I am currently a single-subject credential candidate at Sonoma State University. I will receive my California state credential authorizing me to teach English Language Arts in May 2017. I have four years of classroom experience as an instructional aide in special education classrooms and as an extended school year teacher. In the last year, I have gained knowledge and practice of common core and English language development standards, curriculum and lesson planning experience. I also have two years of translating and interpreting experience both in the classroom and during Individual Education Plan meetings.
In order to teach successfully there must be an emphasis on equity from the curriculum and lesson planning process through instruction, assessment and reflection. To ensure equity in education the principles of universal design should be considered as a tool starting with the curriculum and lesson planning process. Every student has the ability to learn and every student must be given an opportunity to learn and demonstrate what they know. The learning process is different for every student, therefore scaffolding and accommodations must be incorporated in lesson plans and implemented during instruction. Not all students need the same resources to be successful but as a teacher I must ensure that every student receives the supports they need to be successful.
Further, creating a flexible learning environment that recognizes that each student brings with them specific "funds of knowledge" that will be instrumental to their learning is important to implement multiple ways to present content, engage students and allow students diverse ways to express what they know. The principles of universal design must guide lesson planning through a balanced, integrated and systematic approach (Rice, BIS Model). Creating balance between explicit and implicit instruction is important to ensure student understanding of the content but also for accountability (Ibid). I cannot expect my students to know or do something that has not been presented to them through explicit instruction. Additionally, during instruction students must be provided multiple opportunities to demonstrate what they know through integration of listening, speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking skills practice (Ibid). Further, curriculum must be presented with a systematic approach of simple-to-complex content and with an emphasis on most-frequent-to-less-frequent concepts (Ibid).
Aida Zepeda | Single Subject Credential Candidate | Sonoma State University