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Running Head: Professional Dispositions

Professional Dispositions Essay


Lauren Marie Coleman
National University
TED 531 B: Student Teaching Seminar
Professor Gordon Schott
May 22, 2016

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Professional Dispositions

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Abstract

This assignment details a self-analysis of the student teaching candidates


strengths and weaknesses after completing the National University Professional
Dispositions Form. Two areas of strength as well as two areas for improvement will be
identified and explored. Specific action plans will address how the teaching candidate
plans to advance on the two areas of improvement. Finally, an analysis of the action plan
will be included.

Professional Dispositions

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Introduction

I have examined the STARS acronym for several past assignments. However, my
self-analysis of my strengths and weaknesses has begun to take on new meaning as Ive
entered my journey into student teaching in a diverse 5th grade classroom.
Strengths
My highest areas of self-rated strengths were in the realm of responsible
citizenship. I considered initiative and dependability as my greatest strengths. I do
believe I am able to anticipate the needs of students without having to be told, as well as
follow the daily routine and execute lesson plans without instruction to initiate. I also
pride myself on being dependable both in and out of the classroom. My desire to become
a teacher rests heavily on the need to demonstrate to young people that adults can be
counted on to follow through and hold them accountable. Organization is key to being
dependable and completing tasks as both a student and a teacher.
Areas for Improvement
My lowest areas of self-rated weaknesses were in the realm of teamwork. Ive
learned through my first two weeks of teaching that being adaptable and flexible is
crucial to the success of student learning and maintaining a comfortable classroom
environment. By nature, I do not respond well to change and adapting to situations that
arent planned heightens my stress level. Responding to feedback is also an area of mine
that needs improvement. I want to excel in everything that I do. I realize that teaching is
a profession with a vast learning curve and I will always be learning and finding ways to
teach differently and reach each student effectively. However, being fully open to
suggestions and feedback from others can be difficult.

Professional Dispositions

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Action Plan

In order to improve my target areas of weakness, Im proposing several different


ideas for an action plan. I believe my ability to adapt and be more flexible will improve
with more teaching experience. However, to address the immediate need, I plan to
partner with another mentor teacher and discuss situations that I observe and ask for
suggestions. Student teaching provides many opportunities to receive feedback from my
USP, SSP, and others who may observe me in the classroom. When receiving feedback, I
plan to write down suggestions and keep a reflective journal with notes that accompany
the suggestions. I think it will help me process the feedback in a useful way and allow
me to move forward as a better educator.
The Success of My Action Plan
I have gained a great deal of perspective while student teaching. During the
second half of my student teaching assignment in transitional kindergarten, the students
are most often the indicators for academic instruction and the ability to be flexible is
crucial in order to be an effective teacher. I have discussed my difficulties with my
master teacher, and weve worked together to have back up plans that vary in degrees
of difficulty, yet still engage the students in learning. Ive also become accustomed to
adjusting lesson plans and shifting the day around when some centers are taking longer
than expected or students need more free choice time to let off steam. During my first
week teaching on my own, it was challenging to pencil in on my plans that I worked so
hard to develop. However, one my greatest ah-ha! moments was during this time when
I realized that the plans are for me, and the need to be flexible and adjust those plans is
for the students.

Professional Dispositions

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I have been keeping notes on my plans of things that have been successful,
activities that need adjusting and about my observations and general feedback from my
USP and SSP. It is helpful to review and reflect on these notes and my feelings. I believe
it demonstrates a progression in my teaching abilities and also my abilities to accept
criticism and assistance from those who have come before me.
Conclusion
Examining the professional dispositions form generally leads me to the same
conclusion each timethere is always room for improvement and Ive got a long way to
go! The action plan Ive implemented will continue to serve me well and help me grow
as an educator.