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Student Name: Joshua Guastella


Joshua Guastella exhibits all the characteristics of a highly motivated professional. His
instructional planning and implementation is very well done, and, in fact, exemplary. All of his
daily, detailed lesson plans and instruction are aligned with district curriculum and assessments
as well as state standards and benchmarks. He uses notes, simulations, power point information
during direct instruction, handouts, maps, and various group activities to actively engage
students in their learning. During the class lesson, he frequently references real-life situations,
both local and globally. Through the use of daily formative assessments and other aligned
assessment tools, Joshua examines the data and proceeds to make instructional decisions to
assure that all students in his class have obtained the intended content objectives. He has
skillfully developed outstanding questioning strategies, frequently probing student responses and
using the elements from Culture of Visible Thinking by following up a student response with,
What makes you say that? At the conclusion of each unit, Joshua develops comprehensive
summative assessments to examine student learning.

Throughout the course, Joshua took it upon himself to examine and utilize various methods of
differentiated instruction. These included simulations, pair/share, visuals, group work, as well as
direct instruction. He gives very clear explanations, directions and assignments. All of his
assignments are aligned with the daily instructional focus and he is able to address a range of
student needs. Creative lesson planning by Joshua provides many activities that served as the
hook to the objective, thus obtaining the attention of the class and setting the stage for what
results in enhanced thought-provoking questions. He is able to fuse into the lesson a variety of
current world events in order that students have a better understanding of the past. Joshua takes
the time to effectively and thoroughly respond to historical and current event questions asked by
students as it relates to the lesson objective.

Joshua is continuing to develop his knowledge and application of teaching/learning theory. His
lesson design uses a variety of research-based techniques that positively promote learning in the
classroom. For example, he utilizes Marzano Instructional Strategies as he has the Learning Goal
clearly stated on the whiteboard when the class hour begins, and is pointed out to students
throughout the hour. Joshua also has developed an understanding and implementation of the
various research-based questioning strategies, such as High Level Teaching Practices, the Seven
Steps to Effective Questioning Strategies (Q-R-Q method) and the higher order thinking skills of
Blooms Taxonomy, and uses these, as well as formative assessments, in order to check for
understanding. Use of the Q-R-Q method is used continuously through- out the lesson to aid in
probing for depth of content.

Using the educational technique of making sure students are able to successfully respond to a
question, Joshua does not give up on a student who either initially comes up with the wrong
answer, or has no answer at all. As a sound instructional method, he sticks with that student,
provides prompts, and has the student access prior knowledge, etc. until the student has
successfully answered the question. This method is beneficial to the success of students, his/her
self-esteem, as well as assisting the student in becoming aware of the misunderstanding of the
content, or lack of understanding.

Joshua provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in creative and critical thinking.
Using choral response, random selection and/or signaling techniques in order to elicit student
responses, all students in the class are called on at least once during the class hour. As part of
his Learning Goal (which he terms for the students, and a Marzano Instructional Strategy
component), Joshua consistently provides for active involvement of students in their learning.

Joshua demonstrates excellent knowledge of the subject matter. He is able to effectively connect
learning experiences to the world beyond the classroom, as well as a link to student interest. For
example, when discussing the Enlightenment Period, he handed out the words of songs from
Marvin Gaye and the Rolling Stones, and had student identify phrases in the song that
represented the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment time period.

While opportunities for technology are limited, Joshua does an effective job using power point
slides to deliver the content, as well as video and music to supplement the learning goal. With
additional exposure to other educational technology, and with professional development, Joshua
will become acquainted with the numerous technological tools that will assist students in their
pursuit of knowledge.

Joshua has good organization and management of the learning environment. He establishes
routines and expectations for effective use of time. As the class begins, student attention is
immediately drawn to the whiteboard, where he has written the Big Idea and the Learning Goal
of the days lesson. It is evident during each class hour that not only has he spent a considerable
amount of time developing his lessons, but he is able to make the most effective use of time by
practicing bell-to-bell learning.

All students are treated fairly and impartially, and given the opportunity to participate in the class
discussion. He consistently models and expects respect and consideration for each individual.
His kindness to students, whether he is responding to questions or posing the questions, is always
in a kind, gentle, and welcoming manner. He consistently demonstrates initiative and a positive
attitude toward teaching and learning. During each class lesson, Joshua exhibits enthusiasm for
the lesson, the engaging activity, and for student success.

When necessary, Joshua establishes, communicates, and implements, fairly and consistently, a
behavioral plan which aligns with the building discipline procedures. The kindness and gentle
manner that Joshua depicts serves to model and encourage appropriate behavior in his classroom,
as well as an appreciation for the subject matter of history.

Joshua has excellent rapport with his students. He often takes the time to talk to his students and
show a genuine interest about out-of-class situations that his students so willingly share. In
addition, he takes the time to attend activities of the students outside of the classroom
environment and school hours. This initiative has not only resulted in an expressed appreciation
by students, but also a demonstration by Joshua of his commitment to the total school program.
Joshua demonstrates proficiency in oral and written communication and his thoughts are very
clear and appropriate for the audience. He has a clear understanding of the rules of spoken and
written language. In addition, Joshua presents himself as a professional at all times while always
using good judgment, demonstrating the flexibility necessary to handle the unexpected, and
consistently displaying initiative and a positive attitude toward teaching and learning.

Having been a high school principal for twenty-three years, and having observed Joshua on
numerous occasions, I am comfortable in sharing that he has demonstrated the many attributes of
an exceptional student teacher. He has a tremendous career ahead of him, and will immediately
become an asset to any school that seeks a young, vibrant and outstanding instructor.