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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Becoming an Effective Teacher: Setting and Achieving Goals

Being a teacher is a very demanding job in many aspects, and a teacher's job never ends. When the class ends, and the students go home, the teacher is still working, and most teachers work many more hours a day than can be imagined. A lot of work goes into the classes that seem to end so quickly.
Society and students are constantly changing, so there are constantly new things to learn as a teacher; there are also many programs and organizations that can be joined in order to maintain expertise and be a beneficial teacher. In order to become a teacher I will have to achieve many goals, develop professionally on a person level and through the use of programs, learn to assess my progress and teaching strategies, stay motivated, and develop leadership skills. This will be a very demanding task, but it is completely worthwhile in my pursuit of education.
In the next five years there are many goals that I must complete in order to become a teacher. One of the most complicated goals I must achieve in order to become a certified teacher is choosing which state I want to teach in. This is a very difficult decision to make for me because I am not so sure where I want to live, and I know that every state has different requirements in order to become a certified teacher. I suppose that if I am not sure where I want to buy a house, when I am ready to become certified, that I will become certified in the state of New York. If I am certified in New York, I can apply to become certified for whichever state I choose to live in. Another goal I have in the next five years will be to complete many art classes such as art history, figure drawing, ceramics, and mixed media. I will have to take many art classes in order to fulfill the requirements for being an art teacher, and I would like to take these classes in order to improve my artistic skills as well. There are some problems with this goal because the University of Phoenix does not provide art classes to the students, and I will need these classes to complete my goals. In order to do this I will probably have complete my associate degree through the University of Phoenix, and transfer to a local college. I would prefer to continue to take classes on line so I will try to find a college that also supports online classes, and I will have to alternate between attending a college physically and taking classes on the computer. I would also like to eventually become a mentor or support mentoring programs in my school districts. I feel that as a mentor I would be able to help many new teachers, and this would increase the overall levels of education for the teachers and students. I have many goals that will increase my level of professionalism as a teacher and as a person, and there will be many obstacles to overcome, but in the long run it will be worth it. The next five years will require a lot of hard work, but the end results will be great accomplishments.
In the far future I would like to become a nationally accredited teacher, but this will take a lot of work as well. I would like to become a member of the "The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards" because there are many benefits that can come from it. As a member of this board I will meet "most states' definition of "highly qualified teacher" and my abilities to teach will be strengthened (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2007). This accreditation will provide me with more opportunities in more areas, and it will make it easier for me to transfer to different states without having to become certified all over again. In many states being a member of this organization will also apply towards the certification process which is also helpful. Becoming a member does take time and effort. Applicants are required to have a "bachelor degree", "Have completed three full years of teaching/counseling experience", and "possess a valid state teaching/counseling license for that period of time, or, if teaching where a license is not required, have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state" (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2007). There is an assessment process that you must complete in order to become a member of this organization, and there are fees and funding provided to become a member of the NBPTS. There is a total of 3065 dollars worth of fees, but the board offers payment plans and there are federal, state, and school district funding options(National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2007).. This organization is expensive, but it will be a good investment if I want to relocate often. There are many important principles that need to be fulfilled in order to become and continue to be an effective teacher. I think the hardest principle for me would be to understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
There are many important principles that need to be fulfilled in order to become and continue to be an effective teacher. I think the hardest principle for me would be to understand "how students differ in their approaches to learning and create(s) instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners" (INTASC Principles, para. 3). I feel this would be the harder for me because I am not accustomed to dealing with students with disabilities. It is important to be aware of the needs of your students and I would like to be fully capable of teaching students in the way that will be most effective to them. I am also not fluent in other languages, and this would be beneficial with bilingual students and English language learners. There are many programs that I can take in order to become more knowledgeable in the area of diversity in education. The "Heritage Institute" is an institute that provides many programs for teachers; these programs cover many important topics related to English language learners, and special education students (The Heritage Institute, n.d.). I think these programs will be extremely beneficial to me, and it is convenient that they can be taken over the internet. They are not extremely expensive, and the institute is accredited by the "the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools". This school also offers art classes so I am very interested in what opportunities it has to offer me (The Heritage Institute, n.d.). There are many diverse needs that I will have to accommodate as a teacher, and this institute offers so many classes that can be helpful with this challenge. This institute offers programs such as "HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE INSTRUCTION in MIXED ABILITY CLASSROOMS", "ENGAGING LEARNERS Through POPULAR MEDIA", and "CULTURALLY SENSITIVE CLASSROOMS" (The Heritage Institute, n.d.). This institute can provide me with a wide range of course that can help me become a better, more effective teacher overall.
As a teacher there will be a need to constantly evaluate myself. In order to be an effective teacher and to constructively evaluate my actions and how they affect the students, parents, and school faculty around me, I will keep a journal. A lot can go on during the day in a classroom; there is an incredible amount of interaction is schools, and it will be hard to remember everything. I will write down my thoughts on the day, and how they classes went during my lunch break if I can, and after the students are dismissed. This journal will help me organize my thoughts and feelings and it will help me keep track of everything that has occurred. It will also be an excellent record for the future, and I will be able to look back on it at all times. It will be a beneficial tool in my learning and the learning of the students because it will give me the information required to better evaluate and construct lesson plans. It will also give me a more accurate account of events that have occurred and I will later be able to analyze and decide on the best methods of handling conflicts as they occur. This journal will also be extremely helpful as an organizational tool. I can incorporate my lesson plans, the student's reactions, and my reactions as well into the journal, and this will be a huge benefit when I am creating new lesson plans and for the year ahead. I will also be able to make notes on the learning styles of the students which will increase the student's ability to learn because I will be able to accommodate them better in the future. I think creating a journal will also benefit me mentally because I will know what points have gone over and I will be able to pick up where I left off. Emotionally this will also be a productive tool for me as a teacher because it will help relieve some of the stress from the day. By writing down what happened I will be able to release some of the thoughts in my head and look at them in a new perspective. At the very least this will be an excellent tool for substitutes when I get sick because they will have a lot of important information on the class. Creating a journal is a simple idea that does not take a lot of time, but will be extremely helpful in the long run.
As a teacher I am required to lead the class, and there are certain factors that can influence a teacher's leadership abilities. I believe that as a teacher it is extremely important to promote respect, and show respect in all of what you do. If you provide students with respect they will respect you in return. Integrity is another important factor of leadership; it is important to be consistent in order to be respected and instill positive values and productive reinforcement for students. If a teacher has integrity this will increase the teacher's credibility to the students as well as develop a better relationship amongst the teacher and the students and faculty. I will also be sure to be knowledgeable of the subject matter I am teaching because with out knowledge of the subject I can not lead. Knowledge of the students and there abilities and talents is also important. It is also important to be knowledgeable of the community and current events in order to reach students in the most beneficial way. If I am fully aware of the classroom, students, subject, and the world around me I will be respected and capable of leading. In order to be an extremely good leader I will also have to be aware of the needs of my students. I will have to consistently listen to them and I will have to take their concerns into consideration at all times. The student's success is my goal as a teacher so I will have to be an excellent leader in many ways.
Teaching is constantly challenging and requires a person to develop many personal, social, mental, emotional, and professional skills, but it is extremely rewarding in many ways. There are many factors that can influence a teacher's impact on the student's success. As a teacher I will have to consistently continue to learn, and I will consistently have to continue to adapt to me students needs. I will have to maintain leadership while allowing students to learn responsibility and I will have to guide them not only by teaching, but continuing to learn myself. There are many steps I will have to take in order to become an excellent teacher, and I feel that to continue to teach well I will have to continue to learn everyday, and this will be a lot of hard work, but it will be extremely rewarding. Being a teacher is rewarding because I will be instilling knowledge in the world around me, and I will be continuing to grow, develop, and learn as a person. I can not imagine anything better than this, and I think if more people were constantly striving to learn themselves the world would be a better place. This is why I want to teach, and instilling the idea of life long learning in children is more than enough reason for me to continue to face the challenges associated with teaching.
Reference
INTASC Principles. (n.d.). Interstate new teachers assessment and support consortium. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from http://cte.jhu.edu/pds/resources/intasc_principles.htm
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (2007). Eligibilty and policies. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from http://www.nbpts.org/become_a_candidate/eligibilitiy_policies
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (2007). The benefits. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from http://www.nbpts.org/become_a_candidate/the_benefits
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (2007). Fees and financial support. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from http://www.nbpts.org/become_a_candidate/fees_financial_support
The Heritage Institute. (n.d.). Continuing education for teachers of K-12. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from http://www.hol.edu/index.cfm

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