PI – Practice intentional inquiry and planning instruction
This program standard is twofold: it develops the teacher candidate’s skills for planning effective standards-based curriculum according to the principles of effective planning, instruction, assessment, and reflection and personalizing this same curriculum to the unique and varying learning styles and needs of each student in the classroom. Each unit of instruction must align to the Washington State content standard, and should engage all types of learners as develop content specific processes, skill-sets and knowledge. Throughout EDU 6150 General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment Methods, there have been opportunities to practice this standard through readings, discussions, assignments, and activities.
Figure 1 shows a portion of one of the assignments, the midterm lesson plan, that required each candidate to create a lesson, align it with a state standard, teach it to someone while an adult observed and took notes based on a rubric, and reflect on the entire process of planning and teaching. This assignment, after spending much time learning about the state standards as well as the various principles of lesson planning, was an excellent starting point in the process of practicing inquiry and planning instruction. It required me to consider how I wanted my students to work towards the standard and provide a variety of opportunities for them to achieve the learning target. This process of picking a standard, learning target, methods of instruction and assessment, and imagining it within a unit of instruction has been an invaluable step in the process to becoming a teacher.
Even more so than writing the lesson, the feedback from the instructor on each component of the lesson as well as the personal reflection processes has been helpful when considering what my goal for the students is and how I am going to be most successful in helping them achieve that goal. As I have been able to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson, I am able to see opportunities to improve the lesson and to create a more positive learning outcome for the students, especially in regards to their voice and opportunities within the lesson to articulate their process of learning and how they feel about what they are learning.
Currently I am working on revising my lesson based on the feedback provided by the instructor as well as considering ways that I can better support exceptional learners in the classroom with my lesson. As this was my first opportunity to use the lesson plan template and consider all the components for writing and effective lesson for all students, I am confident that I will continue to develop over the course of the program with committed practice, careful planning, honest personal reflection, and caring feedback from my instructors.