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Reflective Essay John Hennessey Walden University

LaVonda Miller Teacher As Professional EDUC-6610I-5 December 20, 2011

REFLECTIVE ESSAY Reflective Essay Enrolling in this Walden University course, Teaching As a Professional, has been a very rewarding experience. It has expanded my knowledge in a number of areas related to the teaching profession, profoundly impacting the way I view myself, my students, my school and community, and the wider field of education. It has also helped me to reexamine the reasons I

became a teacher in the first place and has renewed my passion, and strengthened my resolve, to be the best teacher I can be for my students. First, this course has impacted the way I view myself as a teacher. It has helped me to see myself as a professional on a mission to assist my students in reaching their full potential, and has helped me to understand the benefits of having a clear, written mission statement for my teaching (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). In addition, the course has given me a much greater understanding of the influence I have as a teacher to impact my students for better or worse my every interaction with them can either work toward empowering them to reach their full potential or emotionally damage them for the rest of their lives (Nieto, 2003). This understanding has given me a much greater awareness of the responsibility I have as a teacher (Phelps, 2006). Taking this course has also given me a much clearer picture of how far I still have to go to reach my full potential as a professional teacher; the Standards for MSED Program and Professional Educator Success (Walden University, 2009) have given me clear benchmarks that I can use to assess my progress. This course has also affected the way I view my students. I now have a deeper conviction that my students are looking to me to set boundaries in their lives (Kottler, Stanley, & Kottler, 2005), have a need for me to be genuine with them and to be a good role model for them to follow (Phelps, 2006), need to sense that I appreciate and respect them before they will trust

REFLECTIVE ESSAY me and really listen to me (Kottler et al., 2005), and need to receive high expectations from me for them to excel (Laureate Education, 2010).

This course has also affected my view of my school and the community in which I teach. It has given me a greater appreciation for my school and the direction the school administration has chosen to take. I have been able to identify examples of reflective practice by the administration of the school, as well as by the teachers (York-Barr, Sommers, Ghere, & Montie, 2006). I can also clearly see that the administration has worked to establish a true professional learning community in our school by focusing on student learning, organizing teachers into teams, and assessing the schools effectiveness by evaluating student achievement (DuFour, 2004). Reflective practice is conducted by the various teams at regular meetings and throughout any given day (York-Barr et al., 2006). The course has also given me a greater sense of responsibility for the wider community of which my school is a part. It has helped me to see that I can be a positive influence, not only in my students lives, but in my school and the broader community as well (York-Barr et al., 2006). This course also changed the way I view the wider field of education, particularly in the United States. It has helped me to understand how the education system in the United States is viewed by society, as well as the need for urgent reforms (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2008). It has also given me a better understanding of how reforms, particularly the 21st century skills movement, will impact education in the coming years it seems clear that major changes are on the horizon for curriculum, teacher quality, and assessment (Rotherham & Willingham, 2009, p. 1). These changes have already begun to be made in my school as the administration seeks to align with the 21st century skills movement.

REFLECTIVE ESSAY In conclusion, this course has changed the way I view education and my own teaching practice. It has given me fresh energy and vision, and has renewed my passion for teaching, while at the same time helping me to better appreciate the fact that my pursuit of excellence as a

teacher will be a life-long journey (Kottler, Zehm and Kottler, 2005; Kramer, 2003; Nieto, 2003; Phelps, 2006). While I realize I still have much to learn, I am confident, as this course comes to a close, that I am on the correct path.

REFLECTIVE ESSAY References DuFour, R. (2004). Schools as learning communities. Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11. Retrieved from http://pdonline.ascd.org/pd_online/secondary_reading/el200405_ dufour.html Kottler, J. A., Zehm, S. J., & Kottler, E. (2005). On being a teacher: The human dimension (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Kramer, P. A. (2003, Fall). The ABCs of professionalism. Kappa Delta Pi Record. Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Teacher as professional. Baltimore, MD: Author. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2008). 21st Century Skills, Education & Competitiveness. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/21st_ century_skills_education_ and_competitiveness_guide.pdf Phelps, P. H. (2006). The three Rs of professionalism. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 42(2), 6971. Walden University. (2009). Standards for MSED program and professional educator success. Minneapolis, MN: Author. York-Barr, J., Sommers, W. A., Ghere, G., & Montie, J. (2006). Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators (2nd ed.).Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

REFLECTIVE ESSAY Walden University M.S. in Education Program Formative Evaluative Criteria for Applications and Reflective Essays to be used in the following core courses: EDUC 6610, EDUC 6650, EDUC 6657, EDUC 6653
Quality of Work Submitted
Work reflects graduatelevel critical, analytical thinking.

A: Exemplary Work

B: Graduate Level Work

B+ = 3.50; B = 3.00; B- = 2.75 All of the previous, in addition to the following:

C: Minimal Work
C+ = 2.50; C = 2.00; C- = 1.75

A = 4.00; A- = 3.75

F: Work Submitted but Unacceptable

F = 1.00

All of the previous, in addition to the following:

Adherence to Assignment Expectations

The extent to which work meets the assigned criteria.

Assignment exceeds expectations, integrating additional material and/or information.

All parts of the assignment are completed, with fully developed topics.

Most parts of assignment are completed.

Does not fulfill the expectations of the assignment.

The work is presented in a thorough and detailed manner. Assignment demonstrates appropriate breadth and depth.

Topics are not fully developed.

Key components are not included.

Assignment demonstrates exceptional breadth and depth. Assimilation and Synthesis of Ideas Demonstrates the ability intellectually to explore and/or implement key instructional concepts. Demonstrates exceptional inclusion of major points, using creditable sources**, in addition to course videos or required

Assignment demonstrates minimal depth and breadth.

Assignment lacks breadth and depth.

The extent to which the work reflects the students ability to-

Demonstrates a clear understanding of the assignments purpose.

Shows some degree of understanding of the assignments purpose.

Shows a lack of understanding of the assignments purpose.

1. Understand the assignments purpose;

Includes specific information from course videos or required readings to support major points.

Generally applies theories, concepts, and/or strategies correctly, with ideas unclear and/or underdeveloped

Does not apply theories, concepts, and/or strategies

Minimally includes specific

Does not include specific information from

REFLECTIVE ESSAY 2. Understand and analyze material in videos, readings, and discussions;

readings. Demonstrates insightful reflection and/or critical thinking. Provides careful consideration of key instructional concepts. information from course videos or required readings. course videos or required readings.


presented strategies **May include, but are not limited to, scholarly articles, collegial discussions; information from conferences, in service, faculty development, and/or meetings. .

Written Expression and Formatting

The extent to which scholarly, critical, analytical writing is presented in APA format; Standard Edited English ( i.e. correct grammar, mechanics).

Represents scholarly writing in a correct APA format.

Work is well organized with correct APA formatting throughout.

Somewhat represents mature, scholarly, graduate-level writing, with APA generally followed.

The quality of writing and/or APA formatting are not acceptable for graduate level work. Major points do not reflect appropriate elements of communication.

Work is unified around a central purpose with well-developed ideas, logically organized in paragraph structure with clear transitions. Effective sentence variety; clear, concise, and powerful expression are evident. Work is written

Ideas are clearly and concisely expressed.

Ideas are not clearly and concisely expressed.

No effort to express ideas clearly and concisely.

Elements of effective communication such as an introduction and conclusion are included.

Work is written in Standard Edited English with few, if any, grammatical or

Elements of effective communication such as an introduction and conclusion are not included.

Work contains

in Standard Edited English. No prominent errors interfere with reading. Final Assignment Grade mechanical errors more than a few grammatical, or mechanical errors.

Work is not written in Standard Edited English. Contains many grammatical or mechanical errors

A: Exemplary Work A = 4.00; A- = 3.75

B: Graduate Level Work

B+ = 3.50; B = 3.00;

C: Minimal Work
C+ = 2.50; C = 2.00;

F: Work Submitted but Unacceptable F = 1.00

B- = 2.75

C- = 1.75

It is expected that all applications and reflective essays will be submitted according to the assignment due dates indicated. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the faculty member if contacted by the student prior to the due date describing extenuating circumstances.
Updated: 4.08.09