Please watch this video to learn more about Early Childhood Screening Tools.
Please watch this video to learn more about Early Childhood Screening Tools.
As a practicum student, you have the opportunity to be in schools and volunteer in a classroom full of children. When parents drop off and pick up their child, they may see you in and around the school.
Parents will want to know who is in their child’s classroom working with their children
I recommend creating an all about me page to share with your supervising teachers. They may choose to share this page with parents by posting it on the parent communication bulletin board or find another way to share it.
I have created a “Meet your practicum student” one page outline for you to use to print and use in your classroom. (see below)
What to Include: Here are some examples of what you can put on the all about me page… Continue reading
For many Pre-Service Teachers (either in practicum or student teaching), it is good to look at why one wants to become a teacher…
In another post, we looked at goodness of fit with teaching. Do you possess the qualities inherent to become a good teacher? Read the post here: Goodness of Fit-Teaching.
Let’s take some time to reflect upon why you want to be a teacher…
Think about your educational background: What was your school experience like? was it positive? Did you have a teachers who inspired and encouraged you to be your best in all ways? Or, did you have a negative experience? What made the experience challenging?
Why do you want to become a teacher? I always knew I was a born teacher. It was always my instinct to help my twin brother from a young age and found myself naturally taking on the “teacher” role even as a young child. Do you want to follow in the footsteps of a good teacher you had or want to provide others with a better experience than you had?
Lastly, If you are a practicum or student teacher…
What are you hopeful to get out of this experience? If you are volunteering in a kindergarten, are you hopeful to learn about what motivates this age group to learn? Are you excited to learn about the curriculum or positive behavior support?
Check out this worksheet I created to reflect upon “why I want to be a teacher”
You can download the worksheet here: Why I want to be a teacher
I look forward to hearing your reflections!
Why is self-reflection so important in teaching?
when we teach we learn about what works and what doesn’t work by using self-reflection. Teach a lesson, a day, a week and look back and take the time to examine what worked well, and what didn’t work.
Here are some questions to ask:
Every facet of teaching and education including the teacher’s cognitive, psychological, social/emotional and professional characteristics can be reflected upon. How you show up in your classroom and your school matters! Every facet of you as a person and teacher impacts your students and the whole school is impacted on some level.
When we prepare to review dispositions of our pre-service teachers with self-reflection in mind, we have the following rubric and scale:
Take a look at this scale and see how you would rate yourself right now…
We always want to see ourselves with a growth mindset and as a person who can grow and develop new skills.
Are you a person who is willing to put in the work to self-reflect so you can grow personally or professionally? If so how are you self-reflecting?
One student teacher I had two years ago said he had a long drive home from his student teaching placement. He took this long commute to run through his school day. He would think about the areas of the day that went well and the areas of the day that he would do differently next time. One suggestion I had for him is to have some type of journal or log to eventually (after he is done driving:) record those thoughts. Even though you think you would never forget them, the year is so full and there is no way to remember everything.
I designed this self-reflection worksheet as a way to encapsulate that self-reflection every week.
You can download the weekly reflection worksheet here: Weekly Reflection student teaching-2
Take a moment to fill this out each week. Create a file to keep the reflections and by the end of the year you will be so amazed at how much you have grown.
The student on the left side of the picture, Hailey also shared her journal which she uses daily to write in. Her collaborating teacher encouraged her to use a daily journal to write notes about the day and questions that come up. I was so impressed to see this level of self-reflection from a student teacher!
Benefits of independent work systems:
Independent work systems are evidence-based practice for students with autism, but they are very helpful for any child who needs some structure to be able to work on his or her own.
My son who started Kindergarten, now has homework so I set up a structured work system so he has somewhere in the house dedicated to completing his homework.
♥ I want to share this technique and show how easy this independent work system is to create and use at home. Even if you don’t work with an autism specialist or have in-home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist, this is something you can create with a quick trip to the dollar store and moving around some furniture. Continue reading
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education defines professional dispositions as:
“The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth…”
I created this chart for my students to reflect on their strengths and goals in each area of professional dispositions:
The disposition categories include: Professional and ethical conduct, Individual and cultural sensitivity, work habits, effective communication, self-reflection, and collaboration. The chart can be downloaded here: Professional Dispositions strengths and goals
Words are important! They hold meaning! Words have the ability to lift people up to promote and celebrate them and also have the potential to alienate and marginalize people. We must choose our words carefully so we don’t unintentionally get into a deficit mindsets with our students.
Condition First Language: This is when you put the condition first when speaking about people who have disabilities. An example of this is: A blind child
Person First Language: Put the child/person first before the condition. An example of this is: A child who is visually impaired (blind). Think of children with disabilities as children first.
Children with disabilities have a wide variety of skills. Some children with disabilities may be gifted in some areas. It is not helpful to think of any group of disabilities as a homogenous group.
Focus on what students can do to create a strength based approach. Before an IEP meeting, create a list of the child’s strengths to start the meeting with. What is an IEP?
Exceptions: The Deaf population typically refers to themselves as Deaf because they have a stand alone language (American Sign Language). They use the capital D in the word Deaf as well. Recently people with autism have been sharing their desire to be called autistic because they acknowledge that although they are not neuro-typical. They are proud of who they are and want to acknowledge their autism.
Check with the individual: It is always best practice to check with the individual to see what langauge they prefer. When you are in a school, defer to using person first langauge unless told otherwise.