Self Assessment using the Waldorf Teacher Expectations
1. Teacher’s use of art as meaning-making for the students
The only art I produced during this internship was some chalkboard drawings to support the stories the children heard. I drew Johnny Appleseed, John Henry, and Harriet Tubman. In the pictures I attempted to invoke a specific mood. I think I accomplished this, but it’s a task that I find difficult. There is great room for improvement in this, but I’ll keep on trying!
2. The sense of aesthetics in the environment and in the carriage of the teacher
3. Teacher’s diction and use of speech
I don’t shy away from utilizing complicated words in my speech. I could use some more practice in my descriptive language, it is something that has been trained out of me. I tend towards language that is short, succinct, and to the point. Descriptive language feels florid to me, and I’m still searching for that happy balance. If I’m paying attention to my speech, my diction is good…but it will get sloppy in my excitement. I also have a very “big” voice. Sometimes it can be overpowering in its strength. I know I forget how loud I can be, it is something I am consciously working on.
4. The teachers memorization of verses, songs, activities
I need to work on this. For as amazing as my memory for random minutiae can be, my memory is deplorable when trying to memorize verses! By the end of the four weeks I still hadn’t fully memorized the morning verse. Songs are easier for me, but I’ll still struggle with the longer songs, like all four verses of “America the Beautiful” or “What did Della Wear O?” That being said, I did memorize the song I taught and I learned that I have to learn it twice. Once as a whole piece, and a second time broken up for teaching. I got lost trying to teach the John Henry Song, but I had it cold when I sang it as a whole piece. That was a very disconcerting and embarrassing experience, which I shall strive to never repeat.
5. Teacher-developed Main Lessons, individual student verses, art
I wrote a single dictation for this class. I feel that it was at an appropriate level for this class. Writing something with an academic voice is easy for me. Asking me to write a poem? That would be much more difficult. My work in the drawing is developing. I am very new to drawing, I have to keep reminding myself that I am a beginner and that I am improving. I tried very hard to create good chalkboard drawings and did not hesitate to ask for help if I couldn’t figure out how to do what I pictured in my mind.
6. The teacher’s use of inner work in relationship to his/her vocation
Yea, yea, inner work. What’s that? To be honest, this area is a struggle for me. Well, more specifically, finding the time to spend on my inner work is my struggle. This four week window was a very crushing physical experience. The early morning and the long commute each way contributed to my physical exhaustion. Getting sick on top of it didn’t help either. I would go to bed, start the Ruckshau and pass out before I got to eating dinner. I did, however, manage to picture the class in my mind before sleep. So at least there was that.
7. The teachers authentic engagement with the students
I feel I did this quite well. It did help that one of the students in this class is a former student of mine from another school which helped. But I feel that by the end of my experience I was making good connections with the children. I miss them. It actually hurt to not go back after the Easter Break.
8. The teacher’s process for watching student acquisition of critical thinking skills.
I don’t have a process…yet. I will have to work on creating one!
9. The teacher’s sense of gratitude, awe and positivity.
I hope I made this evident to not only Ms. R but the class. I am still incredibly grateful for the experience I was given, I learned so much from everyone and it strengthened my love of this work.
10. The teachers engagement with other adults as partners in creating the community of learning
I tried to spend my time observing what was happening around me. Taking in what actually happens in a Waldorf School. That being said, I did reach out to several members of the community besides Ms. R for help. Whether it was advice on drawing, or questions on reading materials, or just instruction on how to do something, I tried not to shut myself off members of the community.