Term Paper: Teacher Work Sample Teaching Creating and Sustaining

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Teacher Work Sample


Creating and sustaining a culture of curiosity and continual learning that leads to long-term motivation on the part of students is the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy. I want my students to be lifelong learners, not just from an academic standpoint, but from a social and cultural one as well. Too soon they will step onto the playing field of global competition not just for jobs, but for opportunities to learn and grow as well. I want them to be ready. My instructional strategies include inductive reasoning, role playing, and scaffolding-based approaches to personalizing learning programs. My advisor Mrs. Michelle D'Amour continues to be a trusted advisor and invaluable in providing me feedback as to how I can balance my natural inclination to share knowledge gained from my own education and through hours spent preparing for a class session with getting the students to participate more.

My three dominant instructional strategies of inductive reasoning, role playing and scaffolding also have led to scenarios that have brought the students into the learning process itself. As Mrs. D'Amour has mentioned in the Indicators of Student Teaching Effectiveness evaluation of the Social Studies lesson plan for World War I Trench Warfare that the use of inductive reasoning combined with participative techniques brought the students directly into the learning process. I've set the developmental objective of interpreting the learning needs of each class session and then attempt to integrate teaching styles and approaches that are the most effective in attaining the teaching objectives. Over the duration of a semester this approach to integrative use of teaching styles and techniques will be effective. I'm led to this conclusion based on the feedback from the lesson plan regarding education in America and the letters written to President Obama. Challenging the students to think about why they are writing to the President, which questions to ask and what the underlying logic is, and defend their opinions and perspectives in the process, also forces them to think inductively. My natural tendency is to guide students and help them through this process. Mrs. D'Amour's guidance has helped me to mediate my natural tendency to assist students quickly get them to the learning goal or objective for the class session and lesson plan.

This is a paradox that my instructional strategies have created especially in situations where students need to be taught confidence and ownership while at the same time being led outcomes. My natural inclination is to share as much as I know about a given subject or topic, which typically doesn't work with students who lack focus or long-term learning motivation. This is the case with young man who struggled in 8th grade Social Studies. He was from a military family that had moved every 12 months, on average, of his academic career. His written work was excellent, yet he never participated in class. After speaking with him, he said he was waiting for his father to get another set of orders that would send the family to yet another location. This was his reason for not taking ownership of the learning process or more importantly, a subject area. Using scaffolding techniques to create individualized lesson plans in American history based on his high level of interest in World War I, we created an entire learning plan for him to be the in-class expert… [END OF PREVIEW]

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