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

Self Assessment - Beth Cramer

I attended University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana in 1981. I had no direction and my goal was to surpass my high school level by attaining a higher education. I floated for two years from racquetball 101 through Alfred Hitchcock, that is Film 100. Somewhere along the line I took a required Child Psychology course and stumbled upon a classroom setting. I was mesmerized. I began taking courses in elementary education. Before my student teaching experience, I finished a required junior practicum in a gifted setting. The classroom teacher,Polly Kemp, was exceptional and I gained confidence and experience through her teachings. I completed my student teaching in second grade and decided this would be an interesting age level to teach.I graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana in 1987 with a degree in Elementary Education. Over ten years later, I find myself unexpectedly, in a classroom of Jr. High students with professional issues constantly popping up such as: What is the best way to handle a disruptive student? Are teachers working together to provide the best classroom and school settings? Do we allow sloppy work because we are just so thrilled that the student handed it in? How hard should we push a student that refuses to raise the quality of their work? What do you do if parents just dont want to be bothered? How do we prevent students from slipping through the educational cracks never to be seen again? The professional issue that I find most interesting is the last which is "How do we prevent students from slipping through the educational cracks?". By the time the students reach me in Jr. High, many have concluded on what they think are their attainable educational goals and abilities. It is hard to persuade them that they are great writers or that they have a natural ability in the science field. Those students who have been attaining average to below average grades have accepted that they cannot do any better. Many do not qualify as learning disabled, yet they are frustrated learners who struggle academically. I would like to discover the educational tool that will reach these students and simultaneously help them gain confidence in their ability to learn. One long term professional goal that I had when I graduated college and continue to hold on to is the aspiration of being an exceptional teacher. I have observed a handful of outstanding teachers in action and they seem to teach with ease; they appear to have an intuitive connection with their students. If you share a problem that you are having with a student, they will offer many possible methods and strategies as a means to approaching a possible solution. The UMD M.Ed. Program has already influenced some of the decisions I have made concerning students, parents, teachers and administrators. The Quality School by William Glasser offered numerous examples and techniques to be directly applied in the classroom. The M. Ed. Program offers many opportunities for me to achieve my goals. I am undecided on a thesis topic at this time, although I am interested in better understanding ways of helping at-risk students. I would prefer to work in a group on a thesis topic because many different points of view may lend to a thoroughly researched thesis. I have always enjoyed writing and expressing my point a view on paper. I have taught writing to Junior High students for the last two years. In teaching, I have learned a lot of interesting techniques and gained some interesting ideas from my students. I am enthusiastic about the cooperative writing of a thesis project.

-- Anonymous, January 12, 1999

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