Candidates demonstrate skills and commitment to creating supportive environments that afford all P- 12 students access to rigorous college and career-ready standards.
CAEP Standard 1.4 requires the learned to show evidence that the program provided information in regards to the creation of a supportive school environment that enables students the opportunity to access college and career readiness standards. As a science teacher having taught grades 8-12 I feel that my expectations for teaching and enhancing the curriculum with rigor was present throughout my teaching. However, looking back, I feel that I was missing the application aspect of this standard. Through this program, I was forced to carefully look at my execution as an educator and see how I can apply what my values are in regards to college and career readiness to the class but also teach so that all students are on an equal playing field.
ARTIFACT I and II
The first artifact comes from C&T 801, Planning for School Improvement. In this course, I looked at multiples means for obtaining knowledge whether that be in the form of professional development, professional learning communities and data teams, different theories and teaching models, and model schools to construct knowledge on what an effective school improvement looks like.
With the influence from carrying out a school improvement plan with Jayhawkville USD, I was able to take what I learned and apply it to my current school setting. Having taught and been trained in the high school setting, and haven been tasked with teaching eighth grade. I was able to use what I know and expect my students to know at the high school level. Thus, I am able to craft lessons that have an effect size that produces results for students in terms of comprehension and retention.
Being that standardized testing is pertinent and ever important in an educators work, I decided to implement a weekly intervention that teaches students the importance of how to take standardized tests. I was not teaching to the test, however, I was employing the students with tools and strategies to help them do well on any form of standardized test whether that be in the school or professional setting. For this, students would be able to analyze and connect evidence from data within tables, graphs, illustrations, and passages with logical written explanations that defend and support their conclusions. Each week, students learned a lesson that would lead to the bigger understanding of test taking strategies. At the beginning of this pilot program, students took a pre-test to give them and me as the teacher a baseline on where the stand with the science content as well as their understanding on how to navigate through these tests. Each week, I taught a lesson on test taking strategies. This was encompassed by the students taking a pre-test with five questions, then I taught the lesson of that strategy, and the students then took a post test with the lessons that they learned. For the post test, the students also had to give a rational on why they chose that answer and how they got to that conclusion. At the end of this pilot, the students then took a post test that comprised of the same questions that were on the pre test. The data showed that from the pre test to the post test the mean test scores increased by approximately 30%. The 2017-2018 SY was a pilot test for this school improvement with the science department. My research and data was presented to the school as well as to fellow teachers in the Northwest Missouri region to highlight the impact and importance of test taking strategies in the classroom. With this students went through the process of taking a pretest and I was able to see the strengths and areas of improvement for the class as a whole.
Having gone through the process for carrying out a school improvement plan prior to implementing it in my school setting proved to be paramount in my success. These artifacts demonstrate my abilities to show how creating an environment that is challenging but paired with great scaffolding and support can create for a learning space that prepares students to be successful in the 21st century world.
Artifact III, stems from C&T 807, Multicultural Education. This course in this program was one that challenged me as an educator the most. Not only was the content relevant, and challenging. Working in a professional learning community and having to conference every week along with our normal teachings really challenged us as educators. Being that our world is becoming a melting pot of cultures, religions, ideals, and visions, C&T 807 was a catalyst to my thinking on how to fully integrate my curriculum to a changing world. For this, my team members and I produced a PowerPoint case study that was the culmination of my experience having taught in Hawaii as well as my experience teaching in Nebraska and Missouri. Personally, having taught in Hawaii, I gained a unique perspective in teaching to a multicultural class being that our schools are a cornucopia of cultures, religions, ethnicities, etc. Even though this project does not directly and explicitly state a reference to college and career readiness, I feel that understanding multicultural education, accepting it, and teaching to it is highly important as we are seeing a paradigm shift from whites being the majority. Understanding race, dealing with stereotypes and marginality, and improving on the status quo is something that we can help our students to see and teach them about. Those are the skills and knowledge that they need to have to be successful in a changing world. Thus, I feel that C&T 807 has prepared me to see how important multicultural education is in our curriculum. Overall, I feel that this project helped me to better understand how to reach all students especially the minority and help to empathize with them and to teach them to be advocates for themselves and their education.
In essence, I feel that this standard is one of great importance. As educators, we walk a fine line in terms of challenging and pushing our students to be successful and go to college, but we have to be mindful that not all students are equipped for that lifestyle. We need to get back to where students are held accountable for their learning and teacher are held accountable for the content and the effectiveness of the delivery. We need to be the support our students need but challenge them to stretch their thinking to adapt to the demands of the 21st century educational and workforce setting.