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The 2016 Sioux Falls School District Application, including student information, an unofficial transcript, and brief answers to questions posed relating to personal views on educational topics.
APPLICATION FOR STUDENT TEACHING
Date: March 31, 2016
Applicant’s Name: Timothy Furness College Box:
University Attending: University of South Dakota
Current Telephone: (605) 201-0523 Address: 512 S Holly Ave
City: Sioux Falls State: SD Zip Code: 57104
High School Attended and City/State: Brandon Valley High School, Brandon, SD
Middle School/Junior High Attended and City/State: Brandon Valley M.S., Brandon, SD
Elementary School Attended and City/State: Hayward Elementary, Sioux Falls, SD
Major(s): Elementary Education Endorsement:
Minor: Reading Education
Attach a recent transcript.
Furness, Timothy W.
512 S Holly Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57104-3909
Course/Section and Title
CHEM-104 U012 Foundations Chem for Educators
CHEM-104L U012 Foundations Chem Educators Lab
MUS-353 U012 K-8 Music Methods
ARTE-310 U011 K-8 Art Methods
MATH-342 D30 Math Concepts for Teachers II
PHYS-104 U011 Foundations Physics: Educators
PHYS-104L U015 Found Physics: Educators Lab
ELED-320 U015 K-8 Science Methods
ELED-344 U025 Integrated Literacy I K-8
ELED-394 U015 Internship
ELED-432 U015 K-8 Math Seminar II
MLED-460 U820T Middle Level Reading Mthds
SOC-150 B601 Social Problems
SOC-100 D31 Introduction to Sociology
ELED-296 U015 Field Experience
ELED-331 U015 K-8 Math Methods Seminar I
EPSY-200 U035 Child/Adol Develop/Learning
TET-200 U015 Technology to Improve Learning
ELED-121 U025 Phys Sci for Elem Schl Tchr
ELED-121L U025 Physical Science Lab
ENGL-283 U055 Creative Writing I
PE-330 U015 PK-8 Health/Safety/PE Methods
EDFN-475 U910 Human Relations
MATH-341 D30 Math Concepts for Teachers I
SPED-100 D40 Intro Persons Exceptionalities
CSC-150 D31 Computer Science I
GEOG-312 D30 Geog Elem Tchr
LIBM-205 B603 Children's Literature
EDFN-338 D30 Foundations of American Ed
HIST-152 U910 United States History II
INED-411 D40 South Dakota Indian Studies
ENGL-201 U912 Composition II
MATH-102 D43 College Algebra
POLS-100 D41 American Government
ENGL-210 U914 Introduction to Literature
GS-143 S22U Master Lifetime Lrng Skills
PSYC-101 U914 General Psychology
BIOL-103 S02 Biology Survey II
BIOL-103L S14 Biology Survey II Lab
ENGL-101 U916 Composition I
MATH-102 D08 College Algebra
REL-213 S03 Introduction to Religion
BIOL-101 S02 Biology Survey I
BIOL-101L S16 Biology Survey I Lab
HIST-121 S03 Western Civilization I
MATH-102 S08 College Algebra
MSL-101 S02 Foundations of Officership
POLS-253 S02 Current World Problems
SOC-150 S05 Social Problems
ENGL-101 S19 Composition I
HIST-122 S03 Westrn Civilization II
MSL-102 S03 Basic Leadership
REL-237 S01 Religion in Amer Culture
SOC-150 S03 Social Problems
WEL-100 S03 Wellness for Life
WEL-100L S03 Wellness Lab
CSC-105 S03 Introduction to Computers
MATH-102 S30 College Algebra
POLS-253 S01 Current World Problems
SOC-100 S02 Introduction to Sociology
SPCM-101 S57 Fundamentals of Speech
Total Earned Credits
Total Grade Points
Personal Microsoft Docs portfolio website address: docs.com/timothy-furness
USD Google Site portfolio web address:sites.google.com/a/coyotes.usd.edu/timothy-furness/
Effective Classroom Instructor
Describe the characteristics of an effective teacher.
An effective teacher is, of course, one that knows his or her content to a reasonable point, but more importantly, maintains the modesty and curiosity required to learn, grow, and adapt within their classroom and content knowledge each and every day. An effective teacher is a cooperative, open, excited, patient, clearly-stated, and motivated individual who strives for excellence in his or her self, students, and the system around them. Great teachers also recognize that the primary focus of the profession is to get children to learn, and the ability to spark curiosity, a force that drives all children to learn naturally and nearly effortlessly, is a characteristic of an effective teacher that should be celebrated and encouraged by all.
How would you meet the individual differences of students in your classroom?
I look forward to this challenge, and believe that keeping in mind Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences – whether it’s correct about learning or not aside – and making differentiation within the classroom a philosophy and a practice from the moment class begins is an important task. Allowing children the opportunity to utilize their various talents and abilities not only brings about improvement of standardized test scores but also encourages the exploration of a child’s natural abilities that may otherwise go under-developed. Formative assessments via exit tickets or other small check-ins help with immediate and individualized needs in relation to the content and pacing while creating a strong classroom community will help ensure that students are comfortable with their differences within my classroom.
What experiences have you had that you believe will contribute to your success as a teacher?
While considering that adults are certainly different in many ways from children, I believe that my background in management will be an asset in terms of classroom management, goal setting, and expectations of my students and fellow educators. I’ve also been attentive to the changes in technology through the years and believe that being able to understand and incorporate technology into the classroom is, particularly now, an important skill. While nearly any person might be able to utilize basic computer skills, being trained by Microsoft has given me both a mind- and skill-set that gives me a particular edge in relation to technology in the classroom as a whole. As a brief final note, I also have my own daughter at home. She provides me with daily interaction and experience in working with children and having children of your own provides an experience not found by those without.
What abilities, talents, or certification will you be able to bring to the classroom?
From being awarded with the Student Technology Fellowship program certificate from South Dakota State University over ten years ago to being currently trained by Microsoft via electronic learnings, conference calls, and conferences and expositions throughout the country to be a valuable asset for both Microsoft and Best Buy, I believe my ability to work with technology can be an incredible asset in a classroom, both from a teaching and a learning point of view. More personally, I have incredible patience and lots of excitement towards learning – and most other aspects of life – that I believe will be an excellent attribute in my classroom, providing students a good example within the classroom and their lives.
What would you use to base the planning of your instruction for students?
I believe that the foundation of my planning will be derived from the experience that I’ve gained in creating lessons for various courses at University of South Dakota as well as my paraprofessional and internship experiences; examples of such may be found within the portfolio that I have created and intend to continue adding content to from those past experiences as well as those in my future. Building upon that, I intend to apply the concept of differentiation to my lessons, many of which will benefit from a variety of resources available to me, including personal relationships with educators of a wide variety and experience, fellow staff and administrators, online resources, and the students themselves. Ensuring clarity of learning goals and progressions will keep the content progression on track for proper development of and progression through content. Finally, within the classroom itself, allowing excellence to permeate the classroom, assume the achievement of high standards, and scaffold downward so that students at all levels are given the opportunity to experience gains in knowledge and ability is an expectation of my planning for and implementation of instruction.
How would you effectively manage a classroom for instruction?
Developing a strong classroom community, one that’s ready for cooperation, openness, and differentiated instruction will be a large part of my classroom management strategy. Having students know that part of their role as a student is to both be attentive and assist the attentiveness of the class as a whole is a valuable asset. Differentiated moments – small opportunities to encourage choice and progression of development – within the daily routine give students an amount of choice and control over the classroom as well, ensuring that the student feels actively involved and that I, as an educator, am conforming to the interests of the students while maintaining the necessary progressions of content knowledge. The varied instructional methods and choice will keep an active and attentive class in order and managed primarily by self-control when classroom community is working at its best; when it’s not, standard classroom strategies – seating arrangements, listening cues, and precise, clearly-stated goals for learning progression and development – will be present as well.
Effective Student Evaluator
How would you effectively use assessment data in the classroom?
Frequent assessment throughout the course of learning will provide a glimpse into the students’ progressions in content knowledge, willingness to cooperate and participate, motivations, and mentality. Daily content check-ins by posing thoughtful questions or topics at the beginning of the day or course, exit tickets and (hopefully) the integration of technological assessment opportunities such as instant in-class anonymous electronic surveys provide educators with the ability to understand their students’ progressions and adapt to such feedback with immediacy not found through the standard content testing still found in many classrooms. In regard to the implementation of more standard content testing, I intend to utilize a wide variety of these more formal assessments to better differentiate for the variety of, as Gardner theorized, intelligences. As a final thought, I do believe that standardized tests within a classroom occupied with students of varying culture and talent has a place in ensuring a standard for specific content, which is important, but does not facilitate learning in the way an effective teacher or group of teachers can by utilizing the characteristics described within my response to describing the characteristics of an effective teacher. (See Prompt 1)
What kind of data should be kept, reviewed, and used to plan instruction?
A strong benefit of the technological options available to educators is the ability to effectively store all information gathered with relative ease. My personal computer alone, even with its relatively small amount of storage, can hold roughly 250,000 documents – that’s a whole lot of data. The ability to keep this data, review it throughout a person’s teaching career, and use it to continue to evolve content, keeping it relevant and applicable to students. The information could prove useful for the community of teachers as a whole as well, providing the ability to see what does and does not work for each other, how to best deliver specific content, and expand upon the array of abilities necessary to teach within the framework of continual growth. Understanding that a concern for some may be the idea that management of such a substantial amount of data appears overwhelming at a glance, I encourage the consideration that an all-digital classroom is currently achievable and is already implemented in some classrooms; I would argue that the shift to digital would not only allow the storage, review, and usage of massive amounts of information, but make those processes simpler overall for educators with little additional training.
Why is effective communication so important between teachers, their peers and parents?
Effective communication between teachers and other peers helps to ensure success at the classroom, grade, and school levels as a whole, and the same can be stated about communication with students and their peers. Effective communication with the students’ parents is important in that it provides the opportunity to extend the students’ learning to outside of the classroom and into an environment where substantial gains could be made. The attainment of a strong classroom community is a part of a whole, one that strives for a community conducive to learning in all aspects of students’ time, to creating better educators, and to the success of the system as a whole.
How would you establish an effective method for communicating with parents?
This is another area where technology may certainly play a role, allowing the use of mediums such as my email and a classroom website would allow easy access to those more attuned to those methods. Of course, I enjoy first-hand communication with people as well, and encourage in-person visits and other methods appropriate to the teacher-student-parent relationship. I enjoy the idea of having a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter as well as sending home notes with students or ensuring that students take self-written notes for homework and study home for the parents to review in order to keep the parents informed of the students’ life within the classroom.
What are your short and long term goals?
An important short term goal of mine is to work at leveraging the abilities, specialties, knowledge, and experiences of fellow educators to create better lessons, more cohesion in progression between grade levels, and become accustomed to the role of being an educator in general. The support will prove invaluable and will continue to throughout my career. More immediately, just becoming a teacher at all is an important short term goal of mine, and I’m excited that I’m getting closer each day to this particular goal. A long term goal of mine is to be able to get myself back into schooling in order to satiate my typically intense curiosity and pursuit of knowledge, earn a master’s degree, and continue to learn from and teach to both students and fellow educators.
In what secondary area(s) or elementary grade level(s) do you feel best qualified to teach?
After having spent some time in both a third- and seventh-grade classroom, I certainly feel most confident in my ability to teach at the middle school level. I had my mind set on teaching elementary for a long time and do believe that it would be an exciting challenge at some point, however, I also know that playing to my strengths, being confident but modest, and being in an environment that suits my personality in a position that carries the weight that being an educator does has a wealth of benefits to myself, the students, and the school. With my background in technology the opportunity to teach a course based in technology would be a good choice, but I thoroughly enjoyed the geography and advanced social studies content while participating in my internship and would love an opportunity to be in that area. Life skills courses are a riveting idea as well, as teaching children the basics of, for lack of a better description, being an adult is such a wonderful concept and something that I feel is a surprisingly substantial advantage to the success of a student’s future self. I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and know that I’m relatively good at both, and while my math scores are not at the level of excellence that I strive for, the topic itself is one that I generally enjoy.
Describe your involvement in professional organizations.
This is an area where most students might describe their involvement with organizations that are relating to their interests or majors; having no involvement with those types of organizations, my professional organizations have always been the companies I’ve worked for. Within said companies I’ve always strived for excellence, working hard not for the extrinsic motivators but rather the intrinsic rewards brought on by knowing that I do good work, set a good example for others, and am a valuable resource.
Will transportation be an issue even if you are assigned to multiple sites?
I have reliable transportation of my own; multiple sites shouldn’t present a problem for any circumstance.
SFSD CS 10/06/15
SFSD CS 10/06/15 the classroom and into an environment where substantial gains could be made. The attainment of a strong classroom community is a part of a whole, one that strives for a community conducive to learning in all aspects of students’ time, to creating better educators, and to the success of the system as a whole.
After having spent some time in both a third- and seventh-grade classroom, I certainly feel most confident in my ability to teach at the middle school level. I had my mind set on teaching elementary for a long time and do believe that it would be an exciting challenge at some point, however, I also know that playing to my strengths, being confident but modest, and being in an environment that suits my personality in a position that carries the weight that being an educator does has a wealth of benefits to myself, the students, and the school. With my background in technology the opportunity to teach a course based in technology would be a good choice, but I thoroughly enjoyed the geography and advanced social studies content while participating in my internship and would love an opportunity to be in that area. Life skills courses are a riveting idea as well, as teaching children the basics of, for