Standard 5: Demonstrates Leadership
Extra-Curricular Reflection (Meeting)
I attended a Poudre School District City Council Meeting on Tuesday the 25th, 2017. There was a larger crowd than usual, and they discussed, primarily, things such as the Student Think Tank as well as the mental health of students in PSD. The Student Think Tank includes several students that represent various high schools and came together to give a voice for all PSD students (especially high school).. The other main component that was discussed, student mental health, was given the most feedback from the council. It was proposed from several women that headed the department of psychology and counseling in PSD. They proposed a more systematic way to address the importance of mental health in students.
The meeting was composed of the general public (anyone who wished to attend), those who were scheduled to make an appearance and speak to the council, attending teachers from PSD, and the board. The board involved people dressed nicely with official name tags scattered throughout. The meeting seemed very regimented. Everything was in place, and everyone knew what to say. There were students that came up and proposed their ideas, the council listened, and they moved on. The council asked for the next people to come up and speak, and so on. It seemed as thought a good amount of the issues that were brought up were ones to be addressed at a later time. They seemed complicated. However, the issue about mental health was addressed quite critically right then and there. After a presentation on a system that could be used to better mental health was given, the meeting was open to questions from the board. The board asked questions and the women answered. Out of that, more questions were asked, deeper and more complex issues arose. But I observed that the board was made of people that were intentional with their word. Those who spoke, spoke with dignity and purpose.
I enjoyed how the board stayed unbiased in the decision making. They gave what they knew about the issue, asked valuable questions, and worked together to try to find an answer. One thing I didn’t enjoy was the minimal effort they gave to respond to what the students had to say. Because in the end, their opinions are the ones that matter the most. The council seemed to just brush off what they were saying because they’re only students.
Overall, the amount of information I got out of attending the meeting was huge (minus the budgeting information). But it made me realize how much goes on behind the scenes with decision making and what not. As a teacher it will be beyond important to stay on the front end of what’s going on within the system, as well as potentially having the ability to give what I know/what I think is valuable. There was a principle there that I recognized from Polaris Expeditionary School. He didn’t say anything, he just sat and observed. I took away from his pure interest and care towards what was being talked about. I would love to be involved with the constant promotion of the arts in education; to be apart of any community that strives to increase funding and support for the arts.
My reflection on attending the council meeting shows my understanding on the importance of being involved with your community and advocating for such. I learned that there is a substantial amount of work, effort, and passion that goes into running a whole school district. It made me excited and determined to be a part of whatever district I end up in because the board is at the front end of change. In order to make change, I must be involved and make my passion visible.
This artifact comes from a response to an edmodo post in which we had to respond to the quote "Constructivist teaching is based on the belief that learning occurs as learners are actively involved in a process of meaning and knowledge construction as opposed to passively receiving information. Learners are the makers of meaning and knowledge." I said:
"I hope to align every aspect of my teaching to this theory. Learning is about making connections, and those connections can only happen within each student. We can guide how and where these connections start, but cannot force them; which is why lecturing is inefficient. The quote says "learners are the makers of meaning and knowledge." It is not our job to stand above our students and assume that they are learning directly from us. They are learning from their own ability to discover, comprehend, and create. Cultivating these abilities in a classroom involve active learning; integrating activities that are hands-on and based on the student's ability to think. I really ONLY remember the material I've learned in the past when I was able to put my learning in my own hands."
This artifact demonstrates my ethical standards because it shows my belief in bringing all you know and have to your classroom, but also leaving behind your ego. I whole heartedly believe in learning along-side my students.
This artifact is another response to an edmodo post in which we were asked to reflect on an in class activity involving creating a inter-disciplinary lesson plan. This is what I said:
"The biggest challenges for us had to do with combining our different content areas (art and science/agg). It took some time to make sense of it all. But in the end, our efforts really proved to be successful. It was awesome seeing how our contents really do overlap. I learned some things from them considering getting students to think and instruction that I wouldn't have known otherwise."
Here, I demonstrate how I would contribute my knowledge and skills to a group setting and educational practices. I talk about the issues we had, but more importantly how we can overcome those and what the positives were.