Standard Four: Learning Environment
The competent teacher structures a safe and healthy learning environment that facilitates cultural and linguistic responsiveness, emotional well-being, self-efficacy, positive social interaction, mutual respect, active engagement, academic risk-taking, self-motivation, and personal goal-setting.
Artifacts & Reflection
Both artifacts pertain to Standard Four: Learning Environment. These artifacts are appropriate because they demonstrate my strategies to create learning environments that facilitate the holistic well-being of my students in order to succeed in my learning environment.
The first artifact is my Classroom Spatial Analysis. This applies to Knowledge Indicator D: understands factors that influence motivation and engagement AND Performance Indicator H: modifies the learning environment to facilitate appropriate behaviors and learning for students with diverse learning characteristics.
This artifact was appropriately chosen because it demonstrates my understanding about the weaknesses a singular approach in classroom design. A static desk arrangement hardly improves student motivation or engagement in certain activities. In my artifact, I use two examples of classroom design and the uses of each desk arrangement. In order to achieve student engagement during lectures and individual work, I believe that rows facing the front of the classroom work well. In order to achieve engagement during discussions, I believe the horseshoe arrangement works best (Indicator D). However, I modify my co-operating teacher’s learning environment in order to facilitate a different desired behavior. Having observed student behavior in previous discussions, I made a design change to better suit the desired learning environment a discussion creates. When peers face each other, their engagement improves because their accountability increases. For those learners that need an audience when speaking, they have more eyes watching them. As for those learners that enjoy the listening aspects of discussion, they can participate in their body language because now their peers can see their reactions from multiple sides of the room. This adjusts the learning environment to meet the needs of both the talkers and the listeners (Indicator H).
Having the ability to observe, reflect, and modify desk arrangements modeled by my co-operating teachers and adapting my own rationale for my own desired desk arrangement demonstrates my growth of understanding in learning environment indicators.
The second artifact is my Classroom Rules and Reflection. This applies to Knowledge Indicator A: understands principles of and strategies for effective classroom and behavior management AND Performance Indicator B: creates clear expectations and procedures for communication and behavior and a physical setting conducive to achieving classroom goals
This artifact was appropriately chosen because it demonstrates my understanding of setting clear classroom expectations and procedures and ways to effectively implement my classroom rules to reinforce desired student behavior. The first part of my artifact defines my expectations and procedures (Indicator B). The second part describes the ways I will implement and reinforce strategies for effective classroom and behavior management (Indicator A). These strategies are from Sullivan Middle School’s PBIS program. The third part demonstrates the way I will model one of my positive reinforcement strategies. Lastly, my reflection on creating classroom rules demonstrates my growth as a teacher. Self-reflection demonstrates the process used to create this product. Creating rules and policies was a difficult task; yet, I have used veteran advice, in addition to my own beliefs and understanding of human behavior, in order to create a classroom conducive to learning and holistic development.