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Running head: TELLING MY STORY 1

Telling My Story

Brittini Wade

June 4, 2019

National University
TELLING MY STORY !2

Abstract

In this paper, I will give a description of my journey thus far as an educator and how I came to be

where I am today. I will then discuss my progress in Domain A of the California Teaching

Performance Expectations (TPE) and list the strengths and needs within this domain. I also

discuss the different TPE competencies that I will be using in my Professional Development

Quest Portfolio (PDQP). Finally, I explain the important aspect of Domain A.


TELLING MY STORY !3

A Look Backward

Deciding to become a teacher was an easy decision for me. I never really felt I should

explore other career options. Teaching was always what I wanted to do. I realized that I was

pretty good at mathematics, so I decided to get my degree in math from San Diego State

University to then one day hopefully teach math to junior high and high school students. My

husband and I made the decision to move our family to Northern California and live in a rural

community in the mountains. I explored my options for being able to receive my credential and

was very fortunate to join the internship program at National University while working at Plumas

Charter School. My first year of teaching was extremely challenging to say the least! After many

long months of working as an educator while being a student myself, I finally received my

Preliminary Single Subject Credential. I then worked toward clearing my credential the year after

that. I took a break from classes and was able to focus on my teaching practice. I was able to set

my own beliefs about how to best educate my students. I believe that all students are unique and

learn in different ways. The school I work at taught me that students cannot fit into one mold.

Being able to plan instruction and design learning experiences for students that are effective and

productive while keeping them engaged is a tough job. There are days where teaching can bring

its frustrations and heartaches, but the good days always out weigh the bad days. I enjoy creating

a safe environment for my students where they can have fun and build their confidence in math

and be an active participant in their education.

Progress in TPE Domain A

The California Teaching Performance Expectations are a great way to evaluate my

teaching. These standards are meant to help teachers reflect on their teaching practice and
TELLING MY STORY !4

encourages them to improve as time passes especially because it greatly affects the students and

the level of education they receive. I absolutely love math and I think this positive attitude

encourages my students to persevere in their problem solving when doing mathematics

themselves. I have taught for a few years now and have come to realize that not all students learn

the same. It is imperative that I continually adjust how I make math comprehensible to all

students. I work toward making meaningful connections for the various math topics and

providing real world applications whenever possible. I understand the importance of using

multiple representations and differentiating my instruction based on my students’ needs.

Strengths and Needs within Domain A

Strengths Needs

Provides real world application Work toward providing more open


ended projects and investigations

Provides multiple solution strategies Integrate more STEM projects

Makes connections with other math Incorporate teaching strategies to


topics support EL

TPE Competencies to be used in PDQP

I am amazed at how much I have learned in the past 6 years of teaching and how each

year there always seems to be something else I struggle with and have to learn how to improve.

Because of this, I have noticed that I have also grown tremendously as an educator as each year

passes. There are many artifacts that can showcase my abilities as a teacher. The competencies

that I am thinking about using for my PDQP are my supervisor observation and performance

review along with some examples of student work. I have created many lesson plans that I will

be using as well. I also will be posting my five year plan and goals for the future.
TELLING MY STORY !5

Rationale for selecting Domain A

Domain A is a crucial aspect of being a successful and effective teacher. Often times there

are teaching practices that contribute to a student’s mindset. In many classrooms, “Teachers often

adhere to the expectation that only high-achieving students should have access to mathematically

rich tasks whereas lower achieving students should primarily focus on basic skills” (Horn, 2007;

Stipek, Givven, Salmon, & MacGyvers, 2001). Having low expectations for certain students

sends the message that only some students are capable of succeeding in mathematics. Teachers

should be providing opportunities for all students to engage in rigorous mathematics within the

classroom. Making subject matter comprehensible to ALL students should be a priority for all

teachers. One goal I have for myself is to continually learn new ways to integrate technology into

the math classroom. I took some risks this past year and tried new things. I want to continue

finding how to best incorporate technology as much as I can.


TELLING MY STORY !6

References

Horn, I. S. (2007). Fast kids, slow kids, lazy kids: Framing the mismatch problem in

mathematics teachers’ conversation. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 16(1), 37–79.