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In the most recent edition of Teaching Today, TeacherReady® teacher Kelly Vollmer (October 2012) reflects on her TeacherReady experience leading to professional teaching certification. Below, Ms. Vollmer shares about how one of TeacherReady’s evidence-based teaching strategy, scaffolding instruction, helped to improve student learning and student ownership.
I enrolled in TeacherReady to earn my English 6-12 certification while I was working as an adjunct instructor at a community college, and the lessons I learned through the program immediately improved the quality of my instruction. The most significant change I saw came with the implementation of scaffolding and formative assessment into my lesson planning… I found myself struggling to address the broad range of abilities, interests, and responsibilities (or lack thereof) I was encountering from my students.
How did scaffolding instruction improve student learning?
Teaching them skills in smaller pieces allowed them to focus their attention on developing each smaller step and to build upon them confidently.
By the time my students had to write an essay in my class, they no longer looked at the assignment as an overwhelming task for which they may or may not have the prerequisite skills. Instead, they saw the essay as a series of smaller assignments they could piece together with confidence.
Implementing scaffolding and formative assessment made a world of a difference, and many of my best students were those who had entered my class with the least developed skill sets.
Ms. Vollmer went on to share that although TeacherReady “definitely helped [her] improve as a college instructor… [she] enrolled in the program… to teach at the secondary level.” Here’s more in her words:
I am thrilled that this fall I will begin my first year as a high school English teacher. As I prepare for the upcoming school year, I am making sure to review important lessons on the first day of school and classroom managements, as I know these will be essential to a successful year. I am also working to develop lesson plans well in advance, and I am excited that, since I will be teaching AP Literature and my mentor teacher taught AP Literature, I will be able to use many of the lesson plans I wrote for TeacherReady assignments for my class. While I know that this first year will be a learning experience for me, I also enter it confident that TeacherReady equipped me the skills I need to make it a success.
TeacherReady® is a state approved online alternative certification program and is the Educator Preparation Institute of the NCATE accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida. Upon completion of TeacherReady, individuals earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida. Those who can, do teach and TeacherReady® is one option that affords aspiring teachers a path to professional certification.
The teaching profession benefits from experienced professionals choosing to teach. More importantly, students in K-12 benefit. We hope that you connect with Ms. Vollmer’s experience and that teaching becomes an “option” for you and other individuals who may have never considered it before.
Many, many thanks to Ms. Kelly Vollmer for sharing her experience with readers of Teaching Today and What’s Right. We thank her for choosing to teach and broadening the academic experiences of her students.
TeacherReady® is state approved online alternative certification program and is the Educator Preparation Institute of the NCATE accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida. Upon completion of TeacherReady, individuals earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida. Visit the TeacherReady website or connect with them on Facebook for more information. Ms. Michelle Keller is the program associate at TeacherReady® and assists individuals with questions about the program and application process. Please contact her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (850.432.7051) for more information about enrolling in TeacherReady®.
Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.