During my time student teaching at my high school and elementary school placement, my teaching has proven my growth and development in the following Teacher Quality Standards. Below, I will reflect on my performance for each of these standards and provide evidence for my success.
QUALITY STANDARD 1:
Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
Through my education in fine art practices at CSU, I am able to provide expertise for my students in the art content. I demonstrate my mastery of the arts through my art history knowledge, my ability to practice a wide variety of art mediums and my ability to transfer this knowledge to my students.
During my student teaching, I have utilized my knowledge of art history and the contemporary art world to give my students a vast understanding of what art has been, is and could be. Art is ever changing and knows no bounds. In my classroom, we consider artworks created by diverse people in order to more fully understand and find inspiration from artists (past and present).
5th grade students in my Diagram Do-Over Lesson studied contemporary artist and author Rachel Ignotofsky. Inspired by her ability to take dry, educational material and make it fun and engaging for a younger audience, student revamped their own diagrams. Students utilized books from their school library to find educational diagrams and revamped them to create whimsical artworks using ink and watercolor.
Kindergartners learned about Mark Rothko’s color field paintings from the 1920’s in the Emotion Drawing Lesson. Students viewed the work of Rothko, identifying emotions that his artwork might represent. Then, students created their own color field artworks using chalk pastels on colored paper to represent an emotion of their choice.
Another demonstration of my proficiency with this standard is my knowledge of art practices and the use of a variety of mediums. Through my fine arts training at CSU, I have become proficient in Drawing, Photography, Painting, Metalsmithing, Sculpture, and Pottery. Through my own curiosity, I have also become proficient in Digital Art Making. I have developed a mastery of Printmaking through my concentration on the study at the university level.
The following images are examples of my artwork in each of the previously listed mediums.
My fine arts background allows me to provide students with projects and lessons that span a variety of artistic mediums. I have taught courses in photography, printmaking, video production, sculpture and pottery.
Finally, I complete this standard through my drive to grow and learn. Although I am trained in all of these practices, there is much more for me to learn. I believe an individual who strives to be a life-long learner is a much better educator than one who relies solely on past knowledge. As educators, we must strive to learn and grow alongside our students. In this way, I will continue to gain content and pedagogical knowledge in my content.
QUALITY STANDARD II:
Teachers establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students.
As a student teacher, I have had the privilege of working with a diverse population of students who bring unique needs and perspectives to an art classroom. Providing a learning environment that supports and ensures the success of all students is crucial. I have made several strides toward providing a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for all students. Some such strides include integrating accommodations and differentiation into each lesson, providing students with choice and opportunities to express themselves, and getting to know students as individuals.
Each lesson I create includes a section dedicated to accommodations and differentiation of instruction, materials, and practices. Accommodations are made for students who require certain classroom environments or tools to be successful in an art classroom. There have been several students at both Olander Elementary School and Thompson Valley High School who need adjustments made to the classroom setting and structure that I have accommodated. For example, in one of my 5th grade classes, a student uses a motorized wheel chair. We ensure his success by providing a space for him to work comfortably in the classroom, sometimes adding components to his wheel chair to give him a work space closer to himself (the component is a table that attaches to his wheel chair so that he does not have to try and get his wheel chair underneath a table to use it. Another student in a high school painting class had difficulty following verbal instructions due to a learning impairment. In order to ensure his success, I would demonstrate visually using the overhead camera and projector what I said verbally. This allowed him to content the words to the motion and understand my expectations. Differentiation is achieved by understanding where students are at joining your classroom and finding ways to help all students grow regardless of that starting point. Some students come to the classroom quite advanced while others may seem far behind. It is the educators job to understand each student’s needs and find ways to help all students meet the objective. Below are some examples of student work from very different students working on the same project. These artworks are both 3rd grade student works created for the Posters For A Cause Lesson – students carved poster designs about an environmental issue into a foam board and used printmaking techniques to print them on paper. See the captions to understand the differentiation provided.
Another way I demonstrated my success in this standard is by including many elements of choice into all of my art lessons. Choice enables students to feel ownership of their own learning, to express themselves through their art works, and to integrate their other interests and learning into their art. A classroom environment benefits from choice because students can make decisions about their own learning: an investment into the culture of the classroom community. Below are some images and captions that describe elements of choice in my lessons.
All of these techniques are important to ensuring a inclusive, safe and encouraging learning environment. But most fundamental to a classrooms success is a teachers understanding of their students. A teacher who knows their students will better anticipate and fulfill their needs. This is a fundamental necessity to a successful classroom environment that I will always strive to achieve. Although the short time at each placement makes it difficult to get to know each and every student well, I was able to make many connections with students at both placements that are very meaningful.
QUALITY STANDARD III:
Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
I demonstrated my success in Standard III is by providing instruction that caters to all learning styles – verbal, written, visual, and kinetic. All of my lessons included elements of each style – often several at once – in order to ensure that my students were connecting to my instruction. Each day, I designed a visual presentation to accompany my verbal instruction. All lessons include a literacy element that allows students to read and write. Art is also a very kinetic experience and each lesson includes an art making project which allows students to practice what they see presented. Here are some images of student working that show them utilizing these different learning styles.
QUALITY STANDARD IV:
Teachers demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership.
Each day of both of my placements required me to demonstrate professionalism in the classroom and at the school. I dressed professionally, used appropriate language and references within the school, I fulfilled all the duties responsible of a student teacher and presented myself on time and ready to work. Through my Art Journal and Lesson Plan Reflections, I contemplated and discussed the effectiveness of my teaching. I often revised my lessons and instruction to meet the needs of my students. As a leader in the school community, I attended all staff meetings, participated in school wide activities such as Track Meet Qualifications and Specials Combined Days. I also considered my position as a teacher in the classroom to be an important source of modeling for my students and therefore upheld the highest of ethical and moral conduct.