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I decided to pursue a Masters of Science in Education because I want to have every tool possible to be as effective as I can be in my teaching practice. About seven years ago, I decided to pursue teaching because of other exemplary teachers who made a difference in my life. Over the past four years, I have taught first grade to many thoughtful, creative, kind and resilient students. It is my passion to facilitate, guide and inspire learning in my classroom, just like what was done for me as a student.
I believe teachers, administrators and all school staff have an opportunity to make a huge difference in students’ lives by the way that they teach, learn, reflect, and grow alongside students and each other.
The constant reflection and refinement of my craft has lead me to where I am today, which is eager to pursue even more new learning. I chose the specialization of Elementary Reading and Mathematics because it highlights the two core areas that need to be explored through inquiry, application, and discussion/reflection, especially in first grade.
I believe a focus on reading and mathematics will help to strengthen my pedagogy related to these two core subjects and will give me additional teaching strategies to better reach and inspire every student in my classroom using the learning style that is best for them.
I chose to pursue my masters from Walden University because of a colleague’s recommendation who took this same program and found it valuable to refining her teaching practice.
As I’ve read more about Walden University I have been impressed by the mission and values that this university holds (Walden, 2018). I was so drawn in by the positive social change aspect, that I couldn’t stop reading more about it. I believe this social change focus also closely aligns with problem-based learning, which is a focus of my school. This learning is focused around a driving question, which necessitates authentic tasks to answer the question. One of the driving questions we used this year was related to which recess games that students wanted to play during sunny or rainy day recess. The final make in this project was a presentation on Seesaw highlighting their findings (and opinion) on rainy day or sunny day recess choices. This project was an opportunity for students to feel like they had a voice to make a difference in their school community even at a young age. I see that this next generation of students has more opportunities than ever before because of the availability of technology and I appreciate how Walden University recognizes this as tool to assist and support social change (Walden, 2011).
As I reflect about my teaching and student’s learning I am always thinking about my next steps and student’s next steps. A diversity proficiency that I want to continue to develop and strengthen is planning, instruction and assessment. I recognize many varying needs from the diverse learners in my classroom and want to continue to refine my teaching to best support all students. In the future I hope to be a literacy specialist, instructional coach and/or administrator that positively supports students and teachers. As a classroom teacher I’ve learned a tremendous amount through my experiences, trial and (sometimes) error, and reflection on a daily basis. I am so excited to continue my learning as I pursue my masters online alongside other teachers. I am so fortunate to have this experience and can’t wait to see/reflect on my new learning over the next year (and in the future).
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