Standard Seven: Engagement with Subject Matter
Meeting Standard Seven:
The Student teacher demonstrates mastery of the skills and knowledge central to the discipline. Interest in, and energy for, his/her discipline are demonstrated through the creation of lessons which present diverse students with challenging activities and projects, engage them, and encourage them to solve problems, raise questions, and interact in ways that contribute to a positive learning environment while developing skills as critical, inquiring thinkers.
Meeting and Exceeding Standard Seven: Self-Reflection
Studying English is a very important part of my life. I can almost always associate a poem or a book to the many experiences I’ve had. As a beginning teacher, it is important to me to give this gift to my students. I am positive that my students understand my love for the subject, especially my love of poetry. I believe that all teachers should be able to teach what they love. I model great engagement with the subject and encourage that my students follow my example. I also am constantly bringing new works of literature and poetry into my classroom—works that are new both to my students and to me. I want to show my students that my love for the subject is personally gratifying to me. I am not intimidated to bring outside resources such as music, film, graphic-novels, and other “non-traditional” texts into my classroom because I want my students to see that I am comfortable with learning. It is my hope that my model will lead my students to be comfortable with taking risks with the subject.
- The paper entitled "Teacher Talk" is a reserach project I conducted with a fellow MAT, Julia VanDyke. Our research explored register and discourse in the classroom from a Linguistics point-of-view and discussed theorists Shirley Brice-Heath, Courtney Cazden, Lisa Delpit, Susan Urmston Phillips and Lev Vygotsky. Linguistics Paper_Teacher Talk.doc
- The following reflection is a writing piece I did for a class entitled "Linguistic Anthropology." The paper is on "cultural capital" in the classroom. Siemer_Symbolic_Capital_in_the_Classroom_Anthropology_of_Linguistics.doc
I was very happy when I learned I would be teaching Oedipus the King. During the academic semester of this year, I studied the plays of Sophocles with a friend and fell in love with the many possible approaches I could take in teaching this play to my students. One of my first lessons for Oedipus was on “Translation.” I wanted my students to be aware of the fact that this play has been read for over 2,500 years and that their perspectives would shed new light onto the text. I wanted my students’ ideas to be validated and appreciated, so we spent time thinking about what it means to interpret and translate. In this lesson, students worked independently and then reported back to the class—“interpreting” the words of the translator, Paul Roche. The lesson 12_02.08.08.doc uses the essential question, "Do readers have the RIGHT to interpret and translate?" to begin the process of taking ownership of the perspective they bring to the text. My energy for the subject pushed students to complete the tasks I put before them.
Because of my love for poetry, I was very thrilled to do a unit on poetry. One of the poets that I chose to focus on for the unit was Gwendolyn Brooks. In a circle, we read the poems “We Real Cool” and “Ulysses.” I asked students to think about how the poems should be performed and how they came to their reasoning. In discussion, we soon talked about “Hypocrisy,” which was very interesting to my students. This discussion led me to form lessons about Beat Poetry and the idea of “counter-culturism.” I have chosen this lesson as an artifact because it shows my dedication to and inspiration for the field of poetry, but more importantly, it shows that my classroom is student-centered and that my lessons are driven by student voice. To view the worksheets I used for the discussion on Gwendolyn Brooks, please click here: Gwendolyn Brooks Worksheet.doc