Self Assessment: Kim McDonald (R) : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Self Assessment: Kimberley McDonald

I have chosen to pursue my Masters in Education in order to become the best teacher I can for the learners I will come in to contact with while teaching as well as providing a positive role model to the other families and children within our community. Obtaining my Masters in Education will help me to grow as a teacher, woman, mother, wife and contributing member of society. I believe that continuing to gain knowledge is the key to being an effective educator. The more I learn, the more effective my teaching and decision making will be and hence the more confident I will be as an educator.

The learning process and decision making that I am involved in daily touches many lives and has the potential for tremendous impact. I want to have a positive impact upon each child I come into contact with. It is my dream to reach the children I teach in a positive and gentle manner, to build upon their self esteem so they can be confident decision makers and lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Three goals I have for myself are: 1. Complete an emphasis in Educational Computing and Technology. 2. Improve my communication skills. 3. Research and effectively implement cooperative learning within my classroom. I. Increase my knowledge of computer technology and effectively utilize computer technology within the classroom as a teaching tool for instruction and management, presentations, due process and most importantly assist my students to become computer literate so they can see how technology can work for them in the learning process, how it has changed and will continue to change our world and provide my students with unlimited opportunities for exploration. II. Improve my communication skills when meeting with other professionals and parents individually, in conferences and special education meetings as well as to present information effectively, clearly and concisely to all learners. I also would hope to increase my confidence when communicating with peers, parents, other professionals, as well as with students. III. Increase my ability to meet the needs of all learners I come into contact with as a professional educator to ensure that all learners are able to maximize they potential and feel pride in his/her accomplishments while receiving a high quality education. I realize the needs of learners are continually evolving hence I feel it my obligation to evolve with them. In order to grow effectively as a professional and to increase my effectiveness in the classroom I need to change with the learners. Pursuing my masters in education will help me achieve my dreams as a professional educator. Obtaining a Masters in Education will help to expand upon my knowledge of creative classroom instruction and techniques so as to meet the varied needs of all learners in the school environment as well as to promote pride in accomplishment as each learner progresses educationally while utilizing a variety of techniques to motivate all learners. A. Increase my ability to teach higher level thinking skills to groups of children with varied abilities. B. Research Cooperative Learning Models that have proven to be effective so I can effectively utilize cooperative learning at the various levels I teach. C. Learn effective counseling techniques.

Thesis Project Ideas:

I am currently working with Karen, Beth and Dawn from the cohort on our thesis project. We are exploring The Responsive Classroom Approach. Currently we have two questions.

1. Do students who are immersed in a social skills development program achieve academically? 2. Is the Responsive Classroom approach effective in meeting the needs of Falls Elementary students?

I am also very interested in exploring the trends of women at home and in the work force and the affects they have on children and education.

Academic and Professional Background:

I am licensed to teach EBD K-12 and Elementary grades 1-6. I taught for two years at Riverside School in Bemidji. This was at a residential treatment facility. I then substitute taught various areas in International Falls. I taught sixth grade, LD, was part-time counselor at the high school and eventually worked my way back into the area of high school EBD.

Currently I am on a four year child care leave which I have greatly enjoyed. I will return to work when my daughter, now 4 =, enters the first grade. My son, Jonathan is now in the first grade and loving every minute. We are a hockey family. My husband is an assistant varsity hockey coach and the JV coach. He also coaches our children on the Termite Hockey team. In the Spring, Summer and Fall we enjoy spending time at our Rainy Lake Cabin.

Writing Experiences:

I have taken basic writing courses in High School and College. I dont have confidence in my writing abilities. I am thankful to be receiving guidance through the Masters program.

-- Anonymous, February 05, 1999

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