Welcome to Chelsea L. Montague’s MATC Portfolio!

13 11 2011

This is a student online portfolio for the Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching Program at Michigan State University.

Dear Reader,

My name is Chelsea Montague and I am currently a fifth grade teacher in Royal Oak, Michigan.  I am beginning my fifth year teaching and my third year with the School District of the City of Royal Oak.  In 2006, I completed my elementary teaching certificate and majored in Social Relations (liberal arts) at James Madison College at Michigan State University.  While attending MSU, I enjoyed teaching two sessions of summer school for Detroit Public Schools.  I spent my internship teaching year in Okemos, Michigan in a sixth grade middle school classroom.  Upon graduation, I was fortunate to find a sixth grade position in Mason, Michigan for two years, but was laid off due to declining student enrollment.  Near the end of summer 2009, I was hired to teach a 4th/5th combination class in Royal Oak, where I learned firsthand about the necessity of differentiation and classroom management in a multi-age environment.

The mostly middle-class community where I teach is considered one of the more progressive suburbs of metropolitan Detroit and The School District of the City of Royal Oak has pockets of diversity.  One of the six elementary buildings in the district houses a large English as a Second Language (ESL) population because of its close proximity to the local teaching hospital.  Some elementary schools have more economically disadvantaged students based on nearby housing options.  Royal Oak Schools are also comprised of one early education center, one middle school, and one high school.  A total of 5,240 students attend Royal Oak Schools: 83% are white, 8% are African American, 4% are 2 or more races, 3% are Hispanic, 2% are Asian, and less than 1% is American Indian or Native Hawaiian.

I teach in a school that is largely homogenous with regard to culture; however there is a small percentage of ESL and multicultural students.  Northwood Elementary School houses 463 students, 89% who are White, 3% who are African American, 3% who are Asian American, and 3% that are 2 or more races.  My classroom of 27 fifth graders includes one ESL student, two African Americans, two Asian Americans, and 22 white students.  The fifth graders that I work with are either 10 or 11 years old.  Culturally and demographically, I identify with the majority of my students.  In years and districts past, I enjoyed the diversity of the classrooms where I was different from the majority of my students.  It was always a challenging and enlightening process to find ways of relating and ways of reaching the students who did not share my ethnicity and/or culture.

In the five years that I have been teaching, I have experienced many different educational contexts that have strengthened my beliefs and values as an educator.  The learning that has taken place through the MATC program has helped broaden and embolden my educational philosophy.  I am hopeful that while reviewing my portfolio, it becomes clear that a diverse number of learning experiences have profoundly impacted my ever-evolving identity as an educator.

Thank you in advance for your review of my portfolio.

Warm regards,

Chelsea Montague