This document, ‘Inclusive Classroom Self Evaluation’ serves as a self-assessment regarding my practices in an inclusive classroom environment. It was created with the purpose of applying principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an idea discussed in my Special Topics in Differentiation and Technology course, to my own instructional practices. Through this paper I was able to apply topics discussed in class, reinforcing content addressed over the course of the semester. This artifact relates to other artifacts within my portfolio in several regards. Primarily, it describes my use of instructional technology in the classroom for teaching, learning and assessment practices. It affirms the precedence that I place on this instructional tool and its applicability in the classroom. Secondly, this piece serves as a reflection of my own practices as an educator. This reflective process is evident in many other pieces encompassed in this portfolio. The ability to reflect on one’s self is an attribute needed for personal and professional growth, and I believe that this facet is evident in many of my other artifacts.
This artifact serves as a comprehensive and reflective assessment of the majority of my classroom practices regarding the Universal Design for Learning. I feel that this document gives the reader an accurate depiction of who I am as an educator and the strategies that I regularly employed in the classroom. The importance that I place on instructional technology in the classroom transcends through this piece, and captures my day-to-day routine and practice. This artifact corresponds to the standard Teaching, Learning & Assessments as it highlights teaching and assessment practices that took place in my classroom. My ability to integrate technology instructional tools in a learner-centered setting are made apparent through this piece. Assessment and instructional strategies used in my classroom are also described, with a focus on technology tools used in these processes. If I were to create this artifact again there is one specific aspect to the self-assessment that I would change. When reflecting on components of UDL that I would like to improve upon, I would seek out input and advice from a colleague or administrator with whom I feel knows me well as an educator. I feel that an alternative outlook would have been valuable in assessing my presumed areas of growth regarding classroom practices. Although I do feel I was thorough in my evaluation, it is always valuable to gain an alternative perspective. Through the creation of this artifact I took away a greater understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses regarding the practices of UDL in the classroom. It afforded me the opportunity to reflect on my personal performance, and the chance to set realistic goals based on my areas of concern regarding instructional and professional practices.
The rationale for creating this process was multifaceted in that it allowed not only an opportunity for reflection of myself as an educator regarding best practice in the classroom, but also the chance to apply material regarding differentiation, instructional technology, and Universal Design for Learning into a single body of work. These topics were all explored at length over the course of this particular class, and theory became practice as we applied these ideas to our own classroom and performance. Reflecting on one’s self always seems to present a difficult challenge in my eyes. Although at first it is easy to focus on the positive perceptions of yourself, it is when you become critical of your actions that the reflective process truly becomes genuine. Being able to assess your own practices under a microscopic lens, and taking away a plan of action for personal betterment was the most difficult part of the creation process of this artifact. In the end I came away with a greater understanding of my strengths and weaknesses in the classroom, as well as a manageable, action plan in growth and change for the future.