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New Mexico Competency #3: The teacher communicates with and obtains feedback from

students in a manner that enhances student learning and understanding.
COE Conceptual Framework Connection: Understandings of content and discipline; culture
and language; practices of contextual and culturally responsiveness; identity of caring,
inquisitiveness, and reflection in action.
Competency and Conceptual Framework Connection: For the teacher to enhance their
teaching to make the lesson more understandable they need to be familiar with the student’s
understanding of the content and discipline, as well as their linguistic, cultural background.
Educators need to be aware of the student’s current understanding of what is being taught and
what is expected of them when working on a unit of study. Furthermore, this requires educators
to know a student’s linguistic and cultural background to develop strategies so that the student
can make connections to the lesson being implemented. To accomplish this the classroom would
need to cater to ELL, LEP, or students with disabilities in particular to maximize their learning
experience. Expanding on this, teachers would need to understand each of their students
strengths and limitations so that the classroom could help keep such students on task, as well
have feel included. Should the student feel comfortable they will be more likely to provide
feedback to the teacher; and the lack of feedback from a classroom should be a warning that the
teacher’s practice is ineffective. This can be done by the teacher being caring towards their
students, inquisitive so they can learn more about the students, and reflection in action so that
they can improve for future lessons. More than anything, it is creating a safe environment and
trust with the student that they will inform the teacher if they cannot understand something, or
perform a task.

Artifact and Reflection: The artifact that I have chosen to satisfy this competency is a lesson
that I implemented on 9/30/15, specifically a read aloud on A Taste of Colored Water. This lesson
was a part of the unit at the time Taking a Stand, focusing on civil rights, discrimination,
segregation, and racism. So far all the lessons from this unit have been scaffold upon one
another, and the previous lesson tied in perfectly with the lesson I had developed, focusing on
segregated water fountains in the Southern United States. I initially started the lesson asking the
students to provide a brief synopsis of what they have been learning up until this point to activate
their prior knowledge. After that I proceeded to implement the read aloud lesson, pausing after
each page asking questions to engage the students. As an added note, I decided to ask the
students to see if they were able to recognize different literary devices such as similes,
metaphors, and foreshadowing to create a more dynamic lesson. I also, prior to the lesson had
created a slide of the 3, 2, 1 graphic organizer, modifying it so rather than just write down three
facts from the story to three connections to previous lessons (i.e. segregation, racism,
discrimination). This is where the problem of the lesson arises.
Unfortunately a lot of the students had difficulties understanding what was meant by
making connections to previous lessons. Despite explicit instruction to refer back to previous
lessons, a lot of students still wrote down three facts from the book rather than three connections
to other lessons of the same subject. One such example was when the student interpreted
“colored water” as literally water that has color rather than a symbol of segregation and racism.
Furthermore, a lot of students turned in incomplete work, usually only having one question rather
than the required two questions, or instead spent more time drawing on the graphic organizer
than actually filling it out.

I graded the assignment and returned it back to the students, confronting them about them
not following directions or spending more time drawing than actually completing the work. After
asking the students why, some of them answered that they were confused as to what I meant by
make connections to previous lessons. I need to be more explicit with my instructions as well as
my rubric. Also, this posed the opportunity to level with the students asking them if they have
any misunderstandings they should ask me to clarify my instructions, or make the objectives
clearer. Furthermore, this was an chance to bring up the issue of stereotypes because some of the
responses that the students wrote had some negative sentiment towards caucasians since a
majority of the students in the class are of hispanic descent.
What was significant about this lesson, and what I reflected on, was that the need to be in
constant communication with my students to ensure that they actually understand what is
expected of them, as well as present clearer objectives. Even though I did put up a slide on the
promethean board so the students can have something to refer to when filling out their graphic
organizer, I realized I should have provided a better example so that students could have a better
model. I assumed that students would have made connections to the previous lesson where they
learned about a real life situation where African American individuals were harassed for
attempting to drink from a non “colored” water fountain, as well as other lessons that covered
racism, segregation, and discrimination. To me this was a very valuable lesson that helped me
realize the importance of effective scaffolding techniques, as well as explicit instructions. Also, I
should have made more connections to the students’ home life so that they could make more
personal connections to better orient them towards the lesson. Even though I did confront them
about their shoddy performance I explained to them that this was done out of concern for their
academic well being rather than to antagonize them. To ease the tension I reminded them that I

myself am learning how to teach, and from this experience we can work together more through
better communication.