Bachelor of Science

Teacher Residents Websites

During a student’s residency in an elementary education classroom, they will design and maintain their own website to showcase what they have learned, what they have experienced and the ideals they will use in shaping their own teaching practices. Below is additional information about what students should prepare to include in these personal websites.

The classroom:

Building a supportive, respectful classroom community where all feel safe and encouraged to share their ideas and their experiences is encouraged in our programs. This idea is extended beyond the K-12 classroom to include the college classroom.

In our coursework, we encourage students to create a classroom environment where students know each other and feel comfortable and motivated to contribute to classroom conversations. By participating, we stimulate the thinking and learning of others and ourselves. This contributes to our professionalism and our professional identities, and it can be extended when we think about expanding the walls of the community to include a digital presence. 

Building a professional identity:

Being a professional means developing a professional digital identity and presence so that a teacher can create a global network of colleagues. This global network will work to support his/her professional development, to contribute to the professional learning of others, to influence policy, and to be an active participant in the educational community through local, state, regional, national, and possibly international conversations. This is all possible through the power of social media.

Throughout the teacher candidates’ tenure, we encourage them to use their professional judgment. Our teacher candidates construct, negotiate, and re-construct their professional identities, making their learning public. We challenge them to capture this learning through the creation of a personal web space. 

Web spaces:

Each web space is as unique as the individual who created it; however, the spaces do share some commonalities. First, we ask each resident to have an updated home page describing him/herself for the reader. Second, we require a tab called, “Platform.” Residents will add philosophies inspired by their coursework during the two years of the Residency experience to this tab. For instance, you will see the initial platforms containing the espoused platform conference. However, over time, the residents will add their philosophies of classroom management, instructional planning, children’s literacy, literacy assessment, child development, working with English Language Learners, literacy instruction, science instruction, math instruction, social studies instruction, and assessment.

Once completed, the platform will contain a collection of the teacher candidate’s beliefs upon which he or she will reflect and synthesize. Third, we require a blog component to the web space. Each resident must have a blog where he or she posts weekly reflections and artifacts from teaching. The purpose of the weekly “Reflect and Connect” is to have the Residents making connections between their coursework and their classroom experiences. In this way, we ask residents to interact, engage, wrestle, and even play with theoretical concepts and real problems of the practice.

While residents are at different stages with regard to their comfort level and use, each has taken the risk to explore the concept of developing their own digital presence. 

For questions regarding this initiative, please contact Dr. Rebecca West Burns via email and visit her website.