Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Make a Date?

So it seems anytime I blog I turn into a big whiney, complaining baby. Whaaaa! Well who else better to possibly see into my psyche than someone who may see what I see?
I have been talking to my CTE supervisor for the past year and a half about trying to gather the teachers (at least all the CTE instructors because we have a lot) at my school together for some kind of camaraderie. All I hear is yeah we can go here we can go there I’ll take care of it. I..I….I. Uuuuhhh excuse me, I - ain’t cutting it. My point is the majority of the teachers at my school act like estranged spouses when passing in the halls. There are some cliques that travel in small flocks who either giggle like little Japanese school girls, or look like they want to lynch someone. We need solidarity at our school and I mean big time. Oh yeah there is a bit of fraternization going on too (well just one case that I know of) and I’m not talking the loyal brotherhood order of the elks.
Now I do have an acquaintance or two that I do things with here and there. I have a buddy that I go kayaking, biking and on an occasion have a beverage or two with. The other individual is my comrade in the educational endeavor who has been over for a cooking party here and there. Uh lets all think about who that could be for a moment could we?…………………………. Ok done.
So what make me think something is wrong with our staff you ask? My wife teaches at a high school across town and they seem to have some sort of kinship. I have been to a couple of impromptu school gatherings at Mexican & BBQ restaurants not to mention a couple of her coworker’s houses (and I’m talking teachers of different subjects here people). At these events the only thing I had in common with the others was that I taught. I got along with everyone brilliantly, even though these were people from another high school.
I wish we could all just get along. I don’t say that because I feel ostracized in any way. It’s just the opposite everyone wants to be my friend so they can get some food. I do say this because I notice a lot of factions that could come together and make our school something special. They just need a push in the right direction. Should I be the one to try?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Site Visits/Teacher Evaluation

As we all gear up for our scheduled site visits, I thought you might be interested in reading what some other edubloggers have to say about their teacher evaluation experiences. Mr. AB, the author of the blog from the t.f.a. trenches, expresses his opinion on the matter of teacher evaluations in a post on his blog entitled "evaluation song and dance".

Mr AB is a former Teach for America teacher currently teaching in California. If you're interested in reading this post on his blog, click on "evaluation song and dance". Then, perhaps you'd like to weigh in on the matter of teacher evaluations on our blog. I only offer this as a suggestion. You may post to the Blog about anything you like this week.

Homeless Teacher

I will be the first to admit that I have "dropped the ball" and have not posted my entry by the Saturday deadline. But I did want to enlighten everyone about my week with no classroom.

The good news is that construction has begun on my television studio and control room. The bad news is that my class room is a huge room that will be split into studio and class room. So as construction continues, I cannot conduct class within that room. Administrators informed me that there are no available rooms. So they told me I will have my 1st, 2nd and 3rd period classes in the cafeteria and the 5th and 7th period classes in the theater. Trying to teach interviewing techniques over the clanging of pots and pans is not an easy task. And transporting textbooks and television monitors can take alot out of an old man like me. If any of you fine folks have been in a similar situation, I would welcome any and all advice on how to better this situation.

And just a quick comment regarding the blog. After reading several of the postings, I feel that the CTE Teachers' Blog will be very beneficial to me. It offers me quick and updated access to my fellow teachers who are experiencing similar situations. I "feel your pain" in many situations. I look forward to your input and advice to help me become a better teacher. And if this "homeless teacher" can offer any words of advice or encouragement, it will make me a better person.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mike M - Another Fast Week

This blog follows the pace and pattern for my past week. It was only fitting that I reread the email from Cynthia G. and find out that the blog dead line was 12:00 noon Saturday, not 12:00 Midnight Saturday. Oh well, there just isn't enough time in the day and the week to do everything that everyone else wants you to do...............not that I am not trying. First year teaching is very frustrating at times. This past week I found 2 of my prep time periods used up by the administration for other uses. My next 10 Tuesday prep periods are used for a class on Behavioral Management that is being required by the principal for all new teachers. I also had the opportunity to substitute teach on Thursday for the Home Economics teacher during my prep. period.

Now, Home Eco. and Building Construction are not to too close in subject matters and trying to adjust over was not easy. Also considering that no lesson plans were available, nothing was setup for a substitute teacher, and the class has been a discipline problem class (found that out later), I can now appreciate why having emergency lesson plans are so important for a substitute teacher. I am now going to go back and update mine soon as I find a few spare minutes. Anyways, the class went terrible, wrote 3 students up for ISS (in school suspension) and left there frustrated at the end of the period. I have concluded that I do not want to find employment as a substitute teacher. My classes this week went pretty good, but I am still struggling with my one period that has 3 different classes. The struggle is with having lesson plans that keep the students busy and especially "motivated" to do their work. I find them at times not doing what is assigned and just sitting and doing nothing. It seems that if I am not present in participating with them as the instructor, to be left by themselves they see as an invitation to lay back and do nothing. Anyone else experiencing this issue?

When I reflect back on this week, it has been a good learning experience, it has given me more tricks and experiences to add to my bag of teaching tools (no, I'm not adding Home Eco.), I need to get ready for next week and I'm looking forward to it!

Thank you for your thoughtful postings

Hello Bloggers,
I want to thank you for your thoughtful posts this week. Jessie H and I are sitting at a computer at the TIEGA conference and this is the best presentation we've seen so far. Congratulations on your success this week and thank you for embarking on a new adventure!

Anyone have extra time to sell? (you could make a fortune)

Let me say first that I can identify with something in each of the previous posts. There never is enough time to do what you need to do, let alone accomplish the things that you want to. I have lots of ideas in my head but they all take time to plan and implement, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

There are a lot of frustrating things that go along with teaching (along with a lot of good things), but there is one thing in particular that I have to deal with every day in my second period class. This class is a multi-subject class (networking, web design & programming), and because of that I’m obviously not able to teach the class in a traditional way. While this situation presents lots of hurdles to jump over, the one that gets me every day is the flow of my web design class.

Since I have three subjects in the room at the same time, the students have to step up and take more responsibility for their learning than they are used to. They need to take the material that I give them; read and understand it, and implement it in their assignments. While they all have been good about doing that, the problem is that they all move at a different pace. Some of the students are very familiar with the material and move quickly, while the students at the other end move much more slowly and have a harder time grasping the material. Truth be told I could probably spend all day just working with these students, but obviously that’s not fair to the rest of the class. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for most of the students to do any of the work at home because they don’t have the proper software.

I struggle with keeping the students somewhat together. In class we talked about using enrichment activities with the faster moving students while the others catch up. I thought about it and tried floating that out there with some of my students. Most of them were not very interested (unless it meant extra credit). Most of them just want free time to do what they want.

It seems like every day I see the slower progressing students slipping further and further behind. I thought about just reducing the complexity and workload for those students, but finding the time to do that is hard (unless I don’t care about spending time with my family). I guess it’ll work itself out (it usually does).

Rules we all should remember:
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Everything is small stuff

Gerard's 1st Entry on the Blog

After our first weekend class and along the same line of reflection with what has been very dear to me since I have been teaching information technology is: be able to get some of my students certified in the field.Our county does not have a clear directive regarding the program only that high school students need to be exposed to various types of IT programs and hardware. With the understanding of another colleague and our advisory committee; I decided to push for a certification preparation for my advanced class. Even though I have explained to my students the importance of getting certified, I am looking for ideas for incentives to prepare the students; how to raise money etc....Any idea and tip will be very helpful

Friday, January 26, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

Wow, I start teaching in one week! I do not know how to teach, but teacher orientation starts tomorrow according to a conversation with my assistant principal. I am so excited about having the opportunity to teach thirsty young minds. Orientation should give me the skills that I need to be a successful teacher. Anticipation is the mother of disappointment.

Orientation lasted 5 days, of which a total of 10 hours were used to give me the skills that I needed to become a first class teacher. I felt prepared, excited, and looking forward to my first day of teaching. HA! HA! The kids tarred and feathered me the very first day. After a week of being tarred and feathered I figured that something was WRONG! I started to discuss my situation with veteran teachers at my school and realized that I needed to assess and refine my teaching skills. Those veteran teachers became my mentors, teaching me how to teach. I incorporated what they taught me into my daily routine. Overtime my teaching skills developed and matured.

Now I tar and feather the students. I am a successful second year teacher with exceptional classroom management skills, so I am told by my assistant principal.

You're not going to believe this

You're not going to believe this

I guess this is a blog and a comment. After reading Disposition for Teaching/Dangthatboycancook’s blog, I reflected on my reasons for teaching. At this point I’m not even thinking about summer, I can’t wait until President’s Day. Even though I was unemployed or shall I say underemployed at the time I accepted this position I had thought about going into teaching for a while. My reasons were to make a difference. This is one of the reasons I chose to work for the APS because it was the system I came up in.

I remember reading an article during my undergrad career that discussed the where education was heading and what could be done to improve it. The basic gist of the article was that the brightest students were not going into education but were majoring in fields such as engineering, business, and medicine thus leaving the sub par students as the educators of our future. The article stated that we needed to figure out how to attract our brighter population into education. I realized the truth in the article from the moment I read it. At my university (which happened to start off as a teaching college) when ever a student flunked out of their original major, the first place they would head to would be the College of Education whose GPA requirements were only a 2.5. I’m looking at the people I went to school with and thinking I would not want them to teach my child yet they were the one that were ending up as teachers.

With that being said when I went into teaching it was for the right reasons. I felt I could make a difference; I was tired of hearing how bad the education system in Georgia was when I am a product of both the public school system and the university system. Unfortunately it takes more than a few good teachers. The students have to take some responsibility and ownership too. The apathy of this generation is ridiculous. When we were in school, we may not have wanted to be there, we may have cut class or acted up, but at least we did our work. Even the real problem students realized the value of an education. The students today don’t care.

Why was everyone in uproar when Oprah decided to spend her 41 million overseas? Can you argue with her reasoning? When she visited schools here in America and asked the students what would make things better and how they could use money they requested ipods and tennis shoes while in Africa they wanted to the money to purchase uniforms just so they could attend school. Our students’ values are mixed up. They have been given so much and don’t realize how good they have it.

In conclusion, we don’t the reasons why people get into teaching but with the state of education now can we really blame them for taking solace in the fact that summer is near. If that is what helps them make it through the day then so be it.

Is Running Away An Option?

While I love to email and IM, this blog assignment was just "one more thing" to add to my plate. But then I caught myself acting just like my students; judging the activity before I even began it. So I decided to have a positive attitude (that employability skill) and try to look forward to learning something brand new. Since blogs are firewalled at my school, I am depending on my "dial up" internet and that is frustrating but again a positive attitude will get me through.

OK....why DOES administration think that as teachers we are just sitting at our desks waiting for yet another "project to be completed TODAY"? This is more than being able to multi-task. Trying to give everything 100% of myself is becoming overwhelming.
We are completing the textbook adoption process and receiving new textbooks which have to be inventoried (in my spare time). And the curriculum map we submitted last year to accompany that adoption was not detailed enough so a new map needs to be created now (again in my spare time. )
As we have received full Title 1 status, money has been found for us to spend and our request for large equipment needs to be submitted YESTERDAY. We do the research. (in my spare time)
We are also in the process of adopting the Middle Years Program (and I still don't understand all of that). But I do know that it doesn't apply to my particular class but nevertheless it still affect me and what is expected.
I have to create a brochure for my class including pictures, mission statement and careers students can pursue after taking my class. This sounds great but I am a nurse not a graphic artist. Maybe they will accept one with stick figures drawn in crayon. (Oh...and I will do this in my spare time)
Now we have been told that we have to create a display of some sort for 8th grade registration that will occur in the next couple of weeks. This sounds like fun (in my spare time)
SkillsUSA region competition is in a couple of weeks and I must continue to prepare the students. We've come too far to slack off now and administration does expect this to be done in my spare time.
Yes all this and teach with that positive attitude.

Is running away an option?........................

Seriously, teaching would be so much fun and incredibly rewarding if it were not for the other expections placed on us. So I dig down to find that positive attitude with which to greet each day.
I find myself looking forward to Tuesday nights to receive that encouragement, that confirmation that I am not alone in this, that what I do WILL make a difference. And to know that I may never see the results of my efforts but that is OK

First Time Blogging

Hi everyone,
This is my first time blogging. I was really nervous about this at first. Once we did it in class it made me more comfortable. When we received this assignment in class, I was hesitant about doing the blog. I was just going to e-mail this to Jessie. I know I need the practice on updating myself with computers, so I thought I would give it a shot. It is actually great doing it this way. I learn more about my students, and it's a great way of asking for help in certain areas. I really enjoyed reading everyone's blogs. It makes me feel better that I am not the only one on the boat with blogging for the first time. I think I am going to enjoy this. Let's sail away!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm trying to be positive here!

Ahoy there mates!

Here goes my initial attempt at blogging. I'll try not to whine although that is what my human side wants very much to do. Honestly, I am in the same boat as the rest of you...a sinking ship. Somebody, please throw me a life jacket! Trying to create a Google account alone resulted in 200 more silver hairs on my head. (I like the sound of silver better than gray. It sounds treasure-like.) That's better than pulling them all out, don't you think? I also feel like a fish out of water when it comes to computer technology. But then, if I truly was a fish I wouldn't have the already mentioned sinking feeling. SOS! Enough of that nonsense! Here goes my positive story. (:-)

I tried a new plan for teaching the history of healthcare this semester that I want to share with you. My three Introduction A classes enjoyed making timelines of the history of healthcare. Students had a lot of fexibility with this project. Each class was divided into eight groups and each group was assigned a time period to research. Given art supplies, the students were required to include the title, dates, life expectancy, and important events and people for their time period. They created and labeled gingerbread-like men and women to represent important people. They drew scrolls, clouds, and other shapes in which to write important events. Some got creative drawing a sword or a mummy to represent their time period. All these small pieces were assembled on a very long sheet of bright paper. Once the layout was complete we glued it all down and drew dividing lines between time periods. We displayed the finished time lines (all three of them) in the classroom.

Next I had a gallery tour handout for them. They completed the handout while viewing the timelines. This way they learned about each time period. All the timelines were displayed for a week. Finally I had my Intro. B students choose the best selections from the three time lines, one for each time period. We cut the timelines apart and assembled the best together in a new timeline. It is now laminated and displayed in our classroom. My students are very proud of their work and learned much more through this activity than any lecture could have offered them.

Additionally, my students each researched a different person in medical history, wrote a paper about that individual, and then presented their findings to the class. Tomorrow my students are watching the video, "Greatest Discoveries in Medicine," which will reinforce many of the people and events they researched.

While I don't always feel good about my lesson plans and activities, based on my students' reactions, I feel this unit was a success.

Catch you all later,
Chicken of the sea,

Participation in blogging

This is my first attempt at blogging, but I will give it my best shot. I do want to participate in this activity with the class, because this is some technology that I have not used before. I enjoy learning new things, and I also want to do well in this class. I do have a few challenges to overcome though.

Let me whine a little bit! I can relate to Natalie's blog about not having enough time to get everything done. Obviously, being a new teacher is a big job within itself. Then when you add taking classes that require reading and homework, as well as attending conferences, that time away from the job adds up. Just this week, on Monday and Tuesday, I was at a Leadership Conference all day, and Friday and Saturday I will be in Newnan (as some of you will be too). Backing up a bit, this past summer our school had major renovations done, but they were not finished before school started back, so we had a two week delay in starting, and we still have not gotten the classrooms and shops back in order. To add to that, we are in an unusual AYP situation, and I am going through the Industry Certification process that must be completed by April. I am also teaching a class out of my content area this second semester (construction) without being provided the proper materials to teach this class. I was told in the beginning if I couldn't be flexible, I didn't need to start this second career. I just didn't realize how true that statement was.

Anyway, I just need to "cowboy up" and deal with it. Ending on a good note, I do still have a positive attitude, and will do my very best at all I attempt to do. I sometimes think I should have attempted my "second career" at a younger age.

Plan! Plan! Plan!

When it comes to time management as a teacher, I seem to always be trying to catch up, no matter how hard I attempt to plan. It appears that I always need to add one more thing to my “To do List”. My latest dilemma has been adding new students to my introductory technology classes in the middle of the semester. The CTE teachers in our county were told some numbers were low and adjustments needed to be made. To date I have added twenty new students since the beginning of the year. This amounts to a 22% increase of new students added my classes in the last three weeks and could go on for another several weeks until program objectives are met.
I have also had to create new logons and formulate plans to get the new students acclimated as quickly as possible in order to maintain the designated classroom flow we began with at the start of the semester. Starting with new students in the middle of the semester means teaching a different type of multi-level classes in the introductory phase of the program as well as teaching other multi-level advance classes, which requires more planning. By the way,we are also expected maintain the school's website. While, I am thrilled to get new students in my program, time and classroom management challenges continue to surface daily. This places my students and me in an at-risk situation. We are still expected to achieve and maintain quality results. I realize planning never stops, but now I have to really plan for the unexpected. Plan! Plan! Plan!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Never have enough time...

I'm not sure if you guys feel the same way that I do right now, but I always feel that I don't have enough time to get everything done. When I signed up for teaching, I had no idea how long it would take to prepare for my classroom. Everyone had told me that it would get better the second semester, and I have to say that it is better in a way but different. Let me explain. My first semester was just survival mode. This semester I'm working through all of my material again and trying to tweak to improve upon it. I have one problem though - I don't have enough time to create new and challenging projects to go along with the material. I feel as if I'm failing my students because I know that I can do a better job at this if was just given a little more time. I'm looking forward to this summer when I will be able to really think about improvements and work through the task analysis of the projects that I have floating through my head right now.

Not only do I feel overwhelmed with my classroom material, but the administrators are asking us to create "data centers", brochures for "open houses", and participate in SkillsUSA. Then I struggle with performing my best at GSU.

I know there are no real solutions right now other than to just hang in there and it will get better! I'm holding on to that thought until this summer.

You're not going to believe this

OK. I'm just going to go ahead and knock this out.
Oh yeah by the way: critiquing is one thing I do well.

So I'm walking down the hall Tuesday morning and I came across another CTAE instructor and some words that came out of his/her mouth that made my jaw drop. It wasn't dirty or insulting it just made me think, WOW, I CANT BELIEVE I HEARD THAT.
Now this person's background goes like this. He/she has been recognized in our school system a few times for doing something spectacular and/or being a good teacher. He/She was was also recognized at the first GATCE conclave I attended. For what I can't remember.
What is this person is really like, you ask? This individual has taken credit for others work which led to the recognition. Personality-wise this individual is oh so much more arrogant than I. Which is pretty bad. I'm only egotistical about one thing, but it makes up for all the other things I'm not egotistical about. These are just some things that I've noticed about this person. Please keep this in mind, I don't deal with this person on a daily basis, so I do not know him/her well enough to like or dislike him/her. This individual (not to sound harsh) is pretty inconsequential to my daily routine.
Yeah. Yeah. Let me get to my point. As I got close to this individual Tuesday morning, I, in a polite and genial way, ask them how they were doing today. All I heard was a grumble and then the words "Well summer vacation is almost here." In the disbelief of what I thought I just heard I replied with a slow "Y-e-e-e-a-a-h." Then they said with a smile, "come to think of it we don't have too much longer until it's here." At this point I had no comment. Usually I can come up with some sarcastic quip which would hopefully sear into this teachers skull and make him or her think "man I just sounded really bad didn't I?" I had nothing except a blue remark or two I remember hearing from comedian Lewis Black, which dealt with a few explicatives. I have a tendency to digress when I get flustered.
So my question goes out to everyone. First please remember that it is rather obvious that this individual takes undue credit for things. Second I can say with an unbiased opinion, I think this individual was being serious in their remarks about vacation and not just fooling around.

Is this person teaching for the right reasons?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A New Blog Participant

I plan to paticipate in the class blog this semester. Even though blogging has been around for the last fifteen years I have never felt compelled to explore this new type of technology.
Learning to blog should be both fun and educational.
The NTI Blog should really enhance the lines of communication in our class. It will give students a better means of communicating with our instructors and peers. Blogging will definitely give all students greater flexibility in completing the NTI coursework. I look forward to learning a new skill. Lets get ready to blog!


Sunday, January 21, 2007