After review of the Teacher Work Sample and a bit of reflection I am pleased with the learning I have gained throughout this experience. Specifically, reviewing the lessons within the unit as well as the pre and post tests I have found that data really does drive instruction. For example, using the information from the pre-assessment caused me to adjust assignments to allow for students to learn new information. This meant I had to find additional sources for students as well as increase my content knowledge of the subject being taught.
Another area that impacted my learning was the instructional decision making section. Although I had previously used informal assessment to make decisions during teaching, it never dawned on me that different parts of the contextual analysis would impact student learning. As I look at the Teacher Work Sample, I now realize the importance of focusing on the relevance of the material as well as strategies for teaching it. One example is the knowledge that not every student has access to technology when not at school. I assumed that everyone would have access to the internet to locate information. This was not always the case.
One highlight within this process was realizing my ability to reflect on my teaching and make immediate changes to lessons. One change was working with students on re-graphing or sketching a new graph to help them attain a lesson objective. Although this information did not help all students, I do think it clarified information for some. Review of the Teacher Work Sample causes me to feel confident that my decision-making in the classroom will drive instruction.
I also learned a great deal about my attitude towards the students. When beginning student teaching, I assumed I would automatically love all of my students. This was not the case. I was surprised to discover that I really had to work hard to like a couple of my students. I know that I was able to...