Contextual Factors Journal

Clinical Experience Journals

Journaling has a critical role to play as you move through your clinical experiences.   Journaling provides opportunities for you to reflect on the contextual factors of the school, and your understanding of the occurrences that you observe; it is not a repository for minute-to-minute recording of incidents.  Further, journaling promotes your ability to reflect on your experiences in and out of the P – 12 classroom, and to share your impressions of the events in which you engage with faculty who are entrusted with your guidance and supervision. 

Journal Expectations  

Timeliness: Teacher candidate submits weekly journal entries as requested without reminders.

Critical Thinking: Teacher candidate responds to journal prompts with substantial information demonstrating 1) application of knowledge, 2) connections between experience and content taught in preparation program.

Substantive Entry: Teacher candidate submits organized and logically sequenced journal and reflection responses.  The entry contains detailed information, connections and reflections of experience.

Writing: Teacher candidate communicates effectively in writing using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Reflection:  Teacher candidate deeply reflects on his/her own practice with evidence of analysis, synthesis or evaluation. Provides detailed examples and makes connections between practice, research and theory.

 Instructions:

1.  Use the weekly template, linked below, to respond to the journal and reflection writing prompt.
2.  Save (Save As) your journal entry in a location where you will be able to retrieve it for submission and reference. 
3.  E-mail your weekly journal entry as an attachment to your clinical supervisor.  Submit your journal entries as requested by your seminar instructor.
4.  Write your journal entry using academic language.  Proof read your work.

Remember:

Do not use student, teacher or other staff names in any journal entry. The journal is used to build an understanding of community, school and classroom factors; and to provide an opportunity to reflect on your professional practice and observations.  It is not appropriate to pass judgement.

Each journal and reflection prompt supports candidates’ growth in the COE Competencies and edTPA and are tagged with the competency(s) and/or tasks to which they are aligned.

Weekly  Template 

Journal Writing Prompt

 

Weeks
1 -7

 

Journal Prompt: Academic Language

Conduct observations for the use of academic language during weeks 1 - 7 and submit this journal entry for week 7.  Observe your cooperating teacher and learners for ways that they are using academic language. Write your observations for each component of academic language. (C7, edTPA Task 1)

 

Week 1

 

Journal Prompt:  Community Factors 
In what type of community do you teach? Write about Community factors and features such as the stability of the neighborhood, socio-economic factors, race/ethnicity (diversity factors), political climate and support for education, and the instructional implications for you as an educator. (edTPA Task 1)

Community Data

Reflection Prompt:  What excites you about participating in clinical experience?  What is an area of concern or worry about participating in clinical experience?

 

Week 2

 

Journal Prompt:  District and School Factors
In what type of community and school do you teach? Write about District and School factors and features and the instructional implications for you as an educator. (edTPA Task 1)

NJ School Performance Reports

Use the district website.

Reflection Prompt: What professional expectations does the school district have for teachers?  What do you need to do to uphold these professional expectations as a teacher candidate? (C16)

 

 

Week 3

 

 

Journal Prompt:  School and Classroom Factors 
Write about the school and classroom factors, requirements, and expectations, such as the organization and safety of the classroom environment, class rules and routines, instructing individually and in small and large groups, availability and use of technology resources, classroom management, equitable treatment of learners, required curricula, pacing plan, standardized tests, and use of specific instructional strategies, and the instructional implications for you as an educator. (C3, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt: How would you arrange the classroom/space and materials/tools?  How does your arrangement facilitate learner engagement? (C3, edTPA Task 2)

 

Week 4

 

Journal Prompt:  Instructional and Support Resources Chart
Complete the Instructional and Support Resources Chart to better understand the instructional and support resources that are available within a school and classroom to support teaching and learning. (edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt:  What researched-based instructional/learning strategy have you used in teaching?  Was it successful?  Why or why not? (C11, Task 2)

 

Week 5

 

Journal Prompt:  Student Characteristics and Needs Chart
It is critical to understand characteristics and needs of the learners with whom you will work so that you may plan instruction to meet their needs and support their learning. (C1, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt:  What have you learned about the learners’ learning needs and interests and how does/will that affecting your teaching? (C2, edTPA Task 1)

 

Week 6

 

Journal Prompt:  How did you provide feedback to learners and how did you engage learners in using the feedback? (C10, edTPA Task 3)

Reflection Prompt: How have you applied feedback from your clinical educator and supervisor to improve your teaching?  (C13)

 

Week 7 

 

Journal Prompt: Academic Language

Conduct observations for the use of academic language during weeks 1 - 7 and submit this journal entry for week 7.  Observe your cooperating teacher and learners for ways that they are using academic language. Write your observations for each component of academic language. (C7, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt: Why is it important for you and the learners to use academic language in teaching and learning? (C4, edTPA Task 1)

 

Week 8

 

Journal Prompt:  What assessment strategies are used in the classroom?  How are they being used to monitor student learning? (C8, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt: What assessment tools have you created and used to measure learning objectives? What did you learn about learner growth and your teaching from the data of the assessment? (C8, edTPA Task 1)

 

Week 9

 

Journal Prompt:  What assessment system does the clinical educator and school use to monitor learning?  How do learners and their families interact with their assessment data? (C10)

Reflection Prompt: Select one lesson taught and review the assessment data. If you could re-teach the lesson again to the same group of learners what would you change to support learner achievement? Make note of what occurred in the lesson taught and reflect on why you would change it to support learner achievement. (C9, C14, edTPA Task 3)

 

Week 10

 

Journal Prompt: How does you clinical educator participate in the professional community to grow and develop as a teacher? (C15)

Reflection Prompt:  How do you participate in the professional community in the school and at the university to develop and grow? (C15)

 

Week 11

 

Journal Prompt: How does your clinical educator incorporate the 21st Century Learning and Careers (College and Career Ready) learning standards into their lessons?  (C5, C18)

Reflection Prompt:  How have you integrated 21st Century Learning and Careers into at least one lesson? (C5, C18) 

 

Week 12

 

Journal Prompt: Think about the assumptions and understandings of learners, teacher and school districts you had at the beginning of this experience.  How have they been confirmed or changed?  (C17)

Reflection Prompt: Reflection Prompt: What concern or worry have you overcome in the weeks of clinical experience?  What still concerns or worries you? (C13)