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Professional Growth Plan

Melissa Mullis
Western Governors University
In the many years I have worked in education, I feel as if I have never been
more prepared as an educator as I am now. As a student teacher, I have been a
part of the behind the scenes aspect of teaching and have learned things that you
merely cannot learn as a substitute. During my observations at Edgewood Primary,
I was privileged to take part in weekly PLC (Professional Learning Community)
meetings. These meetings are the basis for which the teachers discuss data and
determine the following weeks assessments.
In my first Demonstration Teaching placement, Edgewood High School, I was
able to take part in their PLC meetings as well as the individual department
planning sessions. In those sessions, I was able to take the lead on creating
assessments on Google Classroom that would be used by others in the department.
I also sat in on multiple conferences as a Special Education Student Teacher and
collaborated with community partners (such as local behavior therapists) to ensure
the students were provided with adequate accommodations and modifications per
their disabilities.
During this placement, I also requested participation via email for
Parent/Teacher conferences. My Host Teacher and I met with nearly each of our
students parents that day as well as their other teachers. We learned what
assignments the students were missing, what tests they would be allowed to retake,
and developed a plan to raise their grades to passing before the end of the 9 weeks.
While being in my Special Education placement at the High School, I learned the
importance of collaboration with other teachers throughout the school. Our
students may only have us one period out of the day, but we are their cheerleaders.
In the end, we are the ones who help teach them organization skills that they need
to succeed. By collaborating with their other teachers we are also teaching them to
advocate for themselves and getting late assignments turned in.
Another example of collaboration that has improved my teaching, is having
the ability to sit in on different classes and subjects throughout the day. Special
Education at the high school level focuses mainly on inclusion, so the teachers are
support in general education classrooms. We take notes along with the students
and keep binders of information that they can copy or look at if they need to
make up work. This experience allowed me to take different classroom
management styles with me to my general education placement. Taking notes and
following along in Algebra, also increased my confidence in math enough to pass
the Core Licensure Exam.
Our school district is a paperless district. This means that we strive to use
technology (Chrome books, IPads, and Laptops) for all methods of instruction. The
main sources used for instruction is Google Classroom or Prism. I have now become
proficient in creating Google Forms, Docs, Slides, etc. I have learned to share Docs
with others in order to edit and provide support while they are organizing their
thoughts. I have learned to add assessments that I created in Forms to our Google
Classroom and use the projector to re teach the assessments before the post
assessment. I have also created a unit on Force and Motion for my 4th grade class
using a newspaper type curriculum called Science Studies Weekly. This
curriculum provides engaging articles about science related topics as well as
provides worksheets and other forms of assessments. Using these outside sources

for curriculum allows me more time to brainstorm fun and exciting experiments to
coincide with the standards being taught.
I have always been quick to admit that I struggle with classroom
management. My inclusive personality, and my passion for children to feel that the
classroom is a safe environment leads me to be more accepting of structured
chaos. I have always felt like children need time to get their thoughts straight and
feeling rushed can cause increased anxiety. I have been told by many of my
colleagues that with time, I will learn to better control a classroom and that it gets
easier once it is my own. It has been said that seasoned teachers know when and
where is an appropriate time for side conversations or getting off topic. I know that
there is little time in the day to accomplish many learning objectives, but I want to
allow my students to use their voice as much as possible, so I still plan to use a lot
of group or partner discussions.
I disagree whole heartedly with the clip system because I feel as if it is
more of a negative reinforcement than positive. For instance, the student who
continually makes poor choices continues to clip down then gets recess taken
away, and potentially lunch and recess detention. Once this student earns these
consequences then there isnt any motivation to change his or her behavior.
Additionally, the student who always does the right thing often gets overlooked
and when they do make a poor choice they end up clipping down for something
other students may not have been told to clip down for. While I visited different
classrooms to see the various forms of classroom management other teachers use, I
found that Class Dojo seems to work best with my personality. Giving students
points for working hard or giving their best effort appears to give positive feedback
instantly. I also liked this method because there is no limit. The student can move
as high as they can any given day. For times that students must lose points, there
is an accountability factor, when they have to deduct the point themselves and type
why they lost points.
At the conclusion of my student teaching, I could tell that I have grown a lot
in the area of classroom management. I look forward to having my own classroom
one day, where the students know that they are special, and allow me the
opportunity to unlock their potential, as well as believe that each and every one of
them will do achieve great things.