In face-to-face debriefings, journal writing, and formal self-analysis, the student teacher demonstrates the positive acceptance of feedback and makes a thoughtful response to it. Classroom planning and implementation demonstrates that the student teacher has internalized and is making use of feedback. Beyond the classroom, the student teacher avails him/herself of professional publications, conferences, and workshops to improve his/her practice and to develop the habits necessary for continued professional growth.
Teacher Education Handbook, Secondary Education 2011-2012
I believe I am meeting Brown University Practice-Based Standard Six: Professional Knowledge and Growth.
From the first day of Brown MAT program, I knew that I wanted to learn as much as possible to become the best teacher I can. I have been directing my efforts towards learning in everything I do. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to observe other teachers, to be observed, and for the regular feedback I receive. I reflect upon suggestions and make changes in my practice to implement my mentors' suggestions. I realize that an outside observer may have a more accurate perspective on what happens in the classroom, and I know that my student teaching experience provides me with an invaluable opportunity to hear from colleagues, to improve my work, and to receive additional feedback as I grow professionally. I know that such a collaborative environment where feedback is given constructively and regularly is unique, so I take full advantage of it and shape myself as a teacher under its guidance.
Since I began teaching at Lincoln School, I tried to become a positive part of its community. I attended department and faculty meetings, and although I do not speak much in such gatherings, I note the multitude of ways in which people effectively communicate. For example, I think the structure of a clerked meeting is incredibly helpful in closing the gap between faculty and administration: during a clerked meeting, a clerk faculty member becomes both a representative of the faculty and a facilitator of the discussion, focusing the conversation on the topics generated by the faculty.
My mentor was incredibly instrumental in my professional growth. She provided me with invaluable feedback while treating me with the uttermost collegiate respect. Very frequently, after observing Ruth’s classes, I became so inspired by her mastery of teaching that I was bursting at the seams with observations and ideas I had while the students were engaged in learning and I was following their suit. Ruth always listened to my feedback, and this professional respect for my budding teaching voice fueled my commitment to the exceptional teaching I saw every day in her classroom.
Although I believe I have fulfilled the requirements for the standard, I do not consider myself to be the finished product of “professional knowledge and growth.” My plan is to never stop learning, and I hope I will still be working on this standard after twenty years of teaching.