Neha Arora's Teaching Portfolio

Biography

Image representing Neha Arora

Welcome to my teaching portfolio. This portfolio is a compilation of artifacts that I have collected because they are meaningful to me as a future educator.

To contact me:

Philosophy of Education

Teaching is like going on a road trip. Before you start on the road trip and get into the car, there is a end destination you have in mind, according to which you plan your journey. Similar to which, the teacher at the beginning of year must think about what route is best to reach the destination on time, safely and effectively. It is not only the end destination which matters, but it is the stops made on the way and then learning experiences which students have on the way. The driver must make sure all the suitcases and bags fit properly in the car. Every piece of luggage contains different items. Similarly, in a classroom no two students are alike. Right from the start, the teacher should be aware that there will be a need to differentiate learning and make the classroom a diverse environment. 

Once everyone is seated in the car, the driver should make sure that everyone has enough space and they are wearing seat belts so they are safe. This is similar to the way in which students are given their personal space and they need to feel safe right from the first day of school. They need to trust that the teacher has their best interest at heart. The classroom environment should be an inclusive environment in which there is room for everyone. It is good to have an actual map or GPS system on hand to guide you towards the main destination. The route being taken does not have to be rigid and it can be altered based on the others in the car. Similar to a classroom, in which the teacher has curriculum documents as a basic guide, but talking to the students and teaching the objectives by considering the interests of the students can make the journey more interesting.

There is sometimes a need to make rest stops. Everyone needs a chance to stretch, walk around, take a deep breath and relax. Similar to a classroom, in which things may become hectic along the way and teachers need to remain flexible and adaptable to make the decision of taking a break. During this break the teacher may try different mind refreshing activities with students to keep them motivated and interested in learning. It is easier to keep accelerating and driving to reach the destination quickly but enjoying the little things along the way is just as important. A teacher must remember to teach students to value the learning experiences and celebrate how far everyone has come. Integrating assessments along the way helps to do that, as it allows for the teachers, students and parents to see what has been accomplished so far. 

Every so often it is good to look through the rearview mirror to see what is happening in the back seats and also to acknowledge how much distance you have covered. As a teacher this translates to self-reflecting. Over the course of a school year there is a lot that happens and it is important to take experiences from the past, reflect on them and make changes accordingly. It is also important to see what went well and appreciate oneself for those achievements.

There may be chances of coming across a road block and that would mean taking a detour to the destination. These detours symbolize unexpected situations that can arise in teaching. It is important to be remain calm in such situations and model positive behaviours. It is ideal to make the best of the situation and maintain good behaviour. 

Along the way there is a need to make stops and fuel up. It is not possible to complete a long journey without making sure there is enough gas in the car. This relates to the teachers and how they must make sure they take a break for themselves every so often and fuel up. It is important to maintain a balance between professional and personal lives. 

Once the trip ends and everyone arrives at the destination, that is where the adventure begins.

Road Trip to Teaching

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Professional Knowledge

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

June 2013

I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from York University in June 2013. During my 4 years of undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to take a variety of courses in Psychology. 

I believe that my degree in Psychology falls under the category of Professional Knowledge, as my studies have allowed me to gain basic insight into how and why behavior matters, and effective methods of communication depending on who your audience is. I have learned through Social psychology that behaviour is always changing and I am able to apply that knowledge in order to teach in a fast paced changing world of education.

I have chosen to add my degree to my portfolio because I believe that as a future educator, by having a background in Psychology I will be able to use those skills and build a classroom that will comprise of a caring, resepectful, trustworthy and safe environment.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

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Masters of Teaching Research Paper

Using Digital Technology to Teach Financial Literacy in Elementary Schools

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine how digital technology helps elementary school teachers teach financial literacy. Financial literacy is a topic which is not being taught to elementary students in Ontario despite the importance and relevance it holds in everyday life. This topic is of importance to the education community, as there is a lack of research examining the usefulness of teaching financial literacy and how it can be taught in elementary schools using digital technology. This research study is based on an analysis of preexisting literature and data that was gathered through interviews with two participants. The findings of this study are grounded in three themes; 1) the importance of teaching financial literacy, 2) the application of digital technology within the classroom, 3) the need of professional development for teachers. 

Cover Letter

Resume

Commitment to Students and Learning

Chinese New Year Dragon Art
March 6, 2015

I created this language/art lesson during the time of Chinese New Year at my second practicum placement in a kindergarten classroom. The lesson started with me reading a book to the students about Chinese New Year and the legends in China about dragons. The lesson was continued with the students creating a dragon of their own, using materials provided by me. Once the dragons were made, the students did a small writing activity to accompany their artwork. The JK students were provided with a simplified template as compared to the SK students.

This language/art lesson falls under the Commitment to Students and Learning as it introduces an element of diversity. There were many students who were celebrating Chinese New Year and this lesson allowed all the students to gain a new respect and understanding towards this celebration. There were different learning styles accommodated within this lesson. 

I specifically chose to include this language/art lesson & talk about it because through this one activity I was able to learn a lot about the students I was working with. I learned the importance of combining multiple assessments into one lesson (Motor skills, reading, writing). The students were provided accommodations as required for them to succeed which I believe is an element of a successful lesson.

Chinese New Year Dragon Art

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Ongoing Professional Development

Certificate of Participation (Workshop on “Inclusion of Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder”) 
December 2nd, 2014



I received this certificate on December 2nd, 2014 at OISE after I attended a workshop on building inclusivity in the classroom. More specifically, the workshop focused on the “Inclusion of Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder” and I decided to include it as an artefact in my portfolio 

This certificate falls under ongoing professional learning as it represents the process of continuous learning and professional growth. As a future educator I think attending workshops like this on a regular basis which touch on issues that are so relevant to things in everyday classrooms, we can use expert advice and tips to create a safer and inclusive environment.

I specifically chose to include this certificate & talk about it because in my first practicum I came across a student with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder & listening to the information during the workshop (how to make the classroom an accessible environment, what options are available) It helped me to better understand how to communicate effectively.

Certificate of Participation

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Teaching Practice

Ladybug Math Lesson; Learning to add & subtract.
March 8, 2015


I created this fun math lesson as a formal introduction to addition and subtraction. I introduced this lesson to the students by telling them that I had ladybug friends who lost their spots and we must help them to find the missing spots. Once the students were shown how many spots the ladybug has, I would tell them that there should be 10 and we would work through strategies to find the missing number.

This lesson plan falls under teaching practice as it represents the continuation of a skill that the students will use lifelong. This lesson plan displayed a good understanding of the curriculum, it addressed the needs of the student and promoted student learning as it was student centered. As a future educator I think creating interactive lesson plans, using manipulatives that are visually appealing to the students is very important. This lesson plan allowed for multiple intelligence learners to participate and I believe that is crucial to be an effective educator.

I specifically chose to include this lesson plan, because it allowed me to connect to English Language Learners and to the students with learning disabilities. I learned that it takes time and care to build a meaningful lesson. Through constant reflection and evaluation of my lesson as I was teaching, I learned that the images of the ladybug could have been bigger for visual learners, and that every material should be prepared in advance so that no time is wasted and the attention of young learners is not lost.

Ladybug Math Lesson

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Ladybug Math Lesson.docx (504 ko) 2015-03-29 01:36:04

Ladybug Math Lesson

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Phonics Wheel

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Leadership and Community

Coed Badminton Tryouts
March 10, 2015


It was a wonderful experience to lead the badminton tryouts for Grade 5 & 6 students. I was responsible for making sure that students have signed and completed permission forms. I observed the students play badminton and assessed them for technique and form along with three other teachers. Once all the students had tried out, the four of us sat together to decide which students would make the badminton team.


This activity falls under leadership and community as it represents the collaboration between colleagues. Leading a tryout for a sports team requires teamwork and a lot of organization. The tryouts for a sports team at school build community between the students as they learn to spend time together.

I chose to include this activity, because it highlights the importance of being active within the school community. I have learned that a teachers job does not end within the classroom. It is nice to participate and be involved within committees/clubs at the school because it allows not only for the teacher to build a relationship of trust and care along with being a role model for the students, it allows for growth as colleagues have a chance to interact and learn from one another.

Music Education

Technology Education

In this section you will find videos and links to websites that can help teachers to integrate technology within their classrooms.

Rubrics for Assessment

http://edtechteacher.org/assessment/

This website contains various links that can be used to assess learning in which technology is being used.

Web tools for students

https://nathanghall.wordpress.com/webtools-no-registration-needed-for-students/

This website compiles a list of resources, most of which do not require students to register or create accounts. The tools are interactive & creative. 

Visual Arts Education

Physical Education

Welcome to the Health and Physical Education section of my portfolio!

Exit Card #1- See, Think, Wonder

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Please see attached, exit ticket!

Exit Card #2- 3,2,1

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Please see attached!

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Exit Card #3- Most Important Point

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Please see attached, exit card!

Exit Card #4- Shapes reflection activity

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Please see attached ticket!

Entry #5-An image with a written reflection on a significant moment of your physical literacy journey and how that impacts your teaching of HPE

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During my second practicum, as part of completing the school involvement requirement, I was asked to help coach the badminton team. I was not allowed to take pictures during the tryouts or the sessions, so I have added a clipart image of badminton. I believe that this was a significant moment of my physical literacy journey because prior to that experience, i had never imagined that I would be coaching badminton. I learned a lot during those lunch time sessions, because the teachers coaching were focusing more on making sure that the students were confident and that they were learning the skills by getting to know their surroundings. The students trying out were from grades 4-8, so they were first partnered together to build a community. Had the teachers forced the students to only concentrate on mastering the skills, they may have felt pressured and not done as well. I realized during that time, that we had never really done such exercises when I was in elementary school which may have lead to my avoidance of physical education. When I proceed to teach HPE I will make sure to build self-confidence in my students and teach them to gain control of their situation by first engaging them in community building activities related to physical education.

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Entry #6-An image and written reflection on an effective instructional approach for teaching HPE.

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Unfortunately I was not able to capture a photo of the groove dance session we had during our third HPE class, so I decided to use a screenshot from their website. Prior to attending that class, I was very anxious by the thought of having to dance or move around so much. At first, I was hesitant and did not feel comfortable in "dancing", but before I realized it we were all dancing in a different and subtle way. I think that teaching HPE through dance is excellent, because it allows for students to develop self esteem, resiliency and social skills. There were so many different types of physical movements involved and it was all so fast that I did not realize how much we had actually accomplished till we stopped. I learned that being energetic and finding different ways to engage students is the best way to teach HPE.