Quality Standard I: Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
During my student teaching semester, I feel that demonstrated growth in this quality standard. At this point in my educational career, I think that I am at the Proficient level in regards to this standard. In my teaching, I provide students opportunities to explore and create with a variety of art making materials and techniques. I strive to have students experience a wide array in which art can be made. Along with materials and techniques, I present a diverse range of contemporary artists in the art classroom. I believe that it is essential for students to see and understand that artists are not only alive and working now, but come from all around the world and have very different backgrounds. Moving forward, my goal is to provide further opportunities for students to try new art techniques and view contemporary artworks. In my first years if teaching, I very much want to attend professional development classes where I learn about new techniques that I can bring back to my students.
Quality Standard II: Teachers establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students.
Upon completing my student teaching experience, I believe that I am Proficient in this second quality standard. Again, this is a standard that I demonstrated much growth in with the past sixteen week experience. In my teaching, I became very aware of the type of language that I was using; for example, referring to a class of students as ‘First Grade Artists’ or ‘2-D Team.’ Another thing that I was able to observe closely and address in with my students is how students were talking and treating each other. One of my classroom rules was (and still is) that every person in the room needs to feel safe and respected despite any differences students may have. There were a couple of instances where I needed to re-norm a class of students to ensure that the art room was actually inclusive and safe for all. Moving forward in my practice, I will look for new strategies and techniques to help foster a positive learning environment. One example of this would be to add some team building exercises to my teaching tool belt. I noted as the end of the school year approached, sometimes students ‘forgot’ about classroom expectations so it might be of benefit to slip in one of these exercises later in the school year.
Quality Standard III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
From my teaching experiences thus far, I believe I am Proficient in the third quality standard. In my instruction, I have found that my favorite and best lessons are the ones in which students are granted the opportunity to make choices and take ownership of their learning. While it is important to have some criteria to guide students in their learning, choice based art learning is an excellent way to engage students in the art process. Also, I personally find it very fun and fulfilling to observe the different methods in which students take to engage in the art process. I truly enjoy seeing the differences in the final art product; I want to celebrate each students’ unique ideas and choices. Moving forward in my career, I will continue to add lessons and variants to lessons in order to engage all students in the art making process. Overall, I want to provide opportunities for students to take control of their learning and connect personal meaning to their artwork.
Quality Standard IV: Teachers demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership.
As I wrap up my final teaching experiences as a student teacher, I believe that I am Proficient in regards to this final quality standard. Throughout my time as an emerging educator, I’ve spent a lot of time developing into a professional and displaying professional standards. I have come to embody that I am a teacher and should act as such in all public settings; I strive to set a positive example wherever I go. Reflecting is another element that has pushed me to be the emerging professional that I am right now. With each teaching experience, I reflect upon my performance in order to better my skills and reach my highest potential in education. I often look for new ways to approach teaching situations and deliver instruction to my students. Becoming a leader to students has been another part of my professional practice that has seen improvement in my student teaching. On a day to day basis, I strive to be a positive role model to students and show them what it means to have integrity and responsibility. As I move forward, I will look out for more opportunities to further refine my professional skills. I would like to take on more responsibilities to be a leader for students, for example, being a coach or a club sponsor. Ultimately, I want to be a positive influence to students for many years to come.