Teachers must be professionals both in and out of the classroom. The field of education requires educators that maintain professional demeanor, live an ethical life, and work together with faculty, staff, and administration. As teachers we strive to educate life-long learners. At the same time, we must never stop learning ourselves. Professional development is a necessary aspect of becoming a successful teacher. It is important to seek out and implement new knowledge, skills, and methods that will improve our instruction.

Professional Dispositions
  1. Collaborate with members of the school community
  2. Reflect actively and continuously upon my professional practice
  3. Meeting professional expectations and positively influencing others

1. Collaborate with members of the school community
Being a successful teacher goes beyond success in the classroom. As a teacher I am part of the larger school community which is made up of faculty, staff, and administrators. I have learned never to burn any bridges. In fact, some of the most beneficial relationships to have in a school are with janitorial staff, secretaries, and security. Within my own department I attend all meetings and functions, and work collaboratively. Spending time in the shared social studies lounge has shown me that a strong department is created by departmental relationships and sharing. Whenever possible I try and share lessons, activities, or research that worked well or might work for someone else. Sharing with colleagues always yields benefits, especially in regards to prepared lessons and innovative ideas in teaching. During a concept formation lesson on absolutism I began with a picture analysis of a paining of Louis XIV. To enhance the image I brought in a document camera from the William and Mary School of Education's Learning Resource Center. Few teachers in my school were familiar with a document camera, so I invited the department head and other teachers to come in and watch my lesson, and then showed several others how to use it during my planning period.

Artifact: Conceptlessonplanwnukowski2-1.pdf

2. Reflect actively and continuously upon my professional practice

Whenever teaching a lesson for the first time I keep my lesson plan in front of me. It directs my instruction and assists with the pacing of my activities. If one procedure goes over time, or under the estimated time, I can look at my lesson plan and decide where to add or subtract activity length. My lessons are full of notes, cross-outs, and suggestions for the next time I teach in order to modify the lesson and make it better.


As a professional I understand that successful lessons and activities can be successful for a number of reasons while being inadequate for others. A lesson that is interesting, engaging, or motivating for students may have lacked necessary content or pacing. To assess my own teaching I reflect on lessons and unit plans in a more formal way, by scoring them based on Powerful and Authentic Social Studies (PASS) standards.


3. Meeting professional expectations and professionally influencing others
Being a teacher means being a professional. Each day I enter the building dressed for success with a smile on my face, excited and happy to be at Phoebus High School. As a professional I recognize that my demeanor, attitude, behavior, and relationships with students and staff are reflections of Phoebus High School, my Cooperating Teacher, and of William and Mary. I ensure that each and every day I am meeting the expectations set by my supervisor and School of Education. I follow all school rules and procedures for dealing with student behavior, contacting parents, and collaborating with colleagues. During my planning period I volunteer my time to assist the Deans with Hall Sweeps and write tardy slips for students. Furthermore, I understand that teaching is not a "clock in" "clock out" job. I arrive early to set up for the days lesson and stay after the bell has rung to meet with students, tutor those that need assistance, and listen to anyone who needs to speak with me.

Teachers are more than just educators, they are role models as well. In and out of the classroom I remember that I am a role model to my students as well as to my colleagues. Whenever I bring in new technology I am sure to share it with others. As a student teacher I enjoyed taking risks with activities and lessons. Whenever something worked, or I came up with an original idea I was sure to share it with my colleagues and inspire them to take similar risks to help their students learn.

Smith Recommendation.pdf