Summary of Artifact:
The artifact I chose for Standard Nine is a piece of the reflective journal I kept during my second student teaching placement in a 2nd grade classroom. I reflected once a week, and evaluated my performance based on the following four domains: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instructional delivery, and professionalism. I wrote down one question for each domain at the beginning of the week, then once the week had finished, I would sit and reflect on my performance based on the questions I had written earlier in the week.
Throughout my student teaching placement, the journal provided me with an opportunity to ask questions and reflect on each week in the classroom. I continually evaluated my performance concerning each lesson I planned, wrote, and taught, as well my interactions with my students, faculty, and the administration. While completing my reflections, I realized that certain lessons or activities that I had planned to go off without a hitch often didn’t turn out the way that I expected. Another common theme of my reflections is my concern regarding my teacher presence. I have talked about this concern with the other teachers in the building, with my supervisor, and with other student teachers. The pressure to be the perfect teacher is sometimes so overwhelming that we lose sight of the great things that we are already doing. I have a tendency to let that overwhelming feeling eclipse the great things that I am already doing. Being a teacher is not about being this all-knowing, perfect keeper of knowledge. A good teacher is measured, not only by the preparation and planning he or she puts into her teaching, but by the relationships he or she forms with the students, the families, colleagues, and the communities in which he or she teaches, as well as many other facets. My reflective journal gives me the opportunity to step back and view my experiences as a whole and allows me to gain a better understanding of who I am as a teacher.