The Conceptual Framework of the School of Education at the College of William and Mary incorporates a shared view of how to best prepare our graduates to deliver services to children, schools, families, and communities in a manner that will promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments in a pluralistic society.
~ The School of Education Office of the Dean

All of my experiences at the School of Education at the College of William and Mary have developed and enhanced my educational competency in four specific areas: content expert, reflective practioner, effective collaborator, and educational leader. Through the conceptual framework developed by the School of Education, I have developed a better understanding of my role and responsibility as a teacher to students in any diverse or challenging situation. The four competencies have also developed a sense of what a professional educator is and how to become an even stronger teacher as I enter the profession.

Content Expert The courses that I took in the Fall of 2012, have prepared me to become a content expert in whatever subjects I teach. These classes in math, science, language arts, and social studies showed that I have to be an expert in every area in order to effectively teach. By understanding information about the Civil War, decimals and measurement, force, motion, and energy, and reading comprehension I have been able to more effectively teach my students.
In addition, my students have taught me to be and become a content expert in whatever subjects that I teach. While I will not be able to know everything about the Civil War for example, I need to be able to answers questions that may arise. As long as I can answer most of the questions that arise, I will be a respected professional in the field.

Reflective Practitioner Throughout my year in the School of Education’s Masters of Elementary Education program, I have learned how to always reflect back on what I have taught my students. Throughout this process, I have learned how to consciously think about what I have taught my students, how I have taught my students, and how they respond to what I am teaching. Reflecting on what I teach is an important process because it gives me information on how to make lessons even better and more engaging for the students. If I can constantly look at what I have taught and how students have learned by looking at exit cards, worksheets, and journal entries, then I can gauge how well students understand the content. I can then either reinforce the information that I have taught or I can move on to the next topic. By reflecting on my teaching and student response, I can only enhance my student’s understanding and comprehension as well as my teaching profession.

Effective Collaborator The classes at the School of Education as well as my experience at DJ Montague Elementary School have prepared me to collaborate professionally with other people in the education field. My collaboration class taught me how to collaborate professionally with parents by creating newsletter. This assignment challenged me to focus on how to communicate with parents who come from diverse backgrounds. It also helped me to focus on a friendly layout while still maintaining a professional demeanor. The class also guided me on how to professionally interact with parents. We participated in mock parent-teacher conferences which focused on how to manage parents who are frustrated with what is occurring with their child. We then completed our own parent-teacher conference with parents in our placement classroom which gave us real world experience with communicating with parents.

My fourth grade placement class at DJ Montague also gave me insight on how to collaborate with other professionals. The school believes in team planning, and therefore I was planning with other members of the teaching profession on a weekly basis. While each teacher did not teach every concept in the same manner, each teacher followed the same pacing and typically used the same tests and quizzes. This team planning taught me how to professionally interact with different personalities. I believe that it also taught me how to take other teachers’ ideas and make them work for my students by modifying and customizing the lesson to better meet the learning needs of my students.

My placement classroom was also a very diverse place and we typically had multiple professionals in our classroom or pulling students out of our classroom for extra support and small group instruction. I learned how to positively interact with professionals who were working with my students. It also taught me that I need to interact with those professionals by asking what they are doing with my students when they are pulled out.

Educational Leader I believe that my time at the School of Education and DJ Montague Elementary have taught me and molded me to become an educational leader. While I did not initially think of myself as a natural leader, I think that my time in this program has taught me that I can and am a leader. My practicum classes gave me exposure to teaching lessons to different classes with my colleagues in the program and learned how to lead a group of students through a lesson. I learned about classroom management during lessons as well.

My placement classroom taught me even more about leadership. I was very fortunate to be placed with a teacher who had participated in the same program as an undergraduate student. She then decided to obtain her Master’s in Administration and aspires to be an assistant principal or principal one day. She is the team leader of the fourth grade and is the school’s Minority Achievement Liaison. By observing her, I learned how to lead not only students but colleagues as well. I learned how to manage time during team meetings. I found that when my two other student teachers on the fourth grade team and I needed to meet for projects that I would try to use some of the skills that I had learned.

Overall, this program, has taught me how to be a professional educator. It has taught me to always understand the content that I am teaching as well as how to reflect on how I have taught my students as well as how they have learned the material. This program also taught me how to focus on positive collaboration and how to be a leader not only to my students but to my colleagues as well. I believe that my education from the College of William and Mary will grant me a successful career as an educator.