PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS



As a pre-service teacher, I believe that it is important for me to demonstrate the professionalism that is expected of a licensed educator at all times. I strive to be as organized as possible, maintain strong and consistent communication with other members of the school community, while also maintaining the personal presentation and demeanor appropriate for a professional. I actively collaborate wit
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Presenting new books to the principal of the Wat Bo Primary School in Siem Reap, Cambodia

h the other members of the first grade team as well as teachers from other grades and specialties, participate in professional development workshops and meetings with full time teachers, and reflect constantly on these experiences for future successes.

Competency 28: Reflect actively upon practice, leading to enhanced teaching and learning.
During my pre-service teaching and my curriculum and instruction courses at William and Mary, I was able to collaborate with a variety of peers and educators including general education teachers, special education teachers, resource teachers, and fellow pre-service teachers. I actively participate in the first grade team’s weekly after school meetings during which we discuss lesson planning, grading, concerns, and future goals. Different members of the team are responsible for creating the base lesson plans for specific subjects and sharing them with the rest of the team. Each teacher then tailors the general plan to meet the needs of her specific class. When teachers have unique or especially effective lessons, they often share them with the rest of the team so that others may try out a new or different approach to teaching.

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Working with a student in Salvador, Brazil during my semester abroad
I have even had the great opportunity to travel the world and collaborate with international educators. In the winter of 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia with a group of Masters in Business Administration students through the College of William and Mary's Mason School of Business on a Global Business Analysis and Immersion Course. One of the many highlights of this trip was a visit to the Wat Bo Primary School in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We had the pleasure of witnessing the elementary school's music and dance program in action as well as meeting the current principal, Peung Kimchhen, andPonheary Ly, the founder of the Ponheary Ly Foundation, the school's primary financier. As the William and Mary School of Education's liaison on the business school trip, I was responsible for coordinating a gift for the school and prepping my peers to interact with and teach children. Agreeing upon a suitable gift (early English texts and favorite picture books were requested) was simple but helping my business-savvy classmates relate to children, especially children with minimal English speaking skills was a challenge that required me to actively reflect upon the key elements of best practice. I think one of the greatest accomplishments was seeing adults with little to no teaching experience falling in love with the classroom and reaching out to students that they had only just met. While I circumnavigated the world with University of Virginia's Semester at Sea, I also had the opportunity to visit and teach in schools in Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam.


I also had the opportunity to collaborate with members of my cohort at William and Mary on a variety of lessons, units, and subject areas. One particular project involved a series of Science lessons that were created, organized, and taught by myself and two other pre-service teachers.
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We adapted these lessons for three different grade levels, first, second, and fifth, and co-taught each lesson. After teaching these lessons, we reflected upon our experiences individually on a group blog so that our peers could comment on our experiences. Through this practice, we were able to share ideas, both good and bad, and work towards improving our future teaching pursuits.

Competency 29: Cooperate, collaborate, and foster relationships with families and other members of the community.
I believe that family involvement is essential to student achievement both inside and outside of school. It is important for students and parents to be informed about the classroom expectations, the current assignments, and the daily progress. Before I began my student teaching, I sent home a letter to my students' parents introducing myself and explaining my role in their child’s classroom In this newsletter I also listed upcoming free activities for families in the surrounding community as well as a list of important dates and events to remember. I also included a brief preview of what topics students would be learning about next in class as well as an interactive worksheet that could be completed at home. With the help of the ELL teacher, I was able to translate this newsletter into Spanish so that the parents of my English Language Learners could get the same information with ease. This newsletter also reminded parents of how they can volunteer at the school, at home, or in the classroom.

Competencies 25, 26, & 30: Reflect on how you meet professional expectations and have positively influenced others in your school building.
I believe that I meet the professional expectations set forth by The College of William and Mary in my school in a number of ways. I feel that I am an active and effective collaborator who is always willing to help out other teachers and peers. I also am always open to constructive suggestions and new ideas from my peers, colleagues, and superiors. Throughout my student teaching practicum, college professors, my cooperating teacher, the school principle, the school reading specialist, and my university supervisor have formally observed me. After each observation, I participated in either an informal or formal debriefing in which the observer and I had professional discussions about what expectations were met and what could be improved upon for next time.

One such example of this is when I co-planned and co-taught a Science Lesson on seasonal change with two other members of my William and Mary Elementary Cohort, Amanda and Brian. We individually reflected on the lesson that we planned and taught in order to monitor our own progress and make improvements for the future. This practice helped us to prepare for life as full-time student teachers and will prove to be invaluable once we have classrooms of our own. As a newly-initiated member of Kappa Delta Pi, an international education honor society, I feel that it is my duty to continue to uphold the highest standards of scholarship and professionalism throughout my time in education.
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With the other KDP Initiates from my Elementary Cohort