A Year of Intense Study, Teaching and Self Reflection
My name is Heather Brubach. In May 2013 I completed a intensive one year master's program at the University of Pennsylvania. I received an M.S. in Elementary Education and a PA Instructional I teaching certification for grades K-6.
The year began with a summer semester when I took the following courses:
Teaching Diverse Learners
School and Society
I also spent 40 hours of time volunteering at a summer camp in South Philadelphia, in the Point Breeze neighborhood and spent even more time getting to know the community around the South Philly school that I would be placed in for the Fall. I learned a lot about what resources and assets were in the surrounding neighborhood of my students and better understood some of the challenges they face.
The Fall brought lots of new challenges. I began student teaching two full days a week at Stanton Elementary School in a first grade classroom. From the very first day of school I knew how much I would love working with these incredible six year old students! Find out more about my experience in that classroom by clicking on the Stanton Elementary button below. In addition to my days student teaching I had many methods courses to take at UPenn on curriculum and instruction. These courses emphasized various content areas and special topics including:
Social Studies Methods
Teaching Diverse Learners (continued from the Summer)
Child Development (continued from the Summer)
Topic Sessions on Assessment, Arts Integration and Race in Schools
During the Fall semester, there were two major projects. One was the Child Study in which I chose a particular student to observe closely and learn more about. It was an intense research project where I collected tons of data, artifacts and observations of her in diverse learning situations. It was truly amazing how much I learned about who she is as a learner, what motivates her, what disengages her or turns her off, and what part she plays in that classroom community. I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know a student in a truly holistic sense and to learn about how richly that can inform my teaching practice. The second major project was the Integrative Analysis of Teaching in which I designed, taught, then analyzed and reflected on a lesson plan in all four of the main subject/content areas (Math, Literacy, Science, and Social Studies). This was a great experience to apply the type of pedagogy, practices and curriculum and instruction that we were learning.
Image obtained from: http://edorigami.edublogs.org/2008/08/16/21st-century-pedagogy/