Posts Tagged ‘C&I Orientation’

Reflection–Library Resources & Information Literacy

Reviewing the Seattle Pacific University Library tutorials throughout this past week was both an informative and reassuring process. I appreciated the opportunity to listen to and view such carefully detailed descriptions regarding guidelines and available services–particularly in light of the fact that it has been a number of years since I have been enrolled in a program with college level course work.

Among the most helpful tutorials was the information ethics site with the updated APA style citations and comparisons between the 5th and 6th editions of the APA Publication Manuals. Equally beneficial, were the reminders on effective strategies for conducting advanced searches within academic journals. Clearly, the ability to refine searches allows for increases efficiency and leads to the location of focused material for papers and projects. I am hopeful that the techniques and formatting will soon become second nature to me.

As a high school teacher, I found the straightforward explanations of strategies for evaluating websites to be especially useful. The information presented put “words” to some of what I’ve somewhat intuitively picked up along the way, and will assist me in providing clear reminders to my students as they are engaged in the researching and writing process.  I appreciate having such a wealth of useful information at my fingertips and look forward to carving out some extra time to go back and take a more thorough look at some of the sites.

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Reflection–Online Netiquette & Digital Identity

While reviewing the messages posted earlier this quarter in the Online Netiquette &Your Digital Identity forum on the Discussion Board, I was once again mind-boggled by the ever-changing and exponentially increasing aspects of the digital world. As one who has always enjoyed writing, I reflect back to my numerous hand written journals as well as typed (and re-typed) college term papers at SPU, and then recall the thrill of becoming the proud owner of my first personal computer (as a fourth-year teacher!) in the mid-1980s. My little Apple II c opened up a whole new world for me!

Little did I know that one day I would be posting regularly on my own “blog” and maintaining a bPortfolio—through SPU! Now my “new world” is cyberspace. I must admit that I love the instantaneous satisfaction of online publishing–however, I am mindful of the need for taking appropriate safety precautions, as recommended in many of the course materials. In, Realities to Values: A Strategy Framework for Digital Natives, author Helene Blowers offers compelling explanations of the challenging issues that have never before been experienced by previous generations, yet are now commonplace for young adults.

Particularly as an educator, I believe that taking this responsibility of wise internet use seriously, is not only important for my own personal welfare, but is another arena where I must become example for my students. Just as my role includes teaching students to exercise self-control in their interactions with others in the classroom setting (with words, actions, etc.) perhaps I must also teach students to see a broader view of the scope of their “presence”.  They must come to understand that just because something is possible (at lightning speed via the internet)–does not mean it is wise, healthy or positive. Thoughtfulness and self-control are critical–whether words, actions, etc. are “in person” or conveyed via an extension of a person’s “internet presence”.

Although I will probably not be “tweeting” by next week, I do intend to continue in my quest to embrace new technology as I customize my digital profile—with thoughtfulness and wisdom.

Reflection on Course of Study, C & I Standards

My goals for continuing my educational experience at Seattle Pacific University are educational, professional and personal in nature.

Educationally, as I progress through each course requirement for obtaining my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, I intend to gain new information and further develop my teaching skills and effectiveness with students.

As a professional educator who has been teaching for nearly thirty years, I anticipate gaining fresh insights as I weave together past experiences with new challenges–enabling me to positively impact my classroom, school, district, and community–one person at a time.

On a personal level, I hope to grow both now and in the future–as I continue in my role as a graduate student, a life-long learner, and a veteran teacher seeking to gain new perspectives, skills, and opportunities.

Curriculum and Instruction: Program Standards

Standard 01. Instructional Planning

Designs and monitors long and short-term plans for students’ academic success.

Reflection: In my role as a special education teacher, my primary obligation is to ensure that both long and short-term goals are clearly articulated within each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and addressed on a consistent basis. I must also ensure my high school students have a transition plan and course of study which addresses the student’s post-high school goals.

Standard 02. Learning Environment

Creates and maintains school-wide and classroom environments that are safe, stable, and empowering.

Reflection: In my role as the special education curriculum leader in an inclusion setting, I must ensure that a continuum of services is available for consideration by each student’s IEP Team. I must see to it that my students are provided services in the “least restrictive environment” and that they are given the opportunity to access free and appropriate public education.

Standard 03. Curriculum

Provides knowledge and skills that bring academic subjects to life and are aligned with state content standards.

Reflection: As a special education teacher, I must endeavor to provide instruction and skill development opportunities for students that will promote progress toward the reaching of the Washington State Standards. I must ensure that students have access to the general education curriculum to the greatest extent possible. Additionally, I must facilitate the delivery of specially designed instruction as well as any necessary accommodations or modifications.

Standard 04. Pedagogy

Engages students in learning experiences that are meaningful, stimulating, and empirically proven to promote intellectual growth.

Reflection: The learning experiences I provide for my students should be interesting, inspiring, and research-based. Instruction to promote thinking skills should be delivered in the student’s least restrictive environment. Additionally, I must keep up-to-date and aware of methods and techniques to actively involve my students in the learning process.

Standard 05. Assessment

Assesses students’ mastery of curriculum and modifies instruction to maximize learning.

Reflection: With regard to assessment, I must ensure that I am monitoring progress toward each student’s IEP goals and make any necessary adjustments required to keep them moving toward the general education curriculum–while also addressing the unique needs presented by their disability. Not only does this include measuring progress in the classroom, but also ensuring access to and administration of any alternative assessments to state testing. Examples include: High School Proficiency Exam—Basic (meeting standard at Level 2 versus Level 3), Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam (DAPE), Locally Determined Assessments (such as the Woodcock-Johnson III). Currently, I am not directly responsible for preparation for and administration of the WAAS-Portfolio administration or Collection of Evidence (COE); however, will be in the near future.

Standards 06. Communication

Communicates regularly and effectively with colleagues, parents, and students through a variety of mediums.

Reflection: In my role as a special education teacher “Communication” (with a capital C) is as necessary as breathing. In my nearly thirty years of teaching, I would have to say that communication continues to be the number one requirement for my job—and I always strive to keep it my priority. I find that most often, extra attention devoted to maintaining regular and effective communication with students, parents and colleagues—whether in person, by phone, via email, US mail, etc.—is well worth the time and energy.

Standard 07. Collaboration

Cooperates with other professionals to bridge gaps between schools and community and between departments/disciplines within schools.

Reflection: Every IEP meeting is an example of the collaborative process at work. This process in designed to bring together the perspectives of the student, family, special educator, general educator(s) and the district–as well as any necessary outside agencies. In addition to the required annual IEP and triennial evaluation, I must facilitate any coordination and collaboration between any and all of the above noted members of the IEP Team—as needed. Beyond the specific realm of the IEP process, I am required to be an active participant of my special education team, professional learning community, POD team, and leadership team.

 

Standard 08. Exceptionality

Reflection

Addresses the unique learning and behavioral needs of all children, collaborating with other educators and professionals where necessary.

Reflection: The concept of addressing exceptionality is “where I live—day to day and moment by moment” as a special educator. Regardless of the unique needs presented by each of my students who qualify for special education services, I must ensure that they have access to the general education curriculum to the greatest extent possible. In the process, I must serve as an advocate for each student and coordinate the delivery of services required for offering free and appropriate public education on their behalf.

Standard 09. Cultural Sensitivity

Establishes a culturally inclusive learning climate that facilitates academic engagement and success for all students.

Reflection: Regardless of the range of differences in race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity and exceptionality represented by the students within my care, I must model respect for diversity and promote a learning environment that is free from bias. Specifically within my school setting, I must be especially mindful and responsive to the unique interests of students who belong to one of the two Native American tribal communities represented within our school district.

Standard 10. Technology

Integrates current technology into instruction and professional communication/collaboration activities where appropriate.

Reflection: I am responsible for utilizing technological means to ensure that my students have access to materials and resources available to all general education students. Not only does this involve receiving presented information, but students must also be provided instruction and opportunity to use assistive technology to express and effectively convey thoughts and information to others. As a teacher, I must keep up with communication methods used to interact with my parents and colleagues. (Online IEP programs, Skyward Information system, email, etc.)

Standard 11. Inquiry/Research

Competently consumes and produces where necessary empirical data to guide educational practice.

Reflection: It is my responsibility to effectively use data at every level in my job including; selecting research-based curriculum, researching best practices for delivering services to address IEP goals, and collecting data on student performance. Equally important is to research district records and track information to ensure that classroom goals are based on current IEPS which are in turn based on current evaluations.

 

Standard 12. Professional citizenship

Willingly engages in dialogue that transcends the individual classroom, taking informed, coherent positions on important matters of educational policy and practice.

Reflection: I believe that on a continual basis I endeavor to develop my professional citizenship by serving as my school’s special education curriculum leader as well as a member of the building leadership team. Additionally, I am part of a professional learning community (PLC) group which meets weekly and I regularly participate in faculty and district meetings.