Interview

I had the pleasure to interview Miss Diana Hale, who is a second grade teacher from Santiam Christian School, and I have known her for three years. While I was in high school, I was involved with Cadet Teaching. Miss Hale was my mentor teacher then. My junior year in high school, I was a teaching assistant in first grade. Miss Hale had been a first grade teacher since she worked at Santiam Christian. I truly enjoyed working with her, so I decided to be a cadet teacher for second grade my senior year in high school. For some reasons, Miss Hale got move to teach second grade, so I had a pleasure to work with her again. Those were the time I experienced in the environment of classrooms as an educator, and it was such an amazing experience. I began to realize what teachers have to go through, and how hard teachers have to work. Even though I am a college student now, I still often go back and be an assistant for Miss Hale. When I noticed that I need to interview an educator, I immediately thought that Miss Hale would be the perfect person for me to interview.

While Miss Hale was in college, she did not specifically aim for becoming a teacher. In fact, it just happened naturally from being involved in life guard, youth groups, and a lot of other opportunities to work with children. As she moved further in life, she got an opportunity to become an educational assistant. That was when she really decided that she really wanted to teach elementary, and began to be a substitute teacher. She appreciates how God gives her the abilities of leaderships and encouragement. Miss Hale truly enjoys teaching because she can show the children that all things are possible, and she especially enjoys the Christian school’s environment. She gets to teach truth and to be honest with her children about what she believes. Her goal is to help her kids see Jeremiah 29:11-13. For instance, during Easter, she can not only do Easter egg hunt with the children, but also share the real meaning of Easter. Another reason that she truly enjoys teaching is that she got to see how her children grow overtime. At Santiam Christian School, the grade levels are from preschool through high school. She is often impressed about how fast her children grow, and to watch them use the skills she installed in them. Furthermore, partnerships and the community at Santiam Christian are amazing, she often has high schooler coming back as a cadet teacher, and she got some opportunities to learn at the same time.

There are a lot of teaching strategies that Miss Hale use in her classroom. For instance, she has a set of traffic light in her classroom to help the children determine what time it is. If it is testing time, she will turn on red light. That means there is absolutely no sound. If it is worksheets time, she will turn on yellow light. That means you can talk if you need help. Another strategy is through communication. For example, when Miss Hale says eyes up, the kids will respond listen up. Also, Miss Hale use stickers to encourage her kids. If they get twenty stickers, they will get to be in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, where the children will get special treats. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the theme of Miss Hale’s classroom.

Miss Hale has been at Santiam for ten years, and this is her eleventh years of teaching. Things can really be different if you know you are doing a job that you are really passionate about (Illinois Education Association, 2015). Miss Hale always told me that teaching is a work of heart, and that it is what we need as educators. Although she conceded that sometime is hard to include everyone. She always tries to push and challenge her students. In addition, since she works at a private school, it is hard to get support for special education students. She will have to find support on her own, and she currently has a kid with ADHD, which she finds an assistant that is willing to help out in her classroom for that student. Miss Hale mentioned about her views of reading, and she said that she realized each kid has different reading level. Santiam Christian has a reading system called AR reading, and basically will test to see where each student is in his reading. This system allows the kids to pick the levels that fit him. Miss Hale think it is totally fine if some kids are below second grade reading level, and she believes each kid develop differently.

While reading is important, Miss Hale always tries to balance different subjects. For instance, she will try to combine some subjects together, like writing and history. If the class is talking about George Washington in history, then the students will write about George Washington in writing. Since Miss Hale works at a private school, she is not required to follow the Common Core. She is required to follow Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), but she keeps track of the Common Core as well. While I interviewed Miss Hale, we were discussing about the Common Core. Let’s take first grade for example, “reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes” (Oregon Department of Education, 1998-2016). We can see how high the standard is from the Common Core, and people expect the first grader to do reasoning. Miss Hale and I are on the same page about the Common Core, and we both believe that the Common Core should not be the standard for education in the United States. It does not help the students in any ways, and that it is not helpful. The experiences I had from high school helped me see that each child is unique, and educators should maintain professionalism for all their students.

Finally, educators really need to put effort into their job, and it is not easy to maintain professionalism. It really need to come from the bottom of your heart and to be passionate about teaching. Miss Hale is truly an excellent example for me, and I am truly blessed to have the opportunities to work with her. She truly taught me a lot in and out the classroom, and it will lead me far for sure. The experiences I had in Miss Hale’s classroom since high school helped me see that the field of education truly involves professionalism.

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Self Identity

That was such a painful day, as I waited outside of the emergency room. Thud. Thud. I heard the sound of my heart, and didn’t know what to do. I feared losing someone close to me.

It was a normal day, and I went to school in the morning. During lunch time, I got a note that I was to leave, and went to the hospital with my mom. I was totally shocked about the fact that my grandma was in the emergency room. I felt hopeless, and began to panic. About nine thirty at night, the surgeon told us that my grandma passed away due to apoplexy. As a seven-year-old kid at that time, my tears started to fall like a running faucet, and I couldn’t stop crying.

My grandma was the person that always showed her kindness, and tried to encourage me in everything. After my grandma passed away, I began to feel lonely and could not do anything. I did not know what to do at home or at school, and I felt like everything was foggy. My grandma had such a great impact on my life, and I felt like things just became so difficult without her. From that point on, I started to tell myself that I wanted to be a doctor when I grow up. I did not want others to experience the lost I had, and did not want others to lose the people they love. I want to help save others’ lives, and help others to have a joyful life without any pain in their bodies. The tragedy I experienced in my life helped shape my character from an immature kid to a person who cares about others, and wants others’ life to fill with happiness. “Compassionate” is one of my strong characters, and it makes me want to understand others more. I went to volunteer at a nursing home every Sundays; because I want the elderlies to understand that there will have someone else that care about them. I remembered my mom told me before my grandma was alive, she said she would never send her mom to the nursing home. These words are still in my memory today, and I want others to feel that I’m there for them, and they don’t feel alone.

The plane took off from my homeland, Taiwan, and tears gathered in my eyes as I looked out the window. I arrived in Monmouth, Oregon, in June 2012, where my journey as a high school international student began. While I was in high school, I was involved with Cadet Teaching and Preschool Practicum. Those were the first time I experienced in the environment of classrooms as an educator, and it was such a wonderful experience. I began to realize how I enjoyed interacting with students. In addition, I figured out that I am so passionate about teaching.

Teaching is a work of heart, and you are responsible for the children in the classrooms. Things can really be different if you know you are doing a job that you are really passionate about (Illinois Education Association, 2015). That is what we need as educators. I truly believe that teaching involves professionalism. Educators need to be passionate about their jobs, and care about their children in the classroom. Furthermore, you have to be willing to spend extra time in order to meet the needs of your children. For instance, when I was working in second grade, there was a student that was really struggling with math. During that time, I often stayed after school a lot to discuss with my mentor teacher, and try to figure out a way to help this student. I feel like it is one of the important characteristics as educators that you are willing to spend extra time for the work you have to do or for your children.

I graduated from Santiam Christian last year, and truly enjoyed my experiences there. I decided to come to Western Oregon University, and believe that it is a wonderful place to help me achieve the goal of becoming an educator. The tragedy that I experienced when I was young, helped shaped me into a person that cares about others and becomes a great listener. Additionally, I always seek to learn and grow. I also look for opportunities to help and serve others. Furthermore, I am a hard worker, and always willing to try my best. As Bobby Unser, a professional racer declared, “success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” I am extremely eager to learn more about the field of education, and I am willing to try my best in everything. My goal is to be a successful teacher that helps solve others’ problems, and honor my grandma. Furthermore, I would like to pass on kindness that my grandma showed to others.

Examining the Common Core

The Common Core is basically the ideas that all states have the same standard on education. For instance, if the student moves from California to Oregon, the student will not feel behind and will continue to learn the same concepts. Some people believe that we should continue to use the Common Core, and that the Common Core is helpful for the United States. Those people believe that the Common Core creates high standards, and also can make great influences on all the students. From the debate we watched in class, one person mentioned about Bill Gates saying that the new generation has low quality, and it is hard to hire them. Additionally, the person said that what skills the students need to have is the main focus of the Common Core. On the other hand, some people believe that the Common Core has such a negative impact on our society. From this perspective, those people believe that the Common Core will not increase students’ scores, and will not help them improve as well. “There is no evidence that imposing a uniform education system on the country will, in itself, result in a more educated citizenry” (TEP Student Action, 2016). However, I believe that the Common Core should not be the standard for education in the United States.

I believe that the Common Core should not be the standard for education in the United States is because of the states. In order to be the standard, all states need to be on the same page. As you may know, there are few states that have not adopted the Common Core, such as Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and few other states (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2016). Another reason that provides the same insight is the standards. The Common Core has such a high standard, and those standards will not do any good for students. I believe teaching is a work of heart, and that it involves professionalism. Students are different and unique. We should not use the same standards for all the students, and every student learn differently.

Let’s take first grade for example, “reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes” (Oregon Department of Education, 1998-2016). We can see how high the standard is from the Common Core, and people expect the first grader to do reasoning. While I was in high school, I was a cadet teacher. I have worked with preschoolers up to fifth graders. Even fifth graders have problem with reasoning, and some even struggle a lot. Another resource is the Smarter Balanced Test. From the example we did in class, the tenth grade English, the test contains a lot of techniques. I will say that it is more challenging than SAT, and I do not think it really reflect the knowledge of the students. Unfortunately, I was trying to do grade three math, but it did not work for some reasons. I tried it in multiple locations, such as WOU library, writing center, and my house. I will keep trying because I am really curious about how the test is going to look like.

Finally, the Common Core should not be the standard for education in the United States. It does not help the students in any ways, and that it is not helpful. The experiences I had from high school helped me see that each child is unique, and educators should maintain professionalism for all their students.

Professionalism

While I was in high school, I was involved with Cadet Teaching and Preschool Practicum. Those were the first time I experienced in the environment of classrooms as an educator, and it was such an amazing experience. I began to realize what teachers have to go through, and how hard teachers have to work. I truly believe teaching involves professionalism, which relates to hard work. Additionally, teaching is a work of heart, and you are responsible for the children in the classrooms.

Things can really be different if you know you are doing a job that you are really passionate about (Illinois Education Association, 2015). That is what we need as educators. Educators need to be passionate about their jobs, and care about their children in the classroom. Furthermore, you have to be willing to spend extra time in order to meet the needs of your children. For instance, when I was working in second grade, I was designing a bulletin board. I realized that I really did not have much time to work on the bulletin board when the children are still in school. I would have to spend time after school in order to finish the bulletin board. I feel like it is one of the important characteristics as educators that you are willing to spend extra time for the work you have to do or for your children. In addition, teachers can totally control their environment in the classroom. Take my experience for example, the second grade teacher I worked with when I was in high school, she did an awesome job for her classroom environment. She had time that she could get student excited, and she had time that could get student to be in silent. For instance, she would say eyes up, and students would reply listen up. After that, the students would wait for her instructions with silence. I feel like that the example truly showed professionalism, because the teaching technique the teacher used gain respect from all the students.

Finally, educators really need to put effort into their job, and it is not easy to maintain professionalism. It really need to come from the bottom of your heart and to be passionate about teaching. The experiences I had from high school helped me see that the field of education truly involves professionalism.

Lesson Planning

Some people might think lesson planning is unnecessary, however, I think lesson planning is an important element for educators. Lesson planning can be overwhelming sometimes, but this is the best way to be organized. My experiences with lesson planning so far are positive, and lesson plan gives me a sense of what to do in class as a teacher. Especially on ISTE, there are a lot of helpful information. In addition, there are websites that I can see with some sample lesson plans from different teachers. I pretty much think lesson plans are great and should be require in classrooms. Unfortunately, I found the section of evidence and assessment of student learning being hard, and try to think of some creative ways for students to do, such as making films, play games related to subject areas, etc. In conclusion, I pretty much enjoy doing lesson planning.

Multimedia

In recent discussion of multimedia, some argue that media can become a problem in a classroom. From this perspective, people are thinking about a specific type of media. On the other hand however, others argue that media can be helpful in classrooms. According to this view, people believe media is helping them succeed in classrooms. In sum then, the issue is whether the specific kinds of media are helpful or not in classrooms.

My own view is that most of the media are helpful in the classroom, such as Podcast, videos, and blogs. For instance, Radio Willow Web from the Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. I think it is helpful for students, and students will enjoy it. Another example that provides the same insight is Podcast. As we discuss in Education 270 class, if the teacher is going to be absent, the teacher can record the lesson plan on podcast. Instead of writing out everything when the teacher is sick, the teacher use podcast to tell the sub about the lesson plan. I honestly think that it saves time for the teacher. In conclusion, media are helpful if you choose the right kinds to use in classrooms.