STANDARD D: PROMOTES EQUITY
As stated in my Philosophy of Teaching and Learning Statement, I wish to promote equal opportunity for all of my students. I was fortunate enough to be in the classroom since September. This allowed me to really get to know my students, their personalities, home-life, culture, and learning pace. I believe I set high expectations for all my students regardless of race, gender, class, learning styles, etc. I strongly encouraged all students to believe that effort is the key to success (Indicator 1). I did this by only allowing students to hand in their best work. Many times, I handed back assignments to students if I knew I could get more out of them. Sample 1 shows a photocopy of a side-by-side comparison of a student’s work. This sample clearly reveals the difference in effort put forth by this student after completing the assignment a second time. I practice this technique often as it encourages students to try their hardest the first time they do something. It was proved to be effective as this student clearly saw the difference in her work once she completed the second drawing. She physically saw what she was capable of when the drawings were compared. Effort is an essential quality to instill and I believe only accepting students best work can help foster this quality and promote achievement (Indicator 2).
Along with promoting achievement, I assessed the significance of student differences (Indicator 3) and altered instruction accordingly. I provided many accommodations for students who were below level in reading. For example, I sat and read a math test to a student so that he had full access to the math content. Because I was assessing math skills, it was important that I read the word problems to him so that he was able to achieve a better score. I have also created behavior charts for many of my students who needed assistance through out the day. Sample 2 is an example of a chart I created for a student who had trouble completing morning tasks. Each morning, I gave this student thumbs up, thumbs in the middle, or thumbs down based on his ability to complete the required tasks individually. The folder was sent home each night for the parents to initial. This chart actively promoted expected behavior. The simplicity of this cart made it easy for me to manage and I was able to follow through with it everyday. This consistency had a positive effect on the child’s behavior.
My approach to educating includes teaching students that they are members of a community and shaping them into responsible citizens. Instilling responsibility is vital in school and in life. I emphasized this in many areas of the classroom to help students understand American civic culture (Indicator 4). One way that I taught students to be responsible was by assigning each student a classroom job (see sample 3). Each week, students were appointed a specific task, such as line leader, paper passer, materials manager, etc. Students were held accountable for completing their duties. These jobs helped students understand that they play a significant role in their classroom. One of the jobs is “flag flyer” (see sample 4). This student is responsible for waving the flag each morning while students sing “Grand Old Flag.” This job specifically promotes American culture and fosters a sense of pride for their country.
Each of the referenced samples of work above represent my best practice. I clearly set high expectations for all students regardless of differences physically, emotionally, and academically. My examples indicate that I provide equal opportunity. All of these examples promote equity and encourage students to be responsible members of a community.