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Introduction

Section four of this Elementary Education Portfolio previewed my educational journey

thus far, through concrete examples of artifacts that I specially choose to include in this portfolio

as ones that demonstrate my readiness to be an effective teacher. The artifacts listed in sections

three and four specifically demonstrate my competency in the area of planning, instruction,

assessment, technology, learner accommodation, culturally responsive teaching, classroom

management, professional collaboration, curriculum standards, professional standards, and

professional development. In addition, section four demonstrates my knowledge of both New

York and Ontario Common Core and Professional Standards that are connected to the artifacts I

included and the importance in doing so.

Section five of this portfolio will delve deeper in examining my preparedness to teach as

I reflect upon the start of my schooling at Medaille College and the near end, and the various

courses and learning experiences that shaped my educational philosophy embodied within the

CAEP Standards of curriculum knowledge, pedagogy/ best practices and care.

Portfolio Project/Teacher Education Learning Experiences

Having worked in a school for the past 17 years and completing an Honors degree later in

life, there was no doubt in my mind that my next steps would be teacher’s college. Living in

Ontario, I had the option to attend an Ontario Teacher Education Program but opted to enroll in

Medaille’s Master of Science in Elementary Education Program and was the best decision I

made. The teacher educational program at Medaille effectively prepares teacher candidates

through various courses and hands on learning. Although a rigorous program, Medaille sets up

students so that they succeed.


One course in particular that I took during first semester at Medaille was entitled Early

Field Placement Experience. What a way to start the program. This course was so engaging as it

incorporated a lot of hands on learning activities that are so relevant to the diversified learning

styles of today’s students. The hands-on learning in addition to the many group work

assignments was a nice way of getting to know colleagues and in essence prepared us for the

collaboration that comes with teaching. If one thinks teaching is a one-man band than they are

sadly mistaken. Today’s educators collaborate to plan multidisciplinary lessons and or team

teach, they collaborate to discuss concerns over students, and they collaborate for the purpose of

professional development (DOE/CAEP Claim 1: Knowledge of Subject Matter, DOE/CAEP

Claim 2: effective pedagogy and best teaching practices for diverse learner, and DOE/CAEP

Claim 3: Caring educators). In addition, the required 40 hours of current field placement

experience in a school was a nice refresher for me since I had not been in a school for the past

few years due to me finishing my undergraduate degree. Observing in a grade 2 and 4 classroom

was a nice way of connecting classroom application to that of a real classroom setting.

Another course I took at Medaille College was also during my first semester and it was

entitled Culturally Responsive Teaching. Although the notion of culturally responsive teaching

was not new to me, as I studied it in my undergraduate program, the way this class was

facilitated further deepened my understanding of culturally responsive pedagogy. For example,

in one of our assignments we were to read three academic journal articles that were based upon

the notion of being privileged. We were then required to reflect upon the readings by pretending

that something occurred in our life that impacted it in a sever manner. For example, something

like losing a limb, or being diagnosed with a fatal illness. This assignment opened up my eyes to

the privilege that I truly possess and was unaware of. Upon sharing our reflections as a whole
class, shed invaluable insight in to the very topic of being privileged and the difference that one

individual encounters from the next based upon their age, race, class, language or ability as some

examples. This led to some very emotional discussion and because of it I will always remember

the importance of not only setting students up with equal opportunities but equitable ones that

will benefit their individual needs (DOE/CAEP Claim 1: Knowledge of Subject Matter,

DOE/CAEP Claim 2: effective pedagogy and best teaching practices for diverse learner, and

DOE/CAEP Claim 3: Caring educators).

During second semester, I began learning about what I had long awaited and truly desired

to learn-lesson planning. It was during a course entitled Curriculum Planning that I couldn’t

have asked for a better instructor and class to learn this invaluable skill of lesson planning that

would carry over with me for the rest of my career. In this class I learned to produce not only a

math lesson plan, but how to plan accordingly to create a whole segment. We also got the

opportunity to showcase our learning segments by way of a backdrop display which was a great

way to celebrate our learning and gave us a chance to view our colleagues work as well.

Learning how to develop a lesson plan was not as easy as I anticipated. Planning an effective

lesson takes a lot of thought and curriculum knowledge. One must keep in mind student’s

interests needs and abilities; accommodations and modifications; how to engage the learner and

sustain their interest; precise vocabulary, syntax and discourse that you require your students to

demonstrate and how you will assist them in doing so; the incorporated use of higher order

function words essential for student’ understanding of concepts within the lesson; explicit

instructional procedures; assessment; objectives; and connection to curriculum standards

(DOE/CAEP Claim 1: Knowledge of Subject Matter, DOE/CAEP Claim 2: effective pedagogy

and best teaching practices for diverse learner, and DOE/CAEP Claim 3: Caring educators).
Having learned the task of effective lesson planning during this class really prepared me for the

upcoming classes in semester three whereby we were required to do a lot of lesson planning.

During second semester, I also took a course that I felt was extremely invaluable for

educators of the 21st century- Technology in the Classroom. Not considering myself a

technologically savvy individual and almost fearful of taking on technological endeavors, I came

to a realization that technology is not something to be feared but rather embraced. It is inevitable

that today’s learners are accustomed to using technology as part of their every lives and

experiences and so it only makes sense to incorporate it as much as possible when teaching.

However, one should not be mistaken that technology be used to replace the teacher, but rather

used as tool to enhance the learning process and learned about various technology tools that

coincide with the SAMR model (Substitution, Modification, Augmentation, and Redefinition).

Such things as making sway presentations, book creator, smart board application, one note, Class

Dojo, hyperdocs, and educations are just a few of the technological programs I learned that can

be used to extend student learning. I now realize how feasible it is to incorporate technology in

meaningful ways and how beneficial technology can be for students ( DOE/CAEP Claim 2:

effective pedagogy).

Upon reflecting, the above-mentioned highlights are just some of the highlights I take

away with me from my time at Medaille College and the MSED Program that especially

resonated with me. I feel these highlights solidify my confidence in my ability to be an effective

teacher that all encompassed in the DOE/CAEP standards Claim 1: Knowledge of Subject

Matter, DOE/CAEP Claim 2: effective pedagogy and best teaching practices for diverse learner,

and DOE/CAEP Claim 3: Caring educators. Having used DOE/CAEP claims to guide my

practice and learning journey thus far, I’m sure I’m are headed in the right direction when I
uphold my professional status upon becoming a certified teacher and abide by a new set of

professional standards and practices.

Readiness to Become a Teacher

The majority of this portfolio speaks volume about what I have learned over the past

years and at Medaille College and the MSED Program. The specific artifacts that I included in

section three explicitly demonstrates my competency in the various teaching areas of planning,

instruction, assessment, technology, learner accommodation, culturally responsive

teaching/diversity, classroom management, professional collaboration, curriculum standards,

professional standards, and professional development. Not only do the artifacts demonstrate my

competency in the aforementioned areas, but section four of this portfolio demonstrates the

connections I’ve made to each artifact to the various curriculum and professional standards.

Being able to demonstrate my knowledge of effective teaching practices that are each imbedded

within professional standards speak to my knowledge, preparedness and readiness to become an

effective teacher.

Looking through a theoretical lens, my knowledge and readiness to become a teacher

really stems from the theoretical underpinnings of the various educational theorists I’ve learned

about at Medaille College. This knowledge has really guided my educational philosophy and my

understanding of the purpose of school from past to present. Gone are the days of didactic and

rote teaching methods that equate to lower level skills. And gone are the days of the sole use of

paper pencil methods as a way of assessing students outcomes. Today, I embed my personal

educational philosophy in a constructivist outlook as guided by such theorists as Piaget and

Vygotsky and the notion of the child as curious and capable. In essence, I feel very advantaged
in that I feel as though I was taught in a manner that coincides with current research about best

teaching practices.

As a result of the MSED program at Medaille, I feel prepared, ready and eager to embark

on my teaching journey whereby I will implement pedagogical practices indicative of current

research about best ways to teach children today. I understand about the importance of nurturing

the whole child so that right from the start, students feel comfortable in my classroom and that

they are in a safe place to take the necessary risks so pertinent in their learning. I know the

importance of embracing the differences of the students that make up my classroom and the

importance of catering to their individual needs. I hope to be able to not only provide equal

opportunities to my students but to provide them with equitable ones so that each student no

matter, age, race, gender, language or ability, will have a chance to succeed academically.

Moreover, I know the importance of teaching students in a manner that will help them to acquire

the necessary skills that they will need when applying for job employment in this ever-

demanding competitive world that awaits them. Therefore, I will adapt my teaching style to one

that incorporates inquiry-based learning approaches that will help student to think outside the

box and to gain those higher order thinking proposed in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Lastly, it is my

hope to instill a love of learning within each of my students so that they are intrinsically

motivated to learn and to set the trajectory of a lifelong learner attitude.

Having worked in the education field for the past 17 years holding different positions,

and now completing my MSED at Medaille college, it is my hope that my lifelong learner

attitude will transcend upon my students. Not only will I share my educational journey with my

students in hopes of being a positive role model, but I hope that my overall eagerness to make a

change in students’ academic lives will automatically impact my students. I am determined to


creative a positive climate in my classroom that I hope will be contagious to my students so that

school is not a chore but an everyday adventure. Looking back to some of my past teachers, I can

definitely say that it was the teachers that were enthusiastic and positive in nature that were

definitely more effective than those who were not. Having said that, I believe that teaching is not

for everyone and it is my hope that this portfolio has depicted not only my competency to be an

effective teacher but my positive attitude and eagerness to do so.

Conclusion

In conclusion, writing this portion of this elementary education portfolio feels surreal.

Having worked in a school board for seventeen years as an education assistant and early

childhood educator, I never thought I would come to this stage in my life whereby I will be the

classroom teacher. I view my time spent working in a school over the past years not as a waste of

time, but as a collection of knowledge and wealth that I can bring with me as I begin a teaching

career. I am very confident that not only will my educational and employment background serve

me well, but my education at Medaille College and all the specialized coursework that I did, will

with no doubt in my mind gave me the preparedness needed to enter a profession that is not only

demanding but very rewarding if the job is done right!