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

Self Assessment

Lisa West

My academic background consists of an A.A. degree from Rainy River Community College, completed in 1988. I received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bemidji State University in the spring of 1990 after student-teaching in White Bear Lake, MN, in a sixth grade setting. In 1992, I began work at Holler Elementary School as a Title I teacher, working with K, 1 and 2 students. In 1996 I was offered my dream job of teaching first grade at the same school. This is my third year of teaching first grade and I look forward to going to work each day. I have learned a lot from the teachers I work with and from my own experiences, and believe I have so much more to learn. I am excited about my work because every day is different and the children are so loving and eager to learn with me.

My history as a writer is brief. I loved English and writing courses in high school and wrote a bit for the school newspaper and televised news program. In college I had a professor for Freshman English who had a wonderful style of teaching critical writing which I learned a lot from. I enjoyed writing papers in college, but that was before children and other responsibilities. I need a lot of quiet time to write and because of my lack of time, I am learning to depend on others, such as my husband and colleagues to proof read writings for me. I am learning from their constructive criticisms and ideas, so its turning out to be a good trade-off. One thing that I have been working on in my writing is cutting down on my wordiness and using more periods. I also have difficulty with tenses. I tend to switch back and forth between past and present. Overall, I enjoy writing, but the thesis project scares me because its so technical compared to just writing a summary and reaction to an article.

The professional issues that interest me the most are developmentally appropriate practices, reading strategies, as well as brain development and how it affects learning. These issues are of great interest to me because of the ages of the children I work with. I am constantly searching for ways to more effectively reach my students.

My professional goal is to be a more effective teacher to students of all abilities. That is a very broad goal, but it is very important to me. I want to learn ways to effectively challenge students who need it and better ways to reach those who are struggling. Each child has such individual needs, but the more information I can learn about different strategies, whats developmentally appropriate, and how the brain learns best, I will have a better chance of helping all students be successful. This M.Ed. program is offering many opportunities to learn this information through the different speakers, seminars, required readings, and projects. The cohort is a great way to learn. I feel comfortable in discussions and find that I am learning a lot from all of the different perspectives.

I will be doing my thesis project on the topic of brain development. I am working with four other people. We have not narrowed our topic down yet, but we are excited and will be reading a lot of material over the next few weeks in order to try and come up with our question.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 1999

Moderation questions? read the FAQ