Call him, Mark Doze, Jr., a successor of the New York City Fellowship whale of a program. A twenty-something year old with an undergraduate in Business Administration and a master’s in Education, he is presently a Special Education Fellow. Mark agreed to be featured in a series of articles to provide a personal experience of “Selecting a fellow” and “Training a fellow”.
Below is one of his application essays:
The greatest challenge I would expect in raising achievement gap within a high need school is something I am experiencing right now at the school I currently work for. The challenge is getting students to understand the importance of working hard and the opportunities an education can afford a student. Many students in high needs schools need extra attention by implementing double dose classes, tutoring, pull outs, and interventions. In order to raise the achievement gap I must know exactly what are the strengths and weaknesses of each student I teach. Knowing where each student is in their learning ability will help the educator implement the best learning plan custom designed for that student.
At Northwest Preparatory, each student receives a double dose in Math, Science and English Language Arts. In order to prepare them for state testing, students are evaluated by mock testing, that demonstrates their competency level in each readiness or supporting standards outlined by the state of Texas. My role in these different practices serves as lead teacher and tutor for students who did not pass or achieve commended status. By implementing small group instruction I am noticing that students respond better to instruction in a smaller classroom setting and display a willingness to try. In a large classroom environment it is very easy for students to participate less which normally causes major discipline problems.
Since we have implemented the double dose classes, students have more time to review learning objectives, work in groups, and participate in class discussions. It also gives the teacher more time to work with low performing students on a one to one basis. Rearranging schedules to accommodate certain learning interventions are helping to increase student's performance in class and self-esteem levels. Students who did not show a concern for learning are participating more in class and are willing to ask questions. Another capacity that is helpful is an afterschool program which I serve as the Site Director.
In the afterschool program I am able to monitor students I do not teach academic performance, and I offer additional support during the three hour program. The afterschool program provides an alternative learning approach in a nontraditional learning environment. Students work closely with educators and outside vendors in the areas of math, science, writing, and recreational activities. The current ratio is 10 students to 1 educator and the program is a model success for my current school.