Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.

~Daniel J. Boorstin

Math has always been one of my strong subjects. Throughout elementary school I excelled in math. By the end of high school I completed AP Calculus. In college I pursued other endeavors. However, math still was a way for me to understand concepts. For example, for my sociology major and my psychology minor, I took two different statistics courses and used that knowledge of math to understand the social world around me. This extensive background knowledge will help me as a teacher. I have the ability to make math meaningful to students. I believe that the topics we teach in class should connect to a student's real life and to the real world. These connections make things real and meaningful to students which in the end will make them more engaged in a topic.

Reading has always been a part of my life. I remember my grandparents reading to me when I was little. One of my favorite books that my grandpa used to read to me was Are You My Mother? My grandma would always tell me bedtime stories as well. As I grew older, my grandparents let me read to them. This engagement that my grandparents provided sparked my interest in reading. It also made reading important to me. In high school I took AP literature and language classes. Even though at times I did not excel, I still loved to read. In college, I took American Literature classes and British literature classes which exposed me to even more genres and authors. This background knowledge gives me a strong base for understanding literature. My personal background also gives me an appreciation for reading which I hope to pass on to my students. I want my future students to be excited about reading and engaged in books that cross their paths.

Science has always been my favorite subject. I loved science in elementary school and still remember some interesting facts about the world around us. In high school, I took extra science courses. While I was only required to take Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry, I also took Anatomy and Physiology and Physics. In college, I was a sociology major and a psychology minor. I loved studying human behavior and understanding how we, as a group of people, interact with one another. I know that my interests in science will help me better educate my future students.

During my science practicum, we focused on many different hands on ways to incorporate science and education. One of the first projects that we completed was called a Project Based Learning assignment. We had to chose an assignment and complete data collection. We then had to create a short video and explain how this project could be used in the classroom to get students outside and learning about science concepts like the weather and the season changes by going outside and observing them. My PBL is presented below and focuses on the changing seasons. Since I was working with fourth grade students, I believed that this could be a great project to use when studying plants and plant processes. This project also incorporates important data collection skills. These types of projects can be great ways to create an interdisciplinary unit on a topic while encouraging students to learn about our world by going outside and observing it.

Social Studies
Social studies has never been my strongest subject, however, it was always a part of my education. In elementary school is remember some of the history projects that we had to complete. Two of my favorites were a Virginia Studies notebook and a Nations notebook. I remember working with my grandparents on these projects and learning a lot of information about two different topics through hands on personal activities. For instance, I completed my nations notebook on Germany, which is where my grandma used to live. I remember adding information about our family and pictures of her brother. These moments made history important to me and is one important aspect that I hope to take with me as I begin teaching.

Growing up, I never considered myself as an artist. I enjoyed drawing and painting, but I never felt like I was an artist. However, now I realize that my experience as a dancer and as a dance instructor lends itself to content knowledge of art. Because of my experience with dance, I understand that there are different genres of movement. I also understand that there are different genres of music. This background information can help me throughout my teaching experience.

Health and Physical Education
When I was in elementary, I remember enjoying P.E. and recess. Even though I was not the healthiest child, I still remember the joy of being active and playing with my friends. During middle school and high school I began to lose interest in P.E. and turned my focus to more academic endeavors. However, now that I am older, I have begun to understand the importance of being active both within and outside of the classroom. I believe that kinesthetic movement should be incorporated into lessons to allow for students who learn by moving to understand the concepts in a different way.

Professional Development
Throughout my time in the master's program at William and Mary, I had the opportunity to partake in multiple professional development opportunities. The first one was the mathematics conference at William and Mary at the end of September. I had the opportunity to go to three sessions and review those sessions for my mathematics methods course. I also received a certificate for my participation in this conference.

The second development opportunity was the literature conference at William and Mary in mid-October. While I could not attend the entire conference due to other obligations, I learned valuable information from the lecturers present at this event. For instance, we heard from Afua Cooper at lunch and I learned how literature connects not only to our present but to our past as well. She discussed how slaves used literature as a voice for the entire group. The next session I attended was presented by Ginjer Clarke. She discussed the role of nonfiction literature and how to make it interesting for all students. She explained that good nonfiction should inspire curiosity. The closing session was presented by Claudia Mills, who focused on the importance of everyday, mundane problems. She explained that for children, the tiny things are the ones that matter the most. Again, we received certificates for our attendance.

The third development opportunity that I had was through Project Capital. As a class, we took a trip to Richmond to learn about what the capitol has to offer in regards to learning opportunities for our future students. We learned about what the Capitol building had to offer and what the Library of Virginia had to offer. We were given handouts of numerous resources to use in the future. A copy of my certificate showing that I attended is given here.

The fourth opportunity for development was through a session called WormWatchers. My science methods professor gave us the chance to learn abut how we can incorporate animals, specifically worms, into our classrooms through vermicomposting. We learned about worms and what they can produce. We also learned how we, as teachers, can teach children about the world around us.

Test Scores

Praxis 1: exempt because of qualifying ACT scores of English 33, Mathematics 27, and Composite 26.

Praxis 2: 188 out of 200.

RVE: 180 out of 200

VCLA: 565 out of 600