Vonda D. Bowles, a teacher at Nephi Elementary School, thinks students in the Juab School District have the opportunity for an excellent education.
She said because of the adoption of the Outcome-Based Education Program by the district, the board of education, administrators, teachers, school staffs and the community have become a team working together for the best possible education for each child."As a teacher, I believe every child can master what I expect them to," said Bowles. "Because of this belief I have raised my expectations for my students. Higher expectations result in higher student achievement."
Teachers set goals and outcomes and publish them, she said. "The students then know what is expected of them in terms of the goals and objectives they must achieve."
Each student is given the time and assistance needed to help them achieve these objectives, she said.
"One of my objectives is to develop higher self-esteem within my students," said Bowles. "This is happening, not only for my students but for myself also."
As her students achieve higher goals, she said, she feels her own self-esteem grows. Because of Outcome-Based Education and the training she has received, she thinks she has become a more effective teacher.
"Another factor in my confidence and self-esteem in my teaching is the existing team sharing among teachers. It is no longer competitive, but a sharing and caring attitude."
The board of education, administrators and school staffs share in the cooperative effort which benefits each student, she said.
"I have become a more effective teacher because of my vast training in the many new strategies in order to assist children with their learning."
Strategies include the instructional process. "This is an organized method of presenting information to the students," said Bowles.
She also has a better appreciation for learning styles. "I now realize more than ever that students learn in different ways. I try to use these new strategies in my instructional process which allows every student an opportunity to learn in his or her particular learning style."
She makes use of cooperative grouping, as well. "Children learn from each other," said Bowles. She uses the method to teach children how to work cooperatively in groups to enhance their learning and become better school citizens.
The district has adopted reality therapy as a discipline method, said Bowles. "This is a discipline technique to counsel with students to help them become more responsible for their own lives and actions."
Teachers also use the Reading in the Content Area program which includes methods to help children learn and retain information.
"Students are helped to involve themselves in higher level thinking skills and problem-solving strategies," said Bowles.
"Through corrections and extensions, students are given time to master objectives and extend their learning into becoming self-directed learners."
"If I expect students to master individual goals and objectives, I must have an accurate tracking system. This system must show me where each child needs help and direction," said Bowles.
Parents are important in the OBE method.
"One of the most important components of Outcome-Based Education is the frequent communication with and the support of parents. I appreciate the support and concern that I receive in behalf of my students," she said.
Bowles said it is important for parents to become involved in their child's education and become a member of the educational team.
"Because the board of education elected to adopt the Outcome-Based Education Program into our district, provided the teachers with extensive training, along with the support of the community, each child has the opportunity to receive an excellent education from the Juab School District."