Language Arts Standard 2
All teachers should model effective reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills during their direct and indirect instructional activities. The most important communicator in the classroom is the teacher, who should model English language arts skills.
Letter of Introduction
My artifact is a letter of introduction that was distributed to my students at the beginning of my Fall placement at Urbana High School in 2010. While I passed it out, I explained my presence in the classroom and my goals I hope to accomplish this semester. The bottom half of the letter includes a section from my students to tear off and return to me filled out with their own information. As the students were filling it out, they were given the opportunity to ask me questions.
Since the cooperating teacher and students have already had an entire semester to get to know each other, the letter gave me a chance to catch up and let the students get to know me a little better before I become a bigger presence in the classroom. In my letter, I wanted to demonstrate clear and effective communication skills with not only goals for the class, but having an affable presence and sharing some things about myself. By including a section for students to tell me a little about themselves, they not only have the opportunity to share something but can show me their level of literacy skills. I also included questions related to math and how they learn math best so that I can gauge how the class feels about learning mathematics. By allowing time for questions, I am also demonstrating my speaking and listening skills while establishing myself as a teacher that values communication and openness.
For all teachers, it is important to demonstrate proper literacy and communication skills and present myself as a professional, as well as developing a relationship with the students. This sets a good example for norms in class in terms of communication and developing an open, honest classroom culture. In my math class, there will be numerous activities that require these important literacy skills, and it is my goal to have not only myself but my students to effectively convey mathematical knowledge through these various facets of literacy.