftentimes the only positive adult in a child's day. These standards have not and should not change even though other strategies and theories will disappear or be revised.