Showcase of Work:
Michigan State University's (MSU) Master of Arts in Education (MAED) program pushed me to think critically about the educator I am and the educator I want to be. As a result, I experienced tremendous growth and learned a lot about how to be a more effective educator. I also gained knowledge specifically regarding the effective integration of technology in the learning process. That said, I did not just gain knowledge, but I also gained valuable skills and experience that can be directly translated to my professional practice. This page showcases various artifacts that I created during my time in MSU's MAED program. Although the work was created for specific courses, it represents much more than my experience as a student simply fulfilling course requirements. Rather, the artifacts exemplify how I can apply my newfound knowledge, skills, and experiences to my professional practice.
I organized this page into three categories: Be Reflective, Be Informed, and Be Intentional. These themes represent my main takeaways from the MAED program as I realized that effective educators possess three key qualities: they are reflective, they are informed, and they are intentional. Although these are not necessarily new concepts to me, my perspective has shifted in that I better understand their implications and I am more prepared to effectively apply such understandings to my professional practice, as evidenced by the artifacts. For each artifact presented, I provided a brief description of the work, as well as an explanation of how it reflects the core elements of the theme.
Click on the artifact title or image to be linked to the work in its entirety.
Effective educators critically reflect on and evaluate themselves and their professional practice.
This work analyzes the use and effectiveness of tests. I described a typical test and discussed reasons why they're used. Then, using criteria from my assessment rubric, I conducted a critical review of the effectiveness of tests, providing a detailed explanation for each element. I offered recommendations for improving tests' effectiveness and presented ways tests could be used in digital contexts. By completing this, I gained experience with the critical evaluation of an assessment by applying my rubric to a real world example. Through this, I realized that such evaluation isn't only meant to identify weaknesses, but also to provide opportunities for improvement. This is why it's important I reflect on, and evaluate, my assessments and other activities; if I don't know what's wrong, I can't make it better.
I created this rubric to assess the effectiveness of assessments. I included ten criteria that make an assessment effective and a thorough rationale for each. This work details what it would look like to meet the criteria completely, partially, or not at all. By completing this, my perspective regarding assessments changed, as I realized that there is much more to an assessment than solely the content/skills it is meant to assess. Educators often focus greatly on what assessments are assessing, but not always as much on how. Data derived from assessments doesn't tell the whole story if the assessment isn't effective. Although I considered these elements in the past, this challenged me to critically evaluate my assessment design choices. Through this, I realized the importance of reflecting on such decisions to ensure I'm effective.
This screencast examines how critical reflection can be used to improve one's effectiveness as a leader. I provided a brief overview of the concept of Action Logics and how it can influence one's decisions/behavior, consequently impacting their leadership style and effectiveness. I explained that it is possible to change and improve, but it requires an honest evaluation of your current state, for it is then that you can entertain the thought of working on changing it and becoming more effective. This challenged me to reflect upon my own leadership style and action logic and identify areas that I could work on improving. I also gained a deeper understanding of factors influencing leadership and was, once again, reminded that reflection is a necessary first step towards being an effective educator.
Know Your Audience.
Effective educators understand their students (needs, interests, abilities, etc.) and use this knowledge in meaningful ways.
This slideshow examines elements of a classroom management plan I developed for future classes. The presentation itself is designed to be a potential professional development resource to promote effective classroom management. I examined what classroom management is, why it's important, and how to develop and implement a plan. I analyzed how understanding students' psychological needs can serve as a foundation upon which to create your plan, and showed this in action by highlighting five elements of a sample plan. I provided a thorough rationale for each decision. This work exemplifies the importance of being informed in two ways. First, I realized my classroom management plan should be rooted in my desire to create a positive and productive learning environment. This requires me to understand student needs. Additionally, I made presentation decisions based on the intended audience being fellow educators.
This work details a 3 part project in which I worked with an individual student, "E," and conducted an in depth analysis of effective literacy instruction. I provided a thorough examination of the instructional sequence, including a pre-test, two lessons, and a post-test. and provided a rationale for each decision. I analyzed the overall results and how my knowledge of E's personal and academic life (learned via interviews with E and her parents) influenced my instructional decisions. By completing this, I gained experience applying my newfound knowledge of literacy instruction in a real world context. Moreover, I was given the opportunity to focus on meeting the needs of one student by designing and implementing a unique set of learning activities tailored to her. The positive results of this experience prove that understanding your students and their needs promotes effective differentiation.
I facilitated the completion of this collaborative behavior plan as part of a case study analyzing a student with challenging behavior. The work outlines the eight step process we followed to complete an initial academic/behavior support plan. I included a thorough explanation of the following steps: analyze current state, describe desired state, identify influencing variables, generate possible hypotheses, identify strategies for change, select strategies, and summarize the plan. By completing this, my perspective changed regarding the importance of critical evaluation and data analysis with regard to students exhibiting disruptive behavior. I realized that, although it does take time, such a process enables you to develop and implement a comprehensive plan specifically addressing individual student’s behavior/needs. For there to be a real improvement, we need to tailor the plan to the student.
Know Your Why.
Effective educators' decisions are informed and rational, and their actions are meaningful and purposeful.
This plan details a professional development experience in which teachers and school staff would learn about, and gain experience with, the effective integration of technology. I included the agenda/overview, as well as the learning outcomes for participants. I explained that this plan is grounded in the Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) framework and provided a thorough rationale for each decision. By completing this, I was challenged to create a plan that not only focused on the intentional use of technology, but that was also actually designed in an intentional way. This allowed me to apply my knowledge of TPACK to a real world situation and gain experience with the planning of a professional development opportunity.
This work details a geography unit I developed that specifically focuses on enhancing instruction through the use of formative assessments, feedback opportunities, and the integration of technology. I included an analysis of how assessments can be used as tools for learning, not just of learning. I provided a detailed explanation of the unit plan and a thorough rationale for all instructional decisions. I concluded this design by evaluating its effectiveness using my assessment rubric. This work exemplifies being intentional on multiple levels as I designed each aspect of the unit to be meaningful and serve a purpose. Every decision that I made in this work is meant to enhance the learning experience, inform my instruction, and promote student growth and achievement.
This vision addresses the effective integration of technology in education. I provided a clear vision statement and the underlying beliefs that influenced it including how this vision addresses a problem of practice. I detailed three elements that are necessary to accomplish my vision. I provided a thorough explanation of each element and included examples of how it could look in the classroom. By completing this, not only was I able to define my vision, but I was also able to apply leadership skills regarding the planning and implementation of a vision. This also exemplifies the importance of being intentional when creating a vision plan, and in the integration of technology itself, as it is imperative that technology is used in a meaningful way and not just for the sake of using technology.