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ACTION RESEARCH REFLECTION 1

The action-research report was quite the epiphany. I believe that this requirement of the

practicum was most beneficial for both me and my students. I learned to see myself as the

impetus of change. I stopped looked at what my students were not doing and concentrated on

what they could do well. I took what they were doing well and used it in my teaching practice.

This has allowed me to capitalize on student strengths, thereby maximizing my successes. As my

students saw me with an invested interest in their improvement, they began to believe in their

own abilities and put forth even more effort to improve their overall academic performance.

The action research project also helped me to become more proactive. I learned to tackle

problems head-on by developing a plan of action rather than solely lamenting over the factors

that I am not able to change. I was able to identify the source of the problem by looking up

reputable sources and the research that informs us about the contributing factors. Based on my

research, I could then formulate a tailor-made plan with my students in mind. In so doing, I

learned that it is important to know your audience. I could not make assumptions about how my

students learned best from observations alone. I was able to find out important information that

informed my teaching practices only after asking the students who I taught how they ​liked ​to

learn. The key difference was student autonomy. When I assessed the way that students liked to

learn rather than modeling their activities after the ways they were simply ​able t​ o learn, I

captivated their interest and thereby motivated them to want to learn the material. This is what
ACTION RESEARCH REFLECTION 2

truly effected noticeable change at the end of that two-week period. Students saw that as an

educator I valued their opinions, since they were the very ones that I so desperately needed to

reach. They saw my attempts as humane, and it endeared them to me. ​If I know her and if she

cares for, it’s hard to disappoint her.

The research I engaged in for the practicum’s action research project further helped me to

understand how to stimulate the minds of students who were detached from the

language-learning experience. I was able to make the task more relatable, the information more

practical after knowing who it was I was teaching. The rapport built after telling my students,

“I’m on a mission to help you. We’re going to improve grades, and I want you to help me to be a

better teacher,” is long-lasting. I no longer dread the students in the class that I focused on

because doing the research to help them caused me to really ​know ​them, and there is absolutely

nothing more fulfilling than seeing a return-on-investment with your students. The research that I

delved into will inform my teaching practices for much longer than two weeks.

The research that I did in the practicum for the action research project and the results of

my action plan changed the way that I think about “assessments”. In the past, my definition of a

summative assessment could not be separated from something typed on paper, something on a

computer screen or in some other electronic form. I thought of the questions on tests as either

multiple choice, true or false, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer. After considering student
ACTION RESEARCH REFLECTION 3

learning styles and the definition of a test, I began to change the way I thought about unit

assessments. In my classrooms, I am assessing students as they go along. Thus, I am considering

overall need. As the mediator in the classroom, I now believe in live assessments that give me

real-time feedback. The last summative assessment I gave was a weather forecast project, and

my students received a rubric that concentrated on their communicative competence and

presentation skills. Assessments like this are more in harmony with the standards, which require

that the students progress level by level in production and reception. It is also much easier to

differentiate with students on an individual level when my students have to demonstrate

communicative competence by engaging in conversations or presentations than it would be to

alter a handwritten or electronic test. I require less or more depending on student ability. After

gauging that my students are at a certain level and able to handle a certain amount of

responsibility, I have resolved to prepare them for Spanish II by giving them activities and

summative assessments that help them to develop practical linguistic abilities that can be useful

to them with native speakers in their communities.