1 29. What are your greatest strengths as a teacher, and how did Purdue's Teacher Education Program contribute to the development of these strengths? 1. My greatest strengths as a teacher are being able to connect with the children and getting on their level. Purdue's Teacher Education Program contributes by allowing me the opportunity to work with children in my classes. 2. I feel that one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is managing a classroom and building and maintaining a warm, successful learning classroom environment. I feel that Purdue's teacher education program does a fine job of stressing the importance of doing so. Another area in which I have excelled as a result of Purdue's teacher ed. program is my ability to plan lessons that are interdisciplinary and integrate technology. The program has done a good job of teaching me HOW to do this. 3. Listening and respecting students and developing creative and well-thought out plans and activities. Being in CDFS, I learned how to do this VERY well. 4. My greatest strengths are from the experiences I had through hands-on lab experiences. The classroom work was only helpful with core content about child development! 5. I feel that my presentation skills are strong. The professor showed me ways of getting the students motivated and presenting an interesting lesson without losing my audience. 6. Love of teaching, subject matter mastery, and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Beats me. 7. My greatest strengths are being organized and finding fun ways to do subject areas. I do not feel that the Block program enhanced any of these. 8. I write good lessons using information not always in the text. I learned how to bring in outside material and I am also a perfectionist at writing my lessons. I learned that from Purdue. 9. I think my greatest strengths as a teacher is my ability to relate to the students and to use a variety of methods that incorporate other disciplines as well. The most useful class I had during my teacher preparation was EDCI 309. I learned very practical ways to help my students learn in that class. As a result of what I learned there, Language Arts has been incorporated into my teaching of History in many ways. 10. The content I know came from the LAS classes I took. The Teacher Education Program made very little significance. I can see why Purdue is ranked 48th in Schools of Education while Wisconsin, MSU, Michigan, IU, Northwestern, Penn State, and Minnesota are more superior to Purdue. Maybe Purdue ought to duplicate the Harvard or U of Penn programs. It might benefit the students, rather than someone with a Ph.D. saying, 'Look at what I did at Purdue'. 11. I think using a variety of instructional strategies to help teach a diverse classroom of learners. Gaining practice in time management, classroom management, and working with different teachers each year help me gain experience and knowledge. 12. My time spent thus far in a classroom. I like my ability to be flexible and teach in different situations. Purdue helped me to feel confident in my ability to plan instruction and work with different types of students. Because of the Theory into Practice experiences I feel comfortable in the classroom. 13. My greatest strengths as a teacher include flexibility, compassion, passion for children and teaching, extremely hard worker, professionalism within a classroom. Purdue helped me to achieve all of my strengths for teaching. I cannot say thank-you enough Purdue and the structured education program it promotes for students. 14. Patience and being flexible! Being prepared and organized at all times. 15. My greatest strength is intrinsic driving force. Purdue has nothing to do with this strength, as it was instilled within me by my parents. 16. My classroom management skills and my ability to read students are my greatest strengths; however, Purdue does not deserve any credit for these.
2 17. I feel that through my English classes I learned how to plan out a strong lesson plan that is appropriate to age the age level and times of a classroom. 18. I am organized, and a good self-evaluator. I have a strong background in child development and know what to expect at different ages. 19. One of my greatest strengths as a teacher is the ability to design lessons with all students in mind. I am able to address the needs of a variety of different types of learners. I believe that this is in large part due to the Block classes at Purdue that emphasized meeting the needs of all students and how to accomplish this. I also believe that creativity in the classroom is one of my strengths, and many of my ideas originated from something discussed during Block courses. 20. My creativity, teamwork, and organization, and I had these before I came to Purdue. 21. I believe that my Classroom Management Plan is my greatest strength. This was developed in Block V, and I was able to carry it out in Block VI. I am also comfortable working with students of any age level due to the many varying levels that I worked with in my educational career. I attribute many of my successes to EDCI 308. This is the most beneficial class that I took at Purdue. 22. My organizational skills and my ease with students are my greatest strengths. My courses at Purdue helped me gain confidence in that I felt well-prepared when I was teaching. Just being in college helped me become more organized. 23. I believe my greatest strength as a teacher is my communication with the students, parents, and other teachers. I don't know that Purdue's Teacher Education Program really developed this strength. 24. My greatest strength is perseverance; it has been a long road and I had to work hard to be where I am now. Purdue has been good experiences for me, there have been some very frustrating components to the Teacher Education program with the changes in the Blocks and we sometimes felt like guinea pigs; however, I am proud to say I have a degree from Purdue University because I know that Purdue truly wants to disperse great teachers. 25. My greatest strengths are my compassion, enthusiasm, and dedication towards teaching along with my ability to prepare, plan, and implement lesson plans and instructional units according to Indiana's Academic Standards. Purdue definitely helped with my ability to produce lesson plans and units accordingly. 26. I can communicate with anybody; we did take a class about collaborating with general education teachers. 27. My greatest strength as a teacher would be the way that I relate to the students. I usually do not think that I have patience, but with the students I do. Purdue allowed us to go out into the schools early on in our educational career. This has helped me see how the students behave and allowed me to develop patience over time. 28. I feel I am strong in being able to adapt curriculum so each student in my classroom is successful. 29. Lesson planning. The Education program addressed lesson planning a little. How and what to plan for a whole class period was never addressed. 30. Lesson plan development, well thought out, and prepared for each class. The professors' rigorous teaching of lesson plan development. 31. I am able to adapt a lesson at any time. I am flexible and willing to try new things. Purdue showed some new ways to teach materials. 32. They did not help me at all. I used my own natural skill that was void of any Purdue experience. 33. My greatest strengths are communication with students, organization, and creative lesson plans. I believe that Purdue's Teacher Education Program contributed to my lessons plans. I use the Purdue's outline for my lesson plans and find that they help me to include all aspects of a good lesson plan. Communication with students was benefited by all the Theory into Practice experiences, while organization has been a life skill of mine.
3 34. Working with individual student needs and motivation. The program at Purdue did very little to add to my past professional experience. It provided me a license to teach in public Schools. 35. My greatest strengths: I never stop smiling, passion for the subject matter I teach, enthusiasm, ability to relate subject matter to the students level while at the same time not talking down to them, if that makes sense. I believe these strengths are a result of my personality rather than Purdue's Teacher Education Program. 36. My greatest strengths are my creativity and trying new things. I think Purdue encouraged me to be different and use ideas that students would enjoy. 37. I have no strengths as a teacher, and Purdue didn't help in that respect. 38. Classroom management is one of my biggest strengths. This is in part based on my upbringing and in part because of Block V. 39. One of my greatest strengths is being able to relate to children. Our method courses helped us look at each subject from the prospective as a child. 40. I believe that my strengths as a teacher are my passion for teaching, caring about my students, and being well-rounded. Purdue help me become more knowledgeable and well rounded. 41. To be the best teacher that I can possibly be and any less is not acceptable. 42. I have a good understanding of the background concepts in the core subject areas. Purdue's program contributed to this by requiring me to take core classes. I also feel that I have a lot of experience in the classroom compared to education students from other universities. Purdue contributed to this by requiring me to spend time in classrooms during Theory into Practice experiences. 43. My greatest strength as a teacher is simply a love of what I do and a dedication to my students. The Teacher Education Program, prior to student teaching, actually gave me doubts that I would be an effective teacher because I did not feel as though I was prepared. 44. Being a Consumer and Family Science education major, I felt really prepared after going through our method class to be comfortable and enthusiastic to teach out curriculum. 45. Patience, sense of humor, kindness, knowledge of standards, how to teach diverse learners, humbleness, being able to apply what I have learned from others, and love of students. No Block class, except for student teaching, has helped me develop these strengths. 46. Listening, being aware of student emotion and behavior at all times, and compassion for struggling students. 47. Communication with parents and fellow teachers. 48. Being able to bring fun and excitement to the classroom, and being able to adapt/modify the curriculum for each learning style. Purdue contributed by placing me with a great supervising teacher. 49. Experience - the more in a classroom the better. 50. Planning - We had to be specific in our lesson plans. 51. Planning - none. 52. Discipline and voice quality. Organization is strength. I was taught that it is necessary to stay organized. 53. I believe my biggest strength is to understand and have a great rapport with my students and most of that I contribute to my own personality and upbringing from my parents. My methods courses in my major gave some experience, but did not teach me how to interact with students. It's just natural. 54. Planning - We had to be specific in our lesson plans. 55. Experience - the more in a classroom the better. 56. I feel very well versed in teaching based on the academic standards while using a variety of instruction and assessment techniques. I can foster a warm and friendly classroom environment with my students and with other staff members. 57. I learned to be creative, use the resources around me, and how to be assertive and open minded.
4 58. I think my greatest strengths as a teacher is to understand what objectives I am teaching in a lesson and how these objectives connect to the Indiana Standards. 59. I'm organized and highly motivated. I also know how to find activities. I think that is important. You don't have to recreate Rome every time. You just need to be able to find resources and lessons and modify them to meet your specific needs. Also, by having good motivated teachers in my college career helped me see how being enthusiastic can really change the atmosphere of the class. Also, by being organized can help lessen stress. Purdue gave me a taste of large work loads and helped me prepare for the work loads I will get soon. I was able to organize and manage situations in a professional manner. 60. My greatest strength as a teacher would be the fact that I am not bitter that I spent 5 years learning almost nothing that is applicable to my teaching. 61. I feel that teaching literacy is my strength. Because of the focus Purdue puts in literacy I felt most able to teach this when I got to student teaching. 62. I am professional, have high expectations for students, I am strict on students and can discipline. I communicate extremely well and can contact with young people. Purdue's Teacher Education program did not help me with this, the FFA and my outside experiences gave me these abilities. 63. My greatest strength is my ability to relate to the students and encourage them to perform at a high level. I am also knowledgeable about the subject material and have become good at creating lessons that let students discover concepts on their own which gives them a sense of pride and ownership of the material. Purdue helped me with these strengths through methods classes and my math classes. My ability to relate to students is one of my own personal characteristics that no class could teach. 64. I learned from experience, not in the lecture hall. 65. Communication with the students. Teaching the standards or at least doing some every day. With art, DBAE (Discipline-Based Arts Education) in every lesson. The paper work that comes with teaching and being organized. 66. I believe that my greatest strengths are lesson plan development and classroom management. I love the lesson plan format that Purdue provides (and requires of) student teachers. I plan to use this format in the future. When I use this format my lessons are often more successful than if I hadn't. Furthermore, I believe that I have been able to develop some great positive reinforcements in my classroom. I have learned a few 'tricks' from my Block V courses to keep my students motivated and on task. I will always keep and refer to my student teaching packet. There are so many great suggestions regarding lesson plans, parent-teacher communication, unit plans, and anecdotal records. 67. Strong content knowledge. 68. My greatest strengths came from within. I got a lot from my methods classes because I was able to use strategies that I came up with that were inspired by my course instructor. I learned the most from student teaching and the cooperating teachers I had. 69. Block V helped me to foster my organizational skills and creativity when working with classroom management. 70. My ability to work well one-on-one with a student came from tutoring during Block IV, my ability to create detailed lesson plans came from Block III, my ability to create technological classroom tools, such as tutorials came from EDCI 270, and my ability to communicate well with parents came from EDPS My greatest strength as a teacher is my ability to manage a classroom. I feel fortunate that I have that ability on my own because no class at Purdue really touched on that. 72. As a teacher I feel my strengths would be that I know many methods of teaching. Specifically in teaching reading and writing. I feel that if one method was not working for a particular group of students I would have another method to fall back on and use. 73. My greatest strengths are classroom discipline and overall environment. I feel that having cooperating teachers that were wonderful to work with contributed to this through example. I do not feel there was much in the Purdue classroom that taught me this.
5 74. I can bring real world experiences into the classroom. 75. My greatest strength as a teacher is motivating students to learn. I learned some great motivator ideas in my student teaching experience from one of my instructors. 76. Exposure in the classroom. 77. One of my greatest strengths as a teaching is my ability to become flexible. I have had many instances where my class did not understand something so I spent more time on it and cut out other things. I believe that it is important to make sure that you do not leave any child behind and make sure that they all at least have the basic understanding of the material presented. 78. My love for children. Purdue helped by getting me into different classrooms. 79. Control and Management in the classroom. Most of it I learned from having a preschool teaching job throughout college. I guess the rest of it I learned from my Theory into Practice experiences. 80. My greatest strengths are my knowledge of content, my flexibility in the classroom, and my cooperation with administration. The wide variety of classes combined with excellent, enthusiastic professors in the education department contributed to my knowledge of content. Flexibility comes from personally being patient and open to other possibilities, as well as learning in my education courses multiple strategies to cope with and reach all types of students in any given situation. Cooperation with administration is something that comes from simply being in contact with professionals of Purdue and of surrounding schools throughout my college career. The more I was around professors in small-group settings or paired up with teachers in grade school settings, the more comfortable I felt around them and the more I related to them on a professional level. 81. Planning was the biggest thing that some of the classes got me to do and to really think about. I had to really think about how I could get all of the students to understand what we were trying to do as a class. 82. My greatest strengths are that I am prepared. I appreciated how many of my instructors worked to provide me with a variety of materials to begin my journey as a teacher. I work well with others, which I think can also be contributed to Purdue, as we did a variety of group work with the individuals in our class. 83. Assessing- we constantly worked on strengthening our assessment skills by using a variety of assessments. 84. Organization, time management, discipline, and lesson planning. My own department prepared me more than the Teacher Education Program. 85. I think that some of my greatest strengths as a teacher are lesson plan implementation and content knowledge. The classes that contributed to these strengths were my art education methods courses. 86. I am extremely adaptable, which is a quality that everyone in the education program emphasized and nourished. 87. My greatest strength as a teacher is the way I am able to interact with the students. I really get to know them, all of them. Purdue didn't really help at all with this. 88. My greatest strengths as a teacher include organization, flexibility, and a willingness to try new things. However, I learned these things from student teaching and through real teaching, not through any classes at Purdue. The strength that I have learned from Purdue is my knowledge of literacy concepts. I had two fantastic professors in literacy, who really taught me valuable techniques and strategies that can be used when I actually teach. 89. My greatest strengths as a teacher are being able to relate to the students. Purdue helped this by exposing us into the classroom early, and allowing us to become comfortable in the classroom before our student teaching experience, so we were confident in our teaching abilities before we began student teaching. 90. My greatest strengths are my ability to stay patient and my ability to be comfortable teaching towards all learners while using a variety of instructional methods to make sure my students get the most out of their education in my classroom.
6 91. I am a positive role model for the children and I have developed a deeper love and appreciation for teaching young children. 92. One of my strengths is to use a variety of teaching methods during a lesson, and Purdue has given me great examples of how to do that effectively. 93. I think my greatest strengths as a teacher are: my positive attitude, my patience, my understanding, and my dedication and hard work to ensure that each child is learning to his/her best ability. Purdue's program challenged me in each area and helped me understand the full commitment of the teaching profession. 94. I think one of my greatest strengths is being confident in the classroom. Purdue helped me with this by giving me lots of experiences in all different types of diverse classrooms. 95. I feel that my greatest strength is in being confident with myself. I feel that by being in a classroom for four years I was more prepared and ready for student teaching. 96. Managing the classroom. It seems as though every course I took in Purdue's teacher education program in some way prepared me to better manage the classroom. 97. Classroom management is one of my greatest strengths. I also feel that teaching a variety of ways is strength. 98. I really feel that Purdue's Teacher Education Program did an awful job preparing me for my student teaching experience. I was never even required to make a portfolio. I would not recommend people that I know who want to go into secondary education to go to Purdue. 99. Organization, willingness to try new thing, and positive attitude My greatest strengths as a teacher would have to come from how I lead debates and discussions in my classroom. I feel that I have gained those skills through life and that the Purdue Education department had nothing to do with it My greatest strengths as a teacher are organization, creativity, and communication. I found that Purdue requires you to be organized in order to complete the assignments on time and also helps you to organize assignments by making you put them into binders or boxes. Creativity was fostered throughout my experiences because Purdue allows and encourages you to think outside of the box and to go beyond the books you are required to use. It also allows you to study art, music, health, and other classes in which you have to express creativity. Finally, communication was a huge part of Purdue's education program. You had to communicate with professors, teaching assistants, classmates, and people you worked with within the elementary schools. Overall, Purdue has made me feel comfortable and confident in going into the teaching field. They have provided me with tremendous mentors and materials to take with me in the future My greatest strengths are in curriculum development, planning, and classroom management. We were taught so many ways to design and develop a quality curriculum for the classroom AND the management necessary to successfully 'run' a classroom I feel that my greatest strength is my confidence. I feel really confident about what I do and this in turns shows my students that I know what I am talking about. Purdue University helped me build that confidence and allowed me to grow into a professional I can appreciate that Purdue has taught me the importance of using a variety of learning techniques in the classroom. Verbal, pencil and paper, and assessments etc. can make learning more enjoyable and see less like test taking I believe I am a patient teacher who listens to the children with whatever they need. Teacher Education Program taught me about students and their different needs and that I need to be sensitive to each student I feel my greatest strengths are perseverance to do my best and for my students to reach their goals and perform at their best ability. I also learned about flexibility during my student teaching experience from my mentor and supervisor, I cannot stress how important this is while you are in a classroom I'm confident in what I do because of my well training My greatest strengths are that I am very organized, but also very flexible. Going through Purdue's education program has helped me to know my range of capabilities when it comes
7 to teaching in the classroom. Purdue's education program has helped me to know all that I need to know to teach, but also it has helped me to be a more creative person as well My greatest strength as a teacher is my patience. However, I don t believe that Purdue helped me develop this I believe that my greatest strength as a teacher is my ability to manage students in a classroom setting. I believe that all of the Blocks helped me with this strength. In each Block we were able to actually work with students one-on-one, small group, and whole class settings. This was a great way for me personally to become comfortable in managing student learning and behavior One of the strengths that I have received during student teaching was my positive feedback. I have tried to be delivering more positive feedback than negative. Why? Because for every 1 negative comment it takes 3 positive to get that student back into the same mind frame they were in before the one negative. I have strived to glorify the good as opposed to ridiculing the negative. I also feel that one of my strengths is in the way I deliver lessons. Whenever possible I try to present lessons and information visually, orally, and kinesthetically, because as we all know not everyone learns in the same way. Another strength I have received positive feedback on is the fact that I have that natural knack for teaching. While Purdue can not take credit for this, the first two strengths I listed were items that were brought up very often in my Purdue classes Flexibility, things were always changing and you had to be able to change with them Purdue's program helped me to develop and incorporate various teaching strategies into my teaching to reach a variety of learners. Also, it gave me the ideas and background knowledge on how to handle classroom management issues and not letting these issues disrupt a lesson Inquiry methods when teaching. I always ask the students what they think and how they think something works, why, etc. This helps me to assess what they already know and also gets good discussions and interest provoked. I learned this in the science methods course. I am also strong at formulating lesson plans and developing curriculum according to the standards. I believe that Blocks III to VI have all helped me in this area Positive Feedback-one of the main aspects of teaching that I remember from methods was that for every one negative feedback it takes 3 positive feedbacks to get the child back into the same mind state they were in before the initial negative. Different Learners-another part of my schooling at Purdue reinforced the need to present information and lessons in more than one way, because as we all know no one learns the same way. Some of use learn best visually, some orally, and some kinesthetically. Relating to students-in methods we learned that we had to treat each student as an individual instead of treating the class as a whole. I think I have done a great job at getting to know my students at individuals and learning each of their strengths and weaknesses as well as their likes and dislikes. This could be credited to my classes but also in part of my natural teaching personality My greatest strengths are my knowledge of child development and how that dictates what you teach in your class. I learned these things from my CDFS classes I believe that I have a strong knowledge of the standards and how to write effective lesson plans, as several Block classes required me to do these things Purdue's Teacher Education Program helped me to have a strong classroom management and discipline plan. It helped me to be prepared for anything and ready to do everything. It made me more flexible, more compassionate, and ready to teach Designing lessons and assessments that are appropriate for learners. Developing relationships with students (Blocks III to V really helped with this) Enthusiasm, classroom management. - Enthusiasm was on my own. - Classroom management was built in Block V I feel really comfortable with classroom management learned in methods classes at Purdue as well as being knowledgeable with IEP (Individualized Education Program), etc. I felt I learned a lot of helpful information in EDPS 265.
8 122. My greatest strength is that I am willing to try anything to help a child. I know where to find recourses and can adapt them to the student's needs Teaching the standards, using inquiry, student involved activities My greatest strength as a teacher is that I am a natural leader and I truly care about my students. Purdue's Teacher Education Program did not contribute very much to this. I learned a lot of things at Purdue, however not much that contributed to my strengths I am comfortable with the students and have more patience with them. I learned things such as waiting 3-4 seconds for an answer Aligning instruction to the standards I have an enthusiasm for teaching. I love it and I want to be good at it for the kids. The English classes I took at Purdue and my methods teachers reinforced my enthusiasm and pushed me to want to be the best I can be My greatest strength is my ability to plan ahead and assess students. Purdue's education program had some affect on my planning part Organization and planning My greatest strength as a teacher is that I am able to adapt my lessons to meet the needs of all students. Theory into Practice has helped me in seeing different classrooms and seeing how different teachers practices are My greatest strengths are classroom management, confidence, and organization. I feel that Purdue offered many opportunities for me to practice my technique during field experiences, and it built my confidence in teaching I interact with the students well and the experience during Theory into Practice got me over my 'jitters' Patience Professionalism, my relationship with the students, my knowledge of the content and my ability to use outside resources, and willingness to put in any amount of hours to get a job done. I don't feel that the education program did much to help me with these things; I just have a strong work ethic Organization, content knowledge, and flexibility My ability to modify lessons, to accommodate all students. I learned this during my student teaching experience Organization and planning/writing lesson plans to meet the standards and student needs. Purdue helped me complete many assignments geared to instructing a wide variety of learners and situations that one could possibly encounter I feel I am a good communicator and an enthusiastic teacher. My methods course gave me the opportunity to 'practice' my teaching and communicating Energy! One of my professors was the only teacher who showed me the importance of energy and what it can bring to a classroom. Classroom management was explained, but never practiced. This is why we need more time in the classroom. Classroom management is hard at first Interacting with students and having an equal respect for classroom management and learning I would have to say methods taught me some different discipline areas before I came out to student teach. Having this background allowed me to become a better discipliner. The course I took beside my education courses helped me to talk to the students in detail about the subject matter Respect in the classroom, also spur of the moment ideas to relate the material to real life situations, and being very active with the students My greatest strengths as a teacher are caring for my students, individualizing instruction, and understanding how to use assessment and evaluation to enhance the learning of all my students. Purdue helped me see and learn ways to create an effective classroom and LRE (a Least Restrictive Environment).
9 144. I am confident in my ability to create a comfortable environment for my students and I am able to relate to my students easily. I have learned that I need to brush up on my precalculus skills and I truly enjoyed teaching geometry The ability to talk one on one with a student or just me to the whole class and being able to connect with each of them I know what I don t like -- classes wise -- I got stuck observing in a newspaper/journalism class which I hated. So I know I would never teach one. My greatest strength would probably be having the ability to learn on my own and from my own mistakes Classroom management. The professors in Agricultural Education contributed to this because they related the material to us by giving us practical situations Flexibility, just reminding us that we have to be My greatest strength is that I'm a great listener. I enjoyed working with my students one-onone or in small groups. That, however, is something that Purdue was not a part of Ability to reach children and hold their interest, individualize my instruction so as to include all the children and meet their varying needs My greatest strengths include collaborating with teachers, students, and parents, classroom management skills, creativity of lesson plans, unit plans, and classroom design Getting to know students, working with many people, disciplining students I can write lesson plans and behavior modification plans. I also have used a variety of behavior management techniques I believe that my greatest strengths as a teacher are introducing a lesson with an attention getter. Block V was a great help in introducing how to do an attention getter Neatness, organization, and love for my students. Purdue showed me how to organize my lesson plans My greatest strengths are my flexibility and my ability to adapt instruction and assessment for the different needs of learners. The program contributed to this because all the lesson plans we had to write involved modifications I now know how to adapt things to students individual needs. I learned that through Purdue's Block I and II. I also teach to the students and not just the curriculum. Purdue has helped me learn that you really need to make things hands-on and teach what interests the students so they can want to learn and make it fun for them but at the same time they learn the strategies that they need.
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Article Summary Tazmeen Sultan is part of the Educational Technology team at a Private School, in Lahore, Pakistan. Her responsibilities include facilitating the effective use of computers and other instructional
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