In California, learning to teach is a multi-step, multi-year process as shown on the following graphic. As you begin your pre-service (or preliminary preparation) program at Dominican, you are entering the first phase of this process. Each of the three steps is designed to advance your development as you become a professional teacher. The completion of each step is associated with a particular type of credential: a preliminary credential, a clear credential, or a renewed credential.
Teacher candidates learn and refine their skills as a teacher by a practice of planning lessons, teaching them, reflecting upon their effectiveness, and applying what they have learned to their next lessons. It is a practice that you will learn and practice during your studies at Dominican; it’s a practice that will continue with you throughout your career, particularly during your participation in the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program during your first years of teaching. It is part of the professional language and skills that you are developing now and will continue to use in your future.
Our goal for you as a candidate is to help you to develop reflection as a habit of mind, which you will use in a variety of ways in this program: in refining your performance on the candidate learning outcomes, in constructing your personal conception of teaching and learning, and in developing professional perspectives. In this section, our purpose is to be explicit about what “reflection” means in the context of effective teaching.
Below is a list of eleven characteristics of teachers who are skilled reflectors. Developing the habit of mind that incorporates these characteristics is your goal. While we don’t expect that you will use all eleven characteristics all of the time, we do expect that, by the end of your program, you can provide evidence from your teaching of instances when you have used each of the eleven.