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A Reflection Paper Essay Sample

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A Reflection Paper Essay Sample

Artifact 1

            The artifact is the March 30, 2007 lesson plan for the Spanish II subject thought to grades 9-12. I think that this artifact was filed under the TN-PES 1 Standard because in designing, developing , and writing a lesson plan the candidates best demonstrate their understanding of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline. It is the lesson plan that the candidates plan their course of action on how to best teach the subject taking into considerations the capability of their students specifically those who have learning and physical disabilities, and the current educational environment.

            Taking all these into account, I think that this artifact – lesson plan – demonstrates my competencies which were specifically discussed in this standard. These competencies are my knowledge and understanding of the major concepts of the discipline (Spanish II) I teach, my understanding of the assumptions and processes of inquiry for the discipline I am teaching through this artifact, my ability to create an interdisciplinary learning experiences that will allow the grades 9-12 students to integrate knowledge, skills and methods from several subject areas such as their early Spanish language subjects.

Also, through the design and development of this lesson plan, I demonstrated my knowledge of several disciplines – languages, history, arts and literature among others. Lastly, through the creation of this lesson plan, I took into account the implications of disability legislation and special education policies and procedures in planning on how to teach Spanish II to grades 9-12 students, and I provided for an equitable access to and participation for students with disabilities.

            Lastly, as a result of this experience I think that I need to review my knowledge on higher Spanish languages subject so that I will be able to answer queries of students who have advance language learning capabilities. Also, I need to practice on my presentation and teaching skills.
Artifact 2

            The artifact is a reaction paper on whether full inclusion effectively contributes to the education of children with disabilities. The artifact is filed under this standard because it promotes my and other candidates’ understanding on how students learn and develop their intellectual, social and personal characteristics, and furthermore, teaching children with disabilities is challenging in terms of providing the students the support they need for intellectual, social and personal development.

            Furthermore, through my discussions on whether the full inclusion effectively contributes to the education of children with disabilities, I demonstrated my understanding on how learning occurs, specifically how students with disabilities construct knowledge and acquire skills, and through this understanding I am better equip to provide opportunities that support the students’ intellectual, social and personal development.

With the paper’s focus on education of children with disabilities, I drew upon my knowledge of developmental progression in student physical, social, emotional, moral and cognitive domains, and recognized that students with disabilities may exhibit greater individual variation, and that a disability often influences development and functioning in more than one area. And through all of these knowledge and understanding, I believe that I can optimize the learning students for each student specifically those who have disabilities.

At the end of the exercise I believe that I need to learn and read more on the country’s legislations, policies and procedures on disability and special education. After which, I believe that I need to learn other country’s, specially those who are also pioneering on the education of children with disabilities, legislations, policies and procedures on special education. This is to help me widen my teaching skills and methodologies in teaching children with disabilities.
Artifact 3

            The artifact is a reaction paper on a Web site and a public high school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both Web site and school provide an example on the multicultural and diversity in education in the United States. This artifact is filed under this standard because it demonstrated my understanding and knowledge on two systems’ educational programs on multicultural and diversity in education.

            Furthermore, and through the Multicultural Passport’s Web site  links’ to different multicultural lesson plans and curriculum standards, I was able to understand better the differences of students’ approaches to learning, and as such, I am better equipped in creating instructional opportunities that are adapted to their diversity. By my study of Horizonte’s system, I was able to understand how the school is addressing the needs of a group of students often overlooked in today’s society.

As such, I believe that I am now more qualified in designing instructions and adapting my instructional techniques for all students within the broader context of their families, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, languages, communities, peer/social groups and exceptional learning needs. As a result of all this, I am now able to create a learning community which is inclusive and in which individual differences are respected.

            In conjunction with artifact no. 2, I think that the next challenge for me is to integrate my knowledge and understanding of educating children with disabilities, and multicultural and diversity in education. It is for a fact that there are also students who belong to a diverse and multicultural background and who have disabilities. For me, learning how to educate students with disabilities in a multicultural and diverse setting is the ultimate test for my skills as a teacher.
Artifact 4

            The artifact is my APSU Unit Plan for 2007. In this artifact, I stated my standards, the unit’s topic and overview, the prerequisite knowledge and skills of the students, and the unit’s objectives and performance outcomes among other things. Through these, I was able to express and outline the teaching strategies that I plan to use in teaching the subject. As such, I believe that it is just, but appropriate to file this artifact under this standard.

            Through the artifact, I was able to demonstrate several things including my knowledge, skills and dispositions as a candidate. In developing the artifact, I was able to demonstrate my understanding of a variety of instructional strategies to encourage the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills in my students for the unit.

More specifically, I demonstrated my understanding of the principles and techniques associated with various instructional strategies that reflect best practice (such as cooperative learning, direct instruction, whole group instruction, independent study and interdisciplinary instruction) and that foster high expectations for all students by incorporating different strategies in teaching the unit: requiring students to communicate with one another by using new chapter vocabulary.

By asking the students to introduce, identify and greet several classmates, I effectively created a learning experience that connect the subject matter to real life experiences which will enable students to apply learning to future careers. The plan allows me to be the students’ instructor, facilitator, coach, and audience at the same time. By using multiple teaching and learning strategies, and resources and methods, I was able to support the acquisition of English by students whose first language is not English, and vice versa.

            Lastly, I need to practice on my presentation and teaching skills in order to make learning more fun and memorable for my students.

Artifact 5

            The artifact is a study on the relationship of a student’s socioeconomic status and academic achievement. The paper, based on past researches, posited that a child’s socioeconomic status affects his or her intelligence level as well as academic achievement, and that children from high poverty environments enter school less ready to learn, and they lag behind their more-affluent classmates in their ability to use language to solve problems. As such, this artifact is filed under this standard because it studied one of the factors that affect learning environment.

            Using Robbins’ definition of motivation I terms of some outward behavior and said that “[people] whoa re motivated exert a greater effort to perform than those who are not motivated” (Robbins, 2005, p. 48) in comparison with the standard and its sub-elements, I can say that I fully understand what it means. In the artifact, I was able to gain an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior in order to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.

With my greater understanding of human motivation, I am better equipped to defuse potential conflict and to use conflict resolution strategies to maintain a smoothly functioning learning community. Lastly, I think that with the knowledge I gained in doing the research for the artifact, I can, now, better understand and use a wider variety of classroom management strategies that foster self-control and self-discipline.

            I think that I still need to read more on human motivation and the factors the affect it. Perhaps I can do an in-depth study on motivation theories such Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and Herzberg X and Y theory among  others.


Artifact 6

            The artifact is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for a lecture on Imperfect Progressive and Preterit. It is a tool to help me in teaching my students what, how and when to use imperfect progressive and preterit in everyday communication. This artifact is filed under this standard because it demonstrated my understanding, knowledge, skills, and dispositions on effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques in fostering active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom.

            By creating a PowerPoint presentation I demonstrated that I am able to use a variety of tools, including technology, in supporting and expanding student expression in speaking, writing and technical media. In actually teaching the lesson, I am able to demonstrate my understanding of language development, the role of language in learning and how culture, gender, and exceptional learning needs affect communication in the classroom.

I think that to know the language’s history will help me teach it better. The artifact as a tool helped me model effective communication strategies in conveying ideas and information, asking questions, listening, giving directions, probing for student understanding, and helping students express their ideas, and that with the use of nonverbal communication techniques, I can best support the students’ learning.

            Lastly, in addition to improving my skills as a teacher in order to make the learning more fun and enjoyable by the students, I, myself, need to improve my knowledge on imperfect progressive and preterit. This will help me become more confident in teaching the subject.


Artifact 7

            Like artifact no. 4, this artifact is my APSU Unit Plan for 2007. the difference is that while artifact no. 4 is a completed unit plan, artifact no. 7 is a guide on how to develop a unit plan. As such, the artifact requires that several things be stated including the unit’s standards, topic and overview, the prerequisite knowledge and skills of the students, objectives and performance outcomes, assessments strategies, lessons, resources, materials and technology needed to teach the unit, interdisciplinary perspectives, and post unit development and implementation reflections. Through this artifact, I was able to plan my instructions better and based upon my knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

            By using the artifact, I am able to use my knowledge of the subject matter, learning theory, curriculum and student development, assessment measures, and assessed student needs in planning instruction for all students. Also through it, I am able to evaluate, select and create learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate, aligned with Tennessee curriculum standards, relevant to students and based upon the principles of effective teaching.

With all these, I was able to integrate the identified long-range instructional goals and short-ranged instructional objectives. In planning for the resources, materials and technology to aid me in teaching the subject, I was able to integrate a variety of resources, including teacher-created materials, textbooks, technology, community and business resources, to promote student learning. All these demonstrated that I am now a better teacher than before.

            Lastly, like in all the previous artifacts, I believe that what I need to do next is improve my public speaking skills and audience charisma to make learning fun, not only for my students, but for me as well.


Artifact 8

            The artifact is a quiz for the subject matter’s Chapter 9. The artifact has four parts. The first part asks the students to complete sentences with the correct imperfect progressive form of the verb in parentheses. The second part asks the students to transform given sentences into their imperfect progressive forms while the third part asks the students to rewrite several sentences using an object pronoun to replace the italicized words. The last part asks the students to answer several questions.

The quiz is one of my tools to assess and evaluate how effective I have been teaching the subject matter. As such, this artifact is appropriately filed under this standard. The standards asks the candidates to know, to understand and to use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuing intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.

            With this artifact, I choose a certain format for the quiz; as such I demonstrated my understanding of the characteristics, uses, advantages and limitations of different types of assessments for evaluating student learning. Also, by deciding to give my students a written quiz rather than an oral one, I showed that I am confident in selecting, constructing, and using formal and informal assessment strategies and instruments appropriate to the learning expectations being evaluated to make instructional decisions based on student performance information. And of course, at the end of the assessment period, I maintain a record of how my students did in that quiz, and appropriately adjust my learning strategies for the remaining of the class to improve the students’ learning of the subject matter.

            Although I believe that the designed of the artifact is good, I think that I still need to update my skills in creating a more effective assessment and evaluation tool.
Artifact 9

            Standard 9 talks about how candidates are also reflective practitioners who continually evaluate the effects of their choices and actions on others (students, parents and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally. The artifact is my reflections on my two-day observation of a Spanish class at Montgomery Central High School.

In this paper, I talked about my impressions about the school, its faculty and staff, and the general atmosphere in the school. I also reflected on the school’s teaching strategies specifically the strategies of the teacher of the class that I observed. I also talked about the diversity of the student population, and how the teacher handled conflicts and unruly behaviors amongst the students in the class. My experience with the artifact helped me become a better teacher and student.

            Furthermore, by observing another teacher within the same subject matter, I was able to reflect on my teaching practices vis-à-vis that teacher’s. Also, by being an observer, I was able to observe how specific teaching strategies and behavior relate to student success, and as such, I am able to update my instruction accordingly.

            As a result of the conflicts I experienced and observed during the two-day observation, I felt that my conflict negotiation skills are still inadequate. Hence, there is still a need for me to improve my conflict negotiation skills.
Artifact 10

            The artifact is a letter informing students’ parents on an upcoming field trip for the Spanish I class. A portion of the paper asks for the parents’ permission for their child to attend the field trip. The standard talks about the candidate fostering relationships with school colleagues, parents and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and wellbeing. The letter promotes this standard; as such it is appropriate that the artifact be filed under this standard.

            Through this artifact, I demonstrated that I give due respect to my students’ parents by asking them their permission about their children attending the field trip. Since the field trip will not be for my class alone, but for the entire Spanish I class, then I demonstrated that I am willing to participate in collegial activities and collaborate with my coteachers in order to promote the school as a productive learning community. By asking the parents’ permission, I recognized that the schools is just one of the organizations within the larger community and effectively communicate school goals and accomplishments to the community and general public.

            To my knowledge sometimes a student wants to be in the fieldtrip, but his or her parents don’t want the student to. In this regard, perhaps, I need to practice my conflict negotiation skills to defuse any conflict that might arise between the student and the parents. Surely, I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a family argument. If I do this, then I will be better able to act as advocates for all students, to advise them, to recognize student problems, and to seek additional help as needed and appropriate.


Artifact 11

            The artifact is my calling card. It stated my complete name, my occupation (Spanish teacher), the school I am teaching in and its address, my email and Web site, my phone number, and my pass number. I think that it is appropriate that this artifact is filed under this standard seeing that the standard talks about how candidates harness the use of technology to enhance their professional growth and productivity.

            In designing, developing, and creating this artifact – my business card – I used computer technology (hardware and software). In doing so I was able to assess my learning process in the use of technology, and to adopt my teaching strategies and educational practices with technology. What I mean is that the creation of this artifact made me realize that tools provided for by technology can aid me in my teaching.

Although this artifact didn’t help me much in gathering, sorting, and analyzing information needed for my research projects and in communicating and collaborating effectively with other professionals, this artifact did provide a venue for me to communicate with other people and professionals information about me. As such, the business card became my presentation tools in a networked environment for sharing information in multiple professional formats. Through it my coteachers, my students and their parents know where to contact me anytime.

            The programs I used in doing my business card are very simple – anyone can do what I did anytime. I think that, perhaps, I need to learn more sophisticated software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Publisher among others.


References

Robbins, S. (2005). Essentials of organizational behavior (8th ed). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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