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EDTE 400

Rachael Bakker

Frame of Reference

A teacher guides her students and plays a significant part in shaping their lives. As a

future educator in my community I am excited and aware of the responsibility I have in creating

a classroom community that molds individuals to be the best people they can be. I believe

making genuine connections with my students, their parents, and my colleagues are the

cornerstone for teaching effectively. I will strive for a classroom community where students

know it is okay to make mistakes and they understand experiences of failure do not mean that

they are a failure. In my classroom, behavioral expectations will be clear. An organized, orderly

atmosphere allows for better learning to take place. I am excited to be a part of my future

students’ lives and offer them a classroom that inspires them to be the best people they can be.

Philosophical stance on key areas:

Relationship with learners, parents, colleague, and community:

Creating genuine relationships with my students, their parents, and my colleagues is

essential. Getting to know each of my students on a personal level lets them know that I care

about them and their wellbeing. When my students know I care about each and every one of

them they will feel more willing to listen and learn from and with me. Effective communication

with my students’ parents is a must. A good relationship with the parents is crucial and I will rely

on their advice and insight to teach in such a way that is most effective for their children. I

believe that working as a team with my colleagues is the only way to teach. As a team we will

support and offer advice to one another, especially to those just starting the profession. We will
help each other get through the tough times and celebrate the exciting ones. Creating good

relationships with my students, their parents, and colleagues is an integral part of teaching.

Teaching and learning strategies:

Having a growth mindset in my classroom will be something we learn about and

emphasize as the year goes on. Students should never feel badly about making mistakes and a

lot can be learned from them. In Pamela Lottero-Perdue and Elizabeth Parry’s article

“Perspectives on Failure in the Classroom by Elementary Teachers New to Teaching

Engineering” they emphasize the importance of teaching students to have a growth mindset. A

growth mindset does not get discouraged by failure, in fact failures are simply learning

experiences for those with a growth mindset (Lottero-Perdue and Parry, 2017, p. 49). Lottero-

Perdue and Parry stress the necessity to model a growth-mindset to students, practice how to

positively and productively respond to failure, and value failure experiences (2017, p.50). There

is an awesome book called ‘Bubble Gum Brain, Ready, Get Mindset, Grow’, by Julia Cook. In

this children’s book she illustrates a growth mindset as someone who has a bubble gum brain

that can be ‘flexed, bent, and stretched’ and a fixed mindset as someone who has a brick brain

(p. 1). In the story the two characters show how differently they view challenges. Cook shows

how a ‘bubble gum brain’ loves to try new things even if they seem challenging, makes great

mistakes, and says to himself, “I can’t figure this out…yet!” In order to inspire my students to

become the best people they can be, we will learn how to have a growth mindset.

Classroom management:

I believe good classroom management techniques will enable greater learning. I have

had my fair share of teachers growing up, some had effective ways to manage my peers and I,

others did not and I know from my experience, the teachers that could not manage their

students effectively had a hard time covering all they wanted to teach. I greatly value efficient

classroom management and intend to teach using many management strategies like Whole

Brain Teaching strategies.


Formative and summative assessment:

Assessment in my classroom, whether formative or summative, will always be for the

benefit of my students. In my experience in school, assessment has always intimidated me and

caused a lot of stress. I do not want this for my future students. My classroom assessment will

be used to help me plan for future lessons; it will tell me if I need to stay a little longer on a unit,

help me plan for differentiation, give me evidence to discuss with parents and students, and

make plans for future lessons. I think in order to alleviate anxiety around assessment I need to

be transparent with the students why I am assessing.

Role of curriculum and competencies:

I plan on basing all the units I teach on the BC Curriculum. It will be my guide for what I

teach in the future.

Needs of diverse learners through inclusive practices:

Every student comes to school with their own needs, as their educator it is my job to

meet them where they are and teach them to the best of my ability. I know that reaching every

student during every subject may not happen, but as their teacher it is my responsibility to try. I

think the best way to include diverse learners in the classroom is to get to know them

personally, once I’ve created a relationship I will better know how to include them in lessons.

Planning for everybody’s needs is the key to having a successful lesson. I learned during my

one week practicum in February that I needed to plan for enrichment of the lesson or else the

higher level students became bored and did not get as much out of the lesson as did the others.

During my five week practicum in May I was able to better include the higher level students and

they stayed engaged during the lessons the whole time.

Current learning theories and principles:

First People’s Principles of Learning:

I am still new to First Peoples Principles of Learning, but I am excited to continue

learning how to include these principles in my units and incorporate First People’s Principles of
Learning in my future classroom. After reading the list of Principles, one word that comes to

mind is ‘holistic’; it includes all aspects of learning and I think for a classroom to thrive I need to

focus on all of these principles. I plan to continue to learn what it means to teach with all of

these principles.

VIU program values:

 We build relationships: I understand the importance to build strong and healthy

relationships in not only this program, but in the workplace as well with my students and

colleagues.

 We strive to be a dynamic, interactive learning community: the education program offers

a lot of hands on experience in the classroom which has prepared me well for my

practicum and also reminds me to reflect this type of teaching in my own practice. In my

experience, great learning happens when you are given the opportunity to use your

hands and try out your skills in a real situation. Place-based learning is also a key way to

make lessons relevant to students and engage them.

 We are passionate life-long learners: I know there is so much more to learn than I will be

taught before I graduate and I am excited to keep learning as I enter the profession.

 We embrace the uniqueness of individuals and richness of cultural diversity: I

understand everyone brings a unique spirit and background to the classroom.

Everybody’s culture and individuality will be celebrated and respected in my future

classroom.

 We inspire mindful, creative, innovative, energized by moral courage and relentless

hope. I hope to inspire my students in such a way that they feel they can change the

world and make it into a more inclusive positive place to live in.
OECD Principles of Effective Learning Environments:

Hannah Dumont’s book The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice

talked about creating learning environments where students flourished. “Chapter 4 The crucial

role of motivation and emotion in classroom learning” identified 8 key principles that give insight

into motivation and emotion of students in the classroom. “The 8 principles exemplify how

favorable cognitions and positive emotions act together to energize students. They also

demonstrate how negative emotions and unhealthy attributions can inhibit learning (p.106)”. I

understand the types of activities, instruction, classroom space, and subjects all influence a

student’s motivation and emotions towards their learning. As stated on page 107, “Students pick

up these unintended messages, and appraise the climate as either favorable or unfavorable for

learning.” Being aware of how my students are reacting to my lessons will help me mitigate

motivational and emotional problems in the future.

In Chapter 11 they talked about the effects of family on student learning. I found it

interesting their mention on parent involvement in the classroom as being unproductive; I agree

that this is true because teachers are not being able to teach a student when their parent is in

the same room trying to parent the student. Involvement from parents is beneficial in different

areas such as running school events or helping out with field trips. The article said that offering

affordable extracurricular activities for students is a great way to boost skills such as

commitment, cooperation, and interpersonal relationships (p.265). From my own experience in

extracurricular activities growing up, I know they are awesome ways to build character and

confidence and if schools can offer after school programs for students it will definitely benefit

them.

I am really looking forward to my future as a teacher and the impact I will have on my

students. I recognize the importance of creating sincere relationships with my students, their

parents and my colleagues. Incorporating a growth-mindset classroom community will help


students view success and failure as an invaluable learning experiences, and keeping my future

class organized, engaged, and ready to learn will allow my students to blossom.
References

Lottero-Perdue, Pamela S. and Parry, Elizabeth A. (2017) "Perspectives on Failure in

the Classroom by Elementary Teachers New to Teaching Engineering," Journal of Pre-College

Engineering Education Research (J-PEER): Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 4.

https://doi.org/10.7771/2157-9288.1158

(2017, November 08). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ame8AZ4pWZQ&t=114s

Dumont, H. (2010). The nature of learning: Using research to inspire practice. Paris:

OECD/CERI