In the first domain, I have some concern about knowledge of pedagogy, ability to set instructional goals, knowledge of resources, ability to design coherent curriculum plans such as HighScope and the Creative Curriculum and ways to assess student learning. However, at this stage of my education, I feel it is normal to be somewhat worried about my abilities in these areas. I think that simply continuing my education will gradually and organically lead to improvement and understanding in these areas. I also realize that many things, such as what resources should be utilized and how to utilize them, assessments, and effective instructional methods, are changeable and that my knowledge of them should constantly be updated. Therefore, I do not wish to stay stagnant or to ever feel like I understand these things 100%. Instead, I hope that, through professional development opportunities offered through my future place of employment and research, I will continually grow in my understanding of certain methods and strategies.
Moving on to the second domain, I am concerned about managing classroom procedures, managing student behavior and organizing the physical space. General classroom management is something I have doubts and fears about. Furthermore, each class is different, so knowing what strategies will work isn’t always possible. While I plan to educate myself on a variety of management strategies, I also plan to stay open to trying new techniques and changing those techniques based on the “personality” of each class. As for organizing the physical space, I never knew, before beginning the program, that the organization of desks and the general setup of the room could have such an impact on learning. There are some setups I am interested in, such as the “roundtable” setup, but I plan to utilize trial and error to see which setups work best for which classes and to rearrange setups as needs or classroom behavioral problems dictate.
Similarly, I feel that the skills over which I have a minor concern in the third domain— communicating clearly and accurately, providing student feedback, demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness, and developing my teaching style are things that will come with time and practice. Of course, I will still utilize some of the communication strategies I have learned. I am just remaining open to the fact that who I am as a teacher and how I interact with students will evolve with time.
The most major of my concerns lie within the fourth domain. I am concerned about reflecting on my educational leadership and development. How can I know when I did a good job and where I need to improve? While I think student assessments are a good indicator of how I am faring as a teacher, I think the most helpful things for me will be assessments by supervisors and observations of other teachers. Finally, my concerns over communicating with families are probably just nervousness. I think I will get better through practice and can benefit from tweaking student communication strategies and applying them to communicate with families.
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