Narrative Task #7

A. Insights on Teaching and Learning:
1. Throughout my student teaching experience, I have gained
an overwhelming amount of insight about the
determination, drive, focus, and work it takes into
becoming an effective teacher. During college, we are
instructed on theorists, teaching strategies, multiple types
of assessment, and more. We take endless amounts of
notes and attempt to put those into play during our 40hour observation placement. However, nothing could have
prepared me more for being an educator than what
student teaching has. There is an endless amount of
rewards and successes that came with student teaching. I
have learned more in the past 4 months than I have in the
past 4 years of college. When you are actually in the same
classroom everyday, you start to develop into the teacher
you wish to be. One particular success that stands out to
me above the rest is the collaboration with other teachers.
There are four 4th grade teachers at Point Harmony, and I
was privileged enough to have a fellow student teacher
placed in 4th grade as well. The 4th grade team met every
Tuesday to plan and prepare for the next weeks. Being
able to work with a small group of people who have the
same drive as you do allows for such a high learning
experience for your students. We were able to bounce
ideas off each other to achieve the big idea we really
wanted to reach. Not only is your team there to help you
plan, but also for support and encouragement when
needed. Everyone has a bad day or that one student who
knows just what buttons to push, so it is refreshing to have
teammates there to vent to or give advice on situations.
And of course, as always, I connect so easily with my
students; that has always been one of my strengths since
my first observation as a freshman. My eyes have certainly
been opened to see what students go through, but then
again, they can do the simplest things to make your day.
2. When attempting to decipher what was the least
successful part of my experience, I have to really go into
deep thought. My experience was hands down amazing,
but there is one thing in particular that could have gone a
little smoother. In the beginning stages of student
teaching, I realized that no matter how prepared you think
you are…you’re really not. You can start teaching about
the Native American Indians and research them for weeks,
but there is always going to be a child who asks some

question that you do not know the answer to. After weeks
and weeks of preparing for the topic and ensuring the
plans are perfect, you still won’t be 100% fully prepared
for the questions the students will ask you. As a teacher,
you have to learn to be okay with that or take that time to
make it a learning experience for you and your students.
3. Research has always stated that team teaching can be the
most effective if used appropriately and correctly. Students
can highly benefit from this teaching due to the amount of
thought and ideas being thrown in from so many different
directions. With more than one person trying to plan a
lesson, you discuss and ensure that the students are
receiving the best learning experience possible.
B. Implications for Future Teaching:
1. Throughout the unit, I struggled with meeting the needs of
all my students. Therefore, I consider that the one thing I
wish I would have spent more time on. Especially in
regards to my two focus students, I wish I could have seen
more growth from them individually. I worked with them
outside of math instruction in a small group, but I didn’t go
that extra step to see a change or learning difference in
them. I could have worked with them after school, included
a different math manipulative, or simply assisted them
more with their assignments. Student 1 showed more
growth, but Student 2 basically maintained throughout the
entire unit, which is not what I wanted to happen.
Whenever I have my own classroom, I need to take the
time and go that extra step to ensure that the learning
needs of all my students are getting met. However, I did
very well with lesson planning and staying organized. I set
aside certain days to work on plans keeping in mind what I
wanted to accomplish and the students to learn. The 4th
grade team uses Planbook, which I quickly learned to
admire.
2. During my 4 years of college in the education department,
I have learned numerous teaching strategies and gained
professional knowledge. This has impacted the classroom
positively and negatively. Negatively by assuming that all
classrooms are the same. On my first day, I felt like I
already knew what was best for the students before even
getting to know them as individuals. I had planned for
kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learners; however, there
are so much more than that. Which after being in the
classroom for just two days, I realized the plan I was trying
to implement was not going to be successful. I had much
more than the three basic types of learners. There are

things I knew how to use to my benefit and effect the
classroom positively. I use proximity frequently when the
students are off task and not focused. This occurs mostly
when the students are doing individual work at their desk
rather than whole group instruction. I also use positive rein
forcers, which is something that has taken practice. I found
it easier to obviously point out when a student was doing
something wrong, but I would forget to simply reward
them on their positive behavior. If a student was struggling
with something and we had discussed how he/she would
work on it, I would leave sticky notes randomly on their
desk while they were out of the room.
C. Professional Growth:
1. Throughout this experience, I have desired all of the
feedback I can receive whether it is from my cooperating
teacher, fellow student teachers, or my university
supervisors. Whenever my cooperating teacher and I
would communicate, I would constantly ask for feedback
or things that needed worked on. The same case was for
my university supervisor; I wanted her to be honest with
me and let me know what I should put more work into. I
never took any of their criticism in a negative way due to
the fact that I knew they were only going to tell me things
that would better myself as an educator. If my cooperating
teacher would tell me something to work on, I would start
fixing it and a week later we would sit and discuss whether
it was working or not.
2. In the beginning of student teaching, I was terrified of
classroom management, focused on the aspect of getting
onto students. I have struggled with that since day 1 of
observations of my freshman year. Classes would listen to
me, but I would struggle with getting onto them and
meaning it. I was lenient and would sway back and forth.
During this experience, I found a new drive to take control
of the classroom. Not saying that I have mastered the skill
perfectly, but I have definitely improved. That is something
my university supervisor, cooperating teacher, and myself
have discussed numerous times. Another personal
professional strength I have made throughout this
experience is time management. Before this, I had a
difficult time fitting everything into my lesson that I
wanted to include, but I have learned that sometimes less
is more. There is always going to be numerous resources
that could be incorporated into a unit or lesson, but you
have to decide what will be most beneficial for the
students. I have successfully learned how to decide which

would be best, depending on the students in the
classroom.
3. I am always the person who gets super attached and
clings to their students, every time; it never fails. Which
that can be a wonderful thing, but also a difficult thing to
manage as well. When finding out things that occur in a
child’s personal life, I let it effect me right to the core. I
start focusing more on that particular child more so than
others, which can start to become a problem at times. I
will always love the students I am blessed with, but I also
have to learn how to have thick skin so to speak. Another
weakness I came into contact with during this experience
is time management. However, I do not mean time
management during classroom time. I learned the hard
way that I can not stay up late and wake up at 6 to have a
full day with students who need me to be ready,
energized, prepared, and equipped to teach them
effectively. I was used to staying up till midnight or later,
and I quickly learned that I had to change that habit if I
was going to be the professional, effective teacher I strived
to be. I always have my lessons prepped and ready, but
wasn’t giving myself the correct amount of hours of sleep
needed to make the impact I desired to make.
4. Throughout this experience, I have found some
weaknesses that I need to work on as an educator, but
also some qualities that strengthen my ability to become
an effective teacher. By analyzing those qualities, I have
set some professional goals that I wish to achieve
throughout my teaching career. The following are goals I
have focused on: attend teaching seminars on any related
topic, stay focused and organized, keep my students first,
don’t let the small things ruin your day, and keep the
bigger picture in mind. By having all of those things as
goals in my teaching career, I will become the motivated
and effective teacher I wish to be.