Commentonat least 3 Classmates’Posts (approximately 150 -300 words each)§ – comment must address the R2R prompt and your classmate’s response substantively; if you agree or disagree, provide reasoning and rational evidence from the readings to support your position – build on the ideas of what your classmate has written and dig deeper into the ideas – support your views through research you have read or through your personal and/or professional experiences§demonstrate a logical progression of ideas – comments need to be thoughtful and substantive; not gratuitous comments like “this was a good post” or simply that “you agree”. Simply congratulating the writer on their astute insights is insufficient. – cite the readings in your response by using proper APA Style format and conventions. classmate 1 A highly qualified or effective teacher is one that is reflective on their teaching. John dewey defines the reflective action as a behavior that involves active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or practice in light of the grounds that support it and further consequences to which it leads (Kenneth & Zeighner, 1984). In simpler terms, reflective action refers to how a teacher identifies and responds to problems. A highly qualified teacher is constantly thinking about and reflecting on their teaching and thinking of ways they are successful and unsuccessful. Dewey also states that there are three attitudes of reflective action. Open Mindedness which is the active desire to listen to more sides than one, to give full attention to alternative possibilities, and to recognize the possibility of error even in beliefs that are dearest to us. Responsibility involves careful consideration of the consequences to which an action leads. Wholeheartedness refers to the fact that open mindedness and responsibility must be central components in the life of the reflective teacher and implies that prospective teachers who are reflective must take active control over their education as teachers (kenneth & Zeighner, 1984). A highly effective teacher is one who looks beyond trying to impress their superiors and truly seeks what needs to be done to ensure learning is taking place with their students. When teachers have open mindedness they are looking at the information that is presented to them and trying to better understand how it can be utilized in their own classrooms; or if it should at all. Instead of taking strategies on teaching or procedures from professors and more seasoned teachers and embedding them in their classroom they think of the why and how. One example of open mindedness given in the article is holidays such as sgiving and columbus day. A reflective teacher would not simply teach or celebrate these holidays, they would question why they should and how they should. Having an open mind as an educator means that you are open to change and constantly questioning things around you, rather than conforming to tradition. Considering responsibility, a reflective teacher understands that for every action there is a consequence. Teachers should not simply teach something because it is available, they should be responsible in ensuring it is appropriate for their students. As stated in the article there is a textbook company that provided two basal readers; one that was racially integrated, and the other had all white characteristics. It is the teacher’s responsibility to decide how to use the basals and reflect on how their decision will affect their students. Every decision we make as educators will in one way or another have an affect on our students. We need to be conscious of whether or not that affect will be a negative or positive one. Wholeheartedness refers to teachers accepting all students and taking the time to learn about each student; their uniqueness, their backgrounds, who they are, and why they are that way, wholeheartedly. This means that in a classroom filled with students of all levels, the teacher takes responsibility in ensuring each of those children learn without feeling isolated. This type of teacher does not single out a student for being behind or praise the overachiever for being “smart”. This is a teacher who accepts all of their students and works towards everyone’s success. I am an ELD Specialist. Each school day I see a newcomer groups of 10 students, co-teach in two classrooms during ELA and see two small groups in another classroom in which I do a guided reading lesson with everyday. This means that everyday I have a lot of reflecting to do. I am fortunate enough to be co-teaching with two welcoming teachers. Each week I have lunch with the teachers on two separate days and we reflect on our students, our lessons and our teaching. I have conferring sheets for the two small groups that I see and the newcomer group that I see. I reflect on my lessons every single day. Being that I work with students in the lowest 30% of the class I need to make sure I am reflecting on each student every single day. If im being honest, I spend the most time reflecting on my newcomer group. Since many of these students come from war torn countries and learning a new language is a very complex process, I want to make sure I am constantly thinking of ways to improve their learning and my teaching. I also spend time reflecting on the content I teach and how it may affect them due to their past experiences. My district using the Danielson model to evaluate teachers. We are rated from minimally effective to highly effective in each bullet of the four domains. In the first three years of teaching, teachers are evaluated once at the beginning of the year and once at the end. One of the evaluations can be announced the other is unannounced. Teachers who have been highly effective three years in a row do not have formal evaluations, instead they have walkthroughs. Teachers who are tenured by not highly effective have one formal observation a year. I do believe this model makes us better teachers as it evaluate teachers in all categories from instruction, professionalism, and classroom environment. Using this model makes it each for teachers to reflect and determine what areas they need to work on. Teachers who are rated minimally effective are also told at least three months before the school year ends and provided with a coach to them reflect and make improvements where necessary. Student achievement should play a role in determining the effectiveness of a teachers. That is not to say that is should be the sole indicator of a teacher’s effectiveness, but there needs to be some measure of student growth in an evaluation. To say 100% of students will grow at the rate expected by the school, district, or state is unreasonable. There are many factors that play into what a students achieved so of course when evaluated teachers those factors need to be taken into consideration. For example in our evaluation students IEPs, if students are ELLs, and students attendance are taken into consideration when evaluating a teacher. Student growth is an indicator of how successful our teaching is. Student achievement allows teachers to reflect on whether or not they accomplished their goals. I have worked with teachers in the past who hands down had the best lessons and delivered information better than I had ever seen. I have also worked with teachers who were not so animated and just did what they had to do to teach content. Most people would assume the teacher with the animated lessons and great delivery had students who showed the most growth but the fact of the matter is the more neutral teacher had students surpass their achievement goals. This was due to classroom management. In the first classroom students were never paying attention, in the other classroom students were actively engaged. This should all be considered when evaluating a teacher. classmate 2 ghly effective teachers are ones who plan and deliver effective lessons that consider the diverse needs of their students while also striving to meet standards set by the community at-large. This statement, of course, was far easier to write than to implement in a classroom. We as educators have all sorts of educational programs to choose from and all sorts of students in any given class. This means that we all ought to be reflective teachers in that we think about how we can improve our lessons in our classrooms and how we can work to improve school-wide systems to better our students. For example, I created what I thought was a good lesson on housing discrimination for my world geography class that I thought students would relate to and become actively engaged but upon reflection I realized that few made the connections to their lives that I thought they would. This led me to change the trajectory of the unit. The three attitudes of reflective teaching are: 1) Open-mindedness 2) Responsibility 3) Wholeheartedness These can be utilized by making sure we are willing to try new ideas that we may not feel comfortable with, taking responsibility for our classrooms and our students, and focusing all of our attention on serving our students instead of focusing on pleasing administrators or college professors. As an example, I am new to my current urban school serving Detroit and therefore unfamiliar with its policies and history. There are lessons I learned as a teacher in a suburban Louisiana school that definitely do not apply to my current students so I work with people who have been here longer to properly adapt my lessons. There are also practices I picked up that I feel can benefit my current students that I hope my colleagues will adopt. In all cases we must take responsibility for what we can control in our classrooms to make sure lessons are the best they can be. Students may not always be easy to teach but they always are our responsibility when we have them. Finally we should be fully invested in teaching and focused on our students. For example, my school has a draconian bathroom policy that I ignore since so many kids come to me in obvious distress about not having been allowed to use the bathroom earlier in the day. If they cannot meet their basic bodily needs then I have failed them not only as a teacher but also as a fellow human being. My district uses the Marzano evaluation system. Since I am new here I do not know the details of the system but my basic understanding is that it assesses the level of planning that goes in to my lessons, how well I implement them, and how well my students understand their objectives. This is a similar system to what I had in Louisiana. Since I have yet to be formally evaluated with it I do not have a personal anecdote to share about its effectiveness. As for student test scores I definitely agree that we need some testing done by outsiders based on some sort of common standard. I see how different teacher assessments of students are and how standards can change between schools. For example, if my current school’s grading system were the same as at my previous school’s then at least 50% would fail. Since I cannot effectively control a class with so many students failing this school puts more emphasis on getting work done and not on how well students perform on tests. Outside testing can tell us where students stand as compared with others their age. The problem with this system is that tests can favor students with particular skill sets, such as taking paper & pencil or computerized tests, and be biased against those who can demonstrate understanding through verbal skills. I agree that student achievement should play a role in my evaluations to the extent that other factors that I have no control over accelerate or hinder their learning. For example, I have taught students that love my subject so much that I would literally hand them a library card and tell them the titles of books to read and they would be able to master any state test within a few weeks. I have had others who struggle mightily and intense evidence-based interventions can at best yield modest improvements. I have had some whose home lives make learning difficult no matter the subject. If evaluations can find a way to control for factors such as these then I welcome consideration of student achievement. classmate 3 A highly effective teacher is someone who is reflective of there teaching habits and always strive to provide the most relevant content to students. I do believe that I can utilize the three characteristics of reflective teaching within my classroom practices. Having openmindedness is something that is probably used on a daily basis. Because of a difference in age, sometimes gender, culture, and religious experience I often have to be open-minded about ideas and cultural norms that are different than my own. I have to take into account the effects that my behavior or practices may have on my students. Being conscious and aware of differences creates open-minded thoughts and planning for the classroom. Being a responsible teacher goes hand-in-hand with being open-minded. We are responsible for ensuring that every student has the best possible experience when attending school. Having open-mindedness and a responsibility to all students is having a wholehearted approach to being an educator. It is realizing that we have to be open-minded and empathetic to all students 100% of the time. It is an educator’s ultimate responsibility and purpose to mold the lives of each and every one of our students. My district uses the Charolette Danielson’s Framework for Teaching to evaluate instructional staff. I appreciate that the framework is detailed and gives many examples for mastery of each section. However I have found that depending on the principal or evaluator, the expectations that the evaluator is looking for can vary greatly. Inconsistencies with feedback from walkthroughs and observations is extremely common. The Danielson’s Framework does not necessarily make me a better teacher, but I do feel that the level of implementation of the framework is determined by the building that I am working in. This is the second principal I have worked for within my district and have extremely different expectations in my new building. The self-evaluation aspect of the Danielson framework is very reflective because I am having to fill out each section criteria individually and independently. I understand the need for student achievement to play somewhat of a role in an educator’s evaluation. However, demographics and real-life data should be taken into account when our evaluation is reflective of their learning. It is like that old saying goes, judging a teacher for their students progress is like judging a farmer for the state of their crops. We have no control over the weather, pest problems, nutrition in the soil, etc. There are so many factors that go into learning and it is extremely unfair that only one small factor makes up a large portion of teacher evaluations. For example, working in Dearborn I have experienced several years where my students have been fasting for Ramadan during state assessments. There is no way around it because the testing window literally falls during the month of Ramadan. It is interesting that it is not taken into account. Legislation needs to be created to ensure that all testing environments are in the best interests of the students. No student should have to choose between participating in a religious event and doing their best for the sake of a test.
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