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402 Seminar 8 Lucy Denton 00987465

Formative Teacher Professional Growth Plan My hope is to develop TGPG that will allow me to create a space where the building of relationships and not the dissemination empirical knowledge will give my students and I a foundation of trust and authenticity. From here I hope we can explore, question, laugh, and exchange information in a respectful and mutually meaningful way. School and Classroom Culture I believe that if I can focus my professional growth on creating a warm and respectful classroom environment, my students will feel respected and safe. It is from this foundation that students will be able to explore without fear of ridicule or judgement. Educational psychology informs my professional growth in this area with extensive research focusing on the importance of each student feeling their voices, culture and experiences are being heard and respected. I believe this has fundamental relevance to my growth as a secondary social studies teacher. For me social studies is inextricably linked to the promotion of learning about, then trying to understand and then celebrating and respecting the differences and similarities between cultural experiences and histories. This is of increased importance in a city such as Calgary with such a culturally diverse population. My students will bring to the classroom a range of cultural experiences. If I can build a place of respect for their culture and experience, they will hopefully be able to extend that respect to the people and cultures we will be exploring together. Ensuring your classroom is a warm and respectful place is important for all teachers. The research we have been looking at in our courses is clear. Students must feel like their voices are being heard and that they are part of the group, in order to be successful in the classroom. As a teacher part of our pedagogy must be accepting and celebrating the diversity that will be a part of our classrooms. As a social studies teacher I will have great scope in talking about diversity and illustrating and modeling acceptance of it. I have seen examples of how to do this in many of our readings. I could include the oral traditions of the cultures represented in my classroom. We could include a day every month to celebrate the cultures of my students, and create special projects where they could teach me and the other students about their culture. I will know I have developed as a professional in this area when two things are demonstrated by my students. Firstly, that they feel safe and respected enough to engage in classroom discussions and projects. Secondly, that these discussions and projects show a deep level of cultural understanding and resect.

402 Seminar 8 Lucy Denton 00987465

Personal/Professional Integration and Development What brought me to teaching after many years as a parent, day home provider and lunch supervisor is the overwhelming realization that I love working with children. I love their energy, their innate sense of justice (most of the time!), their openness to new ideas and how positively they respond when their environment is a kind, caring and respectful one. A very real concern I have is the role of authority in classroom management in a secondary setting. In our readings the idea of authority has been raised. I have a non traditional view of authority. I hope that open discussions, building strong relationships with students and lively debates and will form a substantive amount of our classroom time. However, being in a secondary school setting I am also mindful of the need to keep the level of discussion and behavior respectful to all participants including myself. I will be most interested in our school placements to see how secondary teachers balance the need for respect and classroom decorum with the range of Secondary student behaviors. During our placements I will be actively seeking teacher suggestions and strategies I can employ in this area. When I have developed as a professional in this area I will have a range of ideas and practices that will build positive and respectful classroom relationships. I believe that these strong relationships are the best way to ensure that everyone in the classroom has the space to interact and be heard in an environment of mutual respect and consideration.

Learning and Behavior Processes In this area I will borrow from William Kists ideas of new literacies and Vygotskys apprenticeship ideas. I believe that Kists vision to have a classroom full of mulitmodal literacies is vital if we are to deliver a curriculum that will appeal to all students and give voice to the different strengths each student has. Vygotskys apprenticeship theory uses modeling techniques that would be valuable to not only strengthen the student teacher relationship but would let the student see a practical application of concepts and ideas. I believe these two theoretical models have relevance on my growth as a teacher because they encompass some of the basic ideas I hope to bring to my classroom. Kist wants to open the accepted view of literacy from the basics of reading and writing to including sculpture, dancing, acting and drawing to name a few. As a teacher of secondary social studies incorporating all these modalities would give a richer understanding of the world around us.

402 Seminar 8 Lucy Denton 00987465

I am also embracing these theories as they give me limitless scope in the classroom to include multiple ways for students to experience the information we will share. The activities we could include are limited only by the imagination of my students. I will know when I have developed as a professional in this area when I can see I am using modeling and coaching techniques to enhance student understanding of subject areas. I will be able to see students expressing themselves not just with pen and paper but with song, dance, voice, video and painting, sculpture and andy other way we can discover. Assessment and Evaluation It is assessment and evaluation that I am least sure of as a teacher. So I will focus my personal growth on learning what types of assessment I favor and what it is that I want to evaluate. I believe that assessment and evaluation have many uses and values. The most challenging element is how to make assessments fair and how to assessment to reflect fairly on each student, when each and every student learns so differently. While we have not done any significant in depth look and assessment and evaluation in our courses so far, I have learned what sorts of assessment I do not favor. Standardized testing is not an area that I think has merit. I would prefer to see students evaluated on a range class work and projects that reflect a diversity of literacies, not just reading and writing. Assessment and evaluation are critical in a school setting, especially high school where students must be assessed fairly in order to advance on to post secondary institutions. Assessment will also give me an idea of how the students are processing the information we are covering in class and give me ideas on how I can improve my delivery of the curriculum. I will be most interested to see how teachers are assessing students in our student placements. I will pay special attention to how they are evaluating and what they are assessing. I am also keen to see what the standardized test are in the Alberta secondary curriculum and how I can work these outcomes into my lesson plans, projects and classroom discussions. I will know I have developed as a professional in this area when I have a full range of activities and literacies that I am evaluating for each student. These assessments will need to reflect the wide range of student experience and also where student strength and weaknesses lie.