Instructions as stated on application:
Answer each question in a short essay format (no more than 300 words); be sure to address all parts of each question. The answers to these questions are considered a critical part of your application. Please spend time crafting your answers and provide your responses to these application questions in the spaces below. (Be sure to identify each instruction, and frequently review to assure your work is acceptable.)
Questions as stated on application:
Briefly describe a time when you achieved a goal in the face of challenges (or while balancing multiple responsibilities). What specific steps did you take to ensure you would meet your goal, and how did you know you were successful? How will you apply that experience to set goals and measure your success in the classroom?
Answer each question and its parts:
(It is beneficial to examine each question rather than attempting to answer all at one time.)
Question Part I:
Briefly describe a time when you achieved a goal in the face of challenges (or while balancing multiple responsibilities).
Answer Part I: As the 5th grade science teacher at a Title I school, I faced the daunting goal of preparing students for the state’s first mandated science exam. Challenges included classroom management, negative perceptions, unfamiliarity with subject matter, and a limited time frame. In order to grow professionally and proactively affect positive growth in the community, I assumed multiple responsibilities such as volunteering as a Girl Scout Leader; Nursing Home Volunteer; Children’s Programming Coordinator; and participating in a yearlong science educator professional development series. Nevertheless, my goal was important for our school and students.
Question Part II:
What specific steps did you take to ensure you would meet your goal, and how did you know you were successful?
Answer Part II: I implemented small goals building upon one another to ensure a smooth pace for students. My first step was to build self-belief. Through guided lessons and student partnerships, insecurity was replaced with confidence. Secondly, I observed other teachers. Applying their techniques, managing students became easier. With confident students and a better classroom management style, we were ready for step three-organization. Using study guides, note-taking, routines, and procedures, lessons progressed students from the teacher-led model to a student-teacher cooperation. Setting smaller goals allowed easier progression for students and me.
Question Part III:
How will you apply that experience to set goals and measure your success in the classroom?
Answer Part II: Our test scores were announced to the entire school because they were above average and the highest in our county, but it was students’ smiles and high-fives that satisfied my heart. Using the lessons learned from the experience, I am able to view challenges with confidence and assurance that the necessary investments of time, self-sacrifice, and hard work are well worth the satisfaction of achievement. In order to create continuous strides, I will continue to base my measurements in accordance with student needs. My highest priority is that each student feels safe, cared for, and respected, while other assessments such as chapter tests and class work continue to guide my pace allowing for improvements in my preparation and presentation.