Apprentice Teachers Reflect on their First Work Samples

As Apprentices work to complete and assess their work samples, we have returned to some foundational teaching principles.  First of all, careful forethought and planning are essential—especially in determining the central purpose of a unit of study.  After aims are carefully considered and lesson plans drafted, however, a thoughtful teacher makes many adjustments to these initial plans and ideas.  Careful “diagnostic teaching” and assessment mean that ideas must be revisited for particular students, while others find related questions and ideas to explore more deeply.  To make such adjustments, teacher reflection must be ongoing and ubiquitous.

After completing a study of time with his 2nd and 3rd graders, Apprentice Marc DeHart writes,

In the course of this work sample, I really enjoyed exploring the big ideas. The children proved to me (again) that my enthusiasm is contagious. When I got excited about the big ideas they came right along with me and conversely, if I seemed a little lost they drifted. I started out a little dubious about the idea of a whole unit based on asking, “What time is it?”  Even so, I was excited about the idea of “capturing” time. I think I successfully engaged the children with the same big ideas that finally got me excited about time.  They indicated this to me by reflecting on the big conceptual ideas in our post-assessment. They shared great thoughts with me like, “I learned that time can be found everywhere, affecting everything,” “Time is not just in clocks,” and, “Nothing could move anywhere without time.”