As an undergraduate student participating in an accredited teacher preparation program in the State of Iowa, I am required to develop an electronic teaching portfolio. My portfolio is divided into ten sections. Each section meets one of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ (BOEE) ten New Teacher Standards. Prior to receiving my teaching license in the State of Iowa, I must present and defend my portfolio to faculty at Coe College, my home institution.
Over the course of my four years as an undergraduate education major, I have been collecting artifacts to use in my portfolio. These artifacts include individual lesson plans, week-long plans, home-school communications, professional development materials, and reflections. Each of the ten sections of my portfolio includes at least two artifacts.
In addition to the artifacts, the Iowa BOEE requires all new teacher candidates to include ten synthesized rationale statements describing their instructional decisions, assessment strategies, teaching philosophies, and reflections. You will find one of my rationale statements below. I will post all ten over the course of the next few days. To view my teaching portfolio, please click on the tab at the top of my page.
Standard 6, Communication: The practitioner uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques, and other forms of symbolic representation, to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and support interaction in the classroom.
As a classroom teacher, I clearly articulate my expectations for my classroom from day one. This communication is inclusive of all parties involved in the educational upbringing of my students: the students themselves, parents and guardians, and the school administration. Prior to every lesson, my students are exposed to oral and, or written rationale for the presented content as well as explicit connections to their day-to-day lives. Additionally, I am in consistent contact with my students’ parents and guardians to ensure, to the best of my ability, that there my expectations are clear when it comes to my students as learners, global citizens, and future leaders. I hold all parties accountable to these standards to ensure that student learning can occur.
I view myself as a role model for my students. I believe that my actions in and out of the classroom have a profound impact on my success as a teacher. In the classroom, I present myself as a professional educator. I am appropriate when interacting with students, colleagues, parents, and administrators. My dress provides a symbolic representation of my dedication to my profession: shirt and tie with outrageous socks to match. Outside of the classroom, I continue to embody the responsibility of a professional educator. I utilize social media appropriately and as a platform to further articulate my passion for education. My blog serves as the capstone for my educational philosophies. Regardless of if I am in or out of my classroom, I respect my profession and myself.
Specifically within the walls of my classroom, I believe in providing my students with skills and strategies to empower them to critically analyze information, formulate opinions, and collaborate with others to expand their thinking. Prior to establishing these classroom expectations for active inquiry, I model appropriate interaction, analysis, and reflection. I model and utilize higher-order questioning and Bloom’s Taxonomy to spark student engagement, inquiry, analysis, and reflection with instructional material. Additionally, I infuse advanced academic language into my modeling. However, I am cognizant of my students’ limitations and provide age-appropriate scaffolding to allow them to understand and access similar vocabulary during their own experiences.
Across all content areas, I provide a continuous flow verbal and non-verbal feedback. While some situations mandate an oral response, such as a student violating our established classroom expectations, I also provide non-verbal feedback throughout the day. If a student falls off task during read aloud, I silently move my body in his or her direction without interrupting my instruction. During my science lessons, I encourage students to highlight their oral and written analysis skills through group discussion and written reflection. I believe science inquiry is a student-centered collaborative activity. Therefore, I resist the urge to simply show my students the final outcome of an experiment. Instead, I spark student learning with short phrases that allow students to redirect their thinking.