I hail from Chicago and although my studies and thirst to teach abroad have led me to several U.S. towns and foreign countries – including Middletown, CT, Washington, D.C., Chile, and Bolivia – Chicago will always be my hometown. That said, I was itching to get out and explore something new (as I often am). My sister, who has lived in Seattle for five years now, had often told me that the Pacific Northwest – with its lush mountains and varied national parks – seemed made just for me. I knew I had to check it out for myself.
I’m anxious to explore this new city of Seattle, and learn all I possibly can about its public education system. I am committed to the vision of public education, and am looking forward to studying and practicing quality instruction at SPU.
Interest and Experience in Education
I have always known that I felt at home between the classroom walls, first as a student and, then later, as an educator. I started tutoring and assistant teaching as early as high school and haven’t come up for air since!
During my undergraduate studies at Wesleyan University, I had the opportunity to participate in several volunteer tutoring programs and teach a summer class for a Chicago head-start program. I also volunteered for Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit based out of Kenya’s largest slum, Kibera, and traveled to teach at Shining Hope’s all-girls school for a month right after my college graduation.
Since then, I have traveled to both Chile and Bolivia to teach English as a Second Language for a semester in each place. In Chile I worked at a mid-sized public school in Calama, the country’s largest mining town. In Bolivia, I worked as the Director of the English department at a small university in the country’s rural Yungas region. Although I absolutely loved my experiences abroad for the professional and personal development they offered, I decided against teaching English as a Second Language here in the United States.
I did know, however, that I wanted to teach History at the high school level here. I graduated Georgetown University in 2014 with a Masters in Global, International, and Comparative History and knew, even before entering the program, that I wanted to use the academic knowledge I would surely gain there in my future high school History classroom.
Since I believe History to be an incredibly interdisciplinary field, and that expertise in all of the humanities to be essential to quality instruction, I am currently studying for secondary endorsements in History, Social Studies, and English Language Arts. I’m looking forward to getting in that classroom!
Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval criteria shown in WAC 181-78A-270. Program standards include criteria (e.g. 1.), elements (e.g. 1.1), and examples. Any level of the program standard is appropriate for reflection, feedback, or evaluation.
- Expectations– The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.
1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
E.g. Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.
1.2 Communicating with Students
Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.
1.3 Engaging Students in Learning
The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.
- Instruction– The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.
2.2 Engaging Students in Learning
Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.
2.3 Reflecting on Teaching
Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.
- Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.
3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments
Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.
3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students
Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.
- Content Knowledge– The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.
4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes
All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities
All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.
4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure
The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.
- Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.
5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions
Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.
5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Noninstructional Duties
Efficient systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.
5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations
Standards of conduct are clear to all students.
5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring
Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.
- Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.
6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards
Assessment criteria and standards are clear.
6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment
Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning
Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.
6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students
Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.
- Families and Community – The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.
7.1 Communicating with Families
Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.
- Professional Practice – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
8.1 Participating in a Professional Community
Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.
8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally
Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.