Self Assessment : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Self Assessment

-- Anonymous, January 07, 1999


Dawn Schindeldecker

Self Assessment

January 6, 1999

After graduating from Falls High School in 1973, I attended Rainy River Community College for the next two years pursuing an Associate Arts degree. After obtaining my degree in 1975 I took an eleven year break from school. During this time I became employed at Boise Cascade, got married, and had two children. It wasnt until 1986 that I once again decided to pursue my academic career. I quit my job and once again enrolled myself at Rainy River in their clerical program. In Spring of 1988, I graduated with a clerical degree, but I didnt stop there. I decided to pursue more college in an area I found more desirable. I enrolled myself at Bemidji State in their elementary education program. After attending only one quarter at Bemidji I decided that I would benefit more from transferring to Moorhead State University. I then enrolled in their Profession Fourth Year (PFY) program for prospective teachers. From September 1988 until May of 1990 I worked very hard and finally left MSU with a BS degree in elementary education.

After moving back to International Falls I immediately began subbing in kindergarten through seventh grade. After one year of substitute teaching under my belt, I was fortunate to acquire a long-term sub contract in Junior Primary. The position began in November 1991 and lasted until the end of the school year. Upon completing my first teaching contract I obtained a new contract as a Title I teacher at Falls Elementary. For the next five years I worked with third through sixth grade in this position. The experience I gained was invaluable and has helped me immensely in the position I hold today. Finally, in June of 1997, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a regular classroom teacher and obtained a sixth grade teaching position. This position, which I still hold today, is what prompted me to again spread my wings and continue my education in obtaining a through the UMD International Falls Cohort program.

Of the many professional issues that interest me as a teacher there are a few that stand out in my mind. I am, as are most of my colleagues, very concerned about all the criteria and guidelines involved in the new Graduation Standards. More and more demands and pressures are being made on teachers and students. Both are gradually being held accountable for all teaching and learning that takes place. Another issue I find of interest is all the new technology schools are now obtaining in order to keep up with each other. I realize this is the wave of the future and I would like to learn as much as I can to become a better and more effective teacher. Finally, another area of great interest to me is the issue of violence. I realize that our school is pretty mild in comparison to other schools, especially ones in the bigger cities, but I know that no school is immune to potential violence. I am very interested in all the new proactive programs that help deal with this problem.

My professional goals are to grow and develop into the best teacher I can be. This is my main reason for being in this program. I plan on being open and enthusiastic to new ideas and not to be too rigid about things that work but are obviously becoming outdated. I want to keep up on new technology, new programs, committees, school issues, and always be sensitive and understanding to the needs of my students. I feel that the M.Ed. program has already helped me in numerous ways. It has prompted me to read things I normally wouldnt, write more, and learn more about computers (an area I really need more knowledge in). Being a part of this cohort gives me a sense of belonging in knowing that everyone else is just as busy and working as hard as I am.

The area Ive chosen to explore in my thesis project is to look at a social skills program and how students can benefit from it academically. Also, to evaluate how effective it is in meeting the needs of all kinds of students.

My writing background began, as most peoples do, in school. I did all the necessary writing required to get me through my junior and high school days. I credit my senior English class as helping me acquire some long-lasting experience and skills in writing which I still use today. During my professional training at Moorhead State I got through what seemed like endless writing of reports, lesson plans, and evaluations. Even though they all were very time-consuming I know all the valuable knowledge Ive gained through writing them is priceless. At this time in my life I dont do a lot of writing at home because I get enough between school and my UMD classes. Im not sure if Im looking forward to starting my thesis paper, but I am looking forward to all the knowledge and experience I will gain from writing it.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 1999

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