As a teacher, I believe in using positivity and encouragement to help students reach their full potential, not only as students, but as people and citizens. In our culture's rush to grow up, children often do not get the opportunity to develop their own identity and a sense of self confidence. I make it my goal to give my students the space they need to be comfortable with themselves and to feel safe and secure in my classroom.
When planning for a lesson, I plan for 4 things; 1. To make sure it contributes to a deeper, conceptual understanding, 2. Allow students to create a connection between the old understandings and new, 3. Make sure the assessment is aligned with what the students have had an opportunity to learn, and 4. Whether a lesson lasts one hour, or one week, it is crucial that the information is presented in multiple ways, and is assessed appropriately.
Not only are mistakes very common in math, they are crucial to the learning process. Mistakes or wrong answers should not be marked wrong and ignored, they need to be dissected, and analyzed in a classroom setting. Part of building a classroom atmosphere is to embrace mistakes, and use them as part of the deeper learning process in getting every student in involved.
When preparing a lesson, it is crucial to build a lesson that grows with student involvement. Lessons are not a box in which the students are expected fit; the lessons need to be flexible. Every class, and every student within that class, bring in a different experience. These experiences add to the lessons, and could steer them in unpredictable directions. It is up to the teacher to guide this adventure, and expand the lesson according to the students' funds of knowledge.
The most important aspect of classroom management is understanding the student's individual personalities, as well as the personality of the class as a whole. It is important to earn the students' respect, and I expect the students to respect each other. I build my class as a team, each member contributing their own strengths. I want my students to feel confident and secure, My style is very student-centered, where they set their own goals and expectations.
If a teacher isn't excited or interested in what they are teaching, why would the students be? As a teacher, I make sure I present every lesson as an extension of the real world. I use examples which include kinesthetic, hands on activities, as well as visual and audio aids to help make learning connections. I make sure that I know why and how something works, and relay this information to the students.
Each student is an individual, bringing in a variety of cultural experiences. Every student has their own funds of knowledge that they bring with them to a classroom. It is imperative to be aware of these, and understand the important role that each student plays in the classroom. I embrace these funds of knowledge and build a community of cultural diversity in my classroom.
In today's society, technology should contribute to more than half of a lesson's aspects. If we are teaching students to be citizens in today's world, we need to use the world of today to teach them. When using this technology, it is not about money or resources, but about having a drive to find technological resources for students to use in their learning. I can find thousands of resources at my fingertips. By educating myself about the technology around me, I can grow and become a better teacher. I have experience with the following resources:
- Clickers (Insight 360)
- Mobi 360
- Promethean Board
- Creating a Classroom Website (bravesites.com)
- Various Internet Sources
Professionalism incorporates any aspect in which you interact with people. This is not just limited to attire! As a teacher, I make sure that I maintain an orderly classroom, respect my students, create a positive environment, dress, and speak appropriately with anyone and everyone I interact with.
Serving as a role model for students does not mean just showing up and presenting material; it means showing students the importance of education by continuing my education as well. I don't know everything, and I never will. But I will always keep an open mind and strive to understand the best practices of education to support the growth of my students.
No one knows a student better than their parents. It is crucial to work as a team with parents to develop a community of support for that child. I make it a goal to keep consistent contact with parents. I do this through email, phone, and a class website that I update daily. www.kissinger-math.bravesites.com.
Everyone has a story; these stories are the experiences, traditions, cultural backgrounds, and identities that make us human. My classroom will have open discussions where all views can be heard without fear of harassment or bullying. I believe that through sharing different opinions, students will be better able to develop their own view of the world, and this in turn will help them learn to respect themselves and each other. This respect will help to facilitate a safe learning environment, allowing growth and self-reflection.
Students often learn best through examination of their mistakes and wrong answers. Having a safe, positive classroom will give students a space for self-reflection. It is important that students learn through their experiences, and not just by their varying circumstances. I will encourage trial and error learning, as well as peer collaboration. They can help find answers and work as a team. Giving them ownership of their education can lead to lessons that will last a lifetime.