Final Process Reflection As i’m pursuing my career as a youth serving professional it’s needed that I have the knowledge to run my own classroom in the future. There are many aspects of teaching that our unknown unless you have first hand experience in the field. This course as taught me how to be an effective youth serving professional, how to handle minorities in the field, self asset my strengths and weaknesses, and how to set short term and long term goals for my future. New teachers are constantly experiencing unfamiliar situations, so it’s important that I experience this now to get ahead in my field as an elementary education major. Juggling classroom management, instruction, curriculum, school culture, and operations. Before I can pursue my career it’s important to have the knowledge of myself and how to succeed in the classroom first. This course has taught me the different types of situations I will come across, and allowed me to experience it first hand in a classroom. Being able to be in a classroom as a service learner gives me understanding on how to incorporate what we learned in this course though the various experiences, discussions, reflections, and readings. Furthermore allowing me to understand what teaching is, and how to grasp what I can do in the future. This course has given me the basic needs to generate my career. Effective professional development enables educators to develop the knowledge and skills they need to address students’ learning challenges. Professional development is not effective unless it causes teachers to improve their instruction or causes administrators to become better school leaders. Based on my experiences in this course i’ve learned how to effectively communicate with children, parents, and other adults in the same profession. Professional development benefits the individual. In the text, Skills of Effective Group Leader by Gladding, states, “to be effective, a group leader must be able to function in a variety of ways at different times.” Emphasizing that operating within the world of youth requires flexibility and adaptability. This course has taught me as an effective youth serving professional that in order to attain career goals I need: opportunities to engage in work based activities like service learning, also on training service like community service. Working with youth requires knowledge, and experience. A teacher must connect with their students, and understand their social, cognitive, physical and emotional development. As stated by, Morse & Ivey in Reflecting and Basic Listening Sequence, “simply listening to students and communicating this message has a powerful effect on their self concept and their ability to learn.” An effective youth serving professional must understand their students, and allow for active listening. During this course I learned this when I was doing my service learning at Fairview Elementary. Being able to experience the effect of actively listening to students creates a positive relationship, and an everlasting effect on the child. One child named Nolan never really communicated with me, until one day he finally opened up, and asked for help. As he got more comfortable, it helped me learn how younger students need active listening to break the barrier in the relationship. We discussed in class that the students at Fairview Elementary don’t all come from the nicest of family situations. Having the knowledge of active listening and communicating to help further the students success assisted me in how I must treat the children in the classroom. I believe that this is the most important skill effective youth serving professionals must have. The awareness of Ethnic and Racial disparities in education is important to create a understanding in a classroom/institution. Minority children with disabilities all too often experience inadequate services, low-quality curriculum and instruction, and unnecessary isolation from their nondisabled peers. Moreover, in today’s classrooms it’s important to remove inappropriate practices in both general and special education programs. In the text Communication Techniques for Teacher by Locke and Ciechalski emphasizes that teacher must have, “understanding of the student.” It’s important for institutions to acknowledge children with disabilities with encouragement and reinforcements. However, also acknowledging when students belong in certain classroom regardless of their disabilities. In the article Fighting the Good Fight by Rick Lavoie, Lavoie discussed how children with special needs obviously need reinforcements, but also need to be acknowledge when they succeed like other students with no disparities. It’s unfair for students with special needs to be treated differently when they succeeding just like the other students in a school.Further explaining that teacher must advocate against discrimination in the classroom, and acknowledge the students success. Lavoie states, ” in a perfect world, no teacher should be criticized for defending, protecting, or advocating for a child.” Proving that the underlying issue with institutions ethnic and racial disparities is within a classroom if a teacher doesn’t have knowledge of how to act upon children with special needs or minorities. Disparities in special education could be influenced by inadequacies in practice or bias generated at the level of special education referral and decision making. Although this possibility has received some research attention, the pattern of results is somewhat unclear. This course has allowed me to develop my own philosophy of teaching in making sure I continue to improve my skills and knowledge. As a youth serving professional I’ve grown to acknowledge my strengths and weakness with working with others, and other aspects relating to my major within myself. My current strengths, after taking this course, is communicating with students and understanding how to create relationships with the children in the classroom. However, if I had to work with students tomorrow I would struggle with expressing issues that come up between students in the classroom. One thing I found difficult during my service learning at Fairview Elementary School was I didn’t know how to speak up when the kids acted out, because they didn’t see me as an authority figure. To improve this I must communicate with other professionals, and create myself as an authority figure rather than a friend. Also my parent teacher conference helped me understand that I should elaborate more when an issue comes up rather than ignore it. One short term goal I have for the future is to continue to do service learning in the classroom to help myself learn about students, and myself in a school setting. I have a couple long term goals including student teaching, and having my own classroom in the future. This course has allowed me to explore my major, and confirmed that this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. To achieve these goals I will continue to pursue school to finish my degree, then explore what I can do with my degree. To conclude this course has allowed me to understand what it’s like to be in a classroom. It showed me my strengths and weakness when in a classroom. Also the discussions, readings, and experiences gave me the knowledge on how I can pursue my degree. This course is the first step into my career. I found it very rewarding to educate and help students each week.