A Reflection on Capstone | Part Two
A capstone reflection written by a 2015 Graduate, Johnathan Justice
I cannot say that I was excited about the entire Capstone process. Writing, in general, has not been my favorite thing to do. Initially, I was bummed because I knew it would make me work hard at the end of a hard year. Looking back now, I could not be more thankful for the process. The research and final product was great; however, the process taught me more than I could have imagined. I’d spent 9 months feeling like a failure as a teacher. Yet, through finding artifacts, I saw firsthand how far I had grown in such a short time. So many things that residents do in MTR seem monotonous and purposeless. Capstone seemed this way. Write 100 notecards, find 24 artifacts that show growth, and write a paper. What did any of this have with being a good teacher? For one, teaching is very hard. I needed to see how far I had grown. I needed to see that “hey, I have improved so much as a teacher.” This confidence boost was crucial in heading to my first year of teaching. Secondly, little did I know that as a real teacher I would have to collect artifacts and prove that I was competent and doing the things that were expected of me. The Capstone process allowed me to objectively look at myself as a teacher and reflect. This is a lesson I would not have been learned otherwise.
In the end, I was able to research and learn about something that I think is very relevant to education. More importantly, I learned more about what it meant to be a professional in the teaching environment. I believe that teaching is one of the only arenas where you have to prove against a rubric that you are a professional. I may not wholeheartedly agree with this measurement of teachers; however, Capstone prepared me to defend my practice as a professional, and for that I am grateful.