We ask you to provide some writing that will give us a sense of your personal dispositions toward teaching and professional development. The requested writing consists of three parts:
PART 1 (MAXIMUM 250 WORDS):
Write a story of a particular experience that you have had while working with children or youth. Choose an experience that brought about or illustrates pedagogical sensitivity and an appreciation of the needs and interests of others. In this part, please describe the following:
Context: the setting, the learner or learners, what they were doing, your usual role working with this group (and anything else that you think is important to frame your experience) and
Events: what was said, what was done, what happened in that particular experience
PART 2 (MAXIMUM 250 WORDS):
Reflect on that particular experience and tell us what it means to you and how it has changed or shifted your sense of teaching and learning.
PART 3 (MAXIMUM 100 WORDS):
What critical questions and areas of further learning stand out after the experience?
These three separate parts will be read together to get a sense of your dispositions toward teaching. The particular dispositions that we try to be sensitive to in our reading are:
• Pedagogical sensitivity: the consideration of what is right, appropriate and tactful to do with particular learners in particular situation.
• Reflective capacity: the ability to reflect on and explore the significance of teaching situations and events.
• Other directedness: recognizing the differences between children and ourselves and sincerely respecting these differences. This 'other directedness' also applies in how we work with colleagues and parents, how our ways of being are rooted in an awareness of the community nature of teaching and learning and in not placing our needs and perspectives above the needs of all these others.
• Critical mindedness: the practice of never being content, nor fully satisfied, and certainly never complacent with teaching children or our ideas about teaching.
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I have had the opportunity to teach a general education classroom, which also had a few students with IEPs. One of the assignments was to write a story of their choice, detailed with the descriptive adjectives. There was one particular student who has consistently repeated to me that he was going to be an amazing author one day. However, when it came to writing on paper, he had experienced difficulties in writing, spelling, with handwriting, and details. His stories would consist of two to three illegible sentences. What came to as a surprise, when he was asked to read the...
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