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Analysis of Growth

Cat Jackson
I got the infatuation for learning from my grandmother on my mothers side. She always
said if she lived closer to a university she would always be taking classes. She made the hour
long drive from Tipton to Lawton up until 2003 where she received her M.Ed right here from
Cameron University. Ive always had a thirst for knowledge. I believe that it is important for
educators to have this thirst for knowledge; without which, an educator who does not want to
continue learning cannot continue to understand his/her students. The following reflection
demonstrates my personal thirst for knowledge, how Ive grown as a master teacher, and how my
eyes have been opened to how much there is left to learn in the field of secondary education.
Content Knowledge
Subject Matter
Many of my courses at Cameron University required me to apply course content
specifically to my subject area. This reinforced my knowledge of the course and of my subject
area. It also enabled me to learn different perspectives of my subject area. For example, the
Literacy Strategies assignment in my Teaching Reading in the Content Area taught me to look at
math as a language and symbols, it also taught me to find and adapt literacy strategies to my
subject area. Not only did I make significant gains in understanding the content of the class, but I
also progressed as a caring and competent teacher by finding unique ways to present information
to all learners.

Another course that helped me grow as an educator in my subject was Advanced Methods
in Secondary Education. By developing my Unit Lesson Plan in Algebra I, I began to look at
math as more than just a day by day stair step of knowledge. I began to take prior knowledge into
account as I built more than just day-by-day lesson plans, I also looked at how the lesson fit
together as a whole, how to introduce the lesson and the importance of planning and using a
variety of methods when teaching. The more methods I explored, the more knowledge I gained
in my subject area. As I was making this progress, I notice that my students were making more
progress in the classroom. The more understanding I had about my subject, the more I was able
to convey that subject with clarity.
Ability to Explain Concepts in Professional/State/ Institutional Standards
When I first started the program I vaguely understood SPA, PASS, and Cameron
Universitys Caring, Competent, and Committed educator. I knew that PASS was a list of what I
needed to teach my students, but I didnt understand the extent. I hadnt heard of the National
Council of Mathematics Teachers and I thought that Cameron Universitys standards of Caring,
Competent, and Committed just sounded good because of the alliteration.
The importance of all of these standards didnt hit me until my Graduate Research course.
At that point I was a week into my first full time teaching job. I am alternatively certified, so
much of the language of educators was lost on me. Throughout the class, students like me would
ask the definitions of the acronyms that are associated with education, including PASS and SPA.
My reflection in the course required me to actively reflect on my learning as it related to the
various standards. Each week I was able to better understand the State standards, which I was
then able to research and actively use in my classroom. I began using the blueprints for PASS to

plan lessons and prepare for State testing. Each graduate assignment had me looking up NCMT
standards and applying them to my work. And each reflection enabled me to understand what it
meant to be a caring, competent, and committed educator. Not only did I understand these things,
I was able to apply them to my classroom and share my knowledge with other educators that I
worked with.
Another class I learned a lot about the importance of state standards was Secondary Curriculum
Development. This class brought to light the importance of the relationship between state
standards and what is actually taught in the classroom. I gained a lot from our discussions on
content domain and written, taught, and assessed curriculum.
Pedagogical Knowledge
Knowledge of Varied Instructional Strategies
When I first started teaching I thought teaching was defined as putting words on a
PowerPoint and talking about those words. I thought that periodically one would give
assignments, quizzes, and tests over these words. Through my degree at Cameron University, I
have become a more competent teacher by learning and applying various instructional strategies.
The course that was the most useful in exposing me to various instructional strategies was
Advanced Methods in Secondary Education. In this course I learned various methods for
presenting information including modeling, scaffolded instruction, cooperative and collaborative
learning, independent and guided practice, big ideas, presenting information in visual ways such
as using graphic organizers, and planning instruction thematically.
I have many certification areas. At the time that I was taking Advanced Methods in
Secondary Education I was teaching Seventh Grade English and Reading for the first time. I was

struggling. Math was simple for me to teach and Speech and Debate was hands on, but as much
as I loved English and Reading I couldnt seem to get that same enthusiasm across to my
students. After learning about different teaching methods, I started experimenting with different
assignments in collaborative and cooperative learning groups. One of the assignments in
Advanced Methods in Secondary Education was a research paper over an instructional strategy. I
decided to take advantage of this assignment by researching methods of teaching and delivering
content in literature. I found one method that intrigued me: literature circles. After completing
my assignment in Advanced Methods in Secondary Education, I decided to put my knowledge to
good use and I began using literature circles in my classroom. I cant say that the method went
perfectly; most of the difficulties were in the way the groups were structured rather than the
instructional strategy itself. However, I learned a lot about implementing instructional strategies
in my classroom and gained insight into how to implement new strategies in the future. I also
believe that by implementing a new strategy in my classroom the students benefited from the
change and made significant learning gains in the area.
Knowledge of How to Present in Clear and Meaningful Ways
One of the most important things you can do as a teacher is know when you are
presenting in clear and meaningful ways. I dont think there is one set way of presenting
information in a clear way. Different people have different ways of understanding information. I
think it is important for the teacher to continually assess students to see if there are any gaps in
knowledge or information. I became aware of this importance when I was in my Advanced Tests
and Measurement class. One assignment, our Impact assignment, required that I administer a
pre-test, post-test, and some sort of informal assignment in between the two. I realized that by
analyzing the data from the pre-test and using an informal assessment after a certain amount of

content has been taught I gained a huge amount of insight into the knowledge gained by my
students. This isnt specific to actually presenting the information in a clear and meaningful way,
but I think it is important because it helps you determine whether or not the information was
clear and meaningful to the student.
I found that there are several factors that go into presenting information to a group of
students. One is communication, it is important to speak on the students level. Communicating
with a student doesnt just mean using vocabulary on their level; it also means using current
examples and relating information to their world. When teaching mathematics, I use to chuckle
at the examples the textbooks would provide that related the content to real-world examples.
Many of the real-world examples were more related to adults than my students. I learned a lot
about relating concepts to my students in Teaching Reading in the Content Area and Multimedia
in the Classroom. I started to teach ratios and rates to my sophomore class by using examples
about cars, fuel consumption, and whether or not speeding was effective for getting somewhere
on time (we learned that didnt make much of a difference and wasnt worth the risk). We would
learn how to make practices for distance running effective by calculating miles per hour and
pacing.
While I was taking Advanced Methods in Secondary Education, I had an all-boys seventh
grade math class. I started to use examples from the newest Assassins Creed video game to
teach coordinate plane. My students were impressed I had even heard of the game and it made
the information meaningful to them personally. Teaching Reading in the Content Area also
inspired another project that related to my students in a clear and meaningful ways: math and
free-throws. The students I taught at the time were athletically gifted and very motivated by
athletics, basketball in particular. I developed a project that taught ratios, percent, mean, median,

and mode that was directly relatable to my students. They would each shoot fifty free-throws and
record data based on how many were made and how many were missed. They would compete for
the best averages. Then after every student in each class had finished, they would shoot ten freethrows and compare that data to the original data collected. They found ways to relate math to
improving their athletic ability. We discussed how professional athletes and coaches us math to
improve performance and strategize against opponents.
Knowledge of and Ability to Integrate Technology
I love using technology in my classroom; in fact I am currently looking at doctoral
programs in educational technology. My first course in the Masters of Secondary Education
program was Multimedia in the Classroom. I took this course the summer before my first full
time teaching position at Geronimo Public Schools. Previously, I had worked as a co-teacher in a
Speech and Debate class, while I enjoyed using technology, I didnt use it in the co-taught
classroom.
Multimedia really enlightened me to using technology as both an instructional strategy
and as a method of communication. It was in this class that I first created my Weebly website.
Weebly is a free website creation and domain tool, with formats specifically for educators.
My website has grown immensely since I first published it in 2010. I further used this
website when I was in the Communicating through Websites course. That course helped me with
understanding how to organize information in a clear way that was easier to navigate for my
students. In this course I completely overhauled my website from what it was during the summer
Multimedia in the Classroom course. When I was teaching at Geronimo, I used it to post PASS
objectives, my pacing calendar, and lesson plans with specific objectives. As a speech and debate

teacher at Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences, I use the website to post announcements,
provide reference material, and engage my students outside of the classroom. For example,
competition speech and debate requires a student to dress in business attire. To make sure my
students were ready for their first competition, I held a professional Tuesday where students
came to class dressed in competition attire. With parent permission, I took a picture of each
student and picked two from each class that were the most professional. I posted these pictures
with labels like 8th Grade A for each student on my website. I then set up a poll where students
could vote for the student they thought was dress most professionally. The poll would show the
most current results after the student voted. It was a great way to encourage students to
participate in the activity and I was able to follow through by encouraging students to participate
in the voting. After three days, I posted the winner of the poll online and gave that student a prize
in class.
I also use this website as a way to communicate with parents and students about
upcoming assignments, tests, and events. I discovered how to use Google calendars in the
Multimedia class as well and learned how to post my calendar onto my website. I am able to
update my calendar with due dates and events and it will directly upload to my website. Parents
have commented how very useful this is to keep up with what their students are doing in my
classroom and to help remind them of due dates for certain assignments.
Multimedia in the Classroom is also the course where I first learned how to use a
SMART board and student response systems. It was because of this training that, when asked to
do a free trial of Promethean boards, Geronimo decided to use my classroom as the first
classroom to install a Promethean board and use the Promethean brand of student response
systems. I used the Promethean board to engage learners in delivering content, review content

through games and activities, and to informally and formally assess students in knowledge
gained.

Knowledge of and Ability to Differentiate Instruction to the Varied Backgrounds, Prior


Knowledge, and Ability Levels of Students
There were several courses in the Masters of Secondary Education program that
expanded my knowledge of differentiated Instruction. The courses that helped me the most were
Secondary Curriculum Development, Teaching Reading in the Content Area, and Instructional
Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities.
In Secondary Curriculum Development, I did several assignments that enlightened me to
the importance of the varied backgrounds of students. Our field observation emphasized
socioeconomic status. At first, I thought that socioeconomic status had to do with a students
class system, but through this course not only did I make significant learning gains in the content
knowledge of backgrounds I think I also made significant progress in becoming a more caring
educator. I now understand that socioeconomic status relates to how students will receive and
understand information in the classroom. It also relates specifically to how a teacher needs to
approach a student, how communication styles are different between students of various
backgrounds. The course also explained my understanding of how a students community and the
community of the school impact a students background and previous knowledge. I often take for
granted my previous knowledge and how I my background relate to the content.
On the application side, I now understand how I use hypothetical situations and
examples in my classroom may not relate to the student. A student may be lost in the specifics of

an example and miss the content that I am trying to teacher. For example, I might start talking
about a performance in a theater, but the student may start thinking of a movie theater because
they have never been to a live performance. This might be because the student cant afford to go
to a live performance, or maybe the students family sees no entertainment value in a live
performance. I have to know my students so that I can use content and examples that relate to the
students, so that the information can be presented in a way that they understand.
Additionally, two other courses that helped me understand knowledge and application of
differentiated instruction for students with different ability levels are Teaching Reading in the
Content Area and Instructional Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities. I was
teaching a Seventh Grade Science class with students of various ability levels last year. I learned
that you can present the same content within those various ability levels. I used a reading
strategy learned from Teaching Reading in the Content Area for my students, the SQ3R method,
I grouped students together each group with various ability levels. Groups that had
higher/average ability levels received science articles that were written at or above grade level.
Meanwhile groups that had average/lower ability levels received articles that were written at or
below grade level. There were five groups and five different articles, the fact that there were
different ability levels and articles for those ability levels was not apparent to the groups. I was
able to teach the content and the strategy, while still tailoring the instruction to the various ability
levels.
The Instructional Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities has shown me
ways of identifying different disabilities (not diagnosing of course) and how to adapt to different
ability levels in the classroom. This includes various instructional methods such as peer tutoring,
cooperative, and collaborative learning, and pull out methods.

Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge


Ability to Apply Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge
I think the element in the Masters of Education program that helped my growth in my
ability to apply professional and pedagogical knowledge was the course and artifact reflections.
The reflections helped me consider my growth and assess any areas of need for future
improvement. A few courses come to mind when considering my growth as a caring, competent,
and committed educator when concerning my ability to apply professional and pedagogical
knowledge. The courses include: Graduate Research, Learning Theories, and Practicum in
Teaching and Learning.
In Graduate Research, I had to observe a class and collect data based on questions that
were directed to individual students of a certain gender. I learned from this activity that
everything, even review questioning can have an underlying meaning and purpose. I had a
limited amount of time that I could observe this class, and I had to tell the teacher that I was
looking for her to ask questions directed to individual students rather than the whole class. This
resulted in an observer effect on the data I gathered. The teacher was self-conscious about the
questions she asked in the class, knowing that that was what I was specifically observing. Since
then, Ive learned I can gather better information by planning ahead and putting more time into
my observations. This relates to the way I apply professional knowledge because if I want to
learn from other teachers I know have a better way of understanding how to observe and what to
observe in a classroom. I can apply my gains in pedagogical knowledge to my observations
because I know have a better understanding of the things that I am seeing in the classroom. For

example, Graduate Research was one of the first courses I took in the Masters of Education
program, when I did the observations I wasnt seeing cognitive learning gains, or modeling
strategies. However, now when I observe I am seeing classroom management strategies,
alternative ways to present information, varieties of modeling, and how teachers use state
standards in the classroom.
In Learning Theories, I learned cognitive and behavioral factors in education. As a
professional educator I have learned that I have to identify students as individuals in addition to
members of a class. I know understand as an educator that it is important to identify individual
behaviors and motivations of students. I now apply that in my classroom by identifying
behaviors and motivations and use that knowledge to encourage students to do well in the
classroom, adapt instruction to learning and motivations of a student, and to identify the
appropriate classroom management techniques necessary for an individual students behavior. I
think it is important to not just learn theories of cognition and behavior, but to apply them as a
professional educator. This knowledge is the foundation of any educator that wants effective
classroom management.
I can see the most growth in the Practicum in Teaching and Learning. This is the most
recent course that I have taken in the Masters of Education program. Each reflection that I do for
this course really reveals to me how I have applied the entirety of the program to my professional
career. For example, when asked to reflect on the job of the teacher, one of my responses was to
identify the needs of the student. I then proceeded to outline areas that the student might be in
need including emotional need (as discussed through the Learning Theories course),
extracurricular needs (as discussed in Curriculum Design), or academic needs (as discussed in
Instructional Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities). I have seen through my

reflections my use of pedagogical and professional knowledge gained through this program.
Additionally, I was asked to reflect on planning for instruction, an area in my teaching that has
been greatly influenced by Secondary Curriculum Design (considering written, taught, and
assessed curriculum, considering background and community expectations, identifying the needs
of the school and community), Multimedia in the Classroom (using technology in my lesson
plans effectively), Advanced Methods in Secondary Education (identifying a variety of
instructional strategies to use and the level, Blooms Taxonomy, to use when instructing), and
Communicating through Websites (how to follow through with lessons, assignments, expansions
on lessons, and reference material using my website).
Consideration of School, Family, Community, and the Prior Experiences of Students
When I first started the Masters of Education program at Cameron I thought all students
were alike. More importantly I thought all students were like me. I never considered that they
might not have the same background or understanding that I did. I made a lot of poor
assumptions because of this thinking. When giving examples in class or when addressing
behavioral problems I approached the situation based on how I thought, felt, or how my
upbringing had influenced my perspective.
I first became truly aware of how much our school, family, community and the prior
experiences of a student affects student learning in the Secondary Curriculum Development
course. It was in this course that I came to realize my approach to education and classroom
management was misguided. As I began to learn more about the influences of School, Family,
Community, and the Prior Experiences of Students I began to understand what was not working
in my own classroom. I made some personal observations about the school I was working in and

noticed that the students had very little school pride or enthusiasm. Lack of this connection to the
school was a factor in how the students were performing academically. I tried to boost this pride
by modeling my own pride in the school, attending basketball games, writing notes of
congratulations when a student had done well in an extra-curricular activity along with the
school mascot next to the positive praise.
During that time, I learned through parent-teacher conferences that the community was
unhappy with the performance of the school and that many parents were not confident in the
education their students were receiving. I can see how the family and community attitude would
have significant impact on how a student perceives his/her education. Additionally, I learned that
the high proportion of Native American families had different values and traditions than that of
my own. I learned that I needed to find ways to both value those differences in my classroom and
to learn how to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and written with those students that would be
effective in upholding those values.
I also found that understanding family and prior experiences of a student not only shape
his/her perspective on education, they also shape a students understanding of discipline
practices. Previously, when I would discuss certain behavior issues with a parent or a student I
made the incorrect assumption that every student experienced the same family discipline as I did,
or upheld the same values as my family. Through the Multiculturalism and American Education
course and my Field Observations I began to understand how to approach various backgrounds
and family cultures and how to use that knowledge in both my instruction and my classroom
management.
Dispositions

Familiarity with Expected Dispositions


As mentioned earlier, I didnt quite understand the necessity or purpose for Camerons
Conceptual frame work for a caring, competent, and committed educator. Now I understand how
each holds importance in an effective classroom environment.
First, it is important to be a caring educator. Many students in todays education system
have few that care for or believe in the students. A caring educator knows how to identify the
needs of the student (as mentioned previously in my practicum reflection of what is the job of a
teacher?). The needs of the student include when to enforce discipline and when to be flexible
in showing a student that the educator cares for his/her success. A caring educator does more
than just classroom teaching, , but shows an interest in the school and student including
sponsoring extra-curricular activities, serving as advisory sponsor, and helping colleagues in
times of need. A caring educator is willing to understand the values and backgrounds of others in
order to effectively communicate with colleagues, parents, students, administration, and
members of the community. A caring educator is one that differentiates instruction based on
learning ability, multiple intelligences, and learning styles because it isnt whether or not a
student is intelligent, it is in what way a student is intelligent. A truly caring educator understands
that all students can learn and finds ways to enhance the students learning ability based on that
individual student.
Second, a master teacher must be competent. A master teacher must understand the
importance of and practice effective instructional planning that includes a variety of teaching
methods including technology integration, cross-curricular teaching, co-teaching, and
collaborative and cooperative learning. A master teacher understands when it is necessary to seek

help from others for instructional or behavior help for a particular student, because it is not about
the teacher it is about the student. A master teacher uses effective classroom management
strategies and is consistent and fair when following through with discipline. It is vitally
important that a competent master teacher is enthusiastic about the subject matter and values the
importance of professional development in the content area. I believe that the moment I want to
stop learning is also the moment when I should stop teaching; the world is changing too rapidly
for there not to be new information about a subject.
Finally, it is important for a master teacher to be committed to his/her craft. A teacher that
does not take pride in his/her profession, is satisfied with his/her understanding of the field and
does not seek personal and professional growth is no longer a committed educator. I teach my
Speech and Debate students that winners wear suits I talk to them about not just dressing
professionally, but getting up and putting on a professional, winning attitude. I think that an
educator should be the same way. If an educator wants to demonstrate work ethic and
commitment to students then he/she should be in his/her classroom before the students, dressed
appropriately for the job, shows effective leadership and work ethic when approaching projects
(example, not having two weeks of ungraded homework piled on his/her desk). I think a
committed educator is not afraid to speak to parents, community members, workshop
coordinators, and administrators to serve in the best interest of the students. Lastly, I think a
committed educator is consistently reviewing his/her thoughts, actions, and classroom practices
to ensure the best for his/her students. It wasnt until I started actively reflecting on my
classroom practices that I could truly identify what was effective and what was ineffective in my
classroom.
Student Learning

Knowledge of and Ability to Use Varied, Effective Assessments


I made the most growth as a master teacher in my knowledge of and ability to use varied,
effective assessments. I learned this in the Advanced Tests and Measurement Course, Secondary
Curriculum Development, and the Field Observation components for each. First, I learned the
relationship between the written, taught, and assessed curriculum. This is important because each
part of curriculum need to be in alignment. If my assessments are not in align with what I am
teaching then the results of the assessment are not accurate. Additionally, if my taught curriculum
is not in align with state and national standards then it is likely my students will not be prepared
for standardized state assessments.
Keeping these things in mind, I furthered my knowledge and application of varied,
effective assessments by gaining understanding of informal and formal assessments. I understand
now that my informal assessments need to match and complement my formal assessments. I
understand the differences between summative and formative testing and how each can be used
effectively in the classroom. I also made gains in understanding the appropriate uses of formal
assessments and alternative assessments. As a master teacher I know that alternative assessments
(such as posters, technology based projects, skits, and some writing assignments) can be used to
show higher levels of cognitive understanding and used to show understanding of a few
curriculum objectives. Alternative assessments are also useful for assessing multiple intelligence
understanding.
Additionally, I found many uses for informal assessments such as short quizzes on
student response systems, questioning, quick writes, three question reviews, exit tickets and
homework quizzes. First I can use these types of assessments to review students of information

and I can assess the individual and collective knowledge and understanding of the classroom.
Through Advanced Tests and Measurement and my Graduate Research course I learned how to
identify some ineffective assessments and/or ineffective uses of assessments such as testing bias
and environmental factors that affect testing outcomes.
Knowledge of and Ability to Use Assessment Results to Improve Practice
I have made a lot of gains in my knowledge of and ability to use assessment results to
improve practice as an educator. I cannot stress how much this knowledge has changed the way I
plan and the way I teach. Through the course Advanced Tests and Measurement, the Field
Observation, and the Impact assignment I have learned a lot about how to interpret and use
results from assessments to improve how I approach classroom learning. First, it was important
for me to learn norm-reference and criterion assessment as the purpose for each of these
assessment impacts the interpretation of the results. Furthermore, understanding the relationship
between informal and formal assessments, as mentioned above, and I can use the results from the
informal assessments to adjust my instruction so that students are successful in the final
assessment.
Additionally, I can use post-test results to determine if there were flaws in the test. If I
have two questions over the same concept, and the majority of the students get one wrong and
the other right I know that the question might have been worded in a confusing manner. I can
also use informal and formal assessment results to analyze the students ability to use higher
order thinking skills in relationship to the concept. I might have a few informal assessments that
test lower level thinking skills, and if the students are showing understanding I know I can move
on to higher order thinking skills. Assessments that occur before, during, and after the lesson is

extremely important in instructional planning, if a teacher doesnt have a firm grasp on what the
students understand, then how can he/she create an effective lesson?
Comparing pre-test and post-test results allows me to determine which teaching methods
were effective and which ones needed more work, whether it be differentiated instruction, more
time spent on the topic, or placing the topics in a different order. I can also determine learning
gains from comparing pre-test and post-test results which are extremely useful in my
understanding of the class/student progress.
Ability to Help All Students Learn
There are many factors that go into a students learning. Each student is different and can
have different approaches to learning. Many courses contributed to my growth and understanding
of student learning and my ability to help all students learn. Prior to the Masters of Education
program, I knew to help all students learn I needed to identify what they didnt know and seek to
understand the student. While this may still be true, I have learned different approaches to
helping students learn and have grown in my ability to help a student.
One factor in my ability to help a student learn is to assess the level of understanding of
that student. If a student is having problems with adding fractions, it might be more than just the
adding fractions, it might go back to a student having trouble with math fluency, understanding
fractions in general, or not understanding least common denominator. In order to help the
student, I have to find what foundational part of the students learning is weak. Also in the area
of assessment is multiple intelligences and learning styles. To effectively help all students learn,
and educator must know the learning styles of the students in the classroom and in what way the
students are intelligent. For example, for the Advanced Tests and Measurement course in my

Impact assignment I developed a lesson plan over classifying basic geometric shapes. I tailored
my lesson plans to the learning styles and multiple intelligence make-up of the students. I believe
this was a contributing factor to the learning gains that I saw in the results of the assignment. My
ability to help all students learn is greatly connected to the learning gains I personally made in
regards to differentiated instruction, learning styles, and multiple intelligences in the Masters of
Education program.
Another factor in my ability to help a student learn is resources. Im not talking about
books or materials, I mean the other teachers for that student. For example, if the student is on an
IEP then I need to talk to the Special Education Director about modifications. I have learned
about a diverse number of modifications in the Instructional Methods for Students with
Mild/Moderate Disabilities class, including the Field Observation component in which I was able
to observe a co-taught class with 11 IEP students. I am now better equipped to help students
with learning disabilities as a result of the Masters in Education program.
Diversity
Understanding of the Role and Importance of Diversity
When I first started teaching I never quite understood the role and importance of diversity
in the classroom. When conducting my field observation assignment for the Multiculturalism in
American Education there were several factors involving diversity that I had never noticed
before in my teaching. First, I was to observe where the students with free and reduced lunches
and where students of similar Ethnic backgrounds sat. In the classroom I observed, the student
did not have assigned seating and the students of similar ethnic backgrounds sat next to each
other near the back of the room. I also observed that students with free and reduced lunches

occupied the back and outside edges of the room. I was also asked to observe the representation
of diversity in the classroom materials, such as books and posters. This really made me think
about how students see and relate to the classroom that they are in and how they feel about a
classroom that doesnt show diversity in classroom materials.
Ability to Incorporate Diversity
Two courses in particular aided in my growth as a master teacher when it comes to my
ability to incorporate diversity. One was Multiculturalism in American Education; there were
lessons over how to sensitively and properly incorporate diversity in the classroom. For example,
incorporating lessons that emphasize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds that are represented
in the classroom, make extension lessons over content as to how different backgrounds have
contributed studies to that area, and encouraging peer respect and collaboration in the classroom
among students of various backgrounds.
The second course was Practicum in Teaching and Learning. It was in this course that I
was able to apply the things I had learned in Multiculturalism in American Education. I took this
course as I was beginning my first year of teaching at Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences. At
Lawton Academy there are many students from ethnically diverse backgrounds. In one class of
eight students I had one from Poland, two from India, one from Pakistan, one of Pilipino decent,
one ESL student from Korea, one from Lawton, and one Jewish student of Polish decent. It was
more important than ever for me to apply the knowledge gains I had made in the Masters of
Education program at Cameron University. Through the reflections, observations, and Lesson
Plans, I became aware of how important it was for me to incorporate diversity into my lesson

planning. From that, my students showed an appreciation in my ability to incorporate diversity in


the classroom in a way that celebrated their diversity and educated their peers.
SPA Standards
Holistic Personal Development of the Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions Outlined in the
SPA Standards for his/her Respective Area
I think my personal development as a master teacher can be shown through my quality of
work in my portfolio, my reflections, the observations made by me and by professors observing
my teaching, and by my lesson planning. My growth isnt just shown in how I write or put
together lesson plans, making sure that I align with SPA standards or state standards. I think one
can see more growth in my quality as an educator by how I teach. Not the lesson plan itself, but
the way in which I am able to implement the lesson plan as a caring, committed, and competent
educator.
I no longer simply implement the lesson plan. I know the subject I teach and how to teach
that subject (NBPTS Prop. 1) intimately, and I do so by integrating critical thinking,
differentiated instruction, multimedia, and diversity into the lesson plans and by capitalizing on
teachable moments with my students. I engage in and participate in their learning rather than
just observe. Not only can I manage and monitor student learning (NBPTS Prop. 2) by
assessment and planning, but I can also monitor and manage through classroom management, by
establishing a professional relationship with that student and his/her parents.
I have grown in my commitment to student learning (NBPTS Prop. 1) because I have
come to appreciate that all students can learn and I am confident in my ability to aid all students

in their learning; because of the Masters of Education program I can better identify student needs
and abilities and adapt my lessons to the students needs.
Additionally, I have become a reflective learner and teacher by actively reflecting on and
observing my actions individually and collaborate on problems and solutions with other
educators, administrators, and parents in the community. (NBPTS Prop. 4 & 5)
In summation, I believe that I have substantially grown as an educator through this
program. However, rather than quench my thirst, the program has opened my eyes to the vast
amount of knowledge I have yet to explore. I see how there are many more ways I can continue
to grow as a caring, competent, and committed educator.