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Section Two:
Teacher Candidate Background Experiences

Introduction
Education is defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge,
developing the powers of reasoning and judgment and generally of preparing oneself or others
intellectually for mature life (Dictionary.com, 2014). It is our job as teachers to learn the
curriculum and to convey the knowledge to our students so that they can develop and mature into
knowledgeable, successful adults who contribute to society. As teachers we should be teaching
the skills required to be successful in life. Those skills should include basics such as math, literacy
and sciences but should also include values. It is important that students learn values such as
respect and responsibility so that they are able to meet the standards of todays society.
Education should be accessible to all children regardless of class, race or religion. Students
should be taught to accept and celebrate each others differences so they can see the benefits of a
multicultural society. Educating students effectively and in the correct areas can help create a
more understanding, accepting society in the future. The children are the future so lets teach them
to live in harmony with their fellow students worldwide.

Education enriches peoples

understanding of others and themselves and it can have a huge impact on a nations growth &
development (Buzzle.com, 2013).
As US President Barack Obama said in his national address to students across the nation
(2013), Every single one of you has something that youre good at. Every single one of you has
something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That is the
opportunity an education can provide. It is our job as teachers to provide students with the
opportunity to figure out what they are good at by giving them a diverse education utilizing a

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variety of teaching methods. Not only will each student have differences in what they are good at
doing they will also have differences in how they learn most effectively. Everyone has a right to
an education and it is our job not only to teach them, but to teach them well.
Below you will find information with respect to my educational background, work
experience, philosophy of education, some pertinent school observations, classroom applications,
and a copy of my resume. This will enable you to understand who I am and what I believe a
teacher should be. As a mature student I sometimes find I have a different viewpoint than most
on the teachers role, the schools role and the communitys role in educating our children. It takes
a village to raise a child and all of these people play an equally important part in a childs education
both in and outside of the school.
Educational Background
My interest in education was sparked during a Grade 12 co-operative education program where I
was placed in a Grade 2 classroom every other day for a year. It was here that I realized that I wanted to
be a leader and mentor to students in the educational system. The children in the class were very
receptive and interested in learning. The teacher had excellent classroom management skills and was
good at balancing the enriched students learning as she mentored the struggling students. One of my
favorite memories of that class was that the students always had smiles on their faces and they were
happy to be there every morning. This is the type of collaborative, friendly environment I hope to have in
my classroom someday.
As a high school student and undergraduate student I spent years working as a swimming
instructor and lifeguard for the City of Toronto. This was one of the best jobs I have ever had because I
was able to be surrounded by children and water, two of my favorite things! When I was promoted to
Manager I missed the daily interaction with the kids so I started running special events at my pool to
make swimming fun for the kids and to maintain interaction with the children and the community in

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general. There was Christmas in July where we had Santa on the pool deck visiting with the kids. We
had Hawaiian day where the kids tried the limbo and won prizes at the different stations. We also did
fund raising with bake sales to raise the money for additional pool toys and for accessories for fun days
such as the bouncy castle and the balloon making clown.
More recently, I have spent time volunteering in grade 1, 4, and 6 classes at a public school near
my home. I enjoyed seeing the different teaching techniques that were used and noticed that male and
female teaching perspectives vary which is beneficial to the children. From some of the teachers, I took
lessons on what NOT to do with respect to classroom management and lecture style teaching, but from
others I had very positive learning experiences. Handling of special needs students in the regular
classroom was challenging but an excellent learning experience. Exposure to this type of inclusive
classroom was very informative and provided me with unique teaching techniques that I hope to utilize
one day. The one teacher had a goofy mannerism that enabled him to engage the students just through his
own play acting. Although not every teacher could pull this off, this technique worked for him. The
classroom experiences have allowed me to see that each teacher is special in their own way and each
teacher has their own unique techniques that work for them. The key Ive found is to be adaptable and
resilient. You must be able to change teaching methods or techniques on a moments notice if they are
not working for that class. What works for one will not work for another.

Work Experiences
My work experiences are broad and varied ranging from swimming instructor to law
clerk trainer. I spent over 20 years in the Aquatics industry as a swimming instructor/lifeguard
and eventually manager with the City of Toronto Recreation and Parks Department. I enjoyed
the interaction with the students as mentioned above. Lessons were more enjoyable for the
students and myself when I was fully engaged in providing a unique experience. Props and
interesting games and activities actively engaged students and encouraged learning. Although I

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didnt realize it at the time, I was using anticipatory sets to spark interest in the lesson. It works
not only for the classroom but also for the pool and office.
I have spent the last 15 years working as a Law Clerk for both private law firms and inhouse firms in the insurance industry such as State Farm and Allstate Insurance. At State Farm
community involvement was encouraged and I was dispersed yearly to public schools across the
city to run bike rodeos, a fun day of riding activities with lessons on safety intermixed. At the
last private law firm that I worked at, I was in charge of training all new staff on the computer
programs we used (time matters, ACL, outlook, Microsoft office etc.). Since the turnover rate at
that law firm was quite high this was an integral part of my job. I enjoyed this teaching
experience as it enabled me to learn effective methods for teaching adults and adults of varying
cultural backgrounds. Adults resemble children in many ways. Both need anticipatory sets to
spark interest in the subject matter and engage them. Both children and adults require feedback
in order to improve and a variety of teaching methods need to be employed to keep students
interest. Teaching brings many rewards as you watch students grow academically and socially
throughout your year with them. You feel a sense of pride as your students move upward and
onward to higher education. Teaching is a job like no other. It is a very rewarding job with
progress evident daily in your students behavior and academics.
School Observations and Classroom Applications
School observations provide education students with hands on experience in the classroom and
provide them with the opportunity to see the different types of learners and the different degrees of ability
that exist in todays classroom. This enables us to prepare more effective lessons as student teachers and
prepares us for what we will face in our own classroom someday.

My first field experience was in a Grade 1 classroom at a public school in Oshawa, Ontario
which is a suburban area on the outskirts of Toronto. I volunteered there on Fridays from May 9

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to June 27, 2014 with a Grade 1 class. The students were 6 and 7 years of age and from diverse
cultural backgrounds. There were male and female students of Caucasian, Black, Spanish and
Indian descent. The school was located in a neighborhood comprised of residents of diverse
economic backgrounds. Students were from different socio-economic statuses with some living
in co-operative housing, townhouses, semi-detached homes and detached homes. Each classroom
in this school had one computer which was mainly for the teachers use. Books, manipulatives,
art work, words of the day and white boards were found throughout the classroom. A rocking
chair in the carpeted area was a focal point and where a lot of the literacy learning took place.
Students desks were set up in small groups around the classroom to promote collaborative
learning although the groupings changed throughout the time I was there as student behavioral
issues arose. There was a projector in the classroom so that the teacher could show videos and
project images which would add to the lessons value. The library in the school contained the
computer lab which students visited weekly to learn on and which provided the students of lower
income families with the opportunity to work with current technology that would one day be
required for employment.
This classroom also contained students of diverse learning abilities, one with delayed
learning and comprehension as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome, another with severe newly
diagnosed ADHD, one who suffered from autism, a student whose sensitivity level was elevated
causing emotional outbursts and lastly a gifted student who excelled at academics and as a result
became easily bored. .
As Maslow indicated, if the students physical needs of food and shelter are not met
students learning abilities will suffer. In this classroom I witnessed first-hand that his theory was
right on point.

Sierra, normally a quiet, conscientious student was suddenly having trouble

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focusing on lessons and appeared excessively tired in class. When the teacher spoke to her
inquiring as to whether there was a problem Sierra told her she was really hungry and that she
hadnt eaten since the day before because mommy ran out of food. Both the teacher and I noted
that it was the end of the month, so perhaps the familys social assistance money had run out. The
teacher sent Sierra to the office to get a snack from the lunch lost and found that they keep there.
She returned with a fruit cup and cheese & crackers snack pack and after eating them seemed much
more content and focused.
The teacher used a variety of teaching methods although I think her preferred method was
teacher centered teaching or lecture based teaching.

Math lessons were usually lecture based

followed by students completion of a worksheets using manipulatives to assist them. Vowels and
sounds were being taught with students sitting in the carpeted area reading verses and spelling
words on the magnetized board with manipulative letters. While students were working on work
sheets individual reading occurred with Ms. H taking one student at a time to evaluate their
progress. Students with special needs were given IEPs at the beginning of the school year which
outlined the goals for those students and those students were evaluated based on how well they
were meeting those expectations. As Bloom theorized, these students had objectives that were
developed according to their abilities and these students were evaluated based on those objectives
not the objectives of the regular grade 1 class.
Ms. H wore a microphone in class in order to accommodate Sophie, a student whose
hearing was impaired. She also spent copious amounts of time trying to subdue and elicit
participation from Jeremy so that he too would take something from the lessons. She often tried
to relate the math problems or literacy work to things he was interested in such as cars and sports.
There was an area in the classroom which was a cool down area with chairs and books which was

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known by students as the transition zone where students would go if they were upset about
something until they cooled down and were ready to come back to learning. This was for students
to use when they were in the red zone. This was a cognitive behavioral approach called zones of
regulation which was implemented by the school to teach students to become more aware of and
independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs and
improving their ability to problem solve conflicts (Kuypers, 2011). It allowed students a place to
calm down and it also allowed other students to understand what was going on.
Computers were taught by Ms. R in the library so that all students could have access to a
computer. There were programs that worked on spelling and reading comprehension which were
utilized for a different approach to student learning. Games were also allowed to familiarize
students with the use of this type of technology and the keystrokes required for different activities.
Many different techniques were utilized with regards to classroom management. Ms. H
implemented a reward system for good behavior and class participation. She photocopied toonies
and would hand them out to the students when they were well-behaved and if they were actively
participating. Students would write their names on the toonies and place them in a box. At the
end of each month the student with the most toonies won a prize. Although highly criticized, this
system of reward for positive behaviour seemed to be very effective. Skinners theory of operant
conditioning seems to have been a success here because rewarding students for positive behavior
did improve future behavior from these students.
Students were also given the opportunity weekly to bring in something for show and tell
which they all loved doing. The students had to be up to date with school work in order to
participate in it, another form of positive reinforcement. Although highly criticized Skinners
theory of operant conditioning was effective in motivating students and managing classroom

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behavior. It is also the way of the world, something which students might as well learn now. In
future employment students will be subjected to the same types of positive reinforcement with the
reward normally being monetary for pay or salary.
Best Practice Focus.
Ms. H was exceptionally skilled at differentiating the curriculum to address students
strengths and learning styles. She continually adjusted lessons to incorporate the different learning
styles required to ensure each student grasped an understanding of the material taught. She had a
lot of students who were at different levels of learning but always managed to adjust her lessons
to incorporate challenges for the high achievers as well as continually motivating the lower
performing students. Ms. H had an innate ability to make all students feel important and included.
Analysis.
Overall, students were engaged in active learning in a positive environment which seemed
to be beneficial for them. Ms. H worked hard to ensure that no child was left behind in learning
the curriculum. If she had been a New York State teacher she would be noted to have successfully
complied with their No Child Left Behind policy. Unintentionally, she was able to show that
Maslow, Bloom and Skinners theories are still effective and utilized in the classroom today.
Ms. R, the computer teacher, was less effective in her lessons and gave me the impression
that the students actually knew more than her about the computer system. It seemed that she was
not all that computer literate and perhaps should not have been teaching technology without some
upgrade courses to update her on the technology. In todays society it is not unusual for the
younger generation to be more knowledgeable with respect to new technology but teachers should
be trained appropriately prior to teaching these types of courses.

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Applications.
From this experience I have learnt that positive reinforcement regardless of form is a
powerful tool for encouraging good behavior, motivating students and maintaining effective
classroom management. Like adults, students respond to positivity much better than negativity. I
will strive to encourage my future students to excel to the best of their abilities and I will use
different forms of positive reinforcement to motivate my students and manage my classroom.
I will also try to incorporate more active learning into my lessons as I think that some of
the students will benefit from more of this type of teaching although active learning can be difficult
to manage with so many students who are focally challenged. I would also try to incorporate
different methods for the math curriculum. Students wont always have manipulatives for them to
use in the real world so teaching different mathematical methods will benefit them greatly. Dot
method is something I would incorporate into my lessons because you can use it regardless of
where you are for addition and subtraction. You can always draw dots on paper to figure out the
solutions to a math problem so long as you have paper and a pencil.
Ms. H had a special ability to make each student in her class feel important and included.
I will strive to achieve this same environment in my classroom. Like Ms. H I will strive to include
every student in every lesson to ensure no child is left behind.
In addition, I will ensure that I am up to date on all technology that can be utilized in the
classroom because technology appears to be the best way to motivate and encourage student
learning. Serious consideration should be given to having a teacher or teachers work alongside
game programmers to produce computerized educational games or activities that incorporate the
curriculum. Then, through student fundraising and perhaps government grants efforts should be
made to purchase additional computers for the classroom so that they can be used at a higher

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frequency than they are today. Something else that may interest students is some kind of computer
club that teaches students the programs and their connection to the outside world.
Second Field Experience.
Since my second field experience was very limited time wise (6.5 hours), I will discuss
both it and my third experience (6 hours) as one since they are both with respect to upper level
elementary students.
My second field experience was with a grade 4 class at a public school in Oshawa, Ontario.
The student demographics and socio-economic status of the area was the same as the first
experience because I was volunteering at the same school. The children in the class were ages 9
and 10 and there was an evenly divided ratio of male to female students.

My

third

field

experience was with a grade 6 class at a Preparatory School in New York State. Students there
were mostly visible minorities although I must say that perhaps the definition of visible minority
should be changed in this area because based upon the makeup of the student population here I
would assume that Caucasian is actually the minority here. This class was also predominantly
female. Although the program at this school is financially geared for all to be able to attend, I got
the distinct impression (from students clothing etc.) that the majority of these students were
middle or upper class.
Classrooms at the Preparatory school had bare walls and a cold, impersonal feeling to them
whereas the grade 4 classroom at the public school was warm and inviting with students work
portrayed on walls throughout the classroom.
Mr. Ds grade 4 classroom was a positive environment set up to encourage student
collaboration on projects and assignments. Mr. D was more authoritative with his class than Ms.
H but it was probably a necessity to maintain classroom control due to the high volume of ADHD

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students he had in his classroom. Mr. D utilized lecture based teaching and student centered
learning in his classroom. Evaluation was done by testing, assignments and participation in
classroom discussions. I was impressed when I saw that he had incorporated an assignment into
the curriculum which enabled students to use their imagination to produce a castle and a story to
go along with it. You could see the different ideas in the students rendering of a castle. Designs
and colour schemes were different and very reflective of students interests and aptitudes.
The science class at the Preparatory School incorporated student involvement in learning
in ways Ive never witnessed before. Students were asked what they wanted to learn so that the
teacher could make efforts to relate the curriculum to student interests which would definitely
improve student participation and learning. I dont ever recall being asked in class what I wanted
to learn when I was a student. Class participation was high in this class with students highly
engaged. This teacher was using students interests to motivate learning. He also encouraged
critical analysis by continuously involving the students in the lesson by asking questions of them.
His mannerism was friendly and approachable which seemed to further encourage class
participation and set a positive classroom mood.
When the two classrooms are compared, the Preparatory School classroom had students
much more engaged and focused on learning.

Mr. Ds class contained a lot of negative

reinforcement perhaps due to the behavioral issues with many of the children. Mr. Drew didnt
seem as connected to his students nor as focused on ensuring that they had an enjoyable learning
experience.
Best Practice Focus.
The Science teacher at the Prep School had a special ability to engage student learning.
His upbeat demeanor and genuine interest in what he was teaching allowed him to far exceed the

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other teachers discussed here. He encouraged student reflection on prior knowledge and its
connection to new information. It was evident that he would teach the curriculum in a manner
which was adapted to meet the needs of his current students. He was not just teaching science but
was teaching a passion for science. I believe that all teachers past, present and future must have a
passion for teaching in order to fully engage students in the classroom. I think all future teachers
should observe a teacher like this one because it enables you to see the rewards you receive from
teaching when you make your passion your career.
Analysis.
The Preparatory school science teacher connected with his students and provided relevance
to them by linking the curriculum with their prior experiences and current interests. Although I
did not witness it due to my short visit to this site, the Prep school science teacher indicated that
he planned on implementing active learning in his classroom by having students perform
experiments on curriculum topics. He is encouraging a positive learning environment with social
interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation all of which will benefit students
long-term.
Applications.
The Science teacher at the Preparatory School opened my eyes with regards to student
engagement. I could clearly see that teaching curriculum requirements utilizing student interests
would engage students and encourage higher learning. He took the time to find out what the
students wanted to learn in his classroom and made best efforts to include their interests in the
curriculum for the class. Most teachers do not take the time to change their lesson plans to
incorporate students interests. As a future teacher it is my goal to listen to my students and learn
what interests them so that I can do my best to incorporate their interests into the curriculum even

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if it means I have to change my lesson plans and materials yearly making more work for me. If
my students are interested in the planets or space travel then I will try to incorporate their math
problems and science lessons to planetary and space related situations. An excellent example for
older students with an interest in roller coasters and amusement parks, would be a field trip to an
amusement park to measure velocity, speed and g-force of various rides, creating a working
assignment for the students to learn from based on their interests.
I had the pleasure of observing three teachers with very different teaching methods and I
intent to make my future lessons reflect the best attributes from theirs. Teaching is an ongoing
learning experience and I will learn from my students as they learn from me.
Watching these teachers and assisting in their classrooms allowed me to gain different
perspectives on teaching. It also allowed me to see that different students are engaged by
different teaching styles so it is important to vary your style of teaching regularly in your
classroom. I intend to use different styles of teaching on a regular basis for each subject area in
order to engage visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic learners. By engaging all learning
types on a regular basis I hope to create an environment where students have increased
engagement and retention of materials.

Philosophy of Education
A philosophy of education is essential for each teacher as it is a set of beliefs that
influences what and how students are taught. Each teacher should have a philosophy to help
guide their teaching practices. A philosophy is often a type of moral compass that guides you as
you work your way through the curriculum. Your philosophy is part of what will make you
different than other teachers, distinct from others and part of what will make your classroom
interesting and engaging for students.

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Philosophy.
Everyone has a right to an education regardless of their economic standing, race or aptitude
and all students should be encouraged to excel to the best of their abilities. It is our job as teachers
not only to teach the curriculum but also to engage, inspire and guide the children on a path which
utilizes their strengths and works to improve their weaknesses. It is our job to motivate them to
set and achieve their goals. With hard work and determination anything is possible and that should
be instilled in each and every student throughout the school systems worldwide.
The school.
The school plays a vital role in society. The school is responsible for educating Americas
future society. The school provides an education for students as a form of investment in human
capital with the understanding that the level of education attained by the students will have a great
impact on the nations growth and development when these students become contributing
members of adult society. Schools should be encouraged to maintain high expectations of students
and should be permitted to provide the disciplined effort needed to attain them (National
Commission, 1983). The success of any society is dependent on the participation of well-trained
men and women. A high level of shared education is essential to a free, democratic society and
to the fostering of a common culture (National Commission, 1983). It is the responsibility of
the schools to ensure students receive a high level of education so that they enter society as welltrained adults who sustain and support our democratic system. If students are not educated
properly and as a result do not possess the levels of skill, literacy and training essential to this
new era (National Commission, 1983) they will not be able to contribute or participate
effectively in modern society. An investment in education is required in order to produce graduates
who have a high enough level of education to enable America to compete with countries

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worldwide. If we do not instill the values which encourage students to seek higher education and
excel at it, the future of America will be grim as it will no longer be able to compete as an equal
on the world stage. Schools need to strive to educate students to their highest abilities so that as
adults they can secure gainful employment which will enable them to manage their own lives and
contribute to the progress of society.
Schools must develop goals and objectives that ensure students talents are developed to
their fullest and to be successful at this schools must assist students to work to the limits of their
capabilities (National Commission, 1983). Students and adults today must commit to life-long
learning and schools, in turn, must develop programs which cater to students of all ages. Education
is the foundation for a satisfying life, an enlightened and civil society, a strong economy and a
secure Nation (National Commission, 1983).

Schools are the backbone of society, the

institutions that create this society and ensure security of the Nation.
The curriculum.
The curriculum utilized in a school system plays an integral role in the development of
successful students. The curriculum needs to be designed to challenge and interest students of all
abilities. It needs to encompass the life skills, values, current communication technologies and
basic skills required of modern day life so that students graduate with the skills and values
necessary to secure gainful employment and contribute to the progress of society. Learning
experiences should be full of excitement and should focus on topics which are of interest to the
students. Teachers should be encouraged to utilize a variety of methods so that each student has
an opportunity to learn in his or her own way. Assessments should be offered in a variety of
manners so that students have the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and weaknesses.
Meaningful experiences such as field trips, special assemblies or speakers, integration of active

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learning into lessons, and relation of curriculum materials to current issues and events should be
implemented to capture the students interests and to create the environment required to produce
high achievers. An education full of meaningful experiences and of relevance to the students will
encourage the development, growth and expansion of each students knowledge.
Learning.
Theorists and Philosophers.
The theories of essentialism and progressivism are essential components of the educational
system. Schools should implement a curriculum which develops the basic skills of literacy,
numeracy and subject-matter knowledge while at the same time educating students according to
their interests and needs (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek and Vocke, 2014). With a goal of producing
competent and skilled individuals for the competitive global economy, instruction that features
problem solving and collaborative learning should be factored into the curriculum (Ornstein et al.,
2014). The modern day workplace requires teamwork, problem solving skills, dedication and
reliability all which should be a focus of todays curriculum. Bagley believed that students should
be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to function in a democratic society and that the
failure to educate students with this knowledge and these skills would put civilization as we know
it in peril (Ornstein et al., 2014). Students must be prepared for the workforce in a manner which
makes them competitive with other students worldwide. The curriculum needs to be sequential
and cumulative so that students can build on what they already know year after year turning basic
knowledge into a platform for complex higher-order thinking.
Arthur E. Bestor Jr. also believed that a sound education in the intellectual disciplines of
history, science, mathematics, literature, language and art were also essential to achieving the

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complex higher-order thinking required of todays workforce and society in general (Ornstein et
al., 2014).
All students should be encouraged to excel to the best of their abilities and in order to
achieve this students must be educated according to their needs. The curriculum should be
manipulated as required to fit each students individual needs. Johan H. Pestalozzi was a
proponent of a child centered education which was based on the needs of each individual child
(Ornstein et al., 2014).
Amy Gutman believed in justice and democracy in education and attempted to develop a
funding program to attract children of low economic status (Ornstein et al., 2014).

All children

should be educated regardless of class or economic standing and as such the school systems need
to find a way for these students to have the same opportunities for learning as the more wealthy
students in the school system have. Field trip costs could perhaps be funded by school boards for
economically disadvantaged children which would provide them with the same opportunities that
the wealthier students have access to.

Learning Processes.
Quintilian and his philosophy of stage based education where basics were taught first and
built upon with more difficult subjects being broached at higher grade levels, allows students to
grasp important concepts before higher knowledge is required (Mebratu, 2014). This also enables
students to figure out which basic skills are their strengths and which are their weaknesses and
gives them an opportunity to focus on any skill they have difficulty with prior to advancing to the
next level in that skill. Locke believed that children start out with minds which are blank slates

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which creates the perfect platform for learning (Mebratu, 2014).

Students need to learn basic

skills before they can be expected to grasp complex concepts.


It is important to provide students with concrete experiences, opportunities for active
experimentation and a chance for reflective observation when preparing lessons. Students all learn
in different ways so what is beneficial for one student may not be beneficial for another. A variety
of teaching methods should be utilized regularly in order to provide each student with some topics
taught in their beneficial learning manner. Lectures, lectures & discussion, demonstrations,
simulations, collaborative learning, cooperative learning, case studies, role play and problem based
inquiry learning can all be utilized as methods of instruction. Showing short videos with respect
to the topic at hand can also be a way to engage students. The teacher no longer needs to stand at
the front of the class lecturing. Teaching has evolved from that format and as a result is able to
engage students that were previously lost with the lecture format. As Howard Gardner believed,
intelligence has many dimensions and when we teach with these different strategies we address
the different levels of intelligence found within our classrooms.
Best practices will differ by teacher and student. Something that is effective with one class
may not be effective the next year with different students. It is important to teach lessons in
different formats so that students have the opportunity to learn in different ways.
Abraham Maslow made a very important point, that in order for students to focus and learn
their basic needs of shelter and food must be met (as cited in Mebratu Class Lecture, 2014).
Without a place to live and food to eat concentration diminishes. People need a home base in order
to function properly in society. Learning math really doesnt matter if you are going to sleep on
the street tonight. It is a known fact that homeless people have a much more difficult time finding
employment and housing. We all have a self-actualization need where the lower needs must be

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met or we wont be able to strive to achieve the higher level needs. This is no different for students
in the educational system.
Use of technology can foster an increase in the quantity and quality of students thinking
and writing. Graduates are required to be proficient on the latest technology so that they are
competitive when entering the workforce. Using computers in the classroom can benefit students
by individualizing instruction and allowing students to learn at their own rate. One of the benefits
of online learning is that each student can use as much time as they require to complete the work.
Some students may take 2 hours others 10 hours but by providing an unlimited amount of time for
the learning both students may come out with the same level of knowledge. In a classroom the
student who needed to study the topic for 10 hours would suffer if only 3 hours were spent on it.
Teaching technology in schools will also allow students to feel comfortable with the technology
when they enter the workforce. Employers today are looking for employees who already have the
basic technological knowledge so that training only needs to focus on higher-level and job specific
uses.
Diversity.
Diversity in education can improve student retention of subjects and therefore improve
grades. By utilizing a variety of teaching methods there will be improved student learning,
improved attention and students will grasp higher-level concepts more easily. Diversity of
students in the classroom will allow students to learn about other cultures and beliefs and will
garner a greater understanding and acceptance of those who are different from themselves.
The Learner.
Children move through different stages of development as they age and this results in
different abilities and skill levels based on age. At 3 and 4 years of age the childs mind is like a

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sponge, absorbing everything they experience or are taught. This is why beginning schooling at
this age is very beneficial. The students are avid learners, although play based learning is much
more effective than lecture based due to low attention spans. By 5 years of age the students have
developed good motor control but still have short attention spans. At 6-8 years of age students are
more self-centred and demanding and require routines and consistency. Most students in this age
group are now able to sit still for periods of time while learning. Attention span has expanded and
they are ready to sit at a desk to learn. At 9-11 years of age students are better at focusing on
lessons and can sit for longer periods of time. At this stage more discussion is needed with
assignments as students will often want to know the reasons they are doing the assignment. Their
cognitive abilities are more advanced and they have a greater understanding of how the world
works.
As mentioned before every learner has diverse needs and capabilities. Utilizing different
methods of instruction and assessment will enable the teacher to capture the best work of all
students at one point or another. Although teachers are traditionally seen as the educator often
students are just as effective at educating teachers. Teachers often learn about students interests
from the students themselves and that enables them to create lessons of interest for the students
resulting in a better education for all.
Assessment.
Assessment should be deliberately designed to improve and educate student performance,
not merely to audit as most school tests currently do (Edutopia, 2008). Benjamin Bloom
believed as I do that there should be written objectives for each student and that each student
should be evaluated on their objectives. This way each student has the opportunity to improve but
at their own rate. Classrooms today utilize this method creating IEPs (Independent Educational

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Plans) for students with special needs who cannot follow the curriculum at the same rate as the
other students. This gives teachers the opportunity to evaluate students based on their own abilities
and provides an avenue for better feedback to the parents.
Teachers should take care to use a variety of assessment techniques, such as tests,
performances, research projects, simple observation, interviews, demonstrations, journals as well
as self and peer evaluation. Effective assessments give students the feedback they need to garner
how well they know the information and the areas in which they need to improve. Standardized
tests are now utilized worldwide but are often an ineffective method of evaluation. In some
countries the curriculum taught at that grade level is not aligned with the content on the
standardized tests for that grade which means students are unprepared unless teachers are ignoring
the curriculum and teaching to the test. Testing is a poor method of evaluation of students
knowledge and abilities. More effective assessment methods should be utilized.
Classroom Management.
Different teachers use different methods of classroom management. Different classes
require different methods because what works well for one class may not be effective for another.
Skinner believed that rewarding children for positive behaviour would ensure repeated good
behaviour. This method is utilized in classrooms today and can be effective with certain students.
Rewards can be anything from food to positive verbal acknowledgement and encouragement.
Most students have a desire to please the teacher and as such behaviour is more easily controlled
just by giving positive feedback. I believe that each teacher should find a method that works for
them within their current classroom and utilize that method. I do not agree with corporal
punishment which is used still in other parts of the world such as Singapore as I do not think that
any torture is a good form of management.

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Establishing rules of conduct at the beginning of every school year can also be helpful.
Controlling seating arrangements can also be effective if certain students are too chatty when
situated side by side. Overall though each teacher is an individual and must find what works for
them. I believe that each teachers methods will change throughout their careers and will be based
on the needs of that particular classroom.
The teacher.
The teacher has a very important job to do. As the teacher you are responsible for educating
the next generation. The students in your classroom are the future politicians, doctors, lawyers,
teachers, factory workers etc. It is your job as their teacher to help them find what they are good
at and to encourage them to excel to the best of their abilities in that area. The teacher is responsible
for producing graduates who can function in society and compete with others worldwide.
Teachers should be well educated especially in the area they will be teaching. You cannot
effectively teach a topic that you are not knowledgeable on.

Teachers should have an

undergraduate degree or the equivalent and should be required to take a post-graduate degree to
learn how to be a good, effective teacher. The things I have been learning in this program are vital
to the creation of a good teacher. If I had gone straight into the teaching profession after my
undergrad with no formal training I would not be able to offer students the same level of education
I will be able to provide on graduation from this program.
Teachers should also be required to engage in continuous learning throughout their careers
just as other professionals are required to. This enables them to stay current with new ideas and
methods and enables them to continuously experience life as a student which should serve as a
reminder to what is effective and ineffective as a teaching method.

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Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are funny, some friendly, some authoritative
etc. There are a wide variety of personalities found within the field just as students have a wide
varieties of personalities. This is beneficial because it gives students the opportunity to experience
different personalities and to learn how to function around them. Once in the workforce students
will be required to work effectively with people of all types of personalities so it is good to learn
how to relate to the differences now. Although they have different personalities, teachers should
maintain the same standard of professional conduct. Teachers should be respectful, enthusiastic,
caring, and accessible, have high expectations, love learning, have a passion for teaching, be a
skilled leader, an excellent collaborator and be self-reflective and able to switch gears if a lesson
isnt working. All teachers must maintain professionalism in all situations. Teachers must
maintain the same values and mannerisms in their personal lives as they are models for the
students.
The most effective teachers are adept at collaborating with parents, students, colleagues
and the community. As I mentioned before, it takes a village to raise a child and as a teacher you
are an important member of that village.
Resume
Your resume is one of the first items that a potential employer sees and therefore it is
where the employer gets his or her first impression of you and your abilities. It is important to
make your resume interesting, inviting and pertinent to the position you are applying for because
it is usually used as a screening tool to weed out unqualified applicants prior to the interview.
Resumes should be informative but not cluttered and should be inviting to read. Found below is
a copy of my resume for your review. It provides an insight into both my educational and work

35
backgrounds and also provides you with information on volunteer activities I have participated
in.

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TAMARA HAMILTON
713 Greenbriar Drive
Oshawa, Ontario
L1G 7J5
Home: (416) 723-7527

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE
LAW CLERK Mason Bennett Johncox Prof. Corp.

September 2014 to present

Law Clerk to senior litigation and employment law lawyer, with responsibility for:

File handling from beginning to end


Training of summer students
Preparing files for hearings and trials

LITIGATION LAW CLERK Samis & Company

August 2005 September 2014

Law Clerk to senior litigation associate in insurance defence practice, with responsibility for:

opening and closing files


training all new staff members on computer programs used in firm
managing subrogation, tort, accident benefits, priority dispute and loss transfer files from open to close
continuous and timely monitoring of files and limitation deadlines
drafting and compiling all necessary correspondence and documents such as medical briefs, discovery
briefs, responses to undertakings and refusals, affidavits of documents, motion records, mediation
memorandum and trial briefs
summarizing medical reports
handling and preparation of files for arbitration and/or trial
maintaining reporting guidelines with insurance adjusters/clients

LAW CLERK/ LEGAL ASSISTANT Allstate Insurance Co.

February 2003 August 2005

Clerk to litigation associate in insurance defence practice, with responsibility for:

opening and closing files


continuous and timely monitoring of files
scheduling of lawyers appointments, mediations, discoveries and court attendances
drafting and compiling all necessary correspondence and documents such as medical briefs, discovery
briefs, responses to undertakings and refusals, affidavits of documents, motion records and trial briefs
summarizing medical reports
attending Small Claims Court pre-trials on behalf of litigation associate
handling accident benefit files and preparing them for arbitration
handling tort files and preparing them for trial

LEGAL ASSISTANT/LAW CLERK Chadwick & Associates/State Farm Insurance Co.


July 2001 February 2003

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Assistant/clerk to litigation associate in insurance defence practice, with responsibility for:

opening and closing files


continuous and timely monitoring of files
scheduling of lawyers appointments, mediations, discoveries and court attendances
compiling all necessary correspondence and documents such as medical briefs, discovery briefs, responses
to undertakings and refusals, affidavits of documents, motion records and trial briefs
reception relief as required

LEGAL ASSISTANT/LAW CLERK Aronovitch Macaulay Rollo/AR Group

May 2000 July 2001

Assistant/clerk to litigation partner in insurance defence practice and to mediator/arbitrator, with responsibility for:

daily and monthly accounting functions


opening and closing files
continuous and timely monitoring of files
scheduling of lawyers appointments, mediations, discoveries and court attendances
compiling all necessary correspondence and documents such as medical briefs, discovery briefs, responses
to undertakings and refusals, affidavits of documents, motion records, and trial briefs
reception relief as required

MANAGER/LIFEGUARD/SWIMMING INSTRUCTOR City of Toronto Parks and Recreation


September 1997 December 2012
Part of management and swim staff team at municipal aquatic facilities. Responsible for:

Organizing and implementing both instructional and recreational programs.


Supervising staff at the facility.
Promoting a safe and enjoyable aquatic experience for patrons during both recreational and instructional
programs.
students as to future needs and for determining advancement to successive levels.

EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Bachelor of Arts Degree
SENECA COLLEGE OF APPLIED ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY
Law Clerk Diploma
MOWAT COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE
Ontario Secondary School Diploma

COMPUTER SKILLS
WordPerfect
Microsoft Outlook
PCLaw
Amicus
E-mail
Weebly
Smore

Microsoft Office Word/Excel/Publisher/Powerpoint


Time Matters
Westlaw
Internet
ACL (Automated Civil Litigation) Progam
Voki
Smartboard

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VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Bike Rodeo Organizer, State Farm Insurance Company

Responsible for creating a safe and effective learning course for students
Responsible for teaching students Bike safety and safe riding habits

Teachers Assistant, Toronto District School Board

Assisted Grade 2 classroom teacher with daily lessons and activities


Assisted with classroom management
Assisted struggling students with reading, writing and math

Science Fair Judge, Toronto District School Board

Responsible for reviewing and judging science fair projects for all grade levels

Teachers Assistant, Durham District School Board

Assisted Grade 1 and 4 classroom teachers with daily lessons and activities
Assisted with classroom management
Assisted struggling students with reading, writing and math

Teachers Assistant, Buffalo Preparatory School

Observed Grade 6 classroom teacher and assisted with daily lessons and activities as needed
Assisted struggling students with reading, writing and math

REFERENCES

Available on request

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Conclusion
Teaching has been a dream of mine and/or goal for years. I started University as a young
woman but life and finances got in the way of completing my degree in the usual format. I never
gave up my dream though. I pursued my degree with perseverance that is rarely demonstrated in
todays society. As life carried on and friends got busy with their social lives, I continued to
chase after my dream. Working at a full time job as a law clerk and a part time job as an
Aquatics Manager I continued to take classes for my undergraduate degree. In June of 2014, I
succeeded in achieving my Undergraduate Degree from University of Toronto. What a proud
moment that was for me!
All my experiences whether in the office as a Law Clerk or in the classroom as a
volunteer teachers assistant have helped me become who I am today and have helped me gain a
better understanding of people in general and what is needed to command their attention and
capture their interest regardless of the subject. I have learned to interact with people of all ages
and races, which is an asset in todays multicultural classroom. Time management is my forte!!
I am used to being pressed for time and work well under pressure. My position in the Law Firm
has taught me about the importance of inclusion and safety no matter the location.
My goal is to create a collaborative classroom where all students are friends and show
respect for one another and one anothers peculiarities and special needs. I will strive to have my
students become helpful and caring so that they take these morals out into the world once they
finish school. Nowadays society is often lacking in this regard. Most of all I will instill in my
students that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. For some it may take them a
bit longer as they may have to follow the indirect route like myself but with perseverance and
determination they will all succeed.