Standard 10

Demonstrates a strong professional ethic and a desire to contribute to the education profession.


Problem of Practice Resolution

Walk-through Note-catcher

Humanities Curriculum Meeting Minutes 4/16/14


In my Problem of Practice for my student teaching, I demonstrate a strong professional ethic by creating a personal development plan to enhance my professional growth as a humble lifelong learner.  My Problem of Practice indicates the possible threat that spending my professional life “as the smartest person in the room”, or at least the most knowledgeable in social studies, could have on my desire to improve myself as a teacher. Good teachers continue to hone their craft and knowledge in their subject area. My problem arose during a lesson on primary and secondary sources when a student challenged my understanding of the differences between the two by noting that the autobiography, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai, was both a primary and secondary source, since it included Malala’s perspective on the events of her life along with information that she had not experienced firsthand. My student’s response to my lesson made me doubt my own understanding of the lesson, and forced me to reconsider whether I have, or can ever, master “the study of people.” In my Problem of Practice, I claim,  “teachers are responsible for knowing the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of their discipline, yet must remain willing to continue learning new information and perspectives on history… Teachers must also be willing to allow students to challenge their teachers’ assumptions and understandings of social studies.” Despite my Bowdoin degree and love of history, I need to remain cognizant that I will never “have all the answers”, so I can remain committed to both improving myself as a learner and a teacher. I conclude my Problem of Practice by noting my commitment to renewing myself as a Social Studies teacher by working at a innovative and motivated learning environment, while staying current with the American Historical Society.

By allowing my colleagues to watch my classroom, I helped them to form new, innovative methods of classroom management, improving the quality of their teaching. I demonstrated a desire to contribute to the education profession through my colleague’s “note-catchers” of my teaching. I opened my classroom to observation during Bath Middle School’s “Walk-Through Day”, an annual event where teachers observe and take notes on their colleagues’ teaching. In their “note-catchers” for my teaching, two of my colleagues commended me for my ability to elicit debate and synthesize information in my teaching. More importantly, both teachers indicated that they would like to incorporate a form of my daily “minute of silence” into their own classroom to focus their students at the beginning of their lesson.

I contributed to the education profession by explaining many of the pros and cons of the Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Writing program and helping to explain how my colleagues could use this program. Every Wednesday of my student teaching, I met with other Bath Middle School Humanities teachers to discuss curriculum goals. I played an active role in these meetings, offering my own personal insights and completing the sample writing tasks that our leader asked us to complete. During the curriculum meeting on April 16th, we discussed the eventual implementation of Lucy Calkins’ writing program at the school. Since I had already extensively researched Units of Study on my own, as I anticipate using the program in my future teaching, I helped to allay many of my colleagues’ concerns for the program. I noted that, though the program takes a considerable amount of  of time to implement, it successfully incorporated students’ own experiences into their writing in exciting, innovate ways.