Reflective Essay. Antonio Almeida. Walden University

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1 Reflective Essay 1 Reflective Essay Antonio Almeida Walden University Professor Jim Lehmann EDUC 6610: Teacher as a Professional February 11, 2007

2 Reflective Essay 2 Running head: REFLECTIVE ESSAY Reflective Essay Antonio Almeida Portuguese Grade Level 9-12 EDUC 6610: Teacher as Professional

3 Reflective Essay 3 Reflective Essay Introduction Reflection is the essential part of the learning process because it results in making sense of or extracting meaning from the experience. (Osterman, 1990). During the first few weeks of the program I have reflected upon the skills I have acquired and have used them to improve my teaching. To my great satisfaction, I have learned to reflect on the priorities and attributes of high-performing teachers, and embrace their values. These past weeks discussions and assignments have greatly contributed to my development as a scholarpractitioner by encouraging the development of my competence as a teacher and to become a reflective professional. Teachers can use the practice of reflection to develop and grow professionally. Reflection leads to a better understanding of professional practices and increases the understanding about the problems teachers are confronted with, and leads to a higher degree of self-awareness. Reflective Philosophy In this course Teacher as Professional, I have gathered the foundation to be a lifelong learner and to be a High-Performing Teacher. When I first started this class, I was not aware of the attributes that were required to a High-Performing Teacher as presented by Lee Canter in his Program One. Many of these attributes were already part of my daily practice while others; I learned by watching Lee Canter s video Program One and is now part of my daily practice. I now recognize positive attributes in my students that will empower them and lead them to success. We have to build the tone to build up the confidence in our students, focus on their attributes and strengths, (Canter 2005). After learning these key attributes of high-performing

4 Reflective Essay 4 teachers I realize that making them part of my daily teaching practice will positively impact my students. When I first entered this profession my goals and my mission were not clear. During this course I have learned to clearly define my goals, values, and guidance for my professional life. By clearly defining in writing my mission statement and developing my philosophy of teaching has help me approach teaching in a positive and ambitious way. In addition, I learned to successfully help my students to reach their full potential and get the highest quality of education. The goals that I set forth for my students and my self are driven by my mission statement and will keep me motivated to teach, learn, and be the best teacher I can be. The following quote supports my philosophy of teaching and that we have an obligation to society as teachers. For our society to prosper, we must become the best teachers we can be and provide the best education for all students. (Frank, 1999) Accordingly to Lee Canter s Golden Rule of Parent Involvement, I focused on creating a step by step way to deal with parents and to focus on the positive rather than the negative. I now know that it is vital to communicate with parents. During these past weeks, I learned to inspire my students, treat them as individuals, and develop the best strategies in the classroom for success. This is supported by the following quote: Our relationship-centered framework for teaching focuses on fulfilling student s fundamental emotional needs to ensure that they want to learn what we teach. (Roger & Renard, 1999). I have focused in developing a positive relationship with some of my students in my Portuguese classes. I developed a plan for some of my students that were lacking parental support. In addition, those students were having problems with other students in class that ended in disruption of the class and apathy. I learned to establish

5 Reflective Essay 5 a plan of well defined actions that we both set to accomplish. The intention was to improve our relationship through various meetings and discussions. Students were given the opportunity to explain what was happening in their personal life, identify those problems to progressively make the right choices. During week four, I learned to implement the problem-solving technique with my a student Devon, a student I was having great difficulty and every day was a battle to have him just pay attention to the class and arrive on time. We discussed what was happening in his personal life that was affecting his grades and school life. In program four, The Power of Choice, Lee Canter stated that high-performing teachers have to deal with reality, and it is inevitable that they have to make a choice (2005). With Devon we discussed this technique; we defined choices, the challenges, and what was needed for his success. In addition, we discussed how to face reality and the factors that were impacting him negatively. I learned to successfully deal with outside factors by implementing a four step process and Strategic Self-Disclosures with my students for them to be more successful in school. I believe that now I have learned the necessary foundation for successful learning and to overcome challenges through reflection and through the problem-solving process itself. Conclusion One of the greatest challenges that I will face in the future as a teacher is to avoid burnout and to keep focus. It is crucial to continuously visit my mission statement and update it every time that is necessary. I need to challenge my self through reflection and by updating my mission statement. This will keep me focused and will keep me with the energy to continue being a highperforming teacher. My mission statement will be a critical tool to maintain me inspired,

6 Reflective Essay 6 productive, and confidence to keep up teaching in the future. The time that I have invested in during these weeks in this program has greatly contributed to my development to be a highperforming teacher. I have learned strategies, reflected in many of my teaching strategies, and benefited from the input of my colleagues. All the strategies, tools and attributes of highperforming teachers that I have learned will make me a proficient teacher and greatly increase my student s success.

7 Reflective Essay 7 References Canter, L., & Winberry, K. (Directors). (2005): Program 4: The Power of Choice [Motion Picture]. In C. Arnold (Producer); The high-performing teacher. Los Angeles: Laureate Education, Inc. Canter, L., & Winberry, K. (Directors). (2005): Program 8: Teaching Students to Develop a Positive Attitude [Motion Picture]. In C. Arnold (Producer); The high-performing teacher. Los Angeles: Laureate Education, Inc. Frank, Peter. (1999). Becoming a Reflective Teacher: Define Your Teaching Goals and Continue to Reevaluate them. ASCD Catalyst. Retrieved February 9, 2007, from Osterman, k. F. Reflective Practice: A New Agenda for Education. Education and Urban Society 22 no. 2 (February 1990): Roger, S. & Renard L. (1999, September) Relationship-Driven Teaching. Educational Leadership, pp. 34.

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