These are challenging questions, but it has been good for me to codify my thoughts on them. I know that these will need some rewriting and probably a vast amount of editing. Your feedback is appreciated. Why did you choose teaching as a profession? I chose teaching as a career because I love children. That may sound cliché, but it is also the truth. I easily form relationships with children and find it exciting to work with them. Getting to work with children is a reward in itself. Watching them grow as learners and individuals is the icing on the cake. In planning a lesson, how do you prioritize and balance the many considerations a teacher has in preparing for instruction? Having trouble with this one. Maybe my brain is just dead from from working on the other questions. Suggestions would be appreciated. What are the essential components of a learning environment that allow students to experience success? A place where students feel safe and welcome, where students feel relaxed and comfortable enough to ask questions, a place that is free from distraction so that they can concentrate, good classroom management through a structured schedule. A place where a student can get instruction that is differentiated or tailored to their specific learning style or needs. An engaging teacher that enables every student to experience success in some way (setting something at their readiness level?). How important is self-discipline? How does your student show self-discipline? Self-discipline is one of the core components of learning. A student with self-discipline can set goals for themselves for what they need to work toward and accomplish in a certain time period or a certain subject. A student with self-discipline will read the directions before asking the teacher how to do the assignment. They will use the learning strategies they have been taught before asking for help. However, they will also know when it is time to ask for help after they have exhausted those strategies or if instructions are unclear and they will feel comfortable doing so. Whose job is it to ensure student success? Describe ways in which you ensure student success. No one can “ensure” or guarantee student success. Teachers create an environment that provides the best possibility for a student to experience success. Ways in which a teacher can do this is to differentiate their instructions to meet the particular needs of each individual student. Teacher should be student encouragers who help students set goals for success and show them what success looks like. They praise students for their successes and they praise them for their effort. They provide positive feedback when a student does not experience success and encourage the students not give up. What is your philosophy regarding classroom management? I find that the best approach is to be proactive by trying to eliminate problems before they occur. Being proactive can include the following -Having an established routine. -Having smooth transitions. -Having a physical presence in the room. -Letting students know what is expected of them. -Model for students what is expected of them. -Keep students actively involved with the lesson. -Communicating with parents on a regular basis. Even by being proactive, sometimes a student will have discipline problems. It's often useful to verbally remind them of what they should be doing or to praise others who are following directions. I find it useful to think of classroom management as a way to enhance learning, rather than as a system of rewards and punishments. The goal is always to for classroom management to enhance learning, not distract from it. How important are the parents in the educational process? Explain? Parents are at least as important in the educational process as teachers, if not more so. What happens at home and the parental attitudes towards school and teaching is just as important as what happens in the school. When a parent does not respect education or provide a safe environment for their child, that carries over into the classroom. When a child has problems at home, they can have a hard time focusing on learning while at school. When parents create a positive environment at home with regard to education, that also carries over the school, but in a positive way. When a child knows that the teachers and the parents are a team, they will also respect education and be focused upon it. If a parent expressed a concern that his child's needs were not being met, how would you respond? I would ask him to elaborate on why he thought his child's needs were not being met (ask for specifics). I would ask him what suggestions he had on how I could meet his child's needs, then I would offer ideas of my own and discuss which suggestions were doable and how they could be implemented. If you had to choose only three of your non-negotiable beliefs regarding education, what would they be? 1. I will not give up on any child. 2. Every student is deserving of my best effort, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or legality of citizenship. 3. Having trouble coming up with a third belief. How do you use technology in the classroom? I use technology in the classroom to enhance teacher led instruction, not in place of it. Students use software on the computer that increases understanding of concepts covered in class. I use technology to make instruction more effective, such as using a smart board or projector. I use technology to give students experience in using that technology so that they can be better prepared to use technology outside of school. How do you choose professional development activities for yourself? I choose them based upon their usefulness in helping me to better implement the curriculum so that I can serve my students better. For example, if I don't feel I am effectively differentiating my instruction to reach each individual student I would look for professional development activities on differentiation. As a teacher, I "light up" when ...? … a student finally masters a concept that they have had difficulty with.