Daniel K. Inouye Elementary
1. What are the most important issues you currently face in ensuring all students achieve their potential?
a. The most important issue I that I face to ensure all students achieve their potential is that I need to make sure students are meeting standards. Students all learn differently which make them unique, however they all need to learn and be proficient with the same standard. In order to make sure students are achieving their potential, I need to make sure I provide modifications and differentiate for each learner. Although a student might be making progress, he/she may not necessarily making substantial progress to meet the standards. The most important issue I face is differentiating lessons for all of my students.
2. How are you addressing these issues?
a. I am addressing the issue of differentiating lessons by providing students with the skills they need more practice with. I work with students either one on one or in small group settings so they can more guided instruction and I can work with them on different skills they may need. For reading, Solomon Elementary has STAR reading diagnostic testing which is a diagnostic assessment we give student to see the skills they need. We then use Lexia (an online reading program) that is geared around independent student needs, so Lexia provides support to students at their level and at their particular skills they need to improve with. I also use STAR and Lexia to help me with lessons for each learner. I work with my students in small group or one on one on the skills they need to help them be successful.
3. What role does technology play in the classroom to support teaching and learning?
a. Technology plays a big role in the classroom. Nowadays, students come to school with a lot of technology knowledge so we as teachers need to embrace this and use technology as an advantage. My class is a 1:1 classroom, meaning that each student has access to a chromebook laptop to use in class. This means that all students are able to get on the computer at once, all students are able to complete assignments online, and this means that all students get the opportunity to be 21st century learners. Many of our school programs are also technology based and students need to go onto the computer to receive lessons. I also use Google classrooms and drive to have my students submit their written responses and writing essays.
4. If you had to choose one subject area that your students need the most support in mastering, what would it be?
a. If I had to choose one subject area that my students needed the most support in, I would choose writing. I feel writing is the subject area my students need the most support because it often is not the subject area most taught on. Teachers often do not teach students how to write or what good writing should sound like. I feel my students have great ideas, however, they do not know how to apply those ideas and get their ideas out on paper for another audience member to read. Most of my student’s writing pieces sound exactly how they talk and when writing, they forget to include voice and details to enhance their stories. Most times, their writing is very choppy. This is also due to the English language and how grammar is necessary when writing and speaking. Getting students to elaborate on ideas is also a challenge.
5. What do you see as the most important skill to be taught?
a. The most important skills that students need is the understanding of how to be a good citizen, make good choices, and to be respectful. With out these key things, students are not going to be successful. Students need to be respectful of themselves, their classmates, surroundings, and elders in order to be humble. They need to understand that being good and making goo choices is important in life as their choices come with consequences.
6. How would you identify 21st century skills?
a. 21st century skills are skills students need to be successful currently in today’s world. 21st century skills entail typing, researching, collaborating, working together, problem solving, and critical thinking. These skills are skills needed for the future so students can work with others, problem solve problems to think critically, In order to solve problems, students need to also listen to others and collaborate with them while working as a functional team.
7. How would you describe the teaching in your classroom?
a. I would describe the teaching in my classroom as a very positive yet chaotic mess. I feel that I have a great classroom environment where students know how to treat others. I also feel that my classroom is chaotic because I allow students to talk and work together with their peers. My students feel safe in my class so I know I have an environment where students feel successful and are friends with all students.
8. What role do you see students having in the teaching and learning process?
a. I feel that students have a lot of say in regards to the learning process. My students and I create our success criteria together, and I really try to get my students involved with their learning by providing them with different choices. I feel that when students take ownership of things they are much more eager to learn.
9. How has teaching changed over the years?
a. Teaching has changed over the years by a lot. Teaching is not fun and games anymore. Teachers cannot do things just because they feel their students are having fun. Of course this was teaching when I was a little girl. In my 9 short years of teaching, I feel that teaching has changed as we are so data driven. Everything is based on data and how students are progressing. Instead of teachers doing what they do best, we are forced to use programs and follow state mandates. We collect data on all of these initiatives and need to make sure students are showing growth. Since teachers are required to show student growth each year, we often forget to have fun with teaching, and I feel teaching has become more forced, where teachers do not have autonomy of how to teach their students but it is more of a must do and must follow.
10. What are the key issues you currently face?
a. The biggest issue I face as a teacher, would be the time consuming tasks the state wants me to do as a teacher. We have a lot of mandates and trainings that I am out of the classroom a lot. Being away from my students and sitting through meetings and trainings are hard because that is lost time I have with working with students.
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