What do I have to offer?
Creativity: It is important to me to vary my
teaching approach and to teach for each
student’s needs. This no doubt takes a lot of
Caring: It is important to me to be a caring and
positive influence on my student’s lives. I hope
to be an advocate for my students and their
Patience: I understand that all students have
different needs and learning styles. I will need
patience to get to know my students well.
Organized: I will no doubt have an orderly
classroom with consistent procedures and
routines. I think that having an organized
classroom will help students feel more stable
and comfortable. Photos from:
“Teachers who thrive…
integrate their care for
students as people with
their efforts to enrich
(Powell, 2011, p87).”
What am I willing to do?
I believe that every student has the potential and
the ability to learn difficult skills.
I will be available as a resource for students. I
will be easily accessible by phone, email, and in
my classroom. I will be sure my students know
that I am happy to provide extra help, answer
questions, give advice, or lend an ear to listen.
I will encourage students to follow their
individual interests, and I will provide a
supportive environment for them to succeed.
I will stay updated on the most recent teaching
practices. Personal and professional
development is very important to me.
I would like to create a
community of learners
in my classroom:
A community of
learners is “a place
where close, trusting
relationships with adults
and peers create a
climate for personal
growth and intellectual
Points, 1989, p.37).”
Photos from: nnym.com
What am I unwilling to do?
I am unwilling to lower my expectations for any
of my students. I will not sit back and watch any
of my students fail. I hope to provide them with
the encouragement and tools they need to
I am unwilling to ignore bullying.
I am unwilling to “teach to the test.” Students
need to learn more than just academics in
school. Character development should be an
ongoing lesson in my classroom, and I should
consistently model exemplary character.
I am unwilling to become complacent and stop
learning. Professional and personal
development is an important part of becoming a
“Our mission is to meet
students where they are
in terms of ability and
effort and then find
ways to design/choose
assessments to move
(Powell, 2011, p.69).”
What are my motives?
Every student has the right to an excellent
education, and not every student receives the
education they deserve. This motivates me to
be a better teacher to benefit all of my students.
I want every student in my class and in the
school to feel welcome. For some
students, school is the only positive and safe
place in their lives. This motivates me to be
more sensitive to student’s challenges outside
My goal is to help students discover their own
individual interests. This is especially important
to middle school students, since they have more
choices of elective classes and after-school
activities. Helping students explore their
interests can also help them socially, as they will
be able to find groups of other students that
share their interests.
simple fact that we
actually like them
makes a difference to
(Powell, 2011, p.92).”
+Do I believe in the
statements included in This
An essential attribute of
effective education for
young adolescents is:
“advocating for and
student’s right to learn
opportunities for every
Yes, the statements in This We Believe are vital to
the effectiveness of middle level education.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: It is
importantfor teachers to know the unique aspects of
teaching young adolescents. Curriculum should be
challenging and teachers should use multiple
teaching approaches and multiple approaches to
assessment. Student should be empowered with
the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in
Leadership and organization: Educators and
leaders value collaboration in an organizational
structure that fosters purposeful learning. Everyone
in the educational system should be held to high
Culture and Community: It is important that
students feel safe in their school environment, and
that they are guided by an adult advocate.
Photos from: amle.org
Why do I want to become a
middle school teacher?
I am hoping to teach art in a Chicago Public
Elementary School, many of which are K-8.
With such a wide range of ages, it is important to
me to understand the developmental differences
of each group. Middle school students are able
to use more advanced artistic techniques than
the younger students. They are also at the
perfect age to study art history more in-depth. At
this age, the students will have a more clear
opinion on art class: some students will feel a
strong connection with art, some will think it is
“pointless,” and some will see it as a fun way to
take a break from the focus on
math, English, and science. I hope to convince
all students of the importance of art class, while
encouraging those who feel a strong connection
to art to study it more in-depth.
“86% of teachers
believe that only those
with a “true sense of
calling” should pursue
the profession of
(Powell, 2011, p.83).”
What is my learning and
•ISTJ: Introvert, Sensing, Thinking and Judging
Logical, sequential, symbolic, linear thinker
•My predominant learning modality is VISUAL. I
prefer using pictures, colors, and maps to
organize information. I value to-do
lists, charts, and graphs. KINETHETIC is my
second most dominant learning modality.
•I have not yet determined my teaching
style, since I do not have formal teaching
I imagine that my
teaching style will be
“Facilitator,” which is
m and infed.org
“These teachers tend to
focus on activities and
place much more
responsibility on the
students. Teachers typically
design group activities
which necessitate active
collaboration, and problem
solving (University of South
How do I know that I will be a
collaborative and innovative
I am able to listen to other’s opinions, which is a
part of Habit 5 inThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective
Teams: seek first to understand then to be
understood. Empathic listening, or trying to get
inside the other person’s frame of reference, is
very important to truly listening to someone.
Goal setting is very important to me as a future
educator. Goal setting is part of Habits 2 and 3
in the article: Begin with the end in mind and Put
first things first. In order to set a goal, it needs to
be attainable and it needs to work towards the
I am constantly searching for ways that things
can be improved and that quality will no doubt
carry over to my teaching career. I am not one
to just stick to the status-quo if it is not working
“Beginning with an end
in mind means painting
a clear picture of where
you are going in
life, what you want to
becomes a true reality
and practice when the
team moves to actively
looking for ways to
make things happen by
thinking outside the box
How will I create a safe
learning environment for my
I will never ignore bullying. I will learn what
bullying looks like and I will stay aware of my
I will consistently teach civility and respect.
I will be sure my students get educated on the
dangers of drugs and alcohol, and that they
receive appropriate sex education.
I hope to provide more than a safe environment
for my students. I hope to provide an
inviting, comfortable, and welcoming classroom.
“This is a safe zone. I
am understanding, non-
judgmental, and willing
to provide an
assistance for members
of the LGBT community
Photos from: dare.org
I love this quote from
think these qualities
should apply to
everyone, not just the
How will I model inclusive
practices for all
cultures, genders, and
Each student should have the same educational
opportunities and high expectations. As a
teacher, I will celebrate differences.
I will make sure the materials in my classroom
reflect a wide variety of contributions and
perspectives (Powell, 2011, p.63).
I will acknowledge gender differences, but will
not show bias towards one gender. I will be
aware of how I interact with students with regard
I will keep socioeconomic levels of my students
in mind, but will not lower my expectations for
“Being purposeful in the
selection of methods
and materials will send
messages to boys and
girls that they are
indeed different from
one another, but equally
important, and equally
cared for in our schools
(Kommer, 2006, p.49).”
“A safe, secure learning
environment is a place
where teachers are aware
of their students’
race, ethnicity, religion, soci
oeconomic status, first
challenges, and other
How will I keep current with
outside influences of media
and popular culture that
affects my students?
I will discuss media and popular culture with my
students directly to keep up-to-date on new
trends. This can be done through class
discussions or one-on-one interactions.
I will use websites like Media Smarts to teach
digital literacy to my students.
Using my knowledge of current media and
popular culture, I will help my students reflect on
how these things effect their lives.
I will use technology in my classroom to keep
“Media Smarts’ vision is
that children and youth
have the critical thinking
skills to engage with
media as active and
informed digital citizens
(Media Smarts, 2013).”
+How will I communicate with
parents and guardians
I will stay updated on grading student work, and
I will use an internet grading system so parents
can keep up with their student’s academics.
I will send home a parent newsletter twice a
quarter to keep parents updated on the
happenings in my classroom.
I will create a classroom website that I will
update at least every two weeks with important
internet links and information for parents.
I will make my contact information readily
available and will make myself available for
I will help parents understand the complexities of
middle school (class changes, course
choice, etc) more clearly.
“Getting to know the
adults with whom our
students live is more
difficult in middle school
Media Smarts. (2013). Our mission and beliefs. Retrieved from
Powell, S. D. (2011). Introduction to middle school. (2nd ed.).
Boston, MA: Pearson.
National Middle School Association. (2010). This we believe.
Keys to Educating Young Adolescents,
Branham, L. (1997). The seven habits of highly effective teams.
Middle School Journal, 28(5),
Kommer, D. (2006). Considerations for gender-friendly
classrooms. Middle School Journal, 32(2), 49.
Jackson, A. W., & Davis, G. A. (2000). Turning points 2000. New
York: Teachers College Press.
Dyck, B. A. (2006). Becoming a multicultural educator. Middle