One Teacher's Voice

Think.Learn.Know.Act

Takeaways from Block II

It has been one incredible, life-changing semester for me. I have been challenged, stretched, fascinated and frustrated all at the same time. Education is an amazing field and I am honored to consider myself a future educator. I am so grateful for my professors. They have provided me with an incredible depth of information to use in my future career. I count my lucky stars when I think of them as future colleagues and people I can call upon for help and guidance in my classroom.

The following is a list of my biggest take-aways from Block II (second semester of teaching education):

  • It is crucial that no matter what subject (but especially for math and science), I must take the important step of making sure my own conceptual understanding is solid and confirmed before attempting to scaffold instruction.
  • Children must be allowed to talk about math. Talking is a very important part of developing conceptual understanding. Children learn just as well from each other as they do from their teachers!
  • The best instruction is driven by where the students currently are in their own understanding (as opposed to a prescriptive, pre-determined textbook or curriculum). Textbooks should be used, but just as what they are: reference books.
  • Non-native English speakers: students are more successful when they are allowed to access content information in their native language.
  • There is nothing wrong with a standardized tests. When they are linked to high stakes (student opportunity, teacher jobs, school funding) they are incredibly damaging to the individual, as well as to our country overall.
  • Students related to language and literature best when the texts are authentic, relevant and accessible.
  • Critical Race Theory. I’m still learning about this but it has deeply changed the way I view my world. It’s too huge of a topic to go into depth in this bullet.
  • There is a definite difference between listening and active listening. Active listening is a skill I am still figuring out and I have a feeling it will be a career-long challenge. A good challenge, but hard nonetheless.
I was given the honor of an award by my university at the end of this semester. I was named a “Champion of Social Justice.” This means more to me than I can say. I felt a side of me awaken this semester that I always knew was there, but did not yet have a cause. I come by it quite honestly. My family, generations back, has always been deeply involved in social justice issues and I consider myself lucky and humbled to be grouped with them.
I believe there is hope for change. And I want to be a part of that change.
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