Term Paper: Teacher Work Sample: Phase 2 Teaching

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Teacher Work Sample: Phase 2 teaching

Teaching

The experience of teaching at Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School has shown me that when trust between educators and administrators are strong, a solid foundation is built to extend that trust and respect to students as well. To be trusted and respected, a teacher must trust and respect their students. That insight is amplified when one considers the students, teachers and administrators of I.S. 24. One cannot help asking the question of why certain schools are able to create a culture and environment that seeks to energize students through challenging them to excel, based on a foundation of trust and respect, while other schools resort to discipline and forced authority using the "teacher" title like a club to figuratively prod students into submission. After experiencing educational environments that reflect both extremes, I think the answer is found in how administrators set out to design curriculums that are challenging enough to keep the most gifted students engaged, yet flexible enough so that students needing more individualized attention still have a chance to succeed.

From my coaching experiences, I call tell you everyone will work extremely hard to be part of a winning team. The captain of a football team, the leader of a squad in the U.S. Army or even a company commander must set and keep very high standards, only except the very best from their organizations. The same holds true with a teacher, as the best teachers are leading the fight away form ignorance and towards the cognitive, creative, and social growth potentials of each student. I think this is what separates Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School from many others as the curriculum, standards and mission of the school seek to create students who are champions, not just of the classroom but of life. To accomplish that, teachers must be strong leaders, strong enough to allow for questions, commentary even debate. That is not to say a teacher ever surrenders control of the class or capitulates about its direction. It is instead the creating of a culture of achievement, learning and active debate where learning is achieved through interaction in the classroom led by the teacher. I have found this technique to teaching to be very effective, as it provides a foundation for inductive learning and role playing. Both of these techniques get students involved in the actual learning process. It is my experience as a teacher that when students get ownership over a part of the teaching, knowledge sharing or role playing tasks in a class, their motivation goes up considerably. They become co-pilots on the flight to learning more; they are so much more fully engaged than any amount of lecturing or other forms of one-way communication allow. These experiences at Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School have further convinced me that inductive reasoning and role playing are excellent techniques for drawing middle school students into even the most complex concepts and frameworks of social studies and having them attain.

I've also noticed a paradox that emerges when this approach to teaching is taking place, in one student in particular. He was also from a military family, and had moved on average every 18 months of his young academic career. Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School was the sixth school he's been to since kindergarten. Quiet, at times withdrawn, he didn't participate in class, only when called upon. While he didn't rebel or cause problems in the class,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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