My Teaching Philosophy
As I reflect on my beliefs regarding teaching and learning, I find that my mission as a teacher is threefold:
- to promote positive learning;
- to spark learner enthusiasm for learning;
- and to provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning.
To accomplish this, I enjoy applying a wide variety of strategies based on essential educational principles encompassing cognitive functioning, learning theory, diversity issues, instructional planning and assessment.
Cognitive functioning level(s) of the learner: Considering the cognitive functioning of learners is essential in order to implement and apply strategies that are appropriate for either concrete operational and/or formal operational learners. I routinely plan activities, such as brief writings, that can help me determine the cognitive levels of my students and tailor my instruction accordingly. Without this consideration, I would risk the possibility of my students experiencing ‘hit or miss’ learning.
Learning theory: I have valued many years of opportunities to apply significant contributions from various learning theories. Behavioral theory offers a wealth of principles that, when used appropriately, can benefit classroom learning and management at all levels. In concert with this, cognitive learning principles offer significant contributions from the state-of-the-art neurosciences, particularly in brain-based research regarding memory systems and active processing of intellectual operations. Some of my favorites that are well received by students include: think-pair-share, classroom jigsaw activities, constructive controversies, and interactive lectures.
Cultural diversity, group culture and learning style: Understanding both the learning style of individual learners and the cultural diversity of the class/group helps me both design and tailor effective instruction by implementing appropriate global and/or concrete strategies. Although a variety of learning styles are likely represented by learners in any large class/group setting, I routinely design my instruction using the research-based learning cycle; this cycle provides the framework for me to encompass a repertoire of effective strategies, which can both accommodate individual preferences, engage diverse learners, and help establish a respect for differing preferences and perspectives.
Curriculum and Instructional Planning: An essential consideration for teachers pertains to overall curriculum and instructional planning. Whether the instructional approach is based on a behavioral model (direct instruction, mastery learning), a cognitive model (exposition/presentation), or a constructivist model (inquiry-based/Socratic methods, cooperative learning), I plan and implement lessons that clearly identify the lesson objective, anticipatory set, strategies for effective student engagement, and assessment options to measure student mastery. This helps me teach with both clarity and focus.
Assessment: I strongly believe that one can employ numerous options to accurately assess understanding of course content among diverse groups of learners. To this end, I have developed (and continually use!) a firm foundation in assessment basics, from alternative types of assessment (rubrics, checklists, projects, portfolios, performance/diagnostic checks, presentations, etc.) to traditional exams/test construction.
Following these basic principles helped me grow in my love for teaching and learning. More importantly, I have discovered that, by sharing my ‘passion’ for teaching and learning, and using these principles with enthusiasm and empathy connects with learners. As a result, teaching with clarity, passion, empathy, and sincere enthusiasm, effectively impacts learners, ultimately connecting them to their ‘passion’ and lifelong learning.
**The above teaching philosophy is credited to Deb Winget. Karen Fields is a fictitious individual used for MedCred Portfolio demonstrative purposes.
Masters in Teaching and Leadership: Browman University
Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education: Windgate College
Classroom Assessment for Student Learning
Pearson's Assessment Training Institute (ATI) was founded by Rick Stiggins to help teachers improve student achievement by integrating student-involved classroom assessment into day-to-day instruction.
Teachers act on more than test data; they also act on information gathered daily in the classroom. That information needs to be accurate and they need to know how to use it well. To attain the achievement gains promised by the research on formative assessment, the ultimate user of assessment information must be the student. ATI's research-based approach uniquely emphasizes the role of the student in the assessment process.
This one-day workshop supports participants in using Writing Coach in order to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of all students. Participants explore how to use mentor texts, student models, and accessible strategies in order to help develop their students’ writing skills. Participants also examine how to select and incorporate appropriate grammar lessons into their instruction. During this workshop, participants examine and practice implementing the differentiated instruction supports that are built into the program.
Literacy Professional Development for QuickReads® is designed to help teachers who are implementingQuickReads® bridge the gap between knowledge and implementation. Our on-site workshops will help teachers deepen their understanding of scientifically based reading instruction, build pedagogical knowledge, and implement best practices in their classrooms.
This two-day training helps teachers incorporate the 6-Traits into their writing instruction and provides a way to view and discuss student work. The original 6-Trait rubric was developed by teachers and for teachers, and is a tool for thoughtful, effective assessment and instruction.
This two-day program goes beyond foundational RtI information to help K–12 administrators adapt instruction for struggling readers. Participants practice analyzing data and deciding on an instructional path, making decisions as a collaborative team, and reviewing data to analyze whether interventions worked and what to do next. Breakout sessions for Grades K–3 and 4–12 allow participants to focus on grade-level solutions to differentiate instruction, catch students who are falling behind, and decrease the number of students referred to special education.
Common Core Standards for English Language Arts: Elementary Professional Development
The Foundational Overview of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts is a comprehensive, two-day workshop that provides participants with an opportunity to explore all components of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts (ELA). The first day emphasizes the implications of standards on ELA content, curriculum, and assessment. This workshop addresses College and Career Readiness anchor standards for four strands, and the progression and integration of the performance expectations within each strand. The second day focuses exclusively on reading and writing standards. Comprehension, text complexity, and informational texts are the highlights of the reading portion. The writing portion highlights the three genres emphasized by the CCSS, particularly Argumentation.
Developed with literacy expert and author Enrique Puig, the Literacy Leadership Team and Response to Intervention (RtI) program goes beyond the basic ideas of literacy coaching to help K–12 districts and schools set up an effective literacy leadership team, use the leadership team in a successful RtI system, and enhance collaboration in the RtI process. This two-day workshop provides a practical approach to building a literacy leadership team and aligning the roles of the literacy coach and the leadership team in a successful system.
New Teaching Methods: Completed 6.8.2012
In this course, teachers be introduced to thematic learning and cooperative learning techniques. Teachers will have a chance to develop lesson plans with these ideas in mind. You are given practical tools for classroom management and ways in which you can guide students to think about their own process of learning. Portions of this course have been reproduced from the encyclopaedia of informal education: www.infed.org
Program link (by Connexions)
Enhancing Pupil learning on museum visits. Completed: 1.15.2013
Museums give children experiences above and beyond the everyday – experiences that enrich and build upon classroom teaching and learning. Taking pupils to a museum, or bringing museum artefacts into school, instantly changes the dynamics of the usual learning environment. It gives you as a teacher the opportunity to start afresh with each child, to reach and engage with pupils in new and different ways. This unit explores practical ways in which you can make the most of the UK's extraordinarily dynamic and diverse museums and galleries; it gives you pathways into museum resources, and shares examples of teachers and museum educators making the most of museum artefacts.
Program Link (by OpenLearn)
Writing Workshop - MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Currently Enrolled
MIT students are challenged daily to solve for x, to complete four problem sets, two papers, and prepare for an exam worth 30% of their grade... all in one night. When they do stop to breathe, it's for a shower or a meal. What does this have to do with creative writing? Everything. Creative writing and MIT go together better than you might imagine.
MIT - MIT OpenCourseWare
Precepting / Mentoring of Student Teachers:
I have been serving as a cooperative teacher for the education program at Browman University since 2008. I feel it is important to give back to the profession and precept future educators. I hope to one day inspire my student teachers the way my cooperative teacher (Mrs. Burke) inspired me.
Important! For Browman College of Education students who wish to student-teach in my classroom, please review my "site description" in your RXpreceptor account (listed under the teaching site: Cedar Hill Academy). In addition, please review my syllabus, lesson plan expectations, dress code, and professional expectation documents listed in your RXpreceptor account. All evaluations and competency assessments will be managed through the RXpreceptor system as well.
Prior to your start date, you will be expected to have a fully developed MedCred Portfolio to share with myself, students, parents, administration, and the Cedar Hill teaching staff. Our parents have the expectation that all teachers and adminstration maintain individual MedCred portfolios. Every student at Cedar Hill Academy maintains their own portfolio as well.
Please do not contact me directly with questions about our student teaching site details until you have been placed by Browman's Experiential Learning Department. All information is available in your RXpreceptor account.
Past student teachers:
RXpreceptor Website & Login
Heidi Hall: Fall Semester 2012
Kyle Westcott: Spring Semester 2012
James Williams: Fall Semester 2011
Janice Ackers: Spring Semester 2011
Courtney Dark: Fall Semester 2010
Kristin Denault: Spring Semester 2010
Allison Kane: Fall Semester 2009
Claire Lieu: Spring Semester 2009
Ashley Plante: Fall Semester 2008
Cedar Hill Academy (Yourtown School Department) 2011 - Present
Cedar Hill Academy (Yourtown School Department) 2008 - 2011
Cedar Hill Academy (Yourtown School Department) 2004 - 2008
St Mary's Institute - Yourtown, OH; 2001 - 2004
Taught 4th and 5th grade at St Mary's Academy for Girls.
Math Tutor 1995 - 2001
I offered math tutoring on a part-time basis throughout late high school and college to local high school and junior high students.
Applebee's Restaurant: 1996 - 1999
Waitress. Awarded "Server of the Month" five times over a three year period.
Association of American Educators (AAE)
The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educators' organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.
Textbook Selection Committee - Yourtown school department
School Advisory Committee - 2011
I took Spanish courses throught junior high, high school and college. I studied abroad for one semeter in Barcelona, Spain.
Wikipedia / Barcelona, Spain
I am currently enrolled in the Rosetta Stone German program. While studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I was introduced to the German language by my roommate who was from Frankfurt, Germany. Her English was poor and I spoke no German, so we communicated primarily in Spanish.
The purpose of Sigma Kappa Sorority is to provide women lifelong opportunities and support for social, intellectual and spiritual development by bringing women together to positively impact our communities.
Sigma Kappa's Values
The values of Sigma Kappa are personal growth, friendship, service and loyalty; bound by a promise.
Bound by a Promise to be the best person you can be.
-Social: Demonstrating leadership through behaviors that are in alignment with the Sorority's values
-Intellectual: Committing to a lifetime of learning and enrichment
-Spiritual: Striving to live a purposeful life
Bound by a Promise to model service and leadership in your communities, especially within Sigma Kappa.
Offering your time, ideas or resources to support the common good and assist those in need.
Bound by a Promise to demonstrate sisterhood and friendship throughout life.
Sisterhood, Self-respect, Mutual respect
Bound by a Promise to remain loyal to Sigma Kappa and to living its values in all that you do.