As an educator, I continually work to meet all teaching standards in order to provide the best learning space I can for my students. It is important to me that I give every student an equal opportunity to succeed in my classroom. This includes recognizing the diverse range of student needs and abilities, and always striving to teaching the whole child and meet them where they are at. 

Standard 01: Learner Development

The teacher understands how students learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Draw a Feeling Unit Presentation: Brittany

Developmentally Appropriate Lessons

I created a unit about expressing your feelings based off of the children's book, Niko Draws a Feeling. These lessons are designed for kindergarten, recognizing that these young learners are discovering new feelings and learning how to express and identify them. These lessons are meant to help students find a way of expressing their feelings when they might not have the words, and to help students understand that big feelings are normal. 

Standard 02: Learning Differences

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that allow each learner to reach their full potential.

Trauma-Informed Teaching

I am a trauma-informed teacher and plan to continue my research on this topic to ensure that I am using the best practices I can to meet all student's needs. My presentation dives into the medical affects and behaviors of trauma-effected children. These students can be affected in many ways but all of which has the potential to affect their learning. I include strategies and frameworks for how to meet these students where they are at an provide a safe, caring environment which allows them to learn and excel. 

Trauma-Informed Teaching Deep Dive

Standard 03: Learning Environments

The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Setting Students up for Success

In order for students to succeed, they need to be provided with the right tools. I take thoughtful care to how I set up tools and materials for my students. During my printmaking lesson with kindergarteners at Ocean Ave Elementary School, I set each student's materials out before they walked into the room. As I walked students through the lesson, I was able to tell students exactly where they'd find their materials and they were able to follow along in a step-by-step demo of printing. 

Standard 04: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) they teach and create learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners.

7th & 8th grade Intaglio etchings 

Students at Gorham Middle School learned about the Intaglio printing process. Students were able to take photos of whatever subjects they wanted to use as a starting point for their etchings. Students learned drawing techniques that would translate well to etchings such as hatching, cross hatching, and stippling. Students took part in the printmaking process and learned about how printmaking can be useful to artists. Lastly, students learned watercolor techniques so they could finish their etchings in color. 

Standard 05: Innovative Applications of Content

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical/creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Music & Art combined lesson 

In collaboration with Heather, OAES music teacher, we designed a lesson which combined both music and art. We watched a video about a unique instrument which combined many types of musical sounds and learned about the artistry that goes into designing an instrument. Students were asked to draw a design of their own unique instrument, thinking about the types of sounds it would make in real life. 

Standard 06: Assessment

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to document learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s on-going planning and instruction.

"Fun" Formative Assessments

In order to learn how to create a cohesive composition for their Personal Portfolios, students were challenged to combine two items from a provided list into one cohesive composition. I asked students to share how they combined their items and which compositions looked especially cohesive to them. This way I was able to see which students understood this concept and do it in a way that the students enjoyed. Shh, don't tell them that they are learning, it's  a secret! 

Standard 07: Planning for Instruction

The teacher draws upon knowledge of content areas, cross-disciplinary skills, learners, the community, and pedagogy to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.

Building Upon Prior Knowledge: Photography

8th graders at Gorham Middle School learned about photography to prepare for their etching unit. I noticed that students were particularly engaged in the photography learning process and that they seemed to want to know more. I implemented another photography mini-lesson where students learned a more specific technique. (Forced perspective). Students were able to use their prior knowledge about photography to deepen their understanding and apply it to this new photography technique. 

All About… Photography!
Forced Perspective Photography

Standard 08: Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to access and appropriately apply information.

Activities That Engage

It is important to provide engaging activities for students. 7th and 8th grade students took part in the "Play Doh'lympics" and tried their hand at different building challenges. Not only did the students enjoy the competitive aspect as well as getting to play with play doh, but they also practiced essential clay building techniques that will help prepare them for an upcoming clay unit. 

Standard 09: Reflection and Continuous Growth

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate their practice, particularly the effects of their choices and actions on others (students, families, and other professionals in the learning community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Importance of Research & Triangulation

During both student teaching placements I participated in action-research. Action research refers to a methodology which utilizes multiple methods of research to ensure accuracy. I conducted a qualitative interview with Ocean Avenue's music teacher, Heather Sumner, to try to better understand the perspective of a seasoned teacher who also teaches a "special." I also conducted a research project about collaboration in the classroom. Teachers as researchers are extremely important when staying up-to-date about best teaching practices and methods. 

Action Research Presentation-Brittany
Qualitative Interview Presentation-Brittany

Standard 10: Collaboration

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Connections & Collaboration: Mentors

I am very grateful to have been paired with two amazing mentors. In my first experience at Ocean Ave Elementary, I was paired with Sam O'Connor. Sam and I have stayed in touch since my placement ended and plan to continue our friendship! Sam is such a wonderful teacher person and I value the professional and personal connection that we made. I had a very different but equally wonderful experience at Gorham Middle School with Amy Cousins. Amy has offered to continue providing me with guidance as I step into my new career. She is truly a fountain of knowledge and I try my best to be a sponge around her, soaking up as much as I can. I will always remember both of my mentors and their advice, and I will carry it with me throughout my professional career. 

Standard 11: Technology Standards (NETS.T)

Effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS.S) as they design, implement and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning, enrich professional practice, and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community. 

Leaf Cane Tutorial-Brittany.m4v

Tutorials & Slide Presentations

I've created a number of slide presentations to help my students learn. I include specific project steps on many of my presentations so that students can go back and review the information about how to complete their projects. This also allows students who are absent to see the same information as their peers.