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Self-Evaluation and Reflection


Julie Rollins
Saint Marys University of Minnesota
Schools of Graduate and rofessional rogra!s
ortfolio Entry for Wisconsin Teacher Standard 9
E"UW #9$Ethics and %ssues in Education
&athi Ste''ins (int)
*ove!'er ++, +-./
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Selected Wisconsin Teacher Standard Descriptors
Wisconsin Teacher Standard (WTS) 9: Teachers are able to evaluate themselves and their
teaching.
The teacher is a reflective practitioner 0ho continually evaluates the effects of his1her
choices and actions on others 2students, parents, and other professionals in the learning
co!!unity3 and 0ho actively see4s out opportunities to gro0 professionally5
Knoledge5 The teacher understands !ethods of in6uiry that provide hi!1her 0ith a
variety of self-assess!ent and pro'le!-solving strategies for reflecting on his1her practice, its
influences on students gro0th and learning, and the co!ple7 interactions 'et0een the!5
Dispositions5 The teacher is co!!itted to reflection, assess!ent, and learning as an
ongoing process5
!er"ormances5 The teacher uses classroo! o'servation, infor!ation a'out students,
cultural, social, philosophical fra!e-0or4s, and research as sources for evaluating the outco!es
of teaching and learning and as a 'asis for reflecting on and revising practice5
#ndividual $oal
My goal is to 'e genuine and intentional a'out !y evaluation and reflection process5 %
0ill consider 'oth the conse6uentialist and the non-conse6uentialist vie0s and use current
educational research to !a4e infor!ed decisions in !y classroo!5 8nce % have !ade a decision,
% !ust also follo0 through 0ith i!ple!enting the decision entirely5
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Sel"&'ssessment o" #nstruction (elated to WTS 9
9or Wisconsin Teacher Standard 2WTS3 9, % 0ant to focus on continued learning and use
of evaluation and reflection to 'etter !yself as an educator5 :urrently, % a! a si7th grade teacher
in the Marshfield School "istrict at one of the five ele!entary schools5 My ele!entary 'uilding
is a four-trac4 school 0ith a'out .-- students in each grade level of 4indergarten through si7th
grade5 8ur si7th grade is set up as a !iddle school !odel 0ith each of the four teachers teaching
one of the core su';ect areas5 % a! the current :o!!unication <rts teacher 0here % a! teaching
reading, 0riting, gra!!ar, and spelling5 =eing that % a! the reading teacher, one great concern
that % have for !y students is there reading a'ility5 So!e students are in the at-ris4 range and
reading at a third grade level, 0hile other students are in the advanced range and reading 0ell
a'ove the si7th grade level5 <t the 'eginning of the school year, the four of us teachers get
together and create our class groupings5 8ne of the :o! <rts class groups 0e create is a lo0er
reading-leveled group and of s!aller class si)e5 Many ti!es throughout the school year % reflect
on this decision of for!ing the lo0er reading-leveled group5 There are !any positive outco!es
to this approach of grouping5 Using this strategy for creating a s!aller group, % a! a'le to spend
!ore ti!e 0or4ing 0ith each student one-on-one5 This schedule also allo0s for the special
education teacher to 'e in !y classroo! during that ti!e to assist students 0ho need e7tra help5
% a! a'le to go into !ore detailed e7planations of concepts and i!ple!ent re-teaching !ore
often if needed5 Students do tend to have !ore confidence 0ith reading aloud, ans0ering
6uestions, and participating in class discussions 0hen there are fe0er students in the class5
Students at this level are a'le to 'e proud of their successes even if they are s!all 0hen the level
of co!petition has 'een reduced in their class5 (o0ever, there are also !any negative effects to
this grouping approach5 The students 0ho de!onstrate higher levels of thin4ing and good
reading s4ills are not in the classroo! to 'e a'le to 'e peer role !odels for the lo0er-level
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readers5 So!eti!es students are placed in the lo0er-level group 'ecause their 'ehaviors affect
their school 0or4 rather than their learning a'ility> these students 'eco!e a distraction to a
student 0ho is a struggling learner5 The pacing of the class tends to !ove a 'it slo0er 0hich can
result in the class not covering the entire re6uired curriculu!5 These are so!e of the issues for
'oth sides of this decision5 Even after loo4ing at 'oth sides, % still 6uestion if this is the 'est
strategy for grouping the students for reading5 ?oo4ing at 'oth the conse6uentialist and non-
conse6uentialist vie0s is very i!portant for !a4ing the 'est decision5 The rightness or
0rongness of an action> 0hether it produces the greatest good for the greatest nu!'er> duty,
o'ligation, and principle are i!portant considerations, and treating people 0ith e6ual respect are
all 'eliefs that need to 'e considered 0hen !a4ing a decision5 <fter learning a'out these t0o
vie0points and considering 'oth sides of this decision, % do 'elieve that for!ing the groups is a
good decision and sides 0ith the conse6uentialist 'elief5 Students are !a4ing gains 0hen they
have the opportunities they do in the s!aller class si)e5 The 'est decision !ade is the one that
'est !eets the needs of the students in !y classroo!5
9or the 4no0ledge descriptor, % chose, @the teacher understands !ethods of in6uiry that
provide hi!1her 0ith a variety of self-assess!ent and pro'le!-solving strategies for reflecting
on his1her practice, its influences on students gro0th and learning, and the co!ple7 interactions
'et0een the!5A Students co!e to school 0ith !any different 'ac4grounds and situations5 <s a
teacher !y goal is to find the teaching !ethods that 0ill 'est !eet the individual needs of !y
students !ost effectively5
9or the disposition descriptor, % chose, @the teacher is co!!itted to reflection,
assess!ent, and learning as an ongoing process5A To 'e an effective educator, one !ust al0ays
evaluate the!selves, the lesson and or unit, and the students success of !eeting the learning
targets5 % spend ti!e thin4ing a'out !y lessons and units, and % analy)e students assess!ent
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results5 (o0ever, % do need to ta4e the ti!e to !a4e the necessary changes to the lesson or unit
to !a4e it !ore effective for student success on the assess!ent5 Thin4ing that % 0ill fi7 it later
or ne7t ti!e is not a productive approach5 9ollo0ing through 0ith !a4ing any changes to a
lesson or unit !ust 'e done i!!ediately, and this is one s4ill that % need to i!prove5
9or the perfor!ance descriptor % chose, @the teacher uses classroo! o'servation,
infor!ation a'out students, cultural, social, philosophical fra!e-0or4s, and research as sources
for evaluating the outco!es of teaching and learning and as a 'asis for reflecting on and revising
practice5A <ll students learn differently> it is i!portant to loo4 at all factors 0hen deciding 0hat
the 'est teaching strategy is for each individual student5 Understanding a students cultural,
social, and philosophical fra!e-0or4 allo0s !e to 4no0 that student and 0hat 0or4s 'est for
hi! or her5 Education is constantly changing, as are the students, and 'eing a'le to learn fro!
our successes and our !ista4es is a very i!portant s4ill5
(e"lection o" +ntire ,earning !rocess
Ethics and %ssues in Education 0as a very interesting course5 %t 0as very interesting to
participate in the discussions during class on the variety of ethical issues5 So!eti!es it 0as easy
to !a4e !y decision, 0hile other ti!es it 0as 6uite difficult to decide after loo4ing carefully at
'oth sides5 ?istening to 0hat the others had to say 0as very eye opening as 0e analy)ed so!e of
the cases in class5 ?oo4ing at 'oth sides of a case helped !e to reali)e ho0 i!portant it is to
consider all factors 'efore !a4ing a decision5 8ne assign!ent that reinforced this thin4ing
process 0as our ;ournal entries5 Reflecting on decisions that % have !ade in !y classroo! 0hile
loo4ing at the! fro! a conse6uentialist and nonconse6uentialist 'elief 0as very infor!ative5
This assign!ent illustrated the i!portance of identifying all of the facts and loo4ing at 'oth sides
of an issue 'efore !a4ing a decision5
8ne aspect of the course that 0as very !eaningful for !e 0as the concept of filters5
These are the life e7periences, culture, and values that influence our approach 0hen !a4ing a
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decision5 < persons gender, life e7periences, 0or4 ethic, values, co!!unity involve!ent, and
econo!ic status are ;ust a fe0 of the factors that influence ho0 one approaches ethical issues and
!a4es a decision5 %t is essential that as an educator, % recogni)e and respect these filters in order
to 'e a'le to !eet the needs of others and !a4e the 'est ethical decision5 <ge is one filter that %
identified as influential in !y decision !a4ing process5 <s a parent of a fourteen year old and an
eleven year old, % recogni)e ho0 !y children have different 'eliefs and vie0s si!ply 'ecause of
their age5 %n !y school setting, % need to 'e a0are of these differences and consider ho0 a
person of a younger generation 0ould vie0 an issue co!pared to !y o0n perspective5 <ge is a
factor 0ithin !y teaching tea! of four5 We have !e, one 0ho is close to retire!ent, one 0ho is
'et0een retire!ent and !e, and one 0ho is four years out of college5 Each of us has a different
approach and !ethod of teaching practices that 0e use in our classroo! as 0ell as strategies of
classroo! !anage!ent5 We all respect one anothers different vie0points and loo4 to one
another to 'etter understand a different perspective5 This class taught !e that in order to 'e the
!ost effective teacher that % can 'e> % !ust recogni)e these differences in people and respect their
'eliefs5
<nother aspect of this course that % learned a great deal fro! 0as the de'ate assign!ent5
My de'ate assign!ent 0as on the inclusive !odel in the classroo!5 My initial response to the
6uestion 0as that the inclusive !odel is 0or4a'le5 <fter researching, creating a pro and con
chart, and reflecting on 'oth sides of the issue> !y response stays the sa!e5 (o0ever, % certainly
do see 'oth sides of this 6uestion5 This course has definitely taught !e to loo4 at an issue fro!
different perspectives5 % no0 reali)e the i!portance of loo4ing at 'oth the conse6uentialist and
non-conse6uentialist vie0points5 The assign!ents and class discussions sho0ed !e that !y
decision-!a4ing process needs to include all of the facts and 'oth sides 'efore % !a4e a final
decision5 % do ta4e ti!e to try and consider all facts and evaluate the circu!stances carefully
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'efore reacting and !a4ing a decision in !y classroo!5 8verall, % feel that this class has taught
!e necessary s4ills to 'e an effective educator5
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'rti"act ': 0ournal +ntries
<rtifact < sho0s t0o e7a!ples of ;ournal entries that deal 0ith ethical dile!!as % have faced in
!y classroo!5 The entries include the facts, the ethical issue, argu!ents for 'oth sides, and !y
decision along 0ith 0hether !y decision !a4ing is conse6uentialist or non-conse6uentialist5
0ournal 1 1
#ssue: %n our school district, every year the students have a district spelling list of co!!only
used 0ords 0hich they are e7pected to achieve at least B-C !astery on 'y the end of the school
year5 =eing the :o!!unication <rts teacher, % ad!inister that test of D$ 0ords to the entire #
th

grade at !y school5 These scores are reported to the district office at the end of the school year5
< group of .+ ?" students 0ho have replace!ent reading curriculu! ta4e the spelling test 0ith
the Special Education teacher that teaches the! the reading5 %t 0as near the end of the school
year, and % as4ed that teacher ho0 the students in her class 0ere doing 0ith the district spelling
0ords5 She told !e to ;ust give the! an B-C for a score5 (er rationale 0as that she 0ould 0or4
0ith the! enough to get the! to the B-C !astery that is re6uired5 The students in her
replace!ent reading class did ta4e the test> ho0ever, they did not achieve the B-C5 <nd no0 %
have to report false scores to the district office for the #
th
grade students5
+thical 2uestion: "o % ;ust give those .+ ?" students a score of B-C 0hich is 0hat % 0as told
to do 'y their reading teacherE
'rguments o" 3oth Sides:
$ive the students the /45 Do not give the students the /45
students have replace!ent curriculu!,
therefore have acade!ic needs 0hich !a4e
learning D$ spelling 0ords difficult
if the students did not truly pass the test, the
students should not 'e given the passing score
reading teacher is responsi'le for their score,
and % si!ply report score given 'y a colleague
% 0ould 4no0ingly 'e reporting false scores to
!y district office
reading teacher clai!s that she 0ill 0or4 on
the spelling 0ords 0ith the students therefore it
is her duty to do so and 0ho a! % to say that
she didnt do that
not all students are capa'le of passing a
spelling test of D$ 0ords, and that should 'e
accepta'le in certain circu!stances
% cannot prove that the reading teacher gave
false scores> % need to trust !y colleague
students have replace!ent reading curriculu!
and !ay'e need to have a !odified e7pectation
for these district spelling 0ords
sho0ing that all students achieve the B-C is
the districts goal 0hich 0e are all 0or4ing to
!eet
it is 0rong to ;ust give the! an B-C
reporting the scores of B-C, 4eeps the peace
'et0een the regular classroo! teacher and the
Special Education teacher
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Decision: <fter tal4ing 0ith !y #
th
grade tea! of teachers and !y principal, % decided to give
the students the score of B-C5 (o0ever, % !ade note on !y spreadsheet of data that those .+ ?"
students 0ere given a !odified test 0ith the Special Education teacher5 % !ade this decision
'ased on t0o reasons5 8ne, % could not prove that she didnt 0or4 0ith the students on this list
of 0ords in a !anner that 0ould allo0 the! to achieve !astery5 T0o, it is not appropriate for
!e to ;udge the practice of !y colleague therefore % reported the infor!ation that 0as given to
!e 'y the Special Education teacher5 This decision 0as a conse6uential one5 %t 0as decided
'ased on the rightness or 0rongness of an action and done so to produce the !ost good5
0ournal 1 2
#ssue: <n E=" 2E!otional =ehavior "isorder3 student of !y ho!eroo! 0as in his !ath class
and 0as having a 'ad day5 <t the end of class, he !ade a co!!ent aloud to the other students, @%
a! going to 'ring a gun to school and get all of you5A (e then turns to one particular student and
says, @and % a! going to 'egin 0ith you5A The E=" teacher and principal 0ere called to the
classroo!5 =ecause it 0as lunchti!e, all the other #
th
grade students follo0ed routine and left
the roo! to go to lunch5 The principal tal4ed to the student5 The E=" student !ade a choice to
re;oin his class!ates5 Therefore, he 0ent to lunch and out to recess, and he continued the rest of
the day as if nothing happened5 The principal did tal4 to the one particular student to ensure that
she felt safe at school5 That student replied, @% 4no0 that he didnt really !ean 0hat he said5A
+thical 2uestion: Should there 'e !ore of a conse6uence i!ple!ented in this situationE
'rguments o" 3oth Sides:
6onse7uence should be implemented 8o conse7uence is necessar9
Threats such as this are to 'e ta4en very
seriously and action is necessary
Student has a 'ehavior disorder and does not
understand and handle a situation the sa!e as
the regular education students
<ll students need to see that action is ta4en
0hen threatening co!!ents such as this are
!ade 'y any student
rincipal had a conversation 0ith the student
and a decision 0as !ade therefore 0e are
e7pected to follo0 that decision
The safety of the student 'ody should 'e the
nu!'er one priority
rincipal ensured that the one particular
student did feel safe
<t the very least, the student should have 'een
re!oved fro! the others for lunch and recess
ti!e
%t 0ould not 'e appropriate to !a4e an
e7a!ple of an E=" student to all other
students in this situation
"ue process is essential to !aintain a free
society 0hich in this situation 0ould !ean a
safe environ!ent at school
Reha'ilitation is very different for an E="
student in this situation
"ue process needs to 'e altered in this situation
'ecause of the students disa'ility even though
it is difficult for the other students to
rationali)e that
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Decision: The decision !ade 'y the principal 0as carried out> no other conse6uences 0ere
i!ple!ented5 <s a classroo! teacher 0ith +$ other students in !y roo!, % had a very difficult
ti!e ;ustifying this decision to !yself5 % didnt agree 0ith the decision5 The threatening
co!!ents should 'e ta4en seriously for the safety of all students5 The decision !a4ing 'y the
principal 0as a conse6uentialist 0ay of thin4ing 0hich 0as the rightness and 0rongness of the
particular action of this particular student5 My 'elief 0ith this situation is a nonconse6uentialist
0ay of thin4ing5 The rule is as it stands, and all students should face a conse6uence if they !a4e
a threating co!!ent to another student5
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'rti"act 3: Debate 'ssignment
<rtifact = sho0s a chart outlining the pros and cons for the de'ate issue assign!ent5
#ssue 11) : #s the #nclusive 6lassroom ;odel Wor<able=
>es 8o
.99- F %ndividuals 0ith "isa'ilities
Education <ct 2%"E<3 'egan an
@inclusive schoolsA !ove!ent
disa'led children have a right to and
can 'enefit fro! inclusion in regular
educational environ!ent
Mara Sapon-Shevin says, @inclusion
creates a society in 0hich all children
and their fa!ilies feel 0elco!ed and
valuedA
inclusion 'enefits all students 'y
helping the! understand and appreciate
that the 0orld is 'ig, people are
different, and that 0e can 0or4 together
to find solutions that 0or4 for everyone
inclusive classroo!s foster a cli!ate
0here students 4no0 they 0ill not 'e
a'andoned 0hen they e7perience
in;ustice
'enefits for students 0ith disa'ilitiesG
friendships, greater opportunities for
interactions, having peer role !odels,
higher e7pectations, greater access to
general curriculu!, increased
achieve!ent of %E goals
'enefits for students 0ithout
disa'ilitiesG friendships, increased
appreciation and acceptance of
diversity, respect for all people,
preparation for adult life in an inclusive
society, opportunities to !aster
activities 'y teaching others
learning to live together in a de!ocratic
society is one of the !ost i!portant
goals and outco!es of inclusive
classroo!s
students learn to support class!ates in a
students are included in large classes
0ith inade6uate support
!ost of the effectiveness for inclusive
classroo!s has 'een 'uilt around
sociali)ation
Wade <5 :arpenter says, @inclusion is
not li4ely to 0or4 if 0e insist on
including the victi!i)ers 0ith the
victi!sA
0e need to provide alternatives for
those 4ids 0ho dont 0ant to 'e in
schools and detract fro! the education
of those 0ho do
teachers need !ore support and 4ids
need !ore teachers for inclusion to 'e
effective
Wade <5 :arpenter suggests that there
'e no !ore than .$ 4ids per class in an
inclusive setting
teacher attitude and training is crucial
evidence suggests that general
education teachers feel unprepared to
serve students 0ith disa'ilities, have
little ti!e availa'le to colla'orate, and
!a4e fe0 acco!!odations for students
0ith special needs
successful inclusion re6uires
funda!ental change in the
organi)ational structures of schools and
in the roles and responsi'ilities of the
teachers
evidence suggests that 'oth general and
special educators feel inade6uately
prepared to serve students 0ith
disa'ilities in the general education
classroo!
teachers report lac4 of support
regarding ti!e, training, personnel,
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caring co!!unity
&ids Together, %nc5 states, @there is not
any research that sho0s any negative
effects fro! inclusion done
appropriately 0ith the necessary
supports and services for students to
actively participate and achieve %E
goals
in this age of accounta'ility and the role
of testing, it is i!portant for teachers to
ensure that every student is receiving
the appropriate standards and o';ectives
across the curriculu!
inclusive education can 'e a !ore
efficient use of a schools resources
such as staff and !aterials> separate
settings involve duplicate resources that
are costly for schools
<ccording to the U5S5 "ept5 of
Education, researchers have found that
nondisa'led students 0ho have
opportunities to interact 0ith students
0ith disa'ilities hold !ore positive and
accepting attitudes to0ard the! than do
students 0ho have not had such
opportunities
interactions 'et0een disa'led and non-
disa'led students can also reduce
nondisa'led students fear of students
0ith a severe disa'ility
students 0ith disa'ilities 0ould 'e
engaged in activities that are
acco!!odated to their a'ility level in
the general education classroo!
!aterials, class si)e, and severity of
disa'ilities
there is an increasing nu!'er of special
education students 0hich increases the
caseloads of special education teachers
the needs of the students !ay not 'e
!et 'ecause of large class si)es,
increasing de!ands, and fe0er
resources
if the special education students are
clustered in one class, it creates a
su'co!!unity of nonlearners> ho0ever
if the students are evenly distri'uted, it
is difficult to schedule special
education staff and support
caution for i!ple!enting inclusion is
suggested until acco!!odations and
adaptations are in place for the students
0ith disa'ilities