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

My name is Paul Brownlow and I teach 7th-12th grade instrumental music at Falls High School. My teaching responsibilities include the junior high band, high school band, and high school jazz band as well as instrumental lessons for students grades 5-10. This is my first teaching job which I started three years ago.

I earned my teaching degree at the University of MN-Morris in 1996. My student teaching experience was completed in the Willmar public school system, and it was here that I realized I had entered into the right profession. I enjoy teaching music because I am able to work with the students who truly want to be there.

Because I was only out in the teaching profession for two years, I was hesitant about joining the M. Ed. cohort. Since I have began my work with the cohort, I have gained one new major insight about student work. If students are allowed input into the work that is required in my classroom, they seem to work at a higher level of achievement. Although I was quite skeptical reading about this in Glassers and Coveys texts, I have tried them in my own classroom with a great deal of success. I have found out that students do care about their education, and that they work harder if they are allowed some input into what they do. This strategy has allowed me to become a much better classroom manager.

Classroom management is a professional issue that interests me the most. I want to be the most effective teacher I can be. I want my students graduating from high school feeling like they have learned and been respected in my classroom. If I can do this for every student I see, I feel like I have done my job to the best of my ability.

My final goal in education is to become a middle or elementary school principal. I want to be able to lead a school into a successful direction for both the students and the staff. I have always been interested in building an organization that everyone is proud to be associated with.

The M. Ed. program is going to give me the experience that I will need to be prepared for this new line of work. I often hear complaints from other teachers about principals who are inexperienced or forget how demanding the profession of teaching is. That is the last complaint I want to hear from any of my staff, and I am hoping that my continued teaching while I obtain my masters degree will help me achieve that goal.

Parenting is the topic I have chosen for my thesis project. I want to find information that documents how important it is for a parent to raise their own child. I firmly believe that one parent should stay home and raise their own children if they want them to have a better chance at being successful in society. My mother stayed home and raised me and my wife is going to do the same for our children.

Writing has been something I have struggled with since high school. College papers seemed to take forever to complete, and I was always told I needed to include more detail. I find it is tough to stay focused on my writing because I can get so frustrated with it. I would like to be able to write out a paper that sounds professional in no time at all, but that does not seem to be my expertise. I am hoping that this class will help me develop my skills so that I can communicate clearly with this medium.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 1999

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