Expectations Need to be Communicated

Standard 1

Expectations: The teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.

  • Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy.
  • Communicating with students.
  • Engaging students in learning.

To me this standard is stating that there needs to be expectations for students to really put out to your students so you both are on the same page.

One way of presenting this information is through being a warm demander.This concept is more thoroughly discussed in the article The Teacher as Warm Demander by Elizabeth  Bondy and Dorene D. Ross. In the article in states that “Becoming a warm demander begins with establishing a caring relationship that convinces students that you believe in them” (Bondy & Ross). Creating this relationship with the students then opens up the conversation about what you expect of your students. Bondy and Ross also mention in their article a recent study of three teachers who communicated one message three different ways for the best way of communicating to their students (Bondy, 2007).

This form of communicating your expectations really sets the stage for giving expectations, and communicating to students in the best way for their students to understand what is to be expected.

My biggest take-away from the article and standard is that you must communicate your expectations after a relationship is built so that you can communicate to the students in the best way that they understand. This also helps students learn in a controlled environment where there are expectations put into place.

The next step I would take this to is having students set the expectations so they are setting their own goals for themselves. That way the students are holding themselves to their own standards.


Thanks for reading!



Standard 3: Differentiation

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

  • Demonstrating knowledge of students.
  • Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness in lesson adjustments.
  • Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness in support to students.

To me this standard means that we as teachers need to keep in mind that all of our students come with different educational needs that are based on what the student needs specifically.

Reading Subjects Matter, Second Edition: Exceeding Standards through Powerful Content-Area Reading by Daniels and Zemelman I have learned that:

  • Before reading draws on prior experience and the knowledge that he student already has. (Daniels and Zemelman 88)
  • During reading teachers question students to see where the lesson will go. (Daniels and Zemelman 88)
  • After reading teachers have students share new ideas they have learned. (Daniels and Zemelman 89)

By instructing individuals in such a way it helps build the program standard of differentiation because it uses student information to progress forward using student feedback and knowledge  to move the lesson in the way the students can have a lesson based off of their needs.

What this standard teaches me is that if you listen to where the students are at you can meet them at their level to help them reach the information. This can be even done through giving information through many different formats. For example, if you are teaching via read alouds and your students are not getting what you are trying to teach them, then you might try presenting the information through readers theater instead.

Teaching students with differentiation helps students learn, and gives more student the opportunity to learn.

Not to mention I have seen how successful this has been in my student teaching classroom as I work with each student on their individual needs. For example, one student I am working with was told in elementary school that he would never be able to read, knowing how that feels I felt for this student because I too was told that I would never be able to read. His one goal for the year was to have all of his sight words memorized. Therefore, each week we have been working on his sight words with using audio-books so that he can hear and see what the word looks like so that he will eventually master all of the sight words. He went from not knowing any sight words to now knowing a little over 20, and just by listening to his voice we were able to make that big of a stride.

I think another part that can be added to this is making sure that you are using strategies that are research based and collecting data as you use them to see if they are working or not. Collecting data to me is very important with this subject because I want to make sure that my students are getting all of their needs met, and I want to make sure I am working on the right things with my students for example I cannot go from sight words to novels it is a step-by-step process.


Another Year & More Standards

Walking into my senior year of college at Seattle Pacific University what do us teachers get…new standards…what a shock. These standards differ from the HOPE standards that I have previously involved with this blog. The standards are as follows for future reference:

Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards derived from RCW 28A.405.100, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval standards 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. Instruction – The 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 Knowledge – The 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.

It Has Been A Year

Well, after a year of not being on this blog I have grown quite a bit. Over the last year I worked with Insight School of Washington, and learned the complexities that come with teaching online. I learned that I really have a passion for working with students in the jail setting. I think that I can really reach these students on a whole new level. I also think I am very interested in working in hospital settings as well because of my experiences with Insight School of Washington. Insight really showed me my passion for working in alternative teaching settings. I do not think many people know how many students are missing out on an education that they deserve to get. I think that we need to have more teachers enter the field in these alternative settings, however, it takes someone with a real passion to reach these students. Over the past year I have realized how much students need teachers like me in their alternative settings. I hope to close this next year closer to my goal of being an alternative setting teacher.

Social Skills in High School

Not many people would say that social skills at the high school level are important, however, I think that they are imperative in a classroom with students with special needs. I am in no way saying that every student with special needs do not have social skills, but what I will say is that for most of the students with special needs social skills do need improvement, and that is not a bad thing, we all have things that we need to work on. Not to mention this is a very important skill to have, even with students without special needs it can be a struggle.

In my classroom I am going to have set aside time for social skills because they are so important to build on. Social skills help people with their future and as a high school teacher I will be preparing students for their future, so why not give them a tool that they can use to better their future? Three really important social skills that I really want to focus on  with students are:

  1. Asking for help.
  2. Expressing, managing, and handling how you feel.
  3. Standing up for yourself.

I want to focus on these social skills because they all will be extremely beneficial to the students as they go on to do things in life no matter what they do. I choose asking for help because it is something that everyone that I know struggles with it, but everyone needs to know that it is okay to ask for help and that it will help them in the long run. I choose expressing, managing, and handling how you feel because emotions are very tricky to work and deal with and this skill can help students handle their emotions better and in a more positive way. Finally I choose standing up for yourself because they have to. These students have to stick up for themselves especially when it comes to people treating them poorly, or if they are not getting something that they need. I think social skills like these would be very helpful at the high school level for these reasons.

Thank you for reading!

Hannah Hawley

Students have a Place in the World

H5 was the hardest principle for me to observe at this school. As someone who wants to start a college for special needs students, and believes that children with special needs have a place in this world, this was probably the saddest class for me to watch. I think that every student has a place and a role in this world and it is not okay in my opinion to think that students will never achieve anything, which is the message that is currently being sent to the students with special needs at Ballard High School.

Some of the experiences that I faced while volunteering where very upsetting to me. The very first day I was there a teacher was trying to talk a student out of taking the required state testing because the teacher thought that the student would not pass it, then later on that day another student was talked out of (not only by the teachers, but also by his mom) taking the GED exam so that he could graduate early and get started on building his future. I also had the chance to have a lot of one-on-one conversations with the teacher of the students with special needs throughout my time at Ballard High School, and they even stated that they believed that their students would never contribute anything to the world.

In my future classroom I do not think that honoring that students have something to give to the world because it is what I am basing my teaching off of. I like to think of students as professionals because these men and women are the world’s future. So why not encourage them and tell them that they have a role to play in the world because they do and it is a strong one. The more students with special needs entering the workforce the more that the stereotypes of who and what people with special needs are disappear and start to look at them as able bodied human. Not to mention, isn’t teaching preparing students to go into life and live the way that they want to live? So why would we need special education teachers if they were to not honor that students have a place in this world? So, in my opinion this may be the most important H principle because it drives students and leads them to success in life.

Thank you for reading!

Hannah Hawley

Ballard High School

Family and Community Involvement in Learning

H4 was really hard for me in my experience with Ballard High School. Most of the students that I worked with came from families that did not care about them or their education. There was even one parent who did not want her child to succeed. However, the teachers did tell us that they have tried very hard to get parents involved with the student when it came to learning and education, but none of the parents wanted to help their child. And I was actually expecting that when walking into this learning experience. Then the community that these students live in does not help them when it comes to education, if anything it hinders them, with a good amount of students abusing alcohol or drugs it is not a place that helps these students learn.

However if this was the community that I was teaching in I would use this community to my advantage. With family not being involved I would make the classroom the home for these students providing them help and helping them understand that they are loved and that they are worth so much more than a prison cell or something to be forgotten. I would show these students how they could help their community with having them do community service around the city and asking others if they need help with anything. I would also use this community to talk about the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol and the side effects that come with using drugs. This is something that I wish more teachers would take advantage of.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah Hawley