All posts by katelynnwalkersthesisjourney

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

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After Wednesday’s class and a few days of thinking, I am ready to get back into my writing. I am looking forward to Wednesday’s class, plugging in my headphones, and getting into the draft of essay 5.

What feels comforting about moving into essay 5 is having confirmation that what I knew I was doing or feeling was correct in terms of my work in progress being a literature review. I was under that assumption in research and methodology, but I kept turning and twisting away from that methodology. Dr. Zamora was able to swiftly point out that my work is in fact a literature review that will bridge the gap between theory and practice. I have been conducting research on my own while perfecting my craft, in professional development for the past 15 years, and thoroughly in the spring semester for research and methodology.

I will be using my time in class to draft out my essays using my authentic narrative voice to make sure that I do not lose my voice while infusing research. Dr. Zamora suggested reading over the Developing a Literature Review Guide on the class website. Once again, after looking at the lit review guide and discussing this process with Dr. Zamora I feel that I have a good grasp on the literature review and that I will actually have to scale back what I have already started. I have about 15 sources in my literature review and about 20 physical books that I will need to scan from my professional development workshops. .. I may just toss a new book in my school bag each Wednesday and peruse the resource before class.

I am going to write the first half of chapter 5 on Wednesday evening and I will work on collecting and building the literature review as I come across resources that align with my literature review. I have a ton of resources that I need to comb through to pull out the best sources to support my theory. I have a great wealth of knowledge from my practice, now, I just need to remember and find the influences that helped refine my craft.

Despite feeling a bit unsteady last week, I think that a second full week of work and school will allow me to feel a bit more balanced. I need a routine to get my creative writing flowing.

I am excited to have a small supportive group within the thesis course and to have students in my classroom to bounce ideas off as I am writing my essay drafts.

Where I am Starting…

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After the writer’s retreat ended I had big plans for writing into the summer, however, once summer officially began I realized I needed a break. I was and to a certain extent still am burnt out. I took time away from my work and school to try and regain control of living life without being tethered to work. I did still find myself thinking about my project and taking notes from time to time, but I spent as much time as possible disconnected.

I am looking forward to having a minimum of three solid hours a week to work on my thesis project every Wednesday. I have found a groove of leaving work at exactly 2:55 and arriving on Campus by 3:15. I am going to take advantage of the outdoor campus space for as long as possible to start my writing before class, conference with Dr. Zamora and my small group during our session, and then get into the work zone with my ear plugs. I think this is the “pressure” I have been missing to get back into the writing zone.

I have a working outline for my thesis project below. I have half of my project drafted, four roughly drafted essays, and the whole project outlined. The outline I have on my Google account is color coded and updated whenever I complete another section of an essay.

I am going to set a goal of drafting an essay every two weeks. With this goal it will take eight weeks to draft the entire project. I want to write out all of my own thoughts before diving too deep into the research. I have stacks of sources that I need to read through and pull information from, but I want to get out my own thoughts first.

Outline for Thesis Essays

Outline of Essays:

Introduction and Personal Background 

Modify as Introduction – Educational Philosophy 

When I Began Teaching – From Educational Portfolio 2007 (not sure if I will revise philosophy statement or insert as is) 

When the transition began from narrator to educator (Year 9 when I began teaching IB, new supervisor, ILT team member)

Now (professional development, practice, IB curriculum, relinquishing control of the classroom, grad school)

Essay 1: Physically and Emotionally Building an Interpersonal Classroom

Physical Space

Freedom to Move Around 

Desk Arrangement and Student Groups

Class Participation

Head Space (with student examples – may just post prompts)

Classroom Management 

Essay 2: The Importance of Teacher Clarity 

Lesson Plans 


Classroom Expectations

Classroom Procedures

Modeling and Releasing Responsibility 

Meaningful Grouping

Intervention Services 

Essay 3: Assessing Students

Data Analysis 


Formative Assessments 

Meaningful Feedback



It Takes a Village 

RTI Coaching/Coaches 

Mentor Teachers 

Essay 4: Identifying the Struggling Learner Using RTI Strategies (high level and low level)

RTI Strategies 


One-on-one Meetings 

Attendance Records 

Discipline Records and Conference with Principals 

Medical (504)


Check-ins with Other Teachers 

Check-ins with Parents or Guardians 

Check-ins with Guidance Counselors and Social Workers 

Essay 5: How to Create a Writing Process in the Interpersonal Classroom?

My writing process with students

Relatability (Relate the text to students before asking them to analyze the text) 

Paragraph format (RACE and RACE-CE)

4-point rubric for short answer 

Essay format for Analysis 

Outlines for Writing 

Peer Editing – sign-up sheets with times

Writing Conferences -sign up sheets 


Essay Rubrics and flexible grading 

Essay 6: Social and Emotional Learning 

Communication Between Student and Teacher 

Communication Between Peers 

In-person Communication 

Virtual Communication

Finding Commonalities 

Invested Interest in Student Lives 

Research Essay 7: Post-Pandemic Teaching 

Self-Reflection from Teacher’s Perspective (beginning to ending) 

What is the Learning Gap 

Strategies for Bridging the Gap 


Results from Survey 

Research Essay 8: How tracking impacts teacher performance in the classroom

Create survey – multiple choice and open ended questions 


Discussions in the teacher’s lounge 

My Own Experience with Various Tracks – first years, middle years, current

Outcome of Survey 

Insert Research into Chapters: Educational Philosophies and Practices that Align with an Interpersonal Classroom


Social Reconstructionism






Include in Chapters: Takeaways 

Sample Lessons 

Sample Assignments 

Sample Writing Outlines 

Sample Writing Rubrics