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Section Five: Teacher Candidate Reflection

Guidelines
Introduction
The education that I have obtained while enrolled in the Masters of Science in Education
Program at Medaille College has completely prepared me to be an all-around first-rate teacher.
The Medaille College education program is designed with an all-encompassing curriculum that
provides its graduate students with the tools and knowledge necessary for todays elementary
classrooms. The professors at Medaille College educate and provide a framework for
professional practice that provides guidelines on what a teacher requires to teach. These
guidelines apply to planning and preparation, the classroom environment, instructions, and
professional responsibilities. With now having acquired this professional teaching framework
from Medaille College, I as a new teacher possess teaching competencies that are highly valued
by my colleagues and administrators as well as being seen as a true educational professional.
Portfolio Project/Teacher Education Learning Experiences
Composing this portfolio has been a worthwhile experience for me. Each section of this
portfolio has required me to examine myself and my journey to becoming a teacher. From my
early years in elementary school watching my mother volunteer in my classroom, to myself
today, looking back at my educational experiences, classroom volunteering and observational
classroom fieldwork experiences, I now realize that becoming a teacher was what I was meant to
do. Thus, I realize that I have always had a passion for helping to educate children (TEAC Claim
3: Medaille College graduates are caring educators). This is something that I have always been
passionate about.
The artifacts that I have chosen to include in this portfolio hopefully have illustrated my
skills and ability to comprehend and embrace the content knowledge of pedagogy. (TEAC Claim

1: Medaille College graduates know the subject matter in their certified area). My knowledge of
planning and preparation which include; knowledge of students, selecting instructional goals,
knowledge of resources, designing coherent instruction and assessing student learning, are all
competencies that are illustrated throughout the artifacts.
In addition, the comprehensive curricula within the Education Program at Medaille
College is stimulating, demanding, pertinent and appropriate. In my first semester, the Early
Field Experience course required me to observe two classrooms for a total of one hundred hours.
I found this experience to be so rewarding in that I was able to witness the everyday on goings of
what it was like to be a teacher and what that actually required. From classroom management, to
selecting instructional goals suitable to the classrooms diverse learners (TEAC Claim 2:
Medaille College graduates meet the needs of diverse learners through effective pedagogy and
best teaching practices) that experience provided me with hands-on learning which was
unmeasurable in terms of value. Being in an actual classroom verified for me that becoming a
teacher was what I really wanted to pursue. And that every moment that I was at the school I
wanted to be there, it was not something that I did not look forward to, but it was a place that I
did not want to leave.
Another course that I took in my first semester was Research in Education. I found this
course educated me in terms of what I as a teacher can do to help and facilitate what happens not
only within my classroom, but perhaps the school as a whole. In this I mean if I were to have
challenges with a special needs student, I now know that I have the option of conducting my own
action research in an effort to assist the situation, whether that is accommodations or devising
other methods of instruction and planning that would facilitate the needs of my student, and that
this could all be achieved through the data that I would obtain through action research. (TEACH

Claim 2: Medaille College graduates meet the needs of diverse learners through effective
pedagogy and best teaching practices).
Another course entitled Transitions from Educations Roots to Present educated me in
regards to the historical background of theorists, past and present along with their ideologies that
have helped shaped the field of pedagogy. Having a solid exposure and comprehension of
pedagogical theory supplements my knowledge of pedagogical content along with the
knowledge of students varied approaches to learning, just to name a few. (TEAC Claim 1:
Medaille College graduates know the subject matter in their certification area), (TEAC Claim 2:
Medaille College meets the needs of diverse learners through effective pedagogy and best
teaching practices).
In addition I had the privilege of being a part of two literacy courses; Developmental
Literacy: Emergence to Fluency and Assessment and Evaluation of Literacy. These courses gave
me the knowledge and tools needed to properly gauge a students reading level, how to conduct
a running record, along with other strategies upon which teachers use to facilitate fluency,
phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension. These are invaluable skills that
will guide me in regards to literacy interventions and appropriate instruction (TEAC Claim 1:
Medaille College graduates know the subject matter in their certification area).
The Introduction to Special Education course was also valuable to my education, in that
it taught me how to teach special needs students along with how to communicate with their
families and work together as a team with parents and caregivers. (TEAC Claim 3: Medaille
College graduates are caring educators). In this course, I learned about Individual Education
Plans (IEPs), which list accommodations and provisions individually for each student, along
with strategies I can use for planning my lessons to accommodate my special needs students.
Another course that I found beneficial to me was Culturally Responsive Pedagogy:
Shaping Culturally Inclusive Classrooms. In this course I learned how to plan a culturally

responsive field trip in an effort to create an environment of respect and rapport among students
and with the teacher. This course also taught me how to establish a classroom culture for
learning, how to manage student behavior, along with emphasizing the importance of
demonstrating knowledge of your students interests and cultural heritage. (TEAC Claim 2:
Medaille College meets the needs of diverse learners through effective pedagogy and best
teaching practices), (TEAC Claim 3: Medaille College graduates are caring educators).
In addition, another course that I had the privilege of taking was Technology for the
Elementary Classroom. In this course I became SMART Board certified. With this certification
I learned how to create my own SMART Board pages upon which I can now create interactive
lessons that engage students using technology that is engaging and also fun! (TEAC Claim 1:
Medaille College graduates know the subject matter in their certified area), (TEAC Claim 2:
Medaille College graduates meet the needs of diverse learners through effective pedagogy and
best teaching practices). Along with becoming SMART Board certified, I also learned how to
create my own classroom website, create a Screen Cast which I can use to teach a flipped lesson,
along with other useful technology tools that will help me interact with my students and most
importantly create a mode of communication between school and home, which is imperative for
a successful learning environment.
Other courses that I found to be of great importance were Education Methods of
Teaching: The Arts, English, Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science. These courses
gave the necessary experience I needed in regards to planning and teaching lessons in these
subjects. By creating detailed lesson plans for subjects such as social studies, math and science, I
gained the knowledge and experience in regards to what is needed in terms of planning and
preparation, classroom environment, instruction, assessment and reflection. (TEAC Claim: 1
Medaille College graduates know the subject matter in their certified area).

All in all, the Masters of Science in Education Program at Medaille College has covered
every competency that I need to be an educated, accommodative, caring teacher. The Masters
program was encompassing in that it not only instructed me as to how to plan lessons and assess
students etc., but it also focused on other elements of pedagogy, such as classroom management
strategies, along with how to address certain situations such as child abuse, if the situation were
to occur. (TEAC Claim 3: Medaille College graduates are caring educators). Thus, I believe that
Medaille College has developed for me, a framework for professional practice that has prepared
me for all of the aspects of teacher competencies that makes a teacher effective and exceptional.
Readiness to Become a Teacher
I believe that to be considered ready to be a teacher, requires that you understand your
subject matter, you can accommodate diverse learners in your classroom, you can execute
effective pedagogy and effective teaching practices and above all you care about your students
and your school. Once you can truthfully say that you have these requirements, then, and only
then do I believe that one is ready to become a teacher.
Thus, I am ready to be a teacher! I feel confident in my abilities to teach the required
subject matter, in that I have successfully passed the required New York State Certification
Exams, (ALST, CST: Literacy, Math and Science) which provide evidence of my knowledge in
these subject areas.
As well, I have had the opportunity to create several lesson plans that include Culturally
Responsive Teaching, along with facilitating accommodations for special needs students, gifted
learners and many other factors that be given in my classroom. One of these competencies
include classroom management, upon which from my education at Medaille has prepared me and
given me the tools to create a classroom environment that is respectful and safe. I realize that
my job as a teacher is to encompass all of the components that planning and preparation entail,
such as the knowledge of pre-requisite relationships, knowledge of characteristics of the age

group being taught, along with presenting clarity, balance and suitability for diverse learners
when I am selecting my instructional goals. (TEAC Claim 2: Medaille College graduates meet
the needs of diverse learners through effective pedagogy and best teaching practices).
Furthermore, from my time at Medaille College, I have come to recognize the importance
of the classroom environment, in that as a teacher, your interaction with your students is so
important, in that you establish a culture for learning with respect and trust. With the proper use
of classroom rules and managing student behavior, expectations of students must be clearly
defined and communicated to create a positive classroom learning environment.
All in all, what I can take from my experiences leading up to my time at Medaille
College, along with the education I received there, combined with my love of children and the
satisfaction I receive when I have helped a child learn and contributed to their knowledge, to me
is the recipe that creates an outstanding teacher. I am grateful to Medaille, in that my education
has prepared me to teach effectively, but most importantly to be a caring teacher.
Conclusion
In conclusion, moving forward, I intend to give my students all of my attention, patience,
understanding and knowledge, in an effort to guide them onto the journey of learning. I myself
believe we are all lifelong learners and there is always something new to learn every day, from
the time we are born and onward, learning never stops! Therefore, as a teacher it is my personal
mission statement, to give my students 110% everyday in the classroom. It is my goal to ensure
that when my students move on to the next grade that they are prepared to face the challenges
and expectations of what is to come. And as I believe in lifelong learning, I intend to engage
upon professional development. I want to continue to be a relevant teacher and offer my students
the most current knowledge and resources that society has to offer in order to provide my
students with a solid foundation upon which they can become societys future contributors.