Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.


I received a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, 

Maryland.  The college is unique because it offers only one degree for Graduates and 

Undergraduates.  The course of study is a liberal arts program taught across disciplines 

using the Great Books.  Among many others, we read Euclid in math, Herodotus in 

history and Joyce in literature.  Every class was a seminar directed by tutors but driven 

through discourse from the students.  A single line of text could become an hour’s 

discussion.  The rigorous questioning taught me how to articulate my thoughts more 

deeply and critically than before.  This education gave me the tools to identify Special 

Education as a career.

I have always been drawn to education and always wanted to help people.  

However, my interests were always nebulous and not tied to a direct course of action.  

The emphasis on critical thinking through asking questions and articulating thoughts 

that I experienced at St. John’s made it possible for me to be specific and certain about 

my next goal after graduation.  At Westminster College, I have continued reflecting and 

refining my goals within the education field.  Each class and field placement required 

me to push for deeper understanding of and greater competence with my role as an 


Reading has always been one of the most important aspects of my life.  As an 

education student, it has gained new significance as I have sought to diversify my 

reading in order to prepare myself to create relevant and dynamic curriculum for my 

future students.  I have identified resources such as We Need Diverse Books, Disability

in Kidlit and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project that have 

widened the scope of my reading and deepened my commitment to diversity.