Preparation for Snapshots of Emerging Practice (Jan. 7, 2010, 4:30-6:00)
Your sharing will be videotaped as part of your “virtual portfolio.”

In preparation for this assignment, please read carefully through the four teaching standards that have been the focus of our work this semester:

  1. Knows children as learners
  2. Builds a classroom learning community rooted in Jewish experiences and values
  3. Knows subject matter for teaching
  4. Plans for student learning
Standard 1: Knows children as learners
  • gets to know children as individuals and learners, with diverse intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs
  • refines knowledge of learning and child development through interactions with students
  • uses knowledge of children as learners in planning and teaching
  • maintains open communication and works with families and caregivers to support student learning
  • respects and learns about families' diverse religious practices, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and family structures
Standard 2: Builds a classroom learning community rooted in Jewish experiences and values
  • infuses Jewish experiences and values into the learning environment
  • creates an emotionally safe culture of learning that promotes intellectual risk-taking
  • encourages democratic processes and habits
  • establishes and maintains clear expectations and consequences for individual and group behavior
  • develops procedures for the smooth operation of the classroom and the efficient use of time
  • arranges the physical environment to support student learning
Standard 3: Knows subject matter for teaching
  • Assesses and develops subject matter knowledge
  • Acquires and uses subject specific pedagogy
  • Aligns instructional content with standards
Standard 4: Plans for student learning
  • Frames clear, developmentally appropriate, and worthwhile goals for student learning
  • Designs short and long term plans that foster student inquiry and understanding
  • Organizes coherent lessons and prepares for the “particulars”
  • Uses materials and resources to make subject matter accessible to all students
  • Plans assessment and instruction in tandem
  • Connects information and ideas within and across subjects and between general and Jewish studies

Part 1: Sharing a Learning
Choose one thing that you consider a powerful or significant learning from this semester that relates to one or more of the standards above. Describe this learning in detail. What standard(s) does it relate to and what is the relationship? Be specific about which elements in the standards connect. What experiences led to this learning? How have you changed as a teacher because of it? What’s the “before” and “after?”
  • Learning about the value of pre-planning. I find that I'm comfortable thinking on my feet. On Tuesday, art was cancelled at the last minute and Jamie and I had an hour and a half extra to teach. I don't think that this is an area that needs significant improvement. Where there is room for improvement is in pre-planning. Lesson plans need to be handed in 48 hours in advance. Coming from journalism, if a deadline was Thursday at 5, the article would be handed in at that time; no sooner, no later. For several lessons last semester, I literally emailed my plans 48 hours in advance. One time, this ended up being a Saturday afternoon, but technically met the deadline. That was before.
  • This semester, I am pushing myself to hand in lesson plans 1 week in advance. This is how my mentors plan--at least one week ahead of schedule. I started off the year well. Yesterday I finalized and sent in my plans for Parshat Vaera. Yay me.

Part 2: Sharing a Question
Now choose one significant question about teaching that has developed for you over the course of the semester. As in the learning, choose a question that connects to one or more of the standards above. It could either connect to the same standard as your learning, or a different one. Describe carefully how you came to this question and the standard(s) that it relates to. Again, be specific. Describe the experiences that generated this question.
  • I have been very interested in special education. I know that we will be taking a course on this in the summer, but I would like to investigate how to teach children with learning disabilities.