Standard #4: Content Knowledge
- The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
- Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
- Setting Instructional Outcomes
- Designing Coherent Instruction in the Area of Learning Activities
- Designing Coherent Instruction in the Area of Lesson and Unit Structure
What this standard means to me is that when I am teaching I need to remember what it was like to be a learner, so that when I make my lesson plans I am keeping in mind strategies that will help my students access content. I know that I know the content, but I need to know how to teach my students the content using academic language, and the right type of pedagogy, so that students understand the content. When planning the lesson I also need to keep in mind that I should have expected outcomes from my instruction, so I can create learning objectives for my lessons. By having learning objectives I can share with my students the reasoning behind what they are going to learn in the lesson provided on that objective. By doing this I am adding consistency throughout the lesson, learning activities, and unit structure being that I have objectives that rule how the lesson, learning activities, and unit structure are put together to meet the learning objectives. In the classroom that I am in right now I have seen how this works very effectively, due to the consistency throughout all of the learning process.
To take this concept a step further to keep the learner in mind, I would also incorporate reading and writing strategies in mind when creating the lesson plan to provide students strategies to reach the learning objective in a more effective way for them. For example, in the classroom that I am in right now 1st period is a pre-algebra class, when we start this class we put the learning objective on the board and the students walk in task is to write down what they think the lesson objective means. This measures reading wise if they understand what will be expected of them by the end of the lesson. then after the lesson is given, the students will write a written response to the learning objective in their own words, so that they can show what they learned through explaining what they did. This is a writing strategy that helps the student in my class express what they learned in their own words. This also allows for student voice to be heard when the teacher does notebook checks during the week to see if anyone is struggling with learning the learning objectives. This is another way to keep the learner in mind when giving instruction.
Overall, I will use my class as a whole to make sure that I am giving them the information that they need to succeed, whether that be through fancy lesson plans, or through using my knowledge about the students to make a lesson plan that is geared toward them in an inviting way that helps engage learners to my content. I will also keep in mind the strategies that helped me as a learner to help my students access those strategies, so that they too can be successful learners.
One way that I have really seen this shine through is my teacher does journals with all of her students, so that she knows what is going on in their lives, so that she can engage them on an emotional level to the content at hand. Something that I have learned from this is that you need to have that emotional connection with the students to make a lesson plan meaningful and have the students engaged. I also have learned that this is a valuable way to check for understanding with students where they do not feel judged by the whole class.
Thanks for reading!