I Believe in building genuine relationships with each of my students. I believe in showcasing their strengths and acknowledging any disabilities (physical or mental) in order for my students to find success in the classroom and community. In order for a classroom to be a genuine safer learning space for students, I believe you (the classroom teacher) needs to get to know each student as an individual.
My goal as a teacher is to get to know each of my students on a more personal level that reaches beyond academics. If a student of mine comes in upset I want to be able to have actions and tools ready to make him/her feel safer, happier, and ready to learn. I understand that each child is coming into the classroom from different circumstances which may or may not affect their willingness to learn and participate in school activities.
I'm eager to create a learning space that is accessible for each of my students based on their individual needs. In order to achieve this goal, I'm going to need to build a relationship with each of my students and their families/other support systems in their life. With my experience as an Instructor Therapist for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) I have multiple strategies that could be utilized in a classroom setting in order for students to find success in their academic lives. Some amazing resources that I found throughout research and work experience that have some great strategies for allowing me to complete my goal are:
Students, especially younger elementary students thrive on feeling like they have a supportive, nurturing figure in their lives. In order to accomplish being that person for my students I need to begin with the basics of getting to know them, and simply building a relationship with them.
Truth and Reconciliation Philosophy
I believe in creating a safer space for all my students to learn and grow as individuals. I believe in creating equal opportunities for each of my students regardless of their cultural background. I believe in exposing my students to a variety of cultural practices and teachings that are genuine and allow my students to reconnect with areas of their cultural past that have perhaps been missing from their educational experience.
In order to achieve these goals, I want to be able to reach out to my students communities. Education needs to reach farther than the classroom, and there's so much more that we can learn and we can expose our students to if we engage with the communities and cultures they're from. Way that I would be comfortable doing this for my students is by connecting with Elders in our communities. I believe that if you've not confident in teaching something, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to others for support. There is always going to be someone who is more knowledge in a subject then you. This may even end up being one of your students when it comes to areas of cultural practices and traditions.
I understand that as a new teacher, I'm just beginning to understand the logistics of addressing Truth and Reconciliation in my classroom. I've got a lot more to learn in regards to the importance of Treaty Education and the Calls to Action and how they can be implemented into our everyday lives. With my experience working with younger children I have seen first hand the importance that early childhood programing/interventions have. Effective programs such as these can ultimately set young students up for success before they reach the classroom. There is a Call to Action that stood out to me because it's something that should be being met, and in many situations I don't think is.
12. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.
With the help of these supporting documents I believe that I will be able to make a move toward re-integrating various cultures into my classroom as well as continuously build my knowledge on Truth and Reconciliation.
I believe in providing all students with a variety of opportunities to show their learning and growth in learning by providing students with on-going assessments throughout the school year. I believe that in order to get a clear understanding of a student's grasp of the curriculum the teacher needs to have a strong formative assessment set in place for their classroom. I believe that having a strong formative assessment in place takes the pressure off of students when it comes to a summative assessment that is typically at the end of a unit. Finally, along with providing students with formative assessments, I believe that constant feedback should be provided and tailored to all students.
I believe that formative assessments give students lots of opportunities to present their learning throughout a unit, semester, etc. By using formative assessments like the ones provided in the above document, you're giving your students the opportunity to show what they know in a method that benefits their learning style (Chapter 5 - Evidence of Learning), opposed to a standardized test. Giving students a choice when it comes to showing their evidence of learning can be beneficial for students in grades K-12.
There are often strategic times and places for certain assessments, but formative assessment through observations, conversations, checklists, self-assessments, etc. is something that can be done throughout the year in order to make that daunting summative assessment at the end easier for both the students and the teacher.