I graduated from University of Washington with a degree in English. I have lived in Bellevue, Washington now for seven years, but I grew up in California. During my K-12 years I moved twelve times which gave me the opportunity to experience how different schools are structured educationally. I also love to travel and I jump at any opportunity that allows me to experience different cultures than my own. Over the summer I travelled to Nairobi, Africa and I fell in love with the culture in Kenya. It is my dreams to teach abroad and that trip reinforced why this is so important to me. Until then I will keep enjoying Washington’s beautiful summers hiking as well as skiing down the slopes on Crystal during the winter.
Interest and Experience in Education
I attended schools in rural areas and suburban areas as well as in the heart of a big city. My educational experiences were different at each one and I have come to realize that it wasn’t the physical location of the school, but the teacher that made the difference. Experiencing these differences is what made me decide to become a teacher. I want to make a difference in my student’s lives by letting them know that I care about them and that I will not give up on them. I would like to follow my literary passion by pursuing an endorsement in language arts and reading. I would like to teach at the secondary level, preferably middle school. I want to create actively-engaged lifelong readers and writers who love reading and writing as much as I do. I realize this is asking a lot from middle schoolers but I believe getting children to enjoy reading and writing at an early age will result in them excelling in all their endeavors, because reading is the building block for all learning. I have tutored at five middle schools and interned at one elementary school. My favorite class I tutored in was a 6th – 8th grade language arts and reading support class. This class focused on helping children to not only read, but comprehend what they have read. This reading support class inspired me to want to become a reading specialist. It was challenging and exciting trying to help these children comprehend different types of text/literature.
Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval criteria shown in WAC 181-78A-270. Program standards include criteria (e.g. 1.), elements (e.g. 1.1), and examples. Any level of the program standard is appropriate for reflection, feedback, or evaluation.
1. Expectations – The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.
1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
E.g. Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.
1.2 Communicating with Students
Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.
1.3 Engaging Students in Learning
The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.
2. Instruction – The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.
2.2 Engaging Students in Learning
Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.
2.3 Reflecting on Teaching
Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.
- Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.
3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments
Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.
3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students
Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.
- Content Knowledge – The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.
4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes
All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities
All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.
4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure
The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.
5. Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.
5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions
Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.
5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Noninstructional Duties
Efficient systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.
5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations
Standards of conduct are clear to all students.
5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring
Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.
6. Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.
6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards
Assessment criteria and standards are clear.
6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment
Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning
Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.
6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students
Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.
7. Families and Community – The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.
7.1 Communicating with Families
Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.
- Professional Practice – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
8.1 Participating in a Professional Community
Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.
8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally
Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.
Elements of a Model Entry
There are different formats for writing portfolio entries. However, responding to writing prompts 1-6 helps to address desired performance on professional knowledge and skills, along with identifying steps for having a greater impact on K-12 student learning.
1. Citation of the program standard (either criteria, element, or example) along with an interpretation of what the standard means.
2. Presentation of evidence with description. The description includes context and related research or theory associated with the creation of the evidence.
3. Justification of how the evidence demonstrates competence, or emerging competence, on the program standard.
4. Summary of what was learned as a result of creating the evidence or having the experience.
5. Comment on the implications for student learning.
6. Propose specific changes or next steps to increase effectiveness in the area under examination.