The Fichera-Lening Portfolio
Professional Development Plan
As an Interpreter Educator I can improve through student surveys and as an intent driven planner. I feel I can make these improvements not only through experience and following the advice of mentor teachers, but also through participation in curriculum workshops. Workshops can be found with The Conference of Interpreter Trainers and through using EdWeb.net to further myself as an interpreter trainer. I can further improve myself by going to the 2016 CIT conference in Kentucky and eventually working toward a PhD. While doing these things I will be able to track my improvement by consulting with a mentor or peer, and continuing to pre/post-test students on learning outcomes to course objectives.
As an interpreter educator/student teacher I am motivated by diverse communities of knowledge within my classroom; and the resulting process of discovery that cultivates exciting concepts. Collaborating with others aids in my inspiration to continue professional research and encourage others to do the same. I aspire to keep open lines of communication with the master instructor and the students, while staying respectful of individual differences. In seeking to expand knowledge with “life-wide… and life deep” application, students will develop a deep thirst for conceptual application and a continual search for personal truth and perspective (Merriam & Bierema (2014, Chapter 1, Section 3, para 13).
My classroom is developed around a balance of several theoretical learning philosophies, including social constructivism, contextualization, and situative practice. Each of these philosophies aid in the permanence of knowledge through social interaction and interconnectedness within “brave spaces” of learning communities (Arao, & Clemens, 2013, p. 141). In a short, consider your source.
In using DC-S supervisions students gain perspective of real world situations as well as develop critical thinking skills, and situative practices with peers. I can create an emersion interpreting environments based around available classroom technologies. Ivy (2013) said there are “many psychological, social, and cognitive benefits from … humor in college classes...
include improved mental and physical health, alleviation of negative emotions, enhanced student self-perception… improved classroom morale, better relationships between students and professors, reduced tension, … relaxed atmosphere… increased interest, attention, better problem-solving skills, and creativity” (p. 55-56).
I most enjoy developing student learning through laughter and continually seek ways to do this.
Students are accountable to their own educational journey, and like their instructors, the exploration is never complete. Students develop learning communities and enhance their interpersonal relationships by respectfully considering peer perspectives by permitting the conversation to stay safe within the context of the class, allowing the broadening of their own horizons and bring their own ideas for the course to the forefront. Through these classroom interactions I can continually measure student growth and creating a stronger learning community.
I know the lessons’ designs are effective when students can easily discuss big ideas, while linguistically playing with materials and reflecting on the body of information. Onlookers can see the effectiveness of my teaching methodology by observing students’ balance. “A proper balance leads to wellness and effective work” (Dean, & Pollard, 2013, p. 71). I believe occasional traditional testing methods are a necessity. However, with unconventional assessments such as reflections, art projects and team testing I can relieve students of the uncomfortable routine of standardized testing.
I self-evaluate my teaching by initiating student support with feedback as to what techniques they feel best support their learning. Additionally, by reflecting on how well students add the information to their current structure. My self-evaluation informs my future practices by empowering me professionally to adopt my preferred techniques to student needs. I will continue to develop professionally through maintaining an informed practice and resolving to research within the field. Research connects me to community professionals and contributes to current issues that are directly related to student needs.
Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From safe spaces to brave spaces. The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators, 135-150.
Dean, R. K. & Pollard, R.Q. (2013). The demand control schema: Interpreting as a practice profession. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Ivy, L. L. (2013). Using Humor in the Classroom. Education Digest, 79(2), 54-57.
Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult learning linking theory and practice. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
As I consider the student teaching experience I feel as though it was rushed and not as methodical as my usual work. This may have occurred due to ill preparation of syllabus materials or the multiple deaths and subsequent funerals of my immediate family, working full time and my own pressures pertaining to my thesis. I enjoyed the students and I found the small problems and issues that others experienced did not pertain to me. I started as I meant to go on, and with that attitude established I continually referred students to the syllabus for my expectations.
I feel I could have provided more, or better, feedback for this senior class. I provided a consistent grading rubric from the NCIEC so students would know where they rate with their interpreting presence (Novice, Emerging, Strong, and Mature) and strive for improvement. Though I would have liked to have had a second opinion in the grading process. Students were held to their own standards and not compared to the cohort when being graded by the interpretation rubric. Hand written quizzes were standardized. I feel that the third section of the quizzes (what one student called a “mystery section”) was most beneficial to their understanding. These typically demanded a recall of the reviewed laws, or applicable codified literature.
Overall this was a learning experience, as it was meant to be. I know not to overwhelm myself with videos to grade and to come into a course with direction but a plan of flexibility as well. I also recognize that no matter the age of the individual- everyone has their own skills with technology. Whereas students were tech savvy, some of their skills only pertained to apps and not necessarily how to research their professional needs. So teaching this course meant directing students to professional tools online as well as their professional development toolbox.