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

Self Assessment

Jill Katrin

January 7, 1999

I am currently a M.Ed. student at UMD with a cohort from International Falls. I am a graduate of Rainy River Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree, and a graduate of Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. My field of emphasis is Special Learning Disabilities. I also have a licensure in Early Childhood Education from BSU.

I am currently a second grade teacher for School District #361. This is my third year teaching second grade. Some previous teaching experiences are the following: Early Childhood teacher/director for three years, Early Childhood Title I teacher for one year, first grade teacher for three years, and junior high teacher for one year. I have been an educator since 1986. I have worked in both private and public school settings, and I have enormous respect for both. I have also taught summer school classes, and a safety program for kids. I also worked a few summers with the before and after school child care program in our school district.

Teaching Reading is a big part of my classrom day. Children that read well find success in other curriculm areas. One of my goals is to research and implement better ways of teaching reading. I would like to learn ways to challenge my top readers as well as, gain knowledge on how to individualize Reading skills to best help the children struggling. Currently, our school district does not have a phonics series in place as part of our second grade curriculum. I would like to research some ways to build phonetic skills with my students.

I am eager to learn more about technology, and how I can integrate what I am learning into my classroom. I would also like to learn more about how to involve parents and volunteers in my classroom. I am also interested in learning more about interventions for ADHD and teaching strategies for helping students diagnosed with ADHD; better ways of assessing students in my classroom; inquiry learning, developmentally appropriate practice, and the MN Graduation Standards and Performance packages.

I am excited to be a part of the Intl. Falls cohort. I look forward to our Wednesday class meetings. My goal is to get the most out of this M.Ed. program as I possibly can. I think our group is special because of the varying individual backgrounds and areas of interest and specialties. I am learning more about secondary education and the roles these educators partake in. I feel enriched by the experiential diversity of our cohort members. The members are willing to help in any way they can. Our expert technology members have made tremendous effort to help bring everyone up to speed on the computer. Most of all, I feel I have made some special friendships.

I have chosen to explore right/left brain learning as the topic for my thesis project. I will be working with four other people on this project. We have not narrowed our topic down to a specific question that we want to research. We are currently learning how to begin the research process. I feel the right/left brain learning area covers many of the areas I want to learn more about. For example, I am learning that the brain circuitry of a student with ADHD is different and how learning can be affected on both sides of the brain because of this. This research area will also help me with teaching strategies for Reading, inquiry learning, and utilizing computers in the classroom.

My writing background began in high school. I remember researching and writing term papers and Spanish dialogue. I wrote a fair amount of papers and lesson plans in my prepatory education classes. I feel I have lots of room to broaden my writing ability and I look forward to feedback on how I can make improvements with my writing assignments. Knowing how to take all of our group member's research material and incorporate it into one thesis paper scares me even though I feel I will learn a lot from this writing experience.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 1999

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