Through my various experiences I have learned how to understand child development for elementary aged students and beyond as well as the importance of literacy in their lives. I have come to understand the importance of having an expertise in the various elementary subject areas, various instructional strategies, knowing how to develop appropriate curriculum as well as assessment according to student ability, and having a thorough classroom management plan for your classroom. With each age group from pre-K to 6th grade, there is a wide variety of ability levels and developmental differences in children. Furthermore, in secondary school, students are acquiring language and social skills to further their mastery in various subjects as well as plan for life beyond their education. As a foreign educator or someone who deals with diverse students, specifically with ESL or ELL candidates, teachers have to creatively make the English language both exciting and easy to digest for their students. As a teacher, knowing how to plan and accommodate for your classroom is an important skill you need to practice with each new classroom, at each grade level, and with each set of students you have in your class.


As an elementary teacher instructing students in mathematics, I have equipped myself with experiences and background knowledge to effectively teach my students. My methods course through the college got me very comfortable approaching math in a way that is engaging as well as versatile for my students. A lot of people assume there is one way to teach math, complete mathematical equations, and that math is the universal language. However, I believe there is even variety in teaching math. As a teacher you need to expose students to as many ways to approach mathematical content of different topics as you can. You want students to learn various ways to complete and engage with different math topics to reach different types of learners and allow students to have practice with that mathematical skill. For example, in my first grade classroom I approached teaching graphing by having a new method each day while building in additional practice afterwards with the types of graphs which were trickier for them to understand. I kept some sort of consistency to gather data or experience making the graph so they understood the unit lessons all related to one another but I tried to expose them to different ways so they really understood graphing and be able to apply their understanding in various environments. The first grade Virginia Standard of Learning wants first grade to have exposure using bar graphs, picture graphs, and object graphs. I had them practice collecting data easily accessible and engaging for them about by interviewing each other and then make different graphs themselves after I modeled it. I then was able to build in graphing during other topics in math or subjects like science even for them to see the practical application and importance of knowing as well as exercising this skill in various situations. Students should be exposed to the different strategies to then pick the way that works best for them, to have an in-depth understanding of the skill, to see the importance for learning the skill, and know how to apply it in different environments. Starting this younger will better prepare students for standardized tests and carrying the knowledge with them after school rather than memorizing the skill(s) for a test and forgetting the skill(s) when they move on to the next grade. I learned this approach to teaching math through the methods course at William and Mary, my student teaching placement, and through my various experiences working with students tutoring them in math in various places national as well as internationally.

Similarly when teaching science, students need to be exposed to many different ideas. There are scientific facts that are important to present but, then the rest of the science world is still being explored with many theories and many unknowns. Through the science methods course at William and Mary, I learned how to make this information and the unknown world accessible for my future classrooms of students. I want to teach students how to think and wonder for themselves. Even at a young age, students can learn to think and question like scientists. For my first graders in my student teaching placement, I taught them how scientists test experiments and the importance of doing this. Student-centered learning in science is very important as I learned in my experiences teaching. When I taught a first grade matter unit, I wanted the students to see themselves as scientists and understanding why exploring the scientific world is so important. We looked at the meaning behind terms in matter: solids, liquids, and gases then used experiments using hands-on materials to have students see the differences between the meanings themselves. For the school-wide science fair each student had a significant role in testing the experiments dissolving various materials with multiple trials in water as well as making the display board. Giving students roles especially in science develops responsibility, builds up socialization skills, exposes them to team work, and gives each student a reason to engage and feel important in the process. When teaching a life cycles lessonwith another fellow educator, we gave roles and duties for each role to explicitly give students things to do and understand their job characteristics. Teaching science in various grades has given me the practice to adapt science pedagogy appropriately for different students in different grades (from 1st to 4th grade) while still keeping national standards and best practices in mind. My methods course exposed me to various instructional strategies adaptable for various ages as well as how to approach science topics from pre-K to 6th grade and beyond. I enjoy refreshing myself on various science topics and studying different components more in depth to expose students to a broader idea of science from the natural to the man-made wonders of the world and beyond.

Social Studies
With teaching social studies, students should understand there are also multiple components to this subject area as well. As a teacher I try to emphasis that there is always more to learn. Even as a teacher you cannot fully tell the story of a dynamic historical event in history or about another culture because the knowledge and information is limitless. As technology has made information more accessible through various measures, a teacher has a number of resources and avenues of knowledge at their fingertips. However, students should also learn to explore and extend knowledge themselves. There is not enough time in the school day to cover every detail about every topic so I plan to expose my students to as many perspectives and ideas about topics as possible, then emphasize that there is more to learn and encourage them to keep searching for knowledge. I also think making social studies multidisciplinary helps tie bigger picture ideas about the world together. When I was teaching a unit on famous Americans, students could step into the shoes of these famous people and not only repeat the important accomplishments or periods during their lifetime but explain why these are Americans we should be learning about in order to better understand how our culture has developed into the country it is today. For first graders, this was a pretty big feat to take on but so important for the students to see how the content relates to them. From seeing and understanding how Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery meaning that people are free to live for themselves to then painting with natural materials and coming up with inventions for sweet potatoes like George Washington Carver the students were very excited to learn and engaged in the content. Through my methods course and being a Sharpe Scholar at William and Mary, I have experienced a deep understanding of approaching history as well as other social studies topics. I feel prepared to teach my students to access knowledge, think for themselves, and search beyond what they are exposed to in the classroom. I love hearing students say I learned something new yesterday in a book or looking online after I have taught them my lessons. Even as teachers, we have more to learn and demonstrating that to my students has made them feel okay to be forever curious and learning about the world around them.

Language Arts
The area of expertise I feel most confident in as an elementary teacher is teaching literacy. I believe this is the most foundational area for an teacher to understand how to teach, especially at an elementary level. Literacy is the accelerator and foundation for students to achieve academically in school in order to help them excel in other areas of learning. Students who are just adjusting to school whether they are coming from a different country, entering Kindergarten or simply moving from a different theology of schooling, will still need to practice literacy skills. Literacy helps students read and communicate which is important to know for mathematics, science, social studies, a second language, and other extracurricular subjects as well. Through my Language Arts methods course and my Master's emphasis on Literacy, the breadth of courses have shown me appropriate ways to teach language learning for various ages as well as students from various backgrounds. I use interactive strategies and lessons such as a Read-Write-Think Aloud activity to bring the literature or language skills to life and apply them in diverse ways. Additionally I have worked with teaching English to students in various environments: my student teaching in first grade, visiting other elementary classrooms in nearly every other grade, working with pre-K to high school students internationally, summer camp programs with a strong focus in literacy, working as a nanny for students while incorporating literacy in our day, and many other experiences. I believe strongly in making literacy central to any educational environment and instruction. In secondary education as well, students need analytical skills, logic, communication skills, means for expression, and other skills that literature as well as mastery in language acquisition can help to launch in other subjects and avenues in life. Literacy is the foundation of schooling; understanding of reading, writing, and appropriate speaking skills equip students to be successful in other areas of their education. I have had experience with native speakers as well as non-native speakers teaching English, the goal is to build these foundational skills in order to prepare students for the remainder of their education.

Furthermore as I work with foreign students in TEOFL, I learn how to diversify my reach to students. Pulling on topics and words for students to relate to is essential for reaching a wider audience of ELL/ESL student populations. Including the arts in my teaching has been a powerful tool for students to be able to explore the language, experiment with their mastery, and express their own ideas in English or in other subject areas, even if they are still developing. I encourage students to take risks and be okay with making mistakes since these instances can create great learning and growing opportunities for them.

I also received my B.A. in Theater at The college during my undergraduate career. I explored both performing and fine arts during my time. As a teacher I hope to incorporate aspects of design, drawing, painting, performing, singing, dancing, and other art skills. I took classes in a variety of disciplines and believe art can be used as an educational tool to reach different types of learners of students to teach core material.

I grew up participating in sports teams through high school and participated in intramural sports in college. I have tried to keep an active lifestyle which I hope to reflect in my teaching. At every age, students need to know how to stay active and engaged. Getting your blood pumping or adding variety through kinesthetic activities can help students recharge, reengage, and re-establish focus during lessons or activities in the classroom. This can also attribute to living a healthier lifestyle and build consistency outside of the classroom; incorporating health into their daily lives in various ways, every day.

Standardized Tests
As a teacher, I have demonstrated the ability to have the knowledge as well as skills to be an effective teacher. Through my various experiences, course work, and studies, I have gained a wealth of information related to pedagogy, technology, and content knowledge. I have passed the required exams to become certified in the state of Virginia which also makes me eligible to become certified in many other states as well. I also received the
ETS Recognition of Excellence Award (for making top 15% on Praxis II Exam) in 2013.

The images below further show my standardized test credentials which make me a qualified and eligible candidate to become a teacher.
Test Scores.png

Some of the work I have completed in my courses demonstrate a breadth of interests and topics studied. Some of the work I completed both individually as well as in academic groups include:

Also referring to my resume will give more information about the educational experiences I have participated with as well as worked. I feel with all of the experiences I have had, I make a strong candidate to be a unique and educated resource in an elementary classroom.
Here is my Youtube Channel which includes several examples of my teaching and ideals: Addie Schafer Youtube Channel