Artifact #1: Smartness Chart (TE 801 & Field)

Artifact #1: Smartness Chart (TE 801 & Field)
Program Goals: 1, 2
Standards:
1, 4

            As an intern, I created a “Smartness Chart,” for TE 801:  Professional Roles and Teaching Practice, to represent my developing knowledge about the students in my classroom. By observing, taking anecdotal notes, and getting to know the students in my care, I was able to compile a comprehensive “Smartness Chart” that clearly depicts each student’s social and academic profile as perceived by me and their peers.  By taking time to carefully study and record my findings for each student, I was able to better understand the unique group of individuals that comprised my classroom roster.  Knowing my students on a deeper level provided me with the opportunity to become a better teacher—one who was able to identify and meet their individual needs while emphasizing their unique strengths.

            During my internship teaching experience, I carefully observed and frequently interacted with the 21 students in my classroom.  The relationships that I created with this group provided me with the opportunity to understand them as diverse and unique individuals (Standard 1).  This artifact is evidence of my commitment to fully recognize, appreciate, and document the strengths and weaknesses of my students in four specific ways.  I recorded my observations of each child in the following areas:  exactly how the student was smart in math, how the student was perceived socially by peers, how the student was perceived academically by peers, and the ways in which the student participated in the classroom (Standard 1, Goals 1 & 2).  The process of creating a “Smartness Chart” allowed me to practice persistent research into my students as learners.  Development and review of this chart also provided me with specific information about how each of my students learns best, thus creating detailed information about how to reach each student individually (Standard 4).

            The “Smartness Chart” is an example of my dedication to students as distinct individuals who deserve to learn in ways that are meaningful to them (Standard 4).  As an educator, I have learned that it is essential for me to gain a deep understanding of the students in my classroom.  The ability to observe and record this information in a qualitative manner has helped me create effective cooperative learning groups, lessons that engage the learning styles of all students, and given me the chance to assist students socially.  The creation of this artifact has taught me that taking time to get to know one’s students is an integral step forward on the path toward becoming a highly effective educator.  An enhanced ability to recognize strengths and weaknesses, along with making time to connect with students individually, is essential in the process of becoming an accomplished teacher.  This depth of knowledge enables us to be the best teachers possible and help develop students into well-rounded, well-educated, and socially adjusted people.

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