Marisa Donnelly-small (1)My name is Marisa Donnelly, born and raised in suburban Chicago and currently living in Northern Iowa. I have always been passionate about writing and reading. I wrote my first short-story at age eight featuring me and my pet guinea pig, Peanut, as the main characters stranded on a desert island. As an eight-year-old, I was driven to write by a teacher who bought every student a notebook and said, simply, ‘Write’. That was my first inspiration and what really made me want to be both a writer, and especially, a teacher.

Since that class, I’ve filled twenty-three different composition notebooks, own and post on five blogs, and currently carry at least three journals/diaries with me at all times. I’ve been published in several literary magazines: Crusader of Waldorf College, Catfish Creek of Loras College, The Tenth Muse of Clarke University, and one that is nationally-recognized, The Briar Cliff Review of Briar Cliff UniversityI also have blog posts published on Thought Catalog, PuckerMob, and Lies About Parenting.

In 2014, I was granted the Alpha Chi National Honors Society Research Grant to attend writing workshops at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival of the University of Iowa. I attended two workshops, one in poetry and one in short-story writing in the summer of 2014. Currently I am free-lance writing and student teaching.

Writing is my passion, and I hope to inspire my students to write. In the Spring of 2014, I worked with middle school students in both writing and reading with the hope that I could influence them to think positively about English. For the past five years I have also worked as a writing tutor in Waldorf College’s Writing Center.

Not only am I passionate about writing, but I also play college softball. This past May marked my ninth and final year of playing, but I hope that I can pursue the sport through being a coach—thus the reason for my coaching endorsement.

My plans now that I have graduated are to finish student teaching and pursue a full-time teaching career as well as obtain my MFA in Creative Writing.

I am excited to continue my future in the education field and plan to be a successful teacher for any grade level or classroom in which I am placed.

My Personal Credo

Foundation for the Future

 Education gives one a foundation for future success—whether that is providing a general knowledge base, resources for problem-solving and completing tasks, skills to communicate effectively with others, or an understanding of the world—education is what one can build off of and grow on. It paves the way for a career or life-path and is not only about academics, but about developing the student as well-rounded. My home has valued faith and family; I believe that a teacher should function in loco parentis, taking on the role of not only an instructor, but also a model and support system.

Original Philosophy of Education

I believe that an education gives one a foundation for future success—whether that is by providing a general knowledge base, resources for problem-solving and completing tasks, skills for communicating effectively with others, or an understanding of the world—I think that an education is what one can build off of and grow upon. I also believe that an education it is not only about academics, but about developing a well-rounded, confident student.

Because I believe that learning isn’t solely about classroom material, my philosophy of education is based on educating the student as a whole. I plan to build a positive classroom that focuses on student strengths in many ways—linguistically, kinesthetically, mathematically/logically, etc. I know that if I help my students to see their strengths, as well as teach them different ways of learning and solving problems, they will be successful learners. I can also use these tools to help assess my students in different ways. I plan to have both written and oral assessments, but I will also grade students on their participation and effort. I plan to do this to eliminate bias and allow each student to be successful individually.

There are several personal characteristics I possess that I believe will make me an effective teacher. I am a very responsible person and I can time-manage very well. My ability to complete tasks on time will encourage my students to do the same. In addition to responsibility, I also display high levels of professionalism. I act appropriately and I demonstrate good common sense. In this way, I am an appropriate role model for my students, both academically and socially. I am also very good at communicating. I will communicate effectively with my students, their parents, my colleagues, and my administrators. I have a strong ability to understand, emphasize with, and work alongside others. I also possess a high sense of perseverance. I do not give up on tasks, no matter the difficulty. In addition, I have a very positive attitude which will allow me to help my students get excited about learning.

In regard to my leadership style and classroom management, I believe that an effective teacher models an authoritative parenting style. Because of this, my leadership in the classroom will be both strict and understanding. I will listen to my students and allow them to discuss, in a mature way, the consequences of their actions. I will be open to student input and ideas.  I think that an authoritative teaching style will be the most successful because it will allow me to have authority and set rules for better classroom management, but my students will be more willing to respect and listen to me because I acknowledge their ideas and consider their input. I believe that the most effective form of leadership considers each individual student and how he or she learns. My goal is to engage every student and I will do this through an authoritative leadership style.

I also plan to be a leader outside of the classroom. I will be a model of professionalism in my personal life. I will also be a leader in the school by involving myself in school activities and extracurricular events.

In regard to classroom diversity, I know that to be an effective teacher I must have cultural awareness, be positive in regards to cultural diversity, and use appropriate instructional tools. I also know that to have a comfortable and safe classroom environment, I must encourage tolerance with my students. I plan to help students get along with each other and learn about each other, while still keeping their individual beliefs and traditions. I plan to be very open and fair towards all cultures and encourage students to be this way with their peers. I will make sure that my students feel safe at school. I can do this through having diverse classroom decorations; I will make sure that my decorations display content from all backgrounds and ethnicities. I will also have my students work in small groups to help promote tolerance and openness in talking to others of different ethnicities and cultures. I will have all of my students share about their cultures with the class. I will also include scaffolding tools in my teaching to help culturally-diverse students succeed, for example a bi-lingual dictionary.

I believe that teaching is the only profession that is both continuously changing and making a difference every single day. I know that I want to be a teacher because I want to be a part of making that difference, especially through helping students develop their own voices, opinions, and ideas. In my classroom I want to make sure, to the best of my ability, that each student is encouraged to express his or her ideas. I want my students to feel appreciated, smart, and self-sufficient. I want to help them discover who they are and what they are capable of, and I want to help them see their futures and the positive things in store for them, not only in an academic sense. I hope to not only teach my students classroom material, but to help them to grow into responsible and mature adults.