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Julie Ortega

Instructor Folden
April 7, 2019
Reflection Paper

This semester, I was granted with the opportunity to expand my experience as a student

observer. As a future educator, you comprehend that a student’s education is a lifelong journey,

and it is your responsibility to create an impactful learning environment for each student that

comes along. Various things that I took away from my observations were; the importance of

behavioral management, the significance of incorporating diversity, and the impact of utilizing

positive affirmations.

My sixteen hours of student observations where obtained at D.C. Cannon Elementary

which is located in my hometown, Quinlan, Texas. I had the honor of observing Mrs. Markham’s

first grade class. Mrs. Markham has taught overseas and in the United States for the past

seventeen years. She has created an exciting beneficial environment so her students can come to

school and learn. On my first day of observations, within the first five minutes of observing the

class, I learned that to be an effective teacher you must have control of behavioral management.

Mrs. Markham utilizes ClassDojo as her method of incorporating behavioral management with

her students and to communicate with their parents. Throughout the day I found ClassDojo to be

very effective because it notified the students when they would get off task or congratulate them

for staying on task. I enjoyed watching Mrs. Markham use ClassDojo because it helped maintain

her classroom in order and the students focused on their assignments. By watching her utilize

ClassDojo, it demonstrated the significance of how to keep the students focused and the

classroom moving forwards, which is why I plan to incorporate ClassDojo in my future

classroom as a source of behavioral management.

Another valuable experience I learned was the significance of incorporating diversity in a

classroom. Mrs. Markham taught me to expect the unexpected as a teacher. Her classroom
Julie Ortega
Instructor Folden
April 7, 2019
included various ESL students and she made sure to create lesson plans that would be effective

for them as well as the other students. Each student learns differently, so Mrs. Markham had

multiple methods to accommodate their needs. An example was, during their science block the

students were learning about the animal food chain. Mrs. Markham began reading a short story

to her students, but she noticed various ESL students gave her a puzzled look. When she asked

the class if they understood the lesson and only a few nodded their heads, she then resorted to

accommodating a visual learning style within the lesson. This method allowed her to show her

students a video about the animal food chain, which created clarity for the ESL students to begin

working on their assignments. Additionally, Mrs. Markham had educational graphic posters and

anchor charts in Spanish that would help her students clarify any questions they might encounter

during class.

Also, I learned that Mrs. Markham believes in the power of using positive affirmations to

build her students up instead of rewarding them with toys and treats. Each morning as her

students walked through her door, she greeted them with a compliment and a high-five. As I

watched her perform this routine, I saw the students faces light up and a smile form from cheek

to cheek. I admired the uniqueness she created with the complements and her kind heart as an

educator for building her students up in a beneficial manner.

I loved my experience as a student observer. I enjoyed being around the students and

watching their minds flow with knowledge. Most importantly, I loved that as a teacher you are a

lifelong learner alongside each one of your students in your class. By concluding my

observations, I learned the importance of behavioral management, how to include and embrace

diversity within a classroom, and the power an affirmation holds. I am excited to be a teacher

and put to use all the resourceful knowledge I learned from observing Mrs. Markham.