Conceptual Framework

There are many roles that an educator must fill from the moment they decide to become a teacher and step into such an influential career. As a teacher, it is important to become an expert in the content being taught to students, no matter the subject. From there, it is necessary to reflect on the lessons and activities implemented in the classroom. This can be done individually or with the other teachers for that grade level. Collaboration is vital to every teachers success because of the support and ideas that are provided. Finally, being confident in ones abilities is essential so that leadership abilities will arise and help one grow as an educator.

No matter what the grade level, there is a vast wealth of information that a teacher is responsible for teaching students. It is necessary for the teacher to become an expert on all of the information so that the students can thrive and reach his/her highest potential. By becoming a content expert, teachers can then extend and become more creative with the information while still covering the standards required by the school system. Being prepared for class each day, I have fully surrounded myself with the information I teach my students daily. I am able to do this through exploring children’s literature as well as teacher manuals.

After all of the lessons and activities completed in class, it is important to reflect on how everything went. There are many aspects to consider when reflecting on lessons, activities, and the general day-to-day, including what went well, what could be changed, and how the students responded to the activity. My cooperating teacher and I talk frequently to discuss these aspects of the lessons that I am teaching. I have also been able to reflect myself through video tapes of lessons I taught. Also, through observations by professors and supervisors, I am able to hear tips about what areas to improve as well as areas that I am thriving. Once I have been able to reflect on lessons I teacher, I to back to my plans and record my notes with the lessons. This way, if I teach the lesson again, I know what changes to make, what to keep the same, and I am able to recall the details from each lesson for the future. I would also be able to share the lesson with peers and include any feedback, ideas, and changes to share with others. It is very important to be able to constructively use these reflections and any input I receive so that the lessons will provide for the greatest student learning.

Through these reflections, I am able to collaborate with both my cooperating teacher, school administration, and other grade level teachers. Having colleagues observe lessons is a great way to reflect on lessons as well as collaborate with the other professionals in the school. Collaboration occurs regularly in my classroom through daily discussions with my cooperating teacher. There are also weekly grade level meetings that provide great ideas for the upcoming week. I have also had the opportunity to plan and implement lessons in a team-teacher setting. While teaching about the past, present and future in 1st grade, I met with the other 1st grade teachers and we planned rotations to do for the students. One class would be the past, one the present, and one the future. We decided to focus on the children of the past, present, and future and the different kind of activities they would have available. Each teacher found activities for the students to complete during each rotation and came back to share this with the others. When we completed the rotations, it was neat to see how much fun the students had learning about the past, present, and future. It was also a great experience to work with students I would not otherwise interact with while student teaching. These rotations were an easy way to collaborate with other teachers and provide a fun and engaging way for students to learn. This has provided me with a real-life experience that I could encounter in the future as a teacher.

By working with other teachers and professionals in an educational setting, more opportunities for leadership will arise. There are opportunities with-in the school as well as the county. Each grade level has a team leader who is responsible for attending the leadership team meetings. There are also teachers who compromise various committees within the school. These, obviously, will vary by school and school system; however, they are important to be involved in to remain involved and committed to the students and school community.

My future as an educator will depend heavily on my ability to master the content knowledge, no matter what grade level or subject I am teaching. Students are able to identify when a teacher is excited about the material, so by fully engulfing oneself in it, students will thrive and succeed at high rates. Through teaching engaging and exciting lessons, I will be able to reflect and identify my strengths and weaknesses and grow as an educator. These reflections can occur daily on my own, weekly with other teachers, or even monthly through administrative observations. It is important to collaborate with all of these individuals so that students can get the optimal learning experience. By having positive relationships with the other personnel in the school, there will be more opportunities to step into leadership positions and advance ones professional development.