Title: Student Teaching, Development

Date: Spring 2014

Description:
During the spring of 2014, I completed my student teaching experience at Stevens Point Area
Senior High School (SPASH) in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Each of the five high school level
courses that I taught provided a unique experience. Not only did my students learn during the
course of the semester but I developed as a teacher and gained invaluable experience.

My artifacts for my student teaching development experience consist of two versions of a Large
Animals Exam. Each of them is tailored for students of a specific assessment level. Also
included is my student teaching midterm evaluation which summarizes my progress and
development as a teacher.


Alignment
Wisconsin Teacher Standard Alignment:
This artifact best aligns with Standard Two: Development, of the Wisconsin Teacher Licensure
Standards. Standard Two states that the instructor “understands how children with broad
ranges of ability learn and provides instruction that supports their intellectual, social, and
personal development.”

My student teaching experience at Stevens Point Area Senior High School best aligns with
Standard Two of the Wisconsin Teacher Standards because as a student teacher, I transitioned
in from being a college student to a teacher. I was able to experience how children with broad
ranges of ability learn. For example, in my Large Animals course I had students with special
needs, as well as individuals whom which were 4.0 students. Providing instruction that was
supporting the intellectual, social, and personal development of each student in this situation
can be extremely challenging. However, after a few weeks into the semester I was able to
better understand the needs of my students because I became familiar with their unique
characteristics. At that point, I was able to gauge each student’s needs. With that being said, I
made alternative exams for those with special needs, and assigned more challenging tasks to
those advanced students.

Another relevant example in which I witnessed and gained further understanding of how
children grow was my experience student teaching a computer graphics course. The instruction
I developed focused on the basics of using the Adobe Photo Shop software package. Based on
their previous exposure to software applications, students came into this class with different
levels of understanding. As I began teaching the basics, I quickly determined which students
were able to easily grasp the material, and which of those would require further guidance. With
28 individuals in the class, it was difficult to reach all of those students who needed greater
instruction on lessons previously covered. I encouraged those students who understood the
material exceptionally well to help those students around them who seemed to struggle with
the material.

As we progressed through the course of the semester, I witnessed students helping other
students beyond my expectations. It was an amazing class that not only learned together, but
grew together in camaraderie. I observed some of the reserved students become more social as
they felt comfortable in my classroom environment. As I paced the material in accordance with
class comprehension, I was able to experience how this class of students developed from a
group with minimal understanding of the software to a class of intermediate Adobe Photo Shop
users. Some of my students even exceeded my own personal knowledge of the application.
Because of this experience, I was able to better understand the growth of students socially, as
well as intellectually.

Through my time at SPASH, I experienced first-hand that each and every student learns and
develops at a different rate. As a prospective professional, I understood that I needed to gauge
my instruction to a wide range of abilities. Finding a balance in my computer graphics course
instruction was difficult at times, especially when skill sets varied extensively. However, as I
began to understand my students and realized the opportunity to encourage peer-to-peer
learning, I was able to provide instruction that supported each student’s intellectual, social, and
personal development. For those students whose skill sets were exceptional, I was able to
assign them leadership tasks and provide advanced material such as expert level challenge
problems on Adobe Photo Shop applications.

UW-Platteville School of Education Knowledge, Skill, and Disposition Statement Alignment:
This experience best aligns with KSD1.b of the UWP School of Education Knowledge, Skill, and
Disposition statements which states: “The candidate displays knowledge of the typical
developmental characteristics, learning styles, skills, interests, developmental backgrounds, and
cultural; heritages of students and is always aware of the broad ranges and variety present for
each of these student characteristics and lifestyles.”

My experience student teaching at Stevens Point Area Senior High School aligned well with
KSD1.b of the UWP School of Education Knowledge, Skill, and Disposition in a number of ways.
As a prospective professional, I witnessed a wide range of learning styles, skills, and interests in
my classrooms. The large number of enrollments and cultural diversity of the students alone
provided me with ample opportunity to interact with diverse groups. As a student teacher, I
was exposed to situations that challenged my ability to be flexible in my teaching methods and
style.


Secondary KSDs:

KSD3.d. Provides Feedback to Students




Personal Reflection:

What I learned about teaching/learning from this experience.

I have learned through this student teaching experience that each student has a different level
of comprehension coming into the classroom. This level of comprehension is influenced by
multiple factors such as age, prior experience, learning abilities, and level of interest. As a
prospective teacher, I learned that gauging material appropriately has a significant impact on
the actual learning that occurs in the classroom.

What I learned about myself as a prospective educator as a result of this experience.

This experience has confirmed for me the importance of recognizing the diversity of student
abilities occurring in the classroom and adapting my teaching methods and delivery accordingly.
I have studied and will continue to learn about how children develop intellectually, socially, and
personally as individuals. This experience has given me greater confidence in understanding the
stages of student growth so as to customize my instruction as much as possible to the
appropriate level of development to achieve a high percentage of successful learning.