Term Paper: Teacher Work Sample

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Teacher Work Sample

Community, District and School Factors:

San Francisco and the greater San Francisco school district and community is largely associated with a liberal political climate, that invites creativity in teaching, falling within the set goals of the California standards and guidelines. The community where teaching took place is a middle to upper class environment consisting of a 90% white student population, in a very stable community, with few transitional situations, such as students leaving and/or new students entering the system as well as with a very low teacher and administrator turn over. The overall feeling of the community is one that is very supportive of the school system with a great deal more family/parent involvement than is seen in many other locations and communities. As, the basis for school funding is property tax revenue in an area where property values are high, the school is well funded and resources are plentiful.

Classroom Factors:

Parental involvement is high, with at least three parents attending as volunteers weekly and student facilities and resources are plentiful. Classroom rules, routines and arrangement as well as scheduling and grouping arrangements seem to be well constructed for the student population as well as to allow for the fostering of a well-developed sense of desire to learn. The classroom is arranged in groupings, where all desks face small kidney shaped tables that are arranged so when needed students can easily see the instructor if she is in the front of the room or if she is wandering about the room guiding student work and informally assessing the progress of individuals. The teacher frequently gives explanations, with some instruction on the board, and then travels around the room responding to questions or student needs during lessons. This seems to foster an easy sense of community within the classroom and allows those who need further guidance to be in close proximity to the instructor at any given time, without having to call attention to self to get questions answered and/or needs met.

Student Characteristics:

Students in class are all boys and between the ages of 5 and 6, they are 90% white and most have visual impairments that reduce their ability to see the chalkboard or fine detail. Though overall their developmental level is high and they meet or exceed standards associated with the age group. Learning goals are associated with letter and number recognition, as well as socialization under limited sight circumstances, as it is often difficult for children with limited sight to socialize appropriately as they often do not see the non-verbal clues that people use to show interest and/or lack there of or to show personal distance preferences and the like. Grouping these children together allows them to socialize appropriately without as much fear of reprisal, with the instructor often guiding appropriate social interaction, as well as making sure that children voice concerns and/or appreciations of one another's work, and social closeness as well as other issues, so they can feel more comfortable and more at ease with the learning environment. Students are English language speakers and express a wide variety of interests, often coinciding with project-based learning. Learning styles of students are characteristically similar to that of their well-sighted contemporaries yet, they clearly are more stimulated by hands on work, such as that which involves assembly and disassembly of items such as 3-d puzzles and general construction of items from smaller objects. The students are also very auditory, and exercises that involve, music and/or voice recitation of lessons and books keep their attention on a regular basis.

Part 2

Student goals for current projects include:

Students will use a variety of tools to learn phonemic awareness and recognize the letters of the alphabet.

The students will use vocabulary words learned from the Our Letter unit

The students will be able to recognize and define words associated with a particular alphabetic letter discussed in the lessons.

The students will be able to briefly summarize the importance of health nutrition

Student will be able to discuss the importance and benefits of physical activity.

Students will be able to summarize the health benefits of staying active and eating healthy.

Learning goals and objectives above are demonstrative of the level of learning that this group of students is seeking to achieve. The phonemic awareness will guide them toward learning letter sounds and identification, in an limited sight situation and may help significantly with their progress reading and learning to recognize vocabulary associations with specific letters of the alphabet through a means that does not significantly alter their desire to learn, e.g. An expectation of reading beyond their sight capabilities. Learning how to associate words, with corresponding letters to their sound and meaning is crucial to successful reading skills. As a part of a recent push to improve the overall physical health of young people in the United States and in California more specifically many schools and programs have begun to incorporate health and nutrition into lesson planning. In so doing, in this program these children will be exposed to a variety of healthy foods, which they might not have otherwise tried or been exposed to, in a non-threatening manner, where classmates are also participating. Physical activity is also stressed with regard to physical well-being, as sedentary challenges, are many for students, due to technology that challenges them to sit for long periods of time and during this lesson of health and nutrition, linked with word play and phonemic awareness the children will be given the opportunity to express themselves, physically both in and outside the school. Outcomes are often expressed in the ability of the student to demonstrate learning and seeking to demonstrate the learning of the vocabulary as well as the nutrition and physical fitness lessons through a student summary is essential to understanding the short- and long-term effectiveness of the lesson plans offered. California standards of reading readiness by kindergarten as well as nutrition and physical education improvement at the very first exposure to structured school do fall in line with the plans of this learning session.

Part 3

Example 1 Change:

Within this learning session, several circumstances with regard to the informal analysis of learning responses, allowed the lesson to be guided away from the original intent of the lesson. With one student in particular there was a frequent expression of knowledge about the food items that were being brought for the students to add to their phonemic awareness and their healthy eating repertoire. The student was in fact so eager to share his experiences with the food items, one day, asparagus and another day pears, that the instructor allowed him to tell other students a short narrative about the ways that he had enjoyed these foods in the past and this positively impacted the desire of the other children to try the foods, that were possibly new to them.

Example 2 Change:

In the reverse there were at least two students who were resistant to trying the new foods and were therefore resistant to learning words and phonemics associated with the new foods. They were also very expressive about their desire, not to try the new foods. In this circumstance the boys where then separated from the group and given the opportunity to color pictures, of the foods, that were going to be a part of a later lesson plan. While separated from the group, trying the new foods the children where still exposed to the lesson plan and after being separated the first day, felt the need to be included the next day and were not reluctant to try the new foods on that occasion. Additionally, I expressed the desire for the children to express their distaste for the items in their pictures, rather than out loud. They seemed to have fun doing it and created a couple of monster looking asparagus shoots.


Regarding example 1: The descriptive manner in which the student expressed his opinion about the food, that was new to most of the other students was helpful in that it gave all the students and example of a peer that was adventurous about eating and had a desire to share his experience. The learning became far better because it allowed the student to express himself, in an appropriate manner, that was not disruptive and connected with some of the other students. Allowing a brief period of time for this student to express his opinion also allowed other students an experience of permissive expression of opinion.

Regarding example 2: When the lesson plan included the pictures to be colored for the whole group they requested to color new pictures and the whole experience became a lesson in itself for all the students who watched the transition from resistance to acceptance through acceptable expression of opinion, that was only mildly distracting and created a whole different set of questions and answers about allowable likes and dislikes. The instructor had to add time to discuss the circumstances of the resistance to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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