Standard 7

Demonstrates the ability to support students’ learning and well being by engaging students, home, school, colleagues, and community.

Artifacts: 

Letter Home to Parents

Meeting with colleagues for student

Notes from PET meeting with parents

Rationale: 

A good teacher realizes that his/her job extends far beyond the classroom. To more effectively reach my students, I need to ensure that they remain as focused on learning at home as they do in my classroom. My “letter to the parents”, which I included in our house’s online newsletter after my first week of student-teaching, effectively demonstrates my ability to support learning by providing my contact information, expressing my eagerness to work with my students’ parents or guardians to best support their child’s learning, and indicating my expectation that the students will remain active learners at home with their parents or guardians’ help. In the letter, I tell the parents or guardians about myself- my education, my interests, my aspirations. I then indicate my expectation that they will continue to facilitate their child’s academic growth by helping them with whatever schoolwork they need to finish and closely monitoring their work completion percentage. Students who restrict their learning to school hours risk falling behind on their work and not reaching their full potential. It is absolutely essential that the students’ guardians can reach me with their concerns and questions swiftly. In the letter, I provide two methods of contacting me (my email and phone number), telling the parents that they “should not hesitate to contact me.” Throughout my student-teaching, I have always responded to calls or emails within 24 hours.

At Bath Middle School, where I student taught seventh grade Social Studies, I met with my fellow “Green House” teachers daily. During this period, my fellow teachers and I discussed our students’ progress, our house’s schedule, and curriculum goals. During this time, we also met with parents or administrators to decide on how best to support the learning of specific students. For example, during a meeting I transcribed for one of my students, a Lebanese- American student with serious reading and writing difficulties, we met with Jane Cross, director of English as a Second Language for our school district. I played an active role in this meeting by describing our student as “a kind, hardworking student.. often distracted and frustrated by his lack of understanding (of the material).” I demonstrate my ability to support the student’s learning by working with my Ms. Cross and my colleagues to correctly diagnose his learning difficulties and establishing a plan to supplement his learning. By collaborating daily with my colleagues to help all of the the green house students, I promoted my students’ academic, social, and emotional development.

I further demonstrated my understanding of Standard Seven in a transcribed parent-teacher conference for another student with severe learning and social disabilities resulting from lack of impulse control and an inability to read social cues. By engaging with my student’s parents, I supported the student’s learning by contributing a tangible piece of an ambitious, yet feasible IEP to scaffold his learning. During this meeting, I made it clear to the learner’s parents that I was invested in his success, and would signal this investment through daily electronical communication. During this conference, the student’s parents, the Green House teachers, and Bath Middle School administrators developed a new Individual Education Plan for him. I played an active role in this conference by suggesting that the learner complete daily “homework assignment sheets” at the end of the class day, signed by all the Green House teachers to ensure that he remains accountable for his work. This proposal was eventually included into his IEP for the rest of the year.  

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