Collaborating with Colleagues
I have had the wonderful opportunity in my student teaching placement to be able to observe and participate in a collaborative classroom. I have experienced how an effective co-teaching relationship can enhance student learning. I greatly
enjoyed working with the special educator in my placement. I feel that this relationship improved my teaching skills and allowed me to learn from an expert teacher with a different background and perspective than myself.

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I collaborated with a colleague to adapt and run a pH lab for her advanced biology students.

I have also been able to collaborate with other general education teachers to plan and implement lessons. I recently collaborated with my cooperating teaching to plan a lab using the science departments new set of probeware. Then I collaborated with the advanced biology teacher to adapt the lab for advanced students and had the opportunity to run the lab with those students as well. Through these processes I have experienced that although it is at times difficult to communicate and collaborate with others, having multiple perspectives offers valuable insight and creates richer experiences for students.


Collaborating with Families (NSTA Standard 7: Science in the Community)
I think it is essential to involve families in the classroom. Families can be your greatest allies in supporting student success. In order to introduce myself to families, it is my goal to establish a positive line of communication with families at the beginning of the school year by calling families and sharing something positive. This will show students that I care about the success of their children and pave the way for more difficult calls that I may have to make in the future.

See the Newsletter that I wrote to introduce families to my class and give them some helpful resources.

Below, you can watch a sample Back to School Video that I've created to introduce myself to families:



Reflecting on my Professional Practice(NSTA Standard 10: Professional Growth)
As a students in the William & Mary School of Education, I am constantly reflecting on my growth as a developing teacher. I actively seek feedback on planned lessons and my teaching performance. I strive to improve my teaching skills every time I work with students. Halfway through my student teaching experience, I chose to hand out a feedback survey from students about what I was doing well and what I could improve. Here is a sample of student responses. I was encouraged to get a lot of positive feedback from students and convinced even more at the value of building positive relationships with my students. I also got constructive feedback that I used to continue to push myself to plan better lessons and continue to work on my teaching skills for the sake of my students. I plan to continue seeking feedback from my students in the future.

As part of improving my professional practice, I am a member in NSTA, participating in the William & Mary chapter of the club. We are currently working on an event to engage children in science activities and demonstrations at a local library in April 2013. I am also a member of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST), where I attended the Professional Develop Institute in November 2012.