Master of Science
Additional Duties Include
ED Leadership Field Experience Highlights to date
Students, not only Subjects
Education is about teaching students, not subjects. Education is about learning by doing. Each and every child has the potential to bring something unique to the world and every child, regardless of social, economic and political factors can learn provided they are engaged with the right opportunities and environment. I am committed to helping students actualize the many things of which they are capable. Education is about the ability to look beyond the intellect in order to see the whole child. In my classroom, students learn to think for themselves and discover who they are and where there place is in this ever-changing, globalized world. I have a vision of a world where people learn to respect, accept, and embrace the differences between us as the core of what makes life so fascinating.
Authenticity, not only Assessment
Assessment can tell us where a child falls on a learning spectrum, no doubt. Attempting to control student learning and assessment, however, within the confines of a specific space, time and method is ineffectual. One only needs to consider that equality and standardization among students severely limits their potential in a multitude of areas. Integrated, thematic units, project-based learning, constructivism and collaborative work that foster curiosity amongst students are evident in my classroom. In order to accommodate for this, there are a variety of assessments and instructional styles utilized, knowing that not all good students are good at all things. Curriculum and assessment in our classroom is authentic in nature in that it involves individual student interest and makes learning relevant to real life. Students not only learn whom their congressional representatives are, they write letters to them to take their own personal stand on socio-political issues.
Technology, not only Tools
Technology is not merely an add-on within a curriculum, but rather a new means of literacy for the 21st Century learner and an excellent way to foster higher levels of student engagement, which in turn, renders higher levels of student achievement. Learning how to operate within a highly-technological world calls upon students to learn to ubiquitously utilize technology just as the air they breathe in order to actualize the notion that learning happens anywhere, anytime.
Because there is a broad focus within my classroom regarding the need for students to become fully participatory citizens, technology integration is crucial, as well, in authenticating learning. While technology tools are quite a buzz throughout the education industry, we need instead be focusing more on the way it is used in order to facilitate learning for students. We need to continually question how each tool can make learning more authentic. In our classroom, students exercise reflective writing practices through blogging. They authenticate reading when they are able to hold a Skype session with the author and engage in conversation about the content. Students also authenticate their learning by using wikis to constructively create platforms for multimedia creation, while collaborating globally with students in other classrooms around the world.
Leading, not only Learning
In order to not only learn, but to lead, students need to operate in a space that provides opportunities for social interaction. Social constructivism argues that motivation is not intrinsic to the student; rather, it is manifested in social relationships. Because classroom communities are built on social relationships, and students are highly influenced by their peers, the classroom community should also foster positive personal experiences for all students.
Teachers today are preparing students for experiences and workplace conditions that do not yet exist. It is imperative that we teach them how to take the lead in learning versus simply being good students and a social environment is necessary to accomplish this. I make every attempt for my classroom to be a caring, safe, and equitable environment where each student has a voice and opportunities to lead the way in new learning initiatives.
Teaching is really a lifelong learning process. I learn new things daily from my established personal learning network of colleagues, parents, community members, administrators, and especially my students. Some of my greatest life lessons have come from my students in some of the toughest moments of teaching. My students have taught me to open my mind and heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world not merely by accumulating knowledge, but sharing it. They have lead the way in teaching me how learning is more social than anything. As a teacher, the willingness to shape young minds must be accompanied by the willingness to be a lifelong learner.
To excel in a progressive educational leadership position that allows me to empower teachers and students. As an educational leader, it is imperative to collaborate with all stakeholders and create an environment that is flexible and gives all students the opportunity and support to achieve excellence. Grounded in a strong belief that all things are possible and all people can achieve, it is imperative to foster an environment where students are proud of their community and culture and can achieve equitable academic excellence.