Performance and Skills: Uses effective verbal, non-verbal and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the learning area.
I feel that this outcome reflects one of my strengths as an educator. I have the ability to relay information to my students in way that allows them to understand and learn the material. I have a very strong and clear voice when I teach. I constantly try to make analogies and place value on the material to encourage students to know why they need to know what is being taught. A teachers ability to communicate is often the difference in a students ability to understand. Successful teachers have the ability to relate the material to students lives, make analogies for better understanding, and process students verbal and nonverbal language in order to monitor their progress and level of understanding. Some teachers are organized and plan out every minute of the lesson. While planning is important, the ability to allow the students to control the path of the lesson is a craft that requires experience and a willingness to process vital feedback. A controlled, open-line of communication, between the teacher and the student, is necessary to in a science classroom setting. There are many ideas and thoughts that need to be shared and transmitted from student to teacher in order to understand important concepts. If a teacher is going to use an inquiry based style of teaching then this outcome must be mastered. Inquiry without communication is like a hot air balloon with a gaping hole in it. (It may get you off the ground, but it won't take you to the clouds.)
With regard to Communication: The candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication technologies.
See course syllabi, individual course products, and curriculum alignment maps for specific Alabama State Department of Education standards (knowledge and ability standards related to this curriculum area).
The link below is a project I completed in EHS 615. This project shows my ability to monitor what my students know. There are a few quick methods and strategies that can be employed to monitor student levels of understanding. Teaching is an ebb and flow of teaching topics, doing activities that support these topics, and reviewing the concepts learned. My ability to monitor what my students know can be see by analysis of my student knowledge, as well as my analysis of my analysis. (I know, only in Dr. Meadows class would you be required to analyze your analysis. Furthermore, I learned not only how to analyze my students level of knowledge, I also learned how to use this information to guide future instruction.
The next link is a video of me teaching my first futile attempt to base my lesson around inquiry. I am not proud at all of what is on this video. However, I am proud of my ability to work and incorporate this model of teaching into my lessons despite the skepticism, reservations, and lack of confidence I had, in not only my ability to do this but, also in the lack of value I thought it might have in my class. What I discovered was that there is an enormous amount of experience that needs to be gained before you can successfully teach by using inquiry as the primary model. Teachers must train their students how to interact, what roles they must play, and the benefits they will gain by participating. There is a lot of chatter in the background primarily because my students were not used to being in groups and did not know how to handle the change. I am proud to say that my classroom next year is not going to have a single desk. Instead, I am going to use tables in order to incorporate more inquiry in my style of teaching. I have made tremendous strides from what you are about to witness in my ability to teach an inquiry based lesson. Enjoy!