Professional

Lesley Heerwagen

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I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. I graduated from Texas Christian University in May 2005 with a BBA in Finance and Accounting. I’ve been married for ten years and we moved to Seattle in 2008 to start a new life. I worked in the finance industry until June 2012 when I decided to change careers. This happened to coincide with my first (and so far only) vacation to Europe, which I loved immensely. I hope to go back again soon. My husband and I also have a 3-year-old daughter.

Interest and Experience in Education

I’ve been interested in education since I attended college and had to decide whether to study accounting or math. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a math teacher, so I chose accounting and eventually added a double major in finance. After being in the business world for a few years, I decided to change careers. I volunteered with a 3rd grade classroom at a local elementary school in Seattle. I helped the teacher prepare for the semester and was there with the kids two full days a week from September until December. I grew to know each of the kids’ personalities and enjoyed seeing them learn. This inspired me to go back to school to further my own education and learn how to be a teacher. I am currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Seattle Pacific University with an endorsement in Elementary Education. My current grade level preference is 3rd or 4th grade, but I’d be open to other grades. At some point in the future I may decide I want to teach middle school math since I was always good at math. I’m looking forward to being a positive influence on children.

Purpose of This Portfolio

Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval criteria shown in WAC 181-78A-270. Program standards include criteria (e.g. 1.), elements (e.g. 1.1), and examples. Any level of the program standard is appropriate for reflection, feedback, or evaluation.

1. ExpectationsThe teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.

1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy – E.g. Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.

1.2 Communicating with Students – Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.

1.3 Engaging Students in Learning – The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.

2. InstructionThe teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.

2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques – Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.

2.2 Engaging Students in Learning – Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.

2.3 Reflecting on Teaching – Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.

3. Differentiation The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.

3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students – Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.

3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments – Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.

3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students – Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.

4. Content KnowledgeThe teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.

4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy – Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.

4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes – All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.

4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities – All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.

4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure – The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.

5. Learning Environment The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.

5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport – Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.

5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions – Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.

5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Noninstructional Duties – Efficient systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.

5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations – Standards of conduct are clear to all students.

5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring – Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.

6. Assessment The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.

6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards – Assessment criteria and standards are clear.

6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment – Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.

6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning – Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.

6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students – Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.

7. Families and Community The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.

7.1 Communicating with Families – Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.

8. Professional Practice The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.

8.1 Participating in a Professional Community – Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.

8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally – Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.

Elements of a Model Entry

There are different formats for writing portfolio entries. However, responding to writing prompts 1-6 increases the likelihood of writing a quality entry, that attends to current and desired performance on professional knowledge and skills, and impact on K-12 student learning.

1. Citation of the program standard (one standard from HOPE principles) along with an interpretation of what the standard means.

2. Presentation of evidence with description. The description includes context and related research or theory associated with the creation of the evidence.

3. Justification of how the evidence demonstrates competence, or emerging competence, on the program standard.

4. Summary of what was learned as a result of creating the evidence or having the experience.

5. Comment on the implications for student learning.

6. Propose specific changes or next steps to increase effectiveness in the area under examination.

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