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School of Education and Human Services

Office of School and Field Services

381 Pawley Hall
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4494
Final Assessment of Student Teacher
Student Name Sequoia Coleman

Program STEP (Secondary English)

Building Avondale High School

District Avondale

State Michigan

Assignment 2014/2015 school year; English 9 and Creative Writing

Cooperating Teacher Jodi Allan

University Supervisor Pauline Walker

(community; district; unique characteristics of school, staff, students)
Sequoia Coleman completed her secondary education teaching internship during the 2014-2015
academic year. Her teaching internship was done at Avondale High School in Auburn Hills,
Michigan in the content area of English Language Arts.
Avondale is a unique school district that serves a student population from Troy, Bloomfield Hills,
Rochester Hills, and Auburn Hills. Our population is socio-economically and ethnically diverse.
The high school has approximately 1,200 students.
During her internship, Ms. Coleman was responsible for teaching English 9 and Creative
Writing; she had the opportunity to plan lessons for and teach poetry, novels, short stories,
informational text, and writing. Class size varied from 25 students to 33 students. Additionally,
she managed an Academic Center classroom, where she was able to assist students across grade
levels with a variety of English assignments.
In the following sections are detailed some of the personal and professional qualities that
Sequoia Coleman demonstrated during this very successful student teaching experience.
Ms. Coleman established effective and appropriate interpersonal relationships with her students.
She built rapport with students in and out of the classroom. During the course of her internship,
Ms. Coleman got to know students personally and made a point of showing interest in what was

interesting to them. The students are sad to see her leave, which is evidence of her connection
with them.
Ms. Coleman also had the opportunity to communicate with parents on a regular basis. She
conducted parent-teacher conferences during second semester; in addition, she emailed parents to
communicate about students academic progress and classroom behavior. She sent email blasts
to parents to inform them of upcoming quizzes and classroom happenings.
Furthermore, Ms. Coleman developed interpersonal relationships with colleagues. She gained the
respect of the staff by attending faculty and department meetings and by contributing to grade
level teams within the English department. I appreciated having her as part of my team and have
greatly enjoyed being able to confer with her on curriculum matters.
Ms. Coleman showed tremendous growth in classroom management skills from her early days in
our classroom to second semester, when she took over full responsibility for four classes. She
found her voice and became a presence in the classroom. As she began to develop her own style
as a teacher, her classroom management became more defined, and her expectations became
When students were not meeting her expectations, Ms. Coleman used various strategies to
reinforce them. As not all students respond to the same discipline, she experimented with a
variety of ways to reach different students with different needs. The classroom climate was a
positive one in which all students were treated fairly and with respect; students could state their
opinions openly and were free to be themselves.


The Avondale High School English department has a standardized core curriculum, adapted from
MAISA units. This can sometimes dishearten interns who are eager to put into place units they
have designed; however, Ms. Coleman embraced this situation. She implemented the MAISA
units and used the department-made Prezis and documents, while contributing her own ideas and
creativity to the lessons. She collaborated with the English 9 team for long term and daily
planning to make sure she was on pace with the team.
Additionally, Ms. Coleman had the opportunity to plan for and teach an upperclassman elective,
Creative Writing. She was able to essentially create the curriculum for this course, with guidance
from her cooperating teacher. Ms. Coleman effectively created her own poetry units and short
fiction writing units for this course.

In all classes, Ms. Coleman shared the daily teaching points with students by providing them
with the agenda and objectives (on the board or on the Prezi); students always knew about and
could be held responsible for the days learning.
Ms. Coleman used a variety of resources in lesson planning. She tried to vary her instruction and
assignments, giving students the opportunity to work collaboratively and creatively; she
appropriately used technology to deliver content. Overall, she successfully taught the English
departments standardized curriculum, enhancing it with her own style, and was able to create the
Creative Writing units from scratch. These different approaches to planning and teaching will
most certainly benefit her teaching career; she has learned to be both adaptable and inventive.
Ms. Coleman was aware of learning differences among students, and she tried to offer content in
a variety of ways--specifically, through various forms of technology. She created and used Prezis
for each unit to help manage curriculum and to engage students during lessons; she also used the
ELMO projector when modeling for students. This integration helped to reach both auditory and
visual learners. In Creative Writing, Ms. Coleman designed assignments that integrated
technology, allowing for tech savvy students to shine and for non-tech savvy students to hone
their skills. For example, students made videos of their slam poems, and they created short films
based on scripts they wrote.
Furthermore, Ms. Coleman regularly used Schoology, an online educational application, Google
Docs, and Google Classroom. Using Schoology, she communicated with students by sending
reminders and answering questions. She also managed documents and students assignments
through the Google applications. This use of technology gave students the ability to
communicate with their teacher and access course documents, making them more responsible for
their own learning.
Ms. Colemans strengths include a love of literature, dedication to lesson planning and reflection,
and rapport with students. She uses her strengths to create a positive classroom climate where
students feel comfortable being themselves, yet understand that they will be held accountable for
their actions and their own learning. Students know that she cares about them and about what she
teaches; her dedication is evident in her planning, delivery, and feedback on students
assignments. Also impressive is Ms. Colemans independence and motivation. She knows when
to ask for help, but she also has the confidence to tackle new tasks head-on and to collaborate
with veteran teachers.
Ms. Coleman has had a positive start to her career as an educator. I trust that she will continue to
grow as a professional. If I could hire her as a permanent member of my English department, I
would, without hesitation.


Throughout the school year, Ms. Colemans confidence in presenting her subject matter
significantly improved. She thoroughly prepared for teaching each lesson, making sure she
understood the content and skills. She is passionate about teaching literature and about reading,
in general, and this seems to be where she exhibited the best command of the subject matter. I
believe her comfort level with the content allowed her to feel confident in collaborating with
department members, which can sometime be intimidating for new teachers.
Early on in the school year, I already trusted Ms. Colemans knowledge of the content and skills
taught in ELA to grade papers and final exams. Grading can be challenging for new teachers
because they can question their decision making regarding students responses. While this is
normal and experienced by all teachers at some point, Ms. Coleman grew in her confidence in
her ability to assess student work; she has a good understanding of the ELA CCSS and the
material taught in our units, which enabled her to effectively deliver content and assess student
Ms. Coleman has a warm personality, a kind heart, and a sense of humor--personal qualities that
are especially endearing in a teacher. She has high standards, is organized, and is dedicated. I
was impressed with Ms. Colemans ability to successfully manage a very full plate during her
internship; she found a way to balance her personal responsibilities along with her commitment
to Oakland University and Avondale High School. Most impressively, she did so without
Ms. Coleman displayed a high level of dedication to her students and to me, personally,
throughout her internship. Additionally, she consistently displayed a high level of
professionalism. In all situations, from talking with colleagues to meeting with administration,
her demeanor was mature and appropriate. She was prepared at the start of each day and
reflective at the end of each day. She is a teaching professional who will be an asset to any
school district of which she is a part.