My understandings and growth as a teacher of Reading
My future plans as both
Who am I? I am a 6 th grade Language Arts & Science Teacher. I see my roles as being a student, teacher, a wife, and a mother. I would say that many times these roles overlap, and I sometimes don’t know how to do them very well. Yet I enjoy them. However I felt I needed to improve the best I could. I wanted more. So, I began the READ program for the sole purpose of learning to teach students I was unprepared to teach; however, I learned and understand so much more about education, leadership, literacy and practice that I ever realized I would. Now I can add Researcher, Leader, and Practitioner to my list of roles.
My Work and Growth as a Master Reading Student Development of a Researcher, a Leader, and a Practitioner Highlighted through the following courses: READ 6406 READ 6421 SPED 6002 EDUC 6480 ELEM 6550 EDUC 6001
BECOMING A RESEARCHER: Research: EDUC 6480 was one of my first courses as a READ Student, along with READ 6418. I developed vocabulary, insights, and analytical skills throughout the journey. These courses prepared for my next steps in READ 6406: It was in this class I felt an actual member of the field of educational research. Therefore, as my exemplification in the competencies of RESEARCHER, I chose my research for the LITERATURE REVIEW AND PROPOSAL. Why I chose this task: The number one goal that I want for my students is that students apply what they have learned. They go beyond basic understanding to true knowledge. The Literature Review and Proposal shows my own meeting of that goal. It exemplifies my critical reading of reading education literature and the investigation of action research. Competency Goal C: Research Uses research to examine and improve reading instruction effectiveness and student achievement.
Research Leads to Expanded Content Knowledge As I researched and planned for my own investigation into literacy education, I not only became more apt in research but in the realm of literacy education. The domino effect of this project allowed me to demonstrate not only my understanding of research but also my understanding of current practices, theories, and trends. D. Content Knowledge Demonstrates advanced depth and breadth of knowledge and skills in reading education. Research Leads to Expanded Instructional Expertise
Being an expert is difficult. I still have room to grow; yet, through this research process I explored many practices and implemented procedures to improve student learning.
The theoretical base
The design of instruction
Linkage of subject matter
A. Instructional Expertise
Demonstrates instructional expertise in reading by applying the theoretical, philosophical, and research bases for education practice in P-12 settings to improve student learning.
BECOMING A LEADER: As a young student I received the “leadership qualities” comment on report cards until I became the Student Council guru in High School; yet, leading in a field where you have little expertise is difficult. My basis in Research and in Leadership courses gave me the confidence to try to be a Literacy Leader in my School I felt qualified to share research and opinions with colleagues and serve in a capacity to teach both my students and other teachers. Therefore, as my exemplification in the competencies of LEADERSHIP, I chose my completion of the HOME SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP PROJECT. Why I chose this task: This assignment led to me to become an authority on a specific topic: the communication and importance of a home-school connection, and to then be a presenter on this topic. The most memorable experience from this assignment is that I thought I had failed.
Disequilibrium & Piaget’s Theory of Learning My assumed failure as a leader in literacy actually caused more development as a leader than I first thought. I understood how to be a better letter when I was not at first accepted as one. By completing the Home School Partnership Project I learned to evaluate leadership and its place in the school. Goals E1: initiates professional inquiry in reading education through reading, dialogue, reflection, professional development, and action research; LINKS TO ELEM 6550 “ Good teachers are born with the ability to lead. Sometimes it takes the person finding the leadership niche; however, innately, we all can do it. Some are more comfortable leading their students to success and are exceptional at it; while others find balance in teacher and helping to make decisions for their schools. I respect those teachers that serve above their school level because of the simple dedication required to do this. All teachers are leaders in some form or fashion: it simply depends on where our underlying talents direct us to lead.”
Reframing the Path to School Leadership by Bolman and Deal
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D
Goal E: engages in continued professional development and provides leadership in reading instruction at the classroom, school, and community levels and within the profession.
By far the most difficult and challenging task for me. Why?
Increased knowledge in instructional trends
Change is painstaking for one, enduring for a group
Change in isolation
Strive for perfection
Since this was my most challenging yet productive transition I chose to exemplify my journey through the WORDS THEIR WAY TEACHING ASSIGNMENT.
Why I chose this task: This assignment wasn’t perfect. This assignment allowed me more insight into myself as a teacher and a learner. This assignment was one I rebelled against, struggled with, yet valued in the end. This assignment stretched my knowledge of learners and my approach to teaching strategy in a literacy classroom. I came in the with the question of how to reach my students and through this assignment I found my answer. Goal B: Knowledge of Learners incorporates knowledge of the nature of the learner, learning processes, variations in learning abilities and learning styles, and strategies for evaluating into the planning, delivery, and evaluation of reading instruction.
WORDS THEIR WAY, EDUC 6001, & SPED 6002 The connection between the strategies and principles of Words Their Way by Bear, Invernezzi, Templeton, and Johnston and the ideas behind the education of students with special needs and meeting diversity is quite a perfect match. Both allow for students to receive the assessments that drive instruction and instruction that fits their needs, respectfully I now have first hand knowledge of this pairing. My Reflection “ Going into these lessons, I looked at the tasks as spelling. I wasn’t open minded about the possibilities the lessons had, and I honestly dreaded having to take the time to teach the lessons. I didn’t see their place in a middle school classroom or with my school’s goal of increasing Reading EOG scores. However, by the end of the lessons, I did have a different opinion about word sorts and their place in the classroom.”
My Work and Growth as a Master Reading Teacher When the student is ready, the master appears. ~Buddhist Proverb
A Metamorphosis In Progress Throughout the courses I have taken in the READ program, I have grown in the three main areas of Literacy Education. All of these areas affect my day to day duties in the classroom. My courses have changed the way I view many things: Instruction and its organization Testing Diversity Assessment and its place Teaching leadership and reaction to change The power of “the connection to reading” While I am now much more confident in my own knowledge and leadership capabilities, I am working on the transformation in the classroom. As I have read about leaving “tracks of learning” in Strategies that Work by Harvey and Goudvis, I am slowly starting to lay the tracks for my students and colleagues to follow me. In time, I will transform my classroom, but I keep telling myself that the baby tracks I’m making do count.
My Future Plans for Professional Growth I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~Eartha Kitt
A joy that I have found while completing all my courses is seeking out and reading educational literature. I plan to continue seeking, reading, and researching new trends to help my students.
Sharing with others brings me a sense of ownership to the ideas I learn. I plan to continue doing so on various levels in my district and community.
The desire for change in classroom instruction will guide my decision making and instructional practices.
My Goals and Aspirations Ultimately… I would love to develop into someone that serves in a literacy leadership capacity; whether it be a specialist or a curriculum developer. Wherever that path may lead me I’d still want contact with students and the opportunity to see the joy of learning when they finally understand something they couldn’t understand before. The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~John Lubbock
References Bear, D. R., Invernezzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2007). Words Their Way (Fourth Edition). Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall. Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership . Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press (2nd ed.). -Harvey, S. and Goudvis, A. (2007). Strategies That Work (Second Edition) . York, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers. Johnson, Spencer. (1998). Who moved my cheese? . Penguin Putnam. Piaget's Theory of Child Development http://www.simplypsychology.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/piaget.html Quotations about Learning http://www.quotegarden.com/learning.html Link to E-Portfolio Contents http://moodle.aos.ecu.edu/mod/assignment/view.php?id=14465