Blog 5: Interviews

Preparing for an interview can be extremely daunting. However, with enough knowledge and preparation, they can be made less stressful for the interviewee. Here are some questions I could imagine an interviewer asking a teacher candidate:

“What is your teaching philosophy?”

This is a slightly scary question, as there is not one correct answer. This varies from person to person, and is extremely personal. I do believe, however, that the interviewee should have a prepared, coherent answer to this question. It would look bad to stumble for an answer if you were asked this.

“What interests you about our district?”

In order to answer this, you would at least have to be familiar with the district. Knowing the contextual factors of the district would be a necessity in order to answer this question.

“Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

While not technically a question, I could foresee this being one of the first things the interviewer says.  It is a little daunting, because I would not want to give too much information for fear of boring them. On the other hand, I would not want to be too short, and not give the interviewer all of the information they desire.

“What can you bring to our school?”

This is another question that has multiple acceptable answers. This questions worries me because I would not want to give an answer they hear all the time. How could I sound unique without overdoing it?

Blog 4: Literacy Tools

Useful for vocabulary:

  • Lexipedia is a visual thesaurus. The user can type in any word in the search bar, and the website generates words that correlate to the word that was searched. It provides the definition of the word that was searched, and the definitions and part of speech of all the words that correlate to it. It is visually appealing and easy for students to navigate.

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Useful for vocabulary:

  • Free Rice is a website that quizzes the user on vocabulary. Instead of providing definitions as options, it provides synonyms for words. For every questions you get correct on this site, the website donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger. The more questions you get correct, the more difficult the questions become. The more questions you get wrong, the easier the questions become. The adaptability of the website is useful for students because it will be in their range of knowledge.

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Useful for determining significance of vocabulary:

  • Wordle creates a word cloud based on text that the student can copy and paste into a box on the website. The more often a word appears in a text, the larger the word is in the word cloud. The is a visual representation of the vocabulary and the frequency of the vocabulary used. Students should not totally rely on it as a guide, but I believe it would be useful for students who are stuck and do not know which vocabulary words are most prominent in a text.


Useful for giving feedback:

Write About is a website that enables students to receive feedback on their work in an organized manner. It also helps students explore different genres by practicing them digitally. Feedback is important for students so they know what they are doing well and what they need to improve upon.

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Blog 3: Criteria and Rubrics

I’m sure many of us have  become accustomed to a rubric that accompanies most assignments. They generally look similar to this:

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In Laura Robb’s book entitled “Teaching Middle School Writers,” she asserts that grading based on criteria is more advantageous than grading based on a rubric. She states, “Teachers can use rubrics or criteria to grade and respond to student work but often, teachers or publishers design rubrics whereas teachers and students design criteria” (159).

In my placement for Education 473, I am teaching my unit on media and persuasiveness. Near the end of the unit, the students will create a blog post exploring any particular topic they wish, as long as it ties into media and is school appropriate. Based on Robb’s stance on criteria versus rubric, I want to collaborate with my students in order to create criteria that is realistic, but still challenges them to think critically. I think this process will empower the students, and ensure everyone is on the same page in regards to the blog project.

Blog 2: Breaking Walls Down

In more classes at Longwood than I can count, I have been taught a substantial amount about the varying array of students I will have in my future classroom. I want my classroom to be very discussion driven and have a large amount of collaboration between students.

After visiting my placement for the past few weeks, I am starting to realize how difficult it may be to have participation from all my students. I have seen students who are disengaged, reluctant, or sometimes even resentful to the curriculum. This has made me think more about what paths I might take in an effort to break these students’ walls down. I want more than anything to have an inclusive and supportive classroom.

I do not yet have a definitive solution to this anxiety of mine. I have been thinking of a variety of ways I can try to get students to enjoy time spent in the classroom, but I believe it may take some actual experience and time to determine the most effective strategies.

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Blog 1: Diverse Learners and Social Justice

To be a meaningful supporter of diversity and social justice, I want to first become educated on all the varying cultures that are reflected in my school and classroom. By educating myself on the cultures, I can avoid accidental disrespect to my students. I want to incorporate this into my classroom curriculum so my students can gain an appreciation for all cultures.

After doing this, I want to make it a goal for myself to stay educated on current events involved social diversity. Through books, media, television, music, and other mediums, I want to stay educated while simultaneously educating my students. The bulletin board our English 480 class created is an example of how different mediums can be used to educate all students.

My respect for diversity should not only reach out to my students, but to their families, and into the community. I want to be just in all aspects of my life. I want my students to see my example of how I remain respectful to others in all circumstances, and possibly be inspired to do the same.

I read Walter Dean Myer’s book entitled Monster last year and think it would be a fitting book to introduce into my classroom. The narration is ambiguous, but it encourages the reader to draw their own conclusions about the plot. Differentiating between the actual events in the book, and the events we are lead to believe are true because of the culture, would be an interesting lesson.

Blog 1: Professional Communication

Email Home:

Dear Parents,

I am excited to be your child’s English teacher for the upcoming school year! I am looking forward to the year ahead, as it will be a time of great academic growth and achievement for your child through the study of English. I understand that every child learns differently, so it is my goal to teach in a variety of ways to ensure overall progress from each student.

Please feel free to contact me at any time regarding your child’s education. I have listed my Email and phone number below. I check my Email very frequently, so it is likely you will receive the fastest response from me that way. If you call and I do not pick up right away, I will be sure to get back to you in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to teaching your child!

Contact information:


Phone: 111-111-1111



Danielle Bondurant




Rules for class:

1. Respect me and other students at all times.

2. Come prepared to class. This means all assignments should be turned in on time and you should bring the proper supplies to be able to participate in classroom activities.

Rules for me:

1. Grade assignments quickly and fairly, and return these grades to students promptly.

2. Respect student diversity and encourage growth in every single student.

3. Create engaging and effective lessons.