Accommodation for Context and Learning Needs: 1, 2, 13

“He showed many ways of capturing student’s attention – videos, funny singing, use of white-boards, and the use of Kahoot.” – PS3 Mentor Teacher

“Nathan augments mini-lectures and note taking activities with elbow partner conversations, multimedia technologies, and interactive learning opportunities. Nathan implemented hands on learning activities such as demonstrations and experiments, and consistently demonstrated his ability to interact positively with students while focusing on academic achievement.” – PS3 University Consultant

“During his internship Nathan openly received constructive mentorship from [his Teacher Mentor] and myself which demonstrated his keenness to the craft.” – PS3 Administrator

#1: Contextual Variables
Know how to analyze and respond to many variables at once by making reasoned decisions about teaching and student learning.

I would say that by far the best evidence that I have of meeting this KSA has to do with the progress I’ve made with my Math 20-2 class in my third professional semester. It took some time and more than a little bit of experimentation with the classroom setting to figure out that particular group of students.

They would often frustrate me because they wouldn’t touch a single page of the homework, nor would they complete assignments or study guides, and as a result, they would also do poorly on the summative assessments.

Eventually though, we reached some of the most difficult units in the course and due to the tinkering I’d done with student seating (rows of partners instead of single rows), dissemination of assignments (one page per day rather than a booklet at the start of the unit), the length of time I spent up in front of the class (more guided instruction and less time to fool around afterwards), and the clarity of my expectations, we were able to pull through and have some of the highest grades in the course in the most difficult units.

Another tool that I’d developed was the use of “Lefsrud Leafs” which basically count as bonus marks that the students can put towards assessments of their choice (within limits). I make sure to give the student opportunities to earn Leafs when they really demonstrate to me their skills and efforts in my class.

#2: Professionalism
Know the roles and responsibilities, how they are communicated, enforced and held accountable, the expectations under the Certification of Teachers Reg. A. R. 261-90 as amended and their school authority’s teacher’s evaluation policy.

2015-10-08 08.23.07I take great pride in my professionalism, making sure that every day I look and act the part of a teacher. One of the ways that I make sure that I adhere to this sense of professionalism is by maintaining open communication with my fellow teachers and the administration staff that I work with.

At one point in my third professional semester, I approached my principal asking his opinions on teacher dress, as well as grooming (specifically in regards to facial hair). A few months later, at the end of my practicum, he approached me and told me that he had noticed that and was very impressed by how I took his advice in the matters and that being a professional in the school wasn’t something that I have to worry about.

As an aspiring and growing teacher, I’m constantly working on ways to improve myself and my craft. Here’s an example of a Professional Growth Plan to show what I’m working on and how I plan to achieve my professional goals.

#13: Home & Community Resources
Know how to identify resources relevant to teaching and learning objectives, and how to incorporate them into teaching and students’ learning.

I’m constantly on the look-out for relevant videos and other content that can help apply what my students are learning to every day life, or at least into areas of industry and work that they might be interested in pursuing careers. These can be videos that I’ve found online, relevant jokes that I can place on worksheets or tests to alleviate tension, or even singing badly in class: “What is love? Baby don’t Hertz me… No more!”

One of my greatest resources for reaching this goal is the website Reddit, specifically the Science and Education subreddits.