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As a graduate student at The College of William and Mary, I have developed competency in the School of Education’s conceptual framework. The

four strands in this framework include: content expertise, reflective practice, collaborative interaction, and educational leadership. Possessing a

competency in each of these four areas enables an elementary school teacher to be effective in the classroom, while working with colleagues, and as a

member in the education community.


Content Expert: I consider myself to possess both content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. The first necessary characteristic that any teacher must possess is a foundational understanding regarding content. An elementary school teacher must understand the information in the following subject areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Then, an effective educator should know how to transfer his/her knowledge to the students in the classroom. I strongly believe in the importance of using hands-on learning, discovery and inquiry lessons, and manipulatives when teaching mathematics. I also employ the techniques of Madeline Hunter when planning a direct instruction lesson.
Reflective Practitioner: After planning and implementing a lesson I find myself constantly reflecting on the effectiveness of the lesson. I always think about ways to improve the lesson if I were to teach it again next year. I reflect on the engagement of my students and on the classroom management that enhanced or diminished the lesson. In addition, I note the positive aspects of the lesson. I find it beneficial to make notes on the actual lesson plan so that if I look over it again and decide to use it next year, I will have these invaluable notes readily available.
Effective Collaborator: Being able to effectively collaborate with others is an essential skill that elementary school teachers should be willing and able to do. Classroom teachers commonly plan with other teachers on their grade level and being able to work in a group setting is necessary. In addition, with the growing number of inclusion classrooms, many general education teachers are collaborating with special education teachers daily. Collaboration requires teachers to be open-minded and flexible when working with other school faculty. I believe I have the qualities necessary to be an effective collaborator in an elementary school setting.
Educational Leader: I have taken the initial steps of becoming an educational leader during my time as a student at The College of William and Mary. By attending the Tidewater Team 12th Annual Mathematics Day I engaged in professional development and learned exciting new ways to teach fractions in the elementary school. I then shared these findings with the kindergarten team of teachers at D.J. Montague where I completed my practicum and student teaching experiences. I also engage in educational research to create more engaging, developmentally appropriate, and educational lesson plans. Before teaching a lesson on letter formation, I researched several different techniques and decided on the method I believed would be most meaningful to the small group of students I worked with.
Overall, I strongly believe that an outstanding elementary school teacher should possess content and pedagogical knowledge, the ability to reflect and collaborate, and the desire to be an educational leader. Understanding the importance and implementing these four strands in the School of Education’s conceptual framework have prepared me as I embark upon my first year in the teaching profession.