Standard #1: Roles and Relationships
"The student teacher establishes a routine that students understand and respect. Activities reflect careful thought, take into account student developmental levels, learning styles and diversity, and create situations in which students construct knowledge. The student teacher exhibits respect and consideration toward colleagues, particularly in team situations, supports colleagues’ work and contributes an equal share to team efforts. The student teacher encourages and elicits interaction with parents and community and makes her/himself available to those constituencies when and where appropriate. S/he clearly demonstrates leadership in the classroom, guiding and directing activities and interaction in ways that contribute to a positive and safe learning environmen t. The student teacher exhibits a clear sensitivity to issues of diversity, particularly regarding race, class, and gender, in his/her interactions with students, colleagues, and community. The standard is met if the student teacher consistently models appropriate decorum and exercises control without intimidation or domination, promoting a genuine democratically-based classroom."
Standard #1: Reflection
Forming relationships with my students was something that I was extremely excited to do before starting BSHS and it has proved to be one of the most exciting and fun aspects of the work for me. Getting to know each student individually is important and something that I value immensely. My co-teachers and I sought to create a community that welcomed all of our students and was a safe-place for them to share their ideas and opinions. We did this by beginning with a classroom constitution, which we created with the students’ input, and then allowed them to read and edit before signing the piece. If and when an issue arose, we would refer back to the students’ own ideas to provide feedback on how to deal with the issue. Additionally, I have become a strong supporter of team-building and community-building activities through my previous work, so incorporating this into our classroom was important. Whether it was playing a favorite icebreaker, involving students’ anecdotes and individualism into a class, creating a “web of connections,” or even baking “American Dream” cupcakes to celebrate the last day of class, I strove to express my creativity and fun into the classroom.
Although I wanted to make the classroom a fun and safe space for my students, I also wanted to make sure that I held the class’ attention and respect. I believe that I improved on my classroom management in this respect and used different strategies, such as silence or clapping, to gain their attention as opposed to constantly repeating instructions. These were gained from both my teaching partners as well as my mentor. To be truthful, being in front of the classroom seemed natural to me from day one and I believe that my students responded well to my comfort and encouragement.
Goals for this standard are to reach out and build relationships with all students from day one, rather than just the out-spoken or outgoing ones. I believe that by the end of BSHS I had connected with all of my students, but it was not the case the first week or so with the quieter students. I also want to work more to incorporate students’ backgrounds and experiences into class to make the material more relatable to them.