Danielle Degelman

Teaching Strengths

1. I have always been told that I have an incredible rapport with children.  I take the time to listen to my students’ concerns and questions (whether it is school-related or not), and provide ongoing help and support when it is needed.  When students are frustrated or worried, they know that they can turn to me for comfort and words of advice.  At school, they do not work for me…I work for THEM.

2. I promote the worth of every student in my classroom.  Every student is very special and unique.  Even though I honour students’ differences (and encourage others to do so), I also inform them to treat others with the same respect that they would like to receive.  Every individual deserves to be valued and recognized for “who they are”.

3. I put in a great effort to know my students’ backgrounds, interests, strengths, and needs.  I value the diversity of each and every student, and celebrate these differences with the entire class (e.g. by incorporating cross-cultural content into my lesson planning, referring to the multiple intelligences frequently, and highlighting students’ strengths and interests as a large group).

4. I am a very patient individual.  Since some students may need that extra “one-on-one” time, I am always eager to offer additional assistance to individual students, no matter how busy my schedule is for the day or week.  I am also patient when it comes to handling student misbehaviour, and I NEVER shout at or criticize the students.

5. I anticipate problems and plan for successful management in my classroom.  I include a detailed “classroom management” section in all unit plans, and use effective strategies to gain the attention of the class. Some of these include:

  • clap back
  • 1, 2, 3, eyes on me!
  • Show me that you’re ready!
  • Ohhay, Ayoh!
  • All set, you bet!
  • Give me a Perfect 10!

If I employ these strategies, lessons run more smoothly, there are fewer disruptions that I need to handle, everyone (including myself) finds more enjoyment in the lesson, more time is devoted to learning and on-task behaviour, materials are distributed in an organized fashion, and the classroom is safer for all.

6. I use a variety of consistent strategies to deal with off-task and silly behaviour in my classroom (e.g. talking with students after the lesson/class, giving warnings, writing notes in agendas, taking away special privileges, having students write a paragraph on their inappropriate behaviour, etc.).  Since student misbehaviour inhibits the overall learning time for all, it must be acted upon immediately so everyone can move on to the learning that needs to take place.

7. If students do not complete their homework on the due date, I deal with the situation immediately.  For example, I send notes in the agenda, clear any confusions or misconceptions about the assignment, or compose e-mails to parents.  If I carry on these consistent procedures in the classroom, then students will recognize the importance of completing homework on time.

8. I am a motivated person and keep an agenda of work that needs to be done throughout the day and week.  I am always aware of upcoming due dates, and submit lessons and reports to fellow staff members on time (all the time).  I always keep a schedule of staff meetings, extracurricular events, spirit wear days, and important school functions and events.

9. I am a very organized person.  Not only do I keep an agenda to record important events, due dates, and other tasks, I also ensure that my work area is neat and orderly.  This means that my belongings are located in their assigned spots on my desk, papers and books are stacked in an organized fashion, and manipulatives are ready for students’ use.

10.I have an excellent sense of humour.  I love to laugh with staff members and students.  At times, I will incorporate humour into my lessons so that students gain an interest and pleasure in the topic of study.  I also love to hear students’ own laughter coming from the playground, hallways, and other classrooms.  When laughing for the right reasons, students can develop enriching relationships with their friends, family, and teachers.

11.I love to smile.  I make sure that I get the chance to share a smile with each and every one of my students…each and every day!  If a student cannot smile back, I will help him or her to think of something to smile about.  There is ALWAYS something!

12.I am a very creative person, which is shown in my lesson planning and classroom environment.  I incorporate varied teaching strategies into my instruction, so that students remain interested in the subject matter.  Moreover, I go out of my way to buy new and colourful materials for bulletin boards, doors, incentive programs, and decorations.  Since students do most of their learning in the classroom (about 30 hours per week), this environment should be pleasant for students’ eyes, as well as supportive for their learning.

13.I can play the piano!  I love to share my love of music with family, friends, fellow teachers and staff, but most of all, my students.  I believe that all subject areas can be linked to music in some way, and that many important concepts and ideas can be remembered in a song.  Music can also make learning fun and enjoyable for all.  I would be willing to share my musical ability for school masses and liturgies, Christmas concerts, and major school functions and events.

14.I value interdisciplinary connections among all subject areas and do my best to integrate them in any lesson that I am teaching.  Dr. Garth Pickard, one of my university professors, once said to our physical education class, “Everything is in everything.  We can find math, language arts, drama, science, health, and social studies in the art of movement.  Everything is interconnected and serves a purpose.”  As a result, I encourage students to develop a love for every subject, and appreciate its beauty in the real world.

15.I believe that students learn best when they can feel a sense of “personal accomplishment” in their own learning.  I give my students many opportunities to share answers and ideas, participate in learner-centred activities and inquiry-based learning, and celebrate their accomplishments with the rest of the class and their families.  I believe that students’ sense of pride will motivate them to learn even more in future lessons and classes.

16.I value parents’ support and will do all that I can to develop the best connections and relationships with students’ parents.  My friendliness, honesty, trust, and faithful commitment will help me build a positive rapport with all parents and guardians.  I will also ask parents to contact me if they would like to share positive comments on their child’s progress, inform me about any problems their child might have, or ask for extra practice or assistance that I can provide them.  I am willing to listen and help in any way that I can.

17.I am not the kind of person to panic.  If I ever forget to do something (or do not have time to complete a certain task), I remain calm and wait until the next day.  I try to realize that “tomorrow is a different day” and that I will still have time to make-up for the mistakes that I have made.  I can always learn from my mistakes, and reflect on ways that I can improve and grow as a teacher.  “There is always room to try again!”

18.I try to introduce myself to other children around the school.  In doing so, I might meet my students’ friends and siblings, as well as future students of mine.  Moreover, I will develop an understanding of other students’ behaviours and interests (which may be helpful information for supervision and school-related events).

19.I get along with all staff members, and contribute to staff functions and events.  This includes bringing food for special lunches, collecting donations for fellow staff members, assisting at student events, and cleaning up the staff room on scheduled days.  Since fellow staff members are always around for support, I must “give back” and show a genuine appreciation.

20.Besides school, I lead a very balanced lifestyle.  To relieve stress, I enjoy running, reading, rollerblading, piano, and shopping.  I continue to stay healthy by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, getting fresh air, and developing positive relationships with family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers.

2 Responses to "Teaching Strengths"

That’s it… you are hired!:)

Why thank you Brittney! 🙂

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"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation." -- John F. Kennedy

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