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Education is a collaborative, reflective profession. I have seen this collaboration and reflection in action within my own practicum experience at Hornsby Middle School. Teachers of the same discipline meet weekly to share classroom experiences, discuss subject material, and plan upcoming lessons. In these meetings, teachers reflect and collaborate with each other in order to improve their own teaching. I have listened to the successes and challenges my colleagues have experienced in the classroom, and have adapted their suggestions and advice for use in the lessons I taught this past semester. Together, we collaborated to create different unit exams that were used to assess our students' knowledge and understanding, and inform future teaching decisions.

As a teacher, I welcome the unique collaborative and reflective nature of education. Teaching is not a stagnant, isolated profession, but rather one that thrives on individual reflection and collaborative work. Teachers must constantly aim to improve their teaching, even in ways that extend beyond the classroom. This collaboration also applies to how I interact and collaborate with the parents and families of my students. In order to effectively and successfully collaborate with families throughout the year, I created a communication plan that outlines how to implement this collaboration throughout the school year. Teachers are a part of a larger community of learning - they are one of the many ropes that tie a student's educational experience together. Teachers should actively work to develop relationships with this community to offer the best education possible for their students.

In order to truly build a community with my students, I realized that my role as a teacher extends beyond simply classroom instruction. As a teacher, I am also a role model for my students in the way I act and speak everyday. Therefore, during my student teaching internship, I made an effort to support my students in their extracurricular activities by attending pep rallies, sporting events, and after school clubs. At Hornsby, my cooperating teacher runs an after school basketball club for sixth and seventh grade boy students twice a week. In order to build community with these students, I played pick-up games after school with this club during my student teaching. As a teacher, I must understand that professionalism as an educator and role model applies to both my school and the world outside the classroom.