Action Research Hope Reflection – E3

E3 – Exemplify an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies. Teacher candidates demonstrate knowledge of professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and policies. This standard means that teachers are improving their teaching practices, as an effort to become professional educators, by researching and strategically adjusting classroom elements. An interpretation of one professional policy that teachers must meet is continuing education after a certification program and master’s degree, pre-service teachers should practice a strategy that will influence teaching practices long-term.

Action Research Proposal

To meet this standard in this class, I am presenting my Action Research Proposal. This proposal is for a project that any teacher can undertake to evaluate a current teaching practice, explore educational research surrounding a particular topic and propose an action plan to adjust a teaching practice. For me, this action research helped me explore researched philosophy about homework as a teaching tool. Within this document, I clarify reasoning for wanting to research homework, detail literature about improving homework completion, create a plan of action (in my case a Student Responsibility Survey) and a method of data collection. Each of these elements is a professionally centered practice that is crucial for continuing education as a professional.

By creating this document, I have shown that I am capable of critically analyzing my teaching practices and creating steps to a solution with the aim of student improvement. I believe that by improving my practices with the goal of student learning is my ethical responsibility as a public school teacher. Additionally, from the preparation work for this Action Research Project, I learned about some best-practices for assigning homework and encouraging students to complete homework. This project shows that I am able to collect usable data and analyze the effectiveness of the changes happening in my classroom.

Within the data collection piece, students are able to provide their own voice for their circumstances. This Action Research Project will help me learn more about my students and their unique needs as learners. While it is my responsibility to learn about how to be a better teacher, these improvements should overall help students become better learners. By implementing this professional growth practice and other similar to this in the future, my students will benefit from my increased ability to teach effectively.

While this project only touched on a part of this standard, mainly an understanding of the professional and ethical responsibility teachers have for continuing to grow as professionals, I can improve my demonstration of my understanding of teaching policies. To show more evidence of legal responsibilities, I think that I could have researched more about the teachers role in proving opportunities for student to learn information or ways that educators have provided access to homework for students with specific needs, such as 504 plans, IEP plans, students who have unstable home lives, students who are transient and switch between schools regularly. As I move forward, I will need to be aware of my schools policies about homework and how they encourage students to access course materials to gain understanding of concepts.

E1 – Professional Development Student Surveys

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice. Teacher candidates develop reflective, collaborative, professional growth-centered practices through regularly evaluating the effects of their teaching through feedback and reflection. This means that teachers are making reflection a regular practice to improve instruction and student learning. In the Internship Seminar class we were asked to provide a student survey about our teaching practices. I already ask students to provide feedback at the end of each unit. student reflectionMy piece of evidence is another type of survey I incorporate into my regular teaching practices. After students take a unit test, I ask my students the following question to respond in their reflection journal: “In what ways can Mr. G improve the teaching of this unit?” This response was particularly representative of the whole classes responses and provided constructive feedback with positive behaviors to continue. When this student wrote this reflection, I saved it because their feedback was helpful to me, both positively and constructively.

This student’s reflection about my work as a developing teacher, demonstrates my growth in my teaching practices throughout the year. The student says, “He does great when he is showing all the steps to solving something. Her is also very good at keeping the class engaged.” Both of these have been points of emphasis as I begin my teaching career, particularly keeping students engaged in rigorous academic work. Research shows that keeping students engaged improved retention of material (Borich, 2014), I am excited that students recognize my efforts to keep them engaged in learning. I will continue to ask students these and similar questions to receive feedback that I can improve upon (such as improving group work protocols to optimize student learning when working in small groups).

This student work sample, along with my reflection to the assigned student survey, that aims at different teaching practices, help me target areas of success and areas of improvement. I can ask specific questions to measure my effectiveness as an educator. “In mathematics, several factors have been consistently found to exert a positive influence on student achievement gains: teacher coursework, degree attainment, and certification coupled with pedagogical training in how to teach mathematics (Hightower, et al., 2011, p.32 ).” Teachers play a crucial role in student achievement, the improvements I can make directly impact the student’s success.

In the past, since I have asked the same static question at the end of each unit, I would like to get more diverse feedback. As I work with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, I will be developing a long-term teacher inquiry questions for the first several years as a teacher. As this question develops and I work in collaborative work groups to help me establish steps towards meeting these professional goals, I would like to use the student surveys to ask my students questions as evidence towards those goals. The student feedback will help me assess if I am meeting my practitioner inquiry goals and can help me find next steps in any are needed.

References:

Borich, G. D. (2014). Effective Teaching Methods (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Hightower, A. M., Delgado, R. C., Lloyd, S. C., Wittenstein, R., Sellers, K., & Swanson, C. B. (2011). Improving Student Learning By Supporting Quality Teaching.