Regrettably due to work conflicts and events at my cooperating school, I was not able to attend CSU’s teacher development conference. However, I will attempt to answer the questions posted regardless – possibly relating my answers to other experiences that I believe have helped me develop professionally.

Professional development is very important to an educator. It provides teachers with the opportunity to continue their growth and hear the ideas of other teachers in their field.

Looking back at the professional development opportunities I have experienced during student teaching, I can see several ways that it has affected my presentation and work flow as a teacher.

During my student teaching, I have been to several staff meetings in both schools I have worked. These meetings often encompass discussions of the school’s status, student performance, student issues, and resources for teachers. In one particular meeting at TVHS, teachers were allowed to find small groups that they would like to join based off of meeting topics. One group was meeting to discuss individual students who were failing, struggling or were under discipline for their action. I would consider this meeting a very successful example of professional development. Although there wasn’t a key speaker or some sort of activity, teachers were working to better their teaching by discussing their students. Their goal was to learn from one another and work together to best support their students who needed them most. At this meeting I found inspiration in the power of this community as they truly cared about their students success and were doing all they could to ensure it.

Another professional development experience I have had this semester was the mock interviews we experienced that Claire organized. We interviewed with 3 art teachers currently working in the PSD. This experience was extremely beneficial for my professional growth. It gave me the opportunity to practice expressing my ideas about education, about my teaching and about student success to teachers who really understood what I was saying. In the first interview I was nervous and stumbled a bit through my words, but on my next, I spoke with confidence and conviction. The praise I received in the final 2 interviews really solidified my confidence. After these mock interviews, I have had several opportunities to show what I have learned in real interviews and have seen positive results. A few key points I learned during these mock interviews are to use real world examples to back up answers to questions, to be myself and speak from my heart, and to use visuals that I have brought to represent the ideas in my answers so that my interviewee can visualize my answers.

Below is a drawing that represents my hashtag for this reflection: #strive. I will continue to strive to be a better educator and learner as I move forward in my career. I hand carved and printed these images on colored paper.