My Experiences with Diversity (NSTA Standard 7: Science in the Community)
I have observed school settings in a diverse range of settings, ranging from the high-needs system of Hopewell, VA to a rural setting in New Kent, VA. I believe that the most important aspect of working with diverse students it getting to know each individual student. To begin with this process, I plan to give a survey to students surveying about their interests, their homes, and their learning styles. In addition, I plan to begin building strong personal relationships by talking to students one-on-one and introducing myself to families on a positive note.

Providing for Individual Differences in the Classroom
I believe that all students have unique learning needs and benefit from experiencing a variety of instructional strategies for every topic. I believe that each student learns in different ways and all learning needs should be accommodated. In order to do this, I create lessons that allow students to access information in a multitude of ways in order to create rich learning experiences for each student. It is important to target differentiation to suit individual needs of students as well as presenting and working with information in multiple ways so that all students may develop a better understanding. In my collaborative classroom setting, I have planned guided reading activities to target reading skills for my many students with learning disabilities who struggle to read. I also strive to provide opportunities for enrichment to challenge students who move through activities quickly and seek more of a challenge. For example, during our genetics unit I provided practice problems with Punnett Squares and at the end included a two-trait cross that students had not learned to do yet in order to challenge students who finished the practice problems before their peers.

Collaboration with Related Service Personal
I have been lucky enough to be placed in a collaborative classroom during my practicum in the Fall and my student teaching in the Spring. I have been able to see various models of co-teaching in action and worked with multiple special education professionals to adapt lessons for the needs of students. Through my experiences, I have come to realize that documents such as IEPs and 504 Plans are excellent resources to gather information about what I must do to meet the needs of individual students. However, I have also realized that my students are not defined by what is written on their IEPs. Every student is unique and had unique learning needs. In my student teaching, I worked with an excellent special educator to adapt my lessons to meet the needs of specific students. It was a rewarding experience to get feedback on my lessons and ideas for how they might be improved to better meet the needs of my students as well as having an extra support in the classroom.