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?

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Hmmm, I had some great teachers in high school. On another note, if all them had been as great as most of these in this NTI group, I would have had it made. Sitting back on Saturday and watching everyone give their presentations made me realize........"I once thought I was the best, now I know I'm just one of the best". Some of you guys and gals really lay it out pretty good to say the least. Coming from the standpoint of liking to work alone, I know this assignment wasn't the easiest but everyone did a very good job, and I would like to continue to think that I am in a room full of greatness each time I come to NTI.

P.S. To my group, I think we pulled it off pretty well but I wish I could have done a little more to help. I have been extremely busy as of late and simply didn't have the time to put forth all that this project required. I made a poor example of a leader and for that, I apologize.


It used to frustrate me so much to see my students fail a test. While it still upsets me, I have learned not to let it get to me. When you back up and look at the "big picture", most of them are the kids that don't care about school. They are the ones that sleep in class, do not do their homework, "goof off" during group projects, etc. I also realized that the ones that are failing my class are usually failing all of their classes. Normally my class is one of their higher grades. Just another bit of evidence that career tech is a dumping grounds for kids that don't want to be in school.

Awesome NTI Learning

I felt the need to comment on the fact that even though our NTI classes have been long, Dr. B and Jessie have made them so interesting and informative! I feel that we have all been exposed to some clever new techniques, and I can honestly say that the learning in NTI has truly been a pleasure…mo rote memorization with subsequent regurgitation for a test. That was THE way most of us where educated, but this is so much more compelling!

There they go AGAIN, teaching by example…it really has worked with us, but this is an exceptional NTI class :) :)


This week has been hard. I feel like I can't get anything accomplished. Every night I dream about school and it is wearing me out. I wish I could get to the point that I can not worry so much about everything. I am trying to balance my life between my job reponsibilities, my house and family, my students, HOSA organization, and going to NTI. I am looking forward to the time when I can look back and say "Awe, that wasn't so bad." I deffinitely don't feel that way now. I'm just overwhelmed but I know that "This too, shall pass."

Einstein Controversy

I often in my class introduce Einstein’s quotes and theories. One of my students made a statement that he thought Einstein was crazy. I thought for a second and asked the student what he knew about Quantum Physics. Obviously the student replied that he didn’t even know the terminology. I asked him how could you make a statement like he was crazy when you don’t even know what he is talking about. The quick response to the student had been prompted by me thinking about myself and my knowledge about teaching. I realized I was a babe at this teaching profession. The more I learn the more I realize how little I really know. Teaching sure is humbling.
This is one of my favorite quotes!
"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought". Albert Szent-Gyorgi (Biochemist)1893-1986 (American)
I want to thank all the teachers at (NTI) for their patience. Garyb

Cooperative learning strategies

It was another long day at GSU. It seems difficult sometimes to finish all the projects, meetings, and then give 100 percent to your classroom. The learning curve is enough to cause anyone to go into shock. Then out of the blue today I felt for the first time I was beginning to really get it. I guess it is a little voice inside you that says I might actually be successful at teaching.
I enjoyed being apart of this cooperative learning project. I can personally relate to the group learning theory I heard real people mention they wished these learning strategies been available when they went to school. It possibly could have made a big difference in their lives and education. Bringing out the strengths in students makes for a positive learning environment. I am looking forward to mastering the cooperative methods. I truly feel that I am blessed right now with the people that are involved with (NTI).
The group in this last project that I was assigned to was exceptional. Even though we all had strong personalities everyone was sincere about the project and the students. Thanks extraordinary men.
I also must say that Dr. B is one of the most insightful people I have ever met. She has a way of seeing potential and bringing forward the best out of students. She also has a gift for not offending anyone. The effort she puts forward to being accurate and prepared is amazing. Thanks Dr. B

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rest and Relaxation

I took 4 days off this week for some R and R. I needed a break from the students and they probably felt the same.Next week I will go in and try some more strategies and try the group activities ,again. Looking forward to a "GOOD WEEK " and I hope the same for you all.

What a crazy week!

What a week! I had have had many "first" this week. I scheduled my first blood drive, turned in grades for progress reports, met with the lead teacher over IEP's and special ed., Had to turn in forms that I am still trying to figure out what they were, nominate a student for the 'Leader of the Pack" award and got talked too like a piece of dirt by another teacher. Both of my children had special activities every day and we found out my husbands aunt has an aggressive form of lung cancer. I am so glad this week is over. This is the first week I have questioned if I made the right choice regarding teaching. But I have to admit, I'm really enjoying my students. I just need to learn all the other "stuff" regarding modifications, IEP's and correct paperwork. A new teacher is truly sent into the classroom and expected to function fully with minimal direction from the school . I'm so thankful for NTI. I hope next week will be better...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Corey C


Please check your gsu email

Steven Vinsant

field trip

Hi all, Today was an exciting day for my students and myself. Today was our second field trip , but it was our first field trip to a large dealership. My students behaved so well, most of the time they all come through for me but today, I think they were so involved and interested that they didn't think about misbehaving. We toured the dealership and met some technicians. The technicians were great as they explained about their jobs and what all it involved. Also, I had a visitor from Lanier Technical College who came by to observe and get acquainted with the Senior students. He spent almost the entire day with us and actually went with us on our field trip. Some days all goes well, and today was an exceptional one. -Riley


Hi All,
The Promethean Board is great! There are still a few kinks to be worked out, but overall it has been very nice. I have an Elmo now but it needs to be hooked up to the Promethean Board. Still don't have the correct cables to do that yet. We hope to have a full day of training on the use of the board. That will surely be helpful too!

On another note, today was a bad day for fighting. We had 3 big fights. The last one was two girls. Really disgusting! Our principal was livid. He got on the intercom and told all the students that he had had enough of this. All students involved in fights will go to a disciplinary hearing and the recommendation will be for them to be kicked out of our school permanently and be sent to the alternative school. I hope he sticks to his guns. (No pun intended!)

I hate violence of any kind and this was a very upsetting day for me. Makes my stomach get in a knot. The fighting is upsetting enough but it disturbs me to see how the other students gather around as spectators and seem to enjoy it. They want to see blood. They want to see someone hit the wall or hit the floor. It's disturbing that they like the violence and egg it on.

If they are this way as teenagers, will they continue to participate in and encourage violence when they are adults? It's very disturbing to me.....


Baby, Maternity Leave and Sub

I went to the doctor on Monday. Everything is great with the pregnancy. As my doctor was checking the heartbeat he said that I could have the baby in as early as 4 weeks but it could be up to 8 weeks. When I heard this I went into panic mode. I am not ready yet for this baby. This summer and fall has been so busy that I haven't had time to really think about the baby and preparing for her arrival. I have so much to do to get ready for maternity leave. I need to leave lesson plans for my sub (who knows nothing about healthcare), I need to leave my HOSA officers stuff to do while I am out. I also need to get all the baby stuff together. If anyone has been on Maternity Leave or out for an extended time, how do you do all this? I am so afraid that I am going to end up coming to school during my maternity leave. I only have 1 teacher workday before I go on maternity leave and it is Nov. 6th. I could potential already have a baby by then. Please give me advice on how to do all this.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Should children have breakfast

The word break-fast mean to break a fast you have fasted from food from after dinner until the next morning. So how should you break it? There is no right or wrong way. Some like to sit around the dining table with the table spread others stop at the corner store or at Q-T. while others will have some fruits. As parents we have to be creative especially in the mornings when we are rushing and time is limited. Since food is essential to stimulate the brain let your child have fruits if that is what he/she wants then you can pack a sandwich and put in the back pack.
If you are a parent any nutritious food can go for breakfast. Remember children are like birds they eat small amounts but they eat very often. Also snacks should be small nutritious meals and not empty calories.

Group Meeting

This message is for Shane, Jamie and Victoria. Please check your GSU email.



I had my first experience with budgeting and spending money. Of course, I had no idea on what color forms my school wanted me to use. My department head told me "oh by the way I need the list of what you want to order for your subject area by Monday" Which of course was only a week away. Then she told me I also needed my big ticket item to be ordered by Perkin's money. Once again - did I know what Perkin's money was- of course the answer is no.

My fellow health occupations teacher helped walk me through the process. I already knew that my list had to be ordered by approved vendors only - so that was not a problem. The problem was that what I wanted for my big ticket item could only be ordered from one vendor. My co-worker advised me to get them to write a letter stated that they were the sole vendor of my item.

Overall the process was not as painful nor as difficult as I thought it would be. I had been advised by my wife and fellow co-workers to have my "wish list" ready so that when they decided to tell us it was time to place our orders that I would be ready.

For once I actually was!!!! Plus I was able to spend more money than my wife would have ever allowed me to in 10 years !!!!!!!!!!

Steven Vinsant

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Time

Well, here goes. This is my first blog attempt and I guess that I will just start off with how things are going. This is not my first year teaching, but it is my first year as a graphics instructor. I did a year as a para-pro, then a year at the middle school teaching special ed. social studies, then a year at the high school teaching drafting and now I am in graphic communications. I feel as though I have finally found my subject matter. So it is not the teaching aspect that I feel uncomfortable with, but rather the extra things that go along with being a graphics instructor.

The odd jobs and favors that are asked as if I don't actually have to teach a class also. I started the year in the hole because I had so many favors to get done that I had little to no time to get my class in order. I finally feel as though I am getting to the point that I am on track. However, the jobs are still coming in but I feel as though I have them under control now. When you add my coaching and NTI class I stay very busy. Did I mention my wife and two daughters? Any way I like being busy and I think that now things will start to settle down. Well, I think I'm done venting for now. Thanks for listening.

Promethean Board

Well, I have a brand new Promethean Board. It is like a smart board on steroids! Ha! Ha! It was installed last week over Fall Break. Yesterday when I came into the classroom, I thought "Oh, no! This is a disaster!" All the desks were pushed around, my desk was sideways and backwards, cords and wires hanging in every direction. Took me forever to get things straightened up so my students could get in the room.

I couldn't sign on to my computer because I didn't know one plug from the other or where to plug anything. Finally, several of my students figured out how to get my computer functional again. But we couldn't figure out how to get the Promethean Board turned on. So it just sat there all day.

Today, my department chair had time to help me. We got the wires and plugs into the right spots. And lo and behold, a whole new world opened up!

This thing is WONDERFUL! We are going to have a class on how to use it, but I love all the things it can do that I have figured out so far. I am going to use it for first period in the morning to play a game with my students. We are having our GHST Writing in the morning, and we will have a "very extended" first period and no second period. So I will have time to bond with my first period students and my Promethean Board.

Stay tuned......I'll let you know how we do! :)

should the jobless have children

Having parental responsibility means that you have the right to make imperative decisions about your child's life in the areas like medical treatment and education. But it also means that you have the responsibility to financially support that child at least until the end of high school. Financial responsibility of a parent is also indispensable for many other reasons, but it has been the only means by which a parent can maintain control over their children. when a parent is unemployed this not only reduce the standard of living and can be detrimental to the child's future. The issue of unemployment and pregnancy is of interest for several reasons, since it is a marker of socioeconomic status a potential marker of stress. An unemployed person usually require more health services than their employed counterparts. I have felt to forewarn that it makes no sense to have a child if both parents are unemployed.


Hey Everyone,

Can you all believe that this week has gone very well for me? I don't have too many complaints and most of the time it doesn't do any good to complain. I do have more visitors to look forward to this week. Over the past month or so, we have been preparing for visitors from hmmm, not sure, but another state. They want to view our vocational department to get ideas. How great is that? We must be doing something right.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Personality Test

I enjoyed this weekends class, especially the segment on "personalities" It allowed me to think about different people as well as myself. I found it to be very interesting. I enjoy learning and studying about people. Being a teacher really feeds that interest in dealing with different personalities and people. When I observe people now I will wonder if they are "extroverts" or "introverts"....LOL

Have a good week

When you are having a bad day...reflect on this or something like it

I know, I'm wordy and this is my second post today but I felt like maybe some of you out there who are in your first year could use this to inspire you. It may not be the same circumstances, but you will get the point. This is why I chose to stay on teaching after my first year. My first year was extremely difficult, as I was starting a brand new program with absolutely no guidance, found out the third week of school that I was pregnant, and was entirely clueless about teaching in general. When you have a bad day, reflect on a story like this. It helps me to remember why I'm still teaching. Grab a tissue and enjoy!

I was working as a nurse on the cardiac step-down unit at a local children's hospital when T.D. came in. He was a young man in dire need of a heart transplant. He stayed with us quite some time in the hospital while he waited. He was too sick to send home and wait. During that time, we had a lot of sick babies and children. We had at least 5 who were critically ill waiting on hearts and we knew if something didn't happen soon, we would lose them. Well, T.D. got his heart the same day as another patient. He did extremely well throughout the surgery and even afterwards. The summer he was transplanted, we had 5 others receive their new hearts as well.

I didn't see T.D. much after his discharge because he went to his local cardiologists for check-ups. A couple of years pass and the kids were getting sicker and the toll of nursing was really weighing on me, to the point that I was physically getting sick myself. So, I made a difficult decision to leave nursing and accept a job as a healthcare science teacher.

My first day of school, I was looking at my rosters and there it was..T.D.'s name. I thought, surely this isn't the same person? Everyone else who had been transplanted that summer had already passed. T.D. was the only one we knew of that was still alive. Well, T.D. walked into my classroom. Tears filled my eyes. I was so inspired! He was the only one out of the bunch we had transplanted that summer who was still alive and HE LOOKED AWESOME! Needless to say, T.D. did not want to be in the healthcare class so he jumped ship into Art. Ok, no big deal.

The next most inspiring moment came when, that spring, I was in the audience as T.D. GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL! I was so touched that I was moved to tears, out of control sobbing, because I had never thought I would live for the day to see one of my transplant patients graduate!! Even more touching, he had contact with the donor family and they flew in from their home state of NM to watch T.D. (and their son in a round about way) graduate from high school. It was then that I knew I was in the right place. I called my nursing colleagues to tell them what I had just witnessed and they were all jealous that they didn't get to see it for themselves.

Personality testing

Several of us were asking about testing our students' personalities in order to group them better. I found a website that is a "mock" Myers-Briggs. I did it and still came out ISFJ. The link is Have fun! I'm testing my students today and tomorrow.


As you can see, I need the heat on me to get things done. I did get a lot done this weekend. The house is clean and clothes washed. But no lesson plans completely done. So I am up everyday at 4:30 am completing them and this blog. You all looked great. It was nice seeing you this week. Everyone have a new week. INFP

Sunday, September 23, 2007


When asked last week by an administrator......."Do you have your standards?" I said sure! As a matter of fact, I have very low standards! Hahahahaha! Jokes aside, this entire time I have viewed my standards as something to simply satisfy administration. Now that I'm using them a little more, they are basically writing my lesson plans for me! Me being a new teacher, as many of us are, I find it hard to consume and make sense of all the lingo that teachers use. Up until this week, the word "standards" was used for nothing more than finding a nice girl to date. Now that I have actually looked into mine, they are quite simple and tend to make your instructional and planning time flow a little better. If you don't know what your "standards" are, look into them and start using them, you'll be glad you did.

P.S. The lady looks at the frozen turkeys in the grocery store and ask the young man...." Sir, do these turkeys get any bigger?" He replies...."Why no ma'am. they're dead."

Fall Break

Well, I have been off a week from school,A and I am definitely rested. I am not looking forward to going back tomorrow. I have a lot waiting on me when I get back. It has been hard to enjoy the week off because all I can think about is all of the things that I need to do and all of the things that I am behind on. It is overwhelming. I know tomorrow will take care of itself and I will get it all done. The Myers-Briggs really hit my personality on the head. I feel like my personality sometimes hinders me as a teacher. I would love to be the opposite of myself. I would get more done and not be such a whine bag. I hope everyone has a good week. It was great to see everyone Saturday. Tracy

Roaming teachers

I'm sure a lot of schools are like mine. We have more students than we have classrooms and therefore some teachers don't have a room and just float from room to room and teach in someone else's room that is on planning. This is our week for hunters education class. The ag department found out I was teaching this and wanted me to teach their classes also. Since their room is better equipped for 60 students I have been going down there to teach. What a pain. Seems like in the middle of class i realize that i left something in my room. I really feel for you that don't have your own room, and I appreciate mine much more.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Time Management

This week has gone exceptionally well for me. I finally had a week with no interruptions during my planning period.

Although it is not required by my school (to the best of my knowledge) I have been keeping a lesson plan book so that I can plan my classes effectively. This week I added how much time I wanted to spend on each topic/assignment, etc. It seemed to help me since I tend to get off track telling "war stories" to my students.

I have a totally new found respect for the concept of time management!!!!!

"Not Alone"

I have truly enjoyed reading everyone's blog. I feel like somehow I am standing near everyone of you. I have felt like crying, laughing, and wanting to hug some of you to take away some of the pain. Being a new teacher has had it's challenges, BUT after reading the blogs and sharing classes with all of you in NTI, I have to say, I am "not alone" in my feelings as a new teacher. Sharing and reading everyone's experiences has made this year so much better. I thank the Lord for bringing all of you into my life and helping me grow as a teacher and individual. Teaching so far has been for the most part enjoyable. I have tough challenges ahead but feel certain with NTI I can overcome them. Thanks to Dr. B and Ms. H and J
I gave a chapter test on Electrical today. This is the same test I gave to my Electrical students last year. I thought I would have the same results as last year with most grades in the 70's and taking the whole class period . Boy was I surprised. Most of the grades this year were in the 80's and low 90's with a couple of 100's mixed in, and it only took half of the class period to take.These are not multiple GUESS test ,they are fill-in-the-blank , discussion and reading wiring diagrams.
At the beginning of this year, I did set my standards very high, and it seems to be working. I explained that this was not an easy class, and if you fall behind, it will be hard to catch up. I also showed the students a couple of websites that they could use at home if they felt like they were getting behind. I try to put the ball in their court, and let them run with it. I've found if you set your standards high from the start your teaching will be easier.


Well class, I have been away from the blog for a while, due to me not remembering my password to get in. So I have to go back to the week before my first six week break. I was observed by Dr. B., which was a huge success for both me and my students. I think Dr. B also enjoyed her day in court with the SHS public safety class. I must say that most of my confidence and ability to successfully manage my classroom has come from the teachings and learning of the NTI SUMMER CLASS. Thanks a million to all the instructors.

Saving Lives

Today was our first of three blood drives that my class sponsers throughout the year. I was concerned yesterday that we wouldn't meet our goal and that the drive would flop. I had my students running everywhere, recruiting their hearts out. Things looked better by 3:00 yesterday. I arrived this morning, prepared to be stressed because I thought I was going to deal with the charge nurse from a very bad place. Thankfully, it wasn't her (I got a list of names the day before and her name was on it). I had my "favorite" charge nurse to work with! So, I'm all smiles and ready to start at 8:30 when the charge nurse asked if we could start early. Of course I jumped all over that! By 12:45 we had already reached our goal of 42 pints and my students were working their hearts out, registering people, checking IDs, making sure they ate well, and then picking up those who didn't fare so well. They loved getting the call that someone had passed out! (I have an average of 6 each drive and this is my 6th drive to sponsor). I also had some students working our bake sale in conjunction with the drive to earn some extra HOSA money. We closed up shop at 2:00 to finish those people who were already in the room to donate. By 3:30 when the last Red Cross member left, our total for the day was 62 pints!!!! We saved 186 lives today in Social Circle!! I'm so excited I'm close to tears. This is the best drive yet and it's because MY STUDENTS ROCK! You can't tell me any different, I have the best students(even with the not so best ones mixed in!) in the world!
I am going home for the first time in a week without a migraine...crazy thing is...I'm hosting a lock in for 8 teens tonight from my church and I'll be leaving at 7 am to go to class tomorrow morning. Forgive me if I'm a tad bit sleepy! It's been a wild, yet fun and exciting week!

One long week

I am back to being overwhelmed again. I had three meetings during my planning this week. If teachers had time to plan think of what we could accomplish. I have been trying to get HOSA going, getting an advisory committee together, registering students for the FLC, working on monthly logs for extended day and we just got a grant to renovate my classroom and lab. I am taking papers home with me this weekend to grade just so maybe Monday I can get my week planned. When I think about all I need to do at work and at home I just want to cry. Maybe next week won't be so hectic. Jamie


I am glad it is Friday. The classes are settling down slightly. Progress reports were given out on Tuesday and quite a few of the students are failing. They are failing and wondering why. I showed them what they had failed to turn in or complete. They then wanted make-up work. Many of these students come to class to socialize. I found out the failing students are failing in all of their classes.

It's Friday AND it's COOLER

I am glad this week is over. Like most weeks as an instructor there have been some really great moments along with some that would best be not repeated! My students are thrilled when I let them know that I will be in class, or driving, for my entire Saturday...This is good news, as another Saturday down means that October is that much closer! This thought makes me LOVE web CT and the flexibility it offers us!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just when you think they get it

We had a chapter test Tuesday. I thought the kids had grasped the concept. For the most part we done our work, listened in class, and even studied in small groups. Out text book has an online website where the students can take a online quiz. We used out study group to take the quiz. The grades with these groups were significantly higher than when we take them with a 2 person group. I though they had mastered the material. Then the test came. Some of the lowest scores I have seen in two years of teaching. What to do what to do? My good students all aced the test, most with a 100. However my middle of the pack and lower royally bombed it. I'm seriously thinking about teaching the chapter over again. What's the opinions out there about teaching the whole unit over again? Where do we draw the line on lazy students? To make matters worse, I read all my classes EVERY question on the test the day before.......

My observation with Dr. B

Hello team:
Well it's over. Yesterday Dr. Burns came out to "the country" and observed me in a computer lab. The students thoroughly enjoyed the assignment and the set induction. I also videotaped myself since it is a rarity that I get to teach a class using my own lesson plans, so I took advantage of the opportunity. For my set induction, I used the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" and discussed the life of Chris Gardner (a homeless man) and tied it into a career research project. The kids loved it, Dr. B loved it, and I aced my project. Thanks to NTI and the GREAT teaching strategies taught this summer, I felt comfortable teaching a class that I never taught before. When you are a confident and effective teacher, the students pick up on it and they will respect you and your class runs much better.
I also enjoyed being critiqued so that I know what mistakes not to make.
See you all on Sat.
Never Give Up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Key Train

As if we don't have enough to do, just trying to get the hang of teaching! We are one of the schools involved in the Work Ready Communities project, and will will need to demonstrate how in CATE we are incorporating the core academic areas into our teaching! I shouldn't open my mouth too much about it...I just need to go back to my school inbox and teach myself from the numerous memos...thrill. I wanted to teach at Baldwin High as the principal seemed very progressive, so this is what I like, right?



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time Off

This is our week of Fall Break. It is so wonderful to have the time off! I truly LOVE our year round calendar. It is so nice to have a week off about every 6 or 7 weeks. Just about the time you think you are going to collapse from being so tired, we get a break.

Even though my house is a disaster area and I don't know if I will ever get it cleaned up, it is still nice to be home in the middle of the mess. The weather is so beautiful outside til I am having real difficulty staying inside. All I want to do is sit on the front porch or the back deck and drink a good cup of coffee in the mornings and iced tea in the afternoons. I can't seem to MAKE myself get in here and do any work.

It's good to be a bum sometimes! :)

Something to think about...

A few people have mentioned ideas and suggestions for reaching the "unreachables". Yesterday, our school implemented a new program that I thought I would share with you. A couple of weeks ago, I got a note in my mailbox to make a list of the three students who irritated me the most along with three students I saw as loners. Our counselor took the names and typed them up, cut them into pieces and threw them into a jar. Then, she had each teacher pick a name. The purpose of this program (called CAB "Caring Adult in the Building") is to encourage these students who are "lacking love" so to speak, every time we see them. We hope that by doing this, we can reach these "unreachable" students and make a difference!

Observation from Jessie

Hi to all,
Jessie came and observed my class yesterday. Everything went smooth. My students were very well behaved. They all stayed on task, even the student who likes to sleep. They all participated and seemed to enjoy the lab. We did a rotation lab for vital signs. I divided them up in to pairs. I put my weakest students with my stronger students. Everything that I have learned from NTI has worked very well in my classes. I am so thankful for all they have taught us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cooperative Learning

I've used Cooperative Learning while instructing for Ford some years ago. However, I had forgotten about it until Sat. in Alpharetta when we used it all day in our assignment. My father-in-law and I went for an ATV ride on Sunday (He is a retired full bird col. in the Army of something like 35 years) and during our breaks, after cleaning the chunks of roosted mud from our helmets, we discussed cooperative learning strategies. He had been in military teaching for quite some time and to my surprise, provided some very valuable input about it. Settling down after a hard day of trail riding and trying to stay clear of each others roost, I got a couple of ideas about doing it in the classroom. I knew I had a couple of things planned for class in the first of the week but I said "What the heck, I'll implement some of these strategies and give them a whirl.
I started by creating a rubric first thing this morning which was followed by the making of a 31 topic list that they could chose from (no topics were the same in each class but were reused for next classes). When the students got there I introduced cooperative learning, laid out my expectations, paired up the students, assigned the topics, and last but not least.....I gave them their rubrics and a list of possible resources. I decided to make this a 4 day assignment that should make for extremely busy days. Much to my surprise, the students loved the assignment! There were multiple students that I checked out text books for the night so they could make theirs the best it could be. It was definitely a first! I would advise anyone to give this a shot. Not only does it make for great enthusiasm but the lessons are fairly easy to write and make for a pleasant day.

P.S. Yo Craig, how'd you get fired on yo day off? Stealin boxes? What was you doin, buildin a clubhouse?

First Month of school

I have completed a stress free month of school!!! HOORAY!
I love my classes and my students are typical teenagers.
I have been applying the strategies from NTI this year and I can see a difference in preparation and the students. I look forward to working and networking with my classmates as well as instructors. The remainder of the year should go as smooth as the first month.
Good Luck to everyone and happy teaching!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Week From You Know Where

This has been the week from you know where! We had Homecoming week, graduation testing, and the end of our first six weeks. In HOSA we made a float for our homecoming parade and it got destroyed by the storm friday night. I am so tired. I had my evaluation this week which turned out to be a good experience. Jennifer was so encouraging. She is great! On top of everything, my daughter got a virus and was sick all week. I felt so sorry for her. My husband stayed home with her because I didn't have any sick days left. I am so thankful he could do that. She is better. Just in time for our fall break. We get a week off this week." Hallellujah" as Esther says. That is one good thing about this job. I didn't get this much paid time off as a Dental Hygienist or Nurse. I am going to use this week to catch up on grades and clean my house. I am sooo behind on everything.

Is this the right "fit"?

I have been thinking long and hard about this teaching venture, beyond my first year's has been difficult for me to, "be mean and do not even smile until December" as I have been advised by numerous of my fellow instructors. That is not my personality, and I am naturally more of a warm person then I am able to be as an instructor. This requires more serious consideration and some input from my classmates...I am not a quitter, so I will fulfill my contract, but beyond that, I remain uncertain. When Jessie came to observe me, I told her I was starting to like my work, but then some other behavioral events made my 4th block that day bad...I just do not know. Kim

One week Later

Well, this week has been interesting as well. I did not write up any students this week. :) The suggestions that Jennifer give me are working. The lights are down, I stop the students at the door one or two at a time because some classes I have 28 students and the greeting was taking too long. The student have come to expect me at the door and some will wait for their personal greeting. My sponge activity is "The Quote of the Day" and the student are writing it down and writing their thoughts down. One student's writing was nice or at least sometime on the paper, so I asked him is if he was a writer? He said "No" then I told him that he had to be a secret writer because what he wrote was beautiful and that I was going to tell his English teacher that she had a greater writer in her class. He smiled and looked very proud. I love that about teaching and being with my kids.

Progress report card were due this week. I realized that I have 151 health science students in 6 classes that meet every other day--class size 25, 24, 25, 24, 28,25 then I have an advisory group of totally different students class size 17. I started to cry because I there is about 300 students in the whole school and I by myself teach 1/2 of the students in the small learning community school.


Observation Around the Corner!

Well, at least it looks like most people are having great experiences with the observations. That's good news because I have mine this week....Tuesday! I am very excited for Jesse to see our recording studio and facilities...and the class 'in-action!' Our class will have had a test on the Monday prior to Jesse's visit so I had planned a session of critical listening drills and music appreciation as sort of a 'lighter' day. I usually will not start a new unit the day after a test. I hope that she enjoys the visit, as there is not a lot to see when the kids are in the headphones. But, we DO have good discussion in between listens, and especially when we discuss the music. I was considering changing the plan for the day but after speaking with Jesse at Saturday's class she made me feel better about the whole observation. So now, after reading some other blogs, I have much less stress about the whole thing! Twas good to see most of you in class Saturday, though I wish the rest of you were there as well! Everybody keep up the good work and take care. Crockett, out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


This week has been a great week I had my first observation yesterday, everything went great. Jesse couldn't have been more helpfull. We began our discussion on tire safety this week and for the most part I think everyone understands how important tire safety is. The lesson that was discussed went great and the lab activities that followed went smoothly, if anyone is worried about their observation dont be worried. Riley Ray

Sometimes Kids Suprise You

D'Anthony took control of the class during Dr. J's visit. He's normally my biggest problem, but really took control when it mattered. Sometimes the kids you have the least confidence in, become your biggest cheering section. Now he knows that I will expect him to be a leader from here on out!!!!!!!

The biggest problem I have is that the teacher before me, did nothing to educate the students about Public Safety. Now I have to re-train the lads and lassies into the proper way things are to be done. Glad I have 30 years experience to help me along!


Going back to the old career

Friday, September 14, 2007

A better week

This week has been much better. Many of the disruptive behaviors continues but I have been able to follow my lesson plan. I have identified the "talking friends" in each class and I'm in the process of separating them through seat assignments.It appears the classes have FINALLY been leveled,
which is a good thing. I used the sheets with the quotes as a sponge activity and the students made some interesting comments. Some of the students asked to keep the sheets. I also used the "uncommon word" from the "Take Five" handout. I am GLAD it is the week-end.

Where are the parents?

My heart goes out for these children (our students). Ninth and tenth graders are coming to school pregnant. Eleventh and twelfth graders coming to school with ankle monitors or coming to school smoking. They think they can get away with it until the cops take them away in hand cuffs. I do know that the bills have to be paid, but it is also important to spend quality time with the children. We have seen these parents on the 6pm TV news saying "my child would never do this", but what do they know about their child? As a teacher you can do but so much only pray that they will take back their homes from the drug dealers and the TV, so we can have a better school.

Wow! Has it been six weeks already!

I can't believe it has been six weeks already and fall break is here!! Hallelujah!!!! It has gone by rather quickly. It has been so busy, learning a new school, the administration, the kids and how to try to use ed line as well as grade quick. I feel like the road runner, everything is in fast motion. My biggest challenge has been trying to read IEP's and learn how to modify assignments based on those needs. I have not received an in service on how to do modifications just told I needed to follow those IEP's. Hhum!If anyone has advise, please let me know. Beside the special need modifications everything has been quite interesting. The kids are great and full of energy. I have learned a dance called "Soljia Boy". I finally received my books today!! (six weeks into the school year) Well guys, talk to you soon.

follow-up to my last blog

I went to my counselor about the problem, she said I should called the child's mother. I called her, but did not get her, so I left her a voice message. She did not return a call, but instead came by school to see me. At the time of her visit, I was with Jessie doing my evaluation. She left me a written note wanting me to call her, so I did. She started to pour out her heart to me. 2 years ago she lost her husband via an auto accident, three years ago her son then 14 had sex with a girl and the case just went to trial. He was charged with rape and was found guilty. He was to be sentenced on Tuesday. I do not know what the out-come is, but she promised to call me to let me know what is the final outcome is.

Preparing for Dr. B's visit

Hello team:
My weekly recap wasn't the greatest! This week has been a very educational one to say the least. I have been in all sorts of classes from Health, to Algebra 2, to Weightlifting in a hot, stinky, smelly old gym, to Language Arts and my very favorite, Business Ed. The Business Ed teacher that I worked for this week was out due to premature labor pains, therefore I subbed for her class 3 days this week. I really enjoyed it and wish to have my own class like that one day soon. The teachers and staff are GREAT here.

In the midst of my busy schedule, I am preparing lesson plans for Dr. B's visit next week. I came up with some GREAT stuff, but we'll see... WHEW! It's a lot of work preparing lesson plans and working full time, but I'm persistent and know that I can handle it. To top it off, I will be in class with you guys all day tomorrow, so no rest for the weary. Oh, I forgot to mention, I have a sinus infection that makes my head feel big as a cement block... but never once called in sick, as bad as I felt.

As for the position in the other school, the principal offered me the position based on a long-term sub which I declined. The position is not open yet until they know if the teacher will return from maternity leave and by law, they can't give her job to me...):

At any point, looking forward to another informative semester...
Never Give Up!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Had my eval today. Just plan on the unexpected to happen. I had more outside class interruptions in one 90 minute class than I normally have in a semester. Mrs Greene was very understanding and had some good ideas for my class. For those of you that have not have eval's done yet don't sweat them. Just do your job and you will be fine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Conducting a Parent/Teacher Conference

Yesterday I had to conduct a Parent/Teacher Conference. We have over 2000 students at our school and only 3 counselors. The counselors are just swamped. So the Homeroom teachers are having to hold the conferences in their classrooms. The counseling office provided a form for me to fill out. I had to record (take minutes) of what was said and discussed. The mother, the student, and 5 or 6 teachers showed up. The 6th teacher had another meeting at the same time and emailed me the student's grade and gave me a report to relay to the mother. The student had 80 averages across the board, except for the 6th teacher's math class. The student is failing with a 49. And, of course, this was the main teacher the mother wanted to talk too.

So I had to write up the report and relay the information to the counselors that the mother is requesting a meeting with the math teacher to discuss the failing grade and what could be done to help bring the grade up, or maybe change the student to another math class. (All classes are pretty full and I doubt that the student will be changed to another class.)

Anyway, this was interesting. The meeting was at 8am in my classroom. The bell rings at 8:20 for the student's to be released from the commons area and go to their lockers and to their first period class. First period starts at 8:30. It's VERY LOUD in the hallway, the students are stampeding, and I am trying to usher mother out the door so she can get back to the front of the building safely. I felt like we were rushing and mother didn't really get to talk as much as she would have liked.

I'm not sure that this is the best way to handle Parent/Teacher conferences. We did the best we could but I don't know if mother was satisfied with this conference.

I hate that we don't have enough counselors. I feel sorry for the 3 we do have. They are working themselves to death to try and get everything done. Three counselors for over 2000 students is just not enough!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday Night NTI

Last night was our first Monday night class, really no problems at all getting there, just a few minor glitches once inside the main building. This morning I started class and went through the portion of the cooperative learning on page 220 part 4 that we went through last night at NTI. After this I put the students in groups of three and then explained that we were going to use these groups to explain the chapter in our text books that we have just gone over. Each group was assigned three pages of the chapter to work on and they would have to give a presentation to the class on those three pages. Actually teaching those three pages to the class,this way they have to read, hear[because the other students are teaching also], they will discuss their three pages with the other students in the group, and they will actually teach someone something. It has worked out great today . All of my classes are doing this on different subjects, so far most of them are doing power point presentation, which has really impressed me. All so far are doing a very good job.

Man, what a week!

Stress has definitely taken its toll the last couple of weeks. Between trying to keep the insanity out of my classroom and trying to get enrolled in this classroom I have kept myself at wits end. However, my students are picking up a great deal! Its nice to see some of the hard work already paying off. I look forward to seeing my Saturday bunch.......this Saturday!!!! Peace out!


I just want to thank you all for the feedback. It is so ironic Jessie, that you discuss nurture. This week we started discussing theories of why people commit crimes and nature vs nurture was part of the topic today. I will definitely try to locate the film and review it.

Now to more drama, did you guys see us on the news again? Now parents are complaining about their children not receiving books. No one knows where they are. Not to mention that their kids leave them in the halls, outside on the ground or in the classroom. Then when they get the fine, they don't pay for them. Did you guys see how surprised the board was that there were no books. Don't they approve the budget for these things? Well, I can say that I don't have book for my students, no one has tried to locate books for me and honestly if I don't complain, no one will bother to check. This is really frustrating and then they complain about how many copies we make. What am I suppose to do? No books, no printing from your copier, no secretary to make copies, you can't use the copier yourself, but you want me to teach. What??? Okay that's my vent for today. Hope everyone is having a great week. I am sure I will have more tomorrow after our monthly staff meeting.

If we can reach one student

I had one of my former students from last year come into my class this morning. She is a senior this year. She was an average student, I had to push her a lot some days. She decided after taking Healthcare III that she would go to the nursing home and get her CNA. She is currently employed with the nursing home now. She has decided after graduation that she will go into the medical field. She was writing on my board before the bell rang. She said as she was leaving "read what I wrote on your board." When I finally looked up and read what she wrote I was amazed. She wrote "Thank you Ms. Thomas for being my inspiration" I thought how sweet this was. You never know who you influence in this life. This was very surprising to me that she thought I was her Inspiration

Monday, September 10, 2007

Power Grade

Anyone out there use power grade as their computer gradebook? I started using the NTI method of total points rather than converting to 100% scale. I had a couple kids with really really low scores. When I put it in power grade it did absolutely nothing to their overall average. Anyone else ever have the same problem?

First Test!

Well, I just gave my students their first Unit test on Sound Physics. Hmmmm, probably no coincidence that this year's unit instruction was much more fun and exciting; I used many of my NTI lesson-plan activities! It has been great, and I had many more A's this year than in previous years (same test.) I had the kids write rap songs about each of the seven properties of sound waves and it was hilarious! I had fun, the kids had fun AND learned; even a counselor sat in and enjoyed! Many of my activities that had been in place for the last three years of my program have been revamped using NTI methods and this has helped immensely. I hope this year has gone well for everyone else as well and I look forward to seeing all of you in our next class meeting. Thanks again to Dr. Burns and Jesse!

I'm with Jessie

Let's send them all to Kenya.

Good Week

Hi to all,
Last week was a very productive week. I think finally I am getting into the groove of things. I got all my papers graded and returned in a timely manner. I also started HOSA stuff. I chose to elect officers first so that they can help with membership and projects. I have been watching how other club sponsors are doing things (You learn alot from observation). Alot of sponsors do things over lunch, they have a working lunch with their officers. Any advice you HOSA sponsors can give me would be great.
I finally got my desk moved to in my classroom. I put in a request at the end of last year to have my desk moved to the back of the room. The way my room is layed out you couldn't see the door or the right side of the lab area from my desk. Now I can see the entire room. I also have privacy and the students can't walk by my desk and look at my computer and papers. I am so excited that the maintenance people and tech people got together to get everything moved.

Foreign Exchange Students

Wow, what a week! I'm exhausted after reading the posts of my fellow classmates who are dealing with issues much larger and deeper than mine. I'm so thankful for this blog that we can share our struggles and triumphs. I'm thinking of each of you each day!

On Friday, I was introduced to three new students. Only one of them speaks any English whatsoever. I have a foreign exchange student from China and one from Japan. They are TOTALLY clueless as to what is going on (just the school atmosphere is overwhelming for them) and I'm struggling to help them get settled in. I have been told these students must go home with A's or B's. How is that even possible if they don't speak the language? My Japanese student couldn't even decipher when I introduced myself to him (complete with a handshake) and had to pull out his translater for that! I'm concerned that he will become completely lost today when we start notes over a new unit. He is sitting next to another Asian student (who I don't think speaks anything other than English) so it helps that he can physically identify with someone else. Any suggestions on teaching when there isn't much of a lab activity that can go with it? What we are doing now is strictly lecture material over facts and history. I haven't even had a chance to really talk to my Chinese student but I did get enough information to know that she doesn't even want to be here. Suggestions for making lecture easier for them to follow along with? I have given them copies of my notes, completed with the hopes that will make it easier to follow along. Should I have done that?

And yes, for those of you wondering, exchange students populate our programs quite readily. My question is, if they are here for cultural immersion, is a career/tech ed class the best place for them? I teach a language other than english (medialese) and it's hard enough for those who speak english to grasp it, imagine coming from another language and not knowing!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The week

This week one of my students committed suicided. He was 15 years old. Today they buried him. This week I returned to work after having an asthma attack and being out for 4 days. This week my principal put me on a PDP. This week we had a health fair at the school, so I had to work on my only daughter's birthday. She turned 13. This week my car broke down and cost me $450.00. This week Jennifer came to my class for my observation and I lost my computer cord (I could not get to my lesson plan, so I tried to do it over, did not work). My lesson was a mess and I was very tired and ready to give in.

This week Jennifer gave me some VERY SPECIFIC instructions and I changed my room lighting, moved all my desk around into the U shape then the students can and took all my table upstairs for the health fair so on Monday I will have to start all over again by myself.

This week....

Just Plain Tired

School has just started and I am already tired. With this being my third year, I thought I would be prepared. The summer session really helped with getting organized. I thought I would be prepared for the students, but this group has been overwhelming. No one wants to do anything. The students before told everyone how much fun the class was, but forgot to tell them all the work required. They think they already know everything.

Oh, did I mention the gang issues. It's worst than last year. Each week it's something new. Some of the students are afraid to come to school because of the threats; the administrators don't communicate; the teachers don't communicate. I hope some of you are having a better time.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Thanks Free Consultants

During our first NTI of the year, I was given some useful tips for learning student's names. Well, I use my seating chart in order of the roster (a few exceptions for vision) and it has worked well! In addition, I put an emphasis on 1st names, instead of 1st AND last, and that has helped as well...again, thanks for those words of wisdom

1st Year Frustrations Happen!

I certainly hear you frustrations! I naively thought that the kids in my HSTE classes would actually want to learn from me; like you mentioned, the kids are “dumped” into Career / Tech. classes. I HOPE that perhaps 5% really care to learn…I motivate myself for just those few. Just remember, the first year is the hardest one, and after that I am told it will be the hardest job you ever loved so much…Hang in there…

The perfect class

As a public safety instructor I would like to know how to get the perfect class. I have some students that are really interested in law enforcement and public safety. On the other hand, I have some students that I am teaching them to be good criminal. I am not having problem with my sp. ed. kids some of them will be good kids and they will be good in the field as radio operator, CSI. I have some kids that already have criminal records. And talking with some of the kids I ask "why are you in this program?" the response is "I don't know". Who put you in this program? "My counselor" Is there a such thing as the perfect class?

Please help!

Career Opportunity

Hello team:
I need some input from you on a possible career change. A colleague of mine has informed me of a Video Broadcast position that may become open in another school system. The teacher who was in the position was rushed to the hospital last week with contractions and is not due until December. However, I love the school where I am because it is 5 minutes from my home, there is room for growth next year, and the staff seems to be nice thus far. However, I don't have my own classroom since I am a stellar sub and make half of a teachers salary. I am uncertain just what to do should I be offered the position? I think the chances of me getting the position are high since they are in a bind right now without a video broadcast teacher and not knowing when she will be able to return to work. Should I accept the offer if I get it or just stay put? The option of moving to another school system (3o min. drive for me and getting to know a new staff doesn't appeal to me, but I do want my own classroom. Confused??

Friday, September 7, 2007

Classroom Management Links

Several of you have written about classroom management issues this week. I hope some of you will write in with advice and suggestions to the folks who have posted on this topic. I've also pasted some links below to websites devoted to classroom management strategies. You can also talk to other teachers at your school to get their advice. I hope you find these sites helpful.

Discipline by Design—Stages of Discipline

11 Techniques for Better Classroom Discipline

Behavior Management Checklist


The Online Teacher Resource

A Reference Guide for Handling Over 117 Misbehaviors at Home and at School

Ideas for changing behavior

Who is Who in your class

This week I realized that one of my students has not been in class since last Thursday, so I decided to call his mother on her cell phone on Wednesday. When I asked for her son, her reply was " he was in jail and he is in court as we speak". I gave her my cell number and asked her to call me, to date she has not called me. Do you think I should call her?

Tried Something Else New

This past week, my intro. students have been working on timelines to coorespond to significant dates in healthcare history. Today we did the gallery tour and they loved it! We did it very similar to how we did it in class. They get to see their artwork on the walls and their placement was determined by what their peers thought. You see, I'm allowing them to be on the walls for their test to help them out. However, most of them forgot that as they were doing the project and you can barely see the writing for it being so small. They were all excited to see the comments and, even more so, the "awards" they won for their hard work!
What to try next? I guess I need to go back to class to learn some more tricks! :)

TGIF for Me Too!

Good Morning all,
I wanted to commend you for everything you have done this week for your students. Like many of you, I have frustration with paperwork, processes that don't run smoothly in the system, etc. When I get down, I think about all of you out there and my feelings lift. Dr. J

Another week

I must say this week has been a little better. Around this time last week I was ready to resign this position. I am having to adjust to the realization that the disruptive students will not be moved out. Each of my classes has its own unique issues. It seems the disruptive groups out weigh the students who are interested in the health field ( in each class ). This is another week,I have made it through. Take care and have a good week-end.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Things They Do Not Tell A First Year Teacher

We had to post our 4 1/2 week grades this week. Thankfully my wife told me what needed to be done because my administration did not. First of all I finally realized I needed to be keeping a gradebook this past week - just kidding!!!!!!! Actually, my wife told me to keep a hard copy of all grades in the gradebook we had to purchase from the school box. The school system no longer purchases gradebooks for the teachers because we are required to keep our grades in the computer. My school system keeps grades in "Portal". We also keep attendance in this system as well. Guess when I received formal training from my school on this system? Yes, you guessed it 2 weeks after school started. Portal lost my grades once and then lost my "intern" grades. If I had not kept a hard copy of my grades, I would really be upset at this point. My students grades are visible in the system, however, even my department head has no idea if my grades will actually show up on the progress reports that my students receive tomorrow (Friday). We only assume that they will because the academic administrator has not sent me any nasty emails stating for me to enter my grades. I was suppose to print my grade verifications however I cannot print in my room because technology has still not arrived to install my printers (I have sent in 4 work requests).

Dr. Burns wasn't kidding when she stated that pre-planning had really nothing to do with planning. They should have taken the teachers new to the system and given us instruction on Portal amongst other things rather than making us attend meetings that were not applicable to first year teachers.

Every day is a great day!

This week at school has been a great week. We've accomplished a lot in a short period of time. The kids have been pretty calm, we have our first pep rally tomorrow so our schedules will be shortened and the whole day will be thrown off just a little bit. But no matter how rough a day may seem it's always a great day to be alive, healthy and have the ability to do all things. This week I started my kids on basic engine identification. I split the kids up into four groups had them tare an engine down, identify every piece that they remove and give the function of each piece. I truly feel that this was a great project for the kids not only did they learn how to tare an engine down,they also learnt what tools needed to be used when removing certain components and they also learnt how to find the proper size of the tool required for the job. Last year, I had a problem with students not returning their tools and cleaning their area up like they are supposed to do, but this year I started stopping all projects ten minutes early and giving the kids enough time to clean up and that was the solution I was looking for. I hope everyone had a great week and if your week was a little hectic just stop and look to the positive. Always remember it could be a lot worse, there's a Bible verse that I like to repeat when I feel a little down: this is the day that the Lord hath made. May we be glad and rejoice in it. Don't quote me on that, but I think you all get the point. God bless you all Riley

I Love My Students

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I Love My Students
Hello Everyone,This has been a good week but very busy! We had our Fall Kick Off Party for HOSA and our elections. The kids are real excited this year about HOSA and I have about 21 students going to Fall Conference. Trying to run to run HSTE program and HOSA is hard work but rewarding. The students are very appreciative of my efforts. I had one of my third year students, that I had last year tell me yesterday that the wants to become an R.N. and minor in education. She said she wants to be like me. She called herself Ms. Floyd's Mini-ME. That thrilled my soul!!!! What a reward!!!!!!!!!!! That right there made all of the hard times that I had last year worth every minute of it. I hope everyone has a good week!! Tracy
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Observation Nerves

Jennifer is coming to observe me on Monday. I've been OK with it until today. And now all of a sudden I am getting very nervous about it. What if I mess up? What if my lesson plan stinks?

I was not nervous at all but now I am.......
Say a prayer for me!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


For the most part my kids have been well behaved. I worked it out with our ROTC instructors to take my kids to the rappel tower today. They had a good time and all enjoyed the activites. I will bribe them tomorrow and tell them if they continue to be good we can do more fun activities.

The movie Freedom Writers

Hi Everybody,
I just want to recommend this movie. It is wonderful! It tells it like it is. It also makes you take a good, long look at yourself and how much time you spend at school. I am still struggling with going home at a decent hour. This movie helps me to remember the price teachers pay for not balancing their time. Home is important! Very important.

Jessie, I plan to look up some of those websites you posted to help me with my time management. There just does not seem to be enough hours in the day......

Anyway, I hope you will all watch this movie. Freedom Writers. It is worth your time.


Group Activity

Hi Everybody,
Just wanted to let you know I tried the group activity that we did at NTI this week. I divided the students into groups of 6 or 8. I had 3 or 4 students seated in desks that were back to back. These were the Counselors/Doctors. Then 3 or 4 students would stand in front of the seated students. These were the Clients/Patients. All students had a worksheet that they had completed in class the day before. The Patients would ask the Doctors questions from the worksheet. The Doctors would give the correct answers. After 2 or 3 minutes, I flicked the lights, and the Patients would rotate to the left to consult with another Doctor. It was fun! And it was a great way to review for our test. After we had made the rotation to each doctor, the students switched rolls. The repetition was good for reviewing. Test scores were higher!

I plan to use that again in the future.

I've used other group activities that we learned during the summer. I've had the students count down and we picked groups (all the ones in this corner, all the twos in that corner, etc.) We used this for completing worksheets, for doing review questions, and study guides.

I had difficulty last year with doing group activities. It would just be too loud, and chaos. But so far this year I am very pleased with how smooth group activities have been.

Why didn't I think of assigning a noise monitor last year????
Thanks, NTI!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

students taking notes

Last year I had trouble getting the students to keep an automotive notebook ,so at the beginning of the year I used some of my local money to buy 60 notebooks and composition books for my students.It has been a great idea so far. I have told all of my classes the importance of taking notes,and today to my amazement my whole third block was taking notes and wrote down nearly everything that was said.It slowed the class down a little because sometimes a student asked me to repeat something because he didn't quite finish writing it down.Thats the kind of slow down that doesn't bother you.I love teaching in that situation!

Frustration or Stress

You can pay for it and keep it or stamped it return to sender never to return. I have ordered two fans and other equipments for my lab and to date I have not receive them. I have done all the ground work by getting prices and where to purchase these items. I had was to warn my practicum coordinator about the heat in my lab before she comes. Then today I was told that there is no money in my account to purchase small items for my class. Is this frustration or Stress? for me it is just another day in Dekalb. Don't let things like these get you down hold your head up and keep moving forward.

Time Management for Teachers

Hi All,

Jamie's post inspired me to research websites that offer helpful advice on time management for teachers. I think all teachers suffer from the stress and anxiety caused by the seemingly overwhelming demands of their jobs. In an effort to look for time management solutions to our profession, I've copied and pasted some links below to a few websites that you may find helpful. Additionally, it might be nice if members of our community of bloggers added some advice and suggestions for time management.

Someone is watching you.

Last school year a teacher left her office door opened, when she returned money and credit card was missing. No one knew who did it. ( Have you ever heard Warner Wolf doing the sports news and he would say "Leeets go to the video tapes ".) so that was what we did. When we viewed the tape we got the answer. Two students were taken out of class by the cops. One spent the night in jail because his mother did not knew where he was. Both of them are now in alternative school.

Troubled Student

One of my "troubled" students had to leave my class permanently and actually begin alternative schooling using the internet! But you know that these trouble-makers will never be motivated enough to complete their education without direct supervision. Last I knew this kid was under the direction of a truant officer


1st Week Blog

Hi to all. This is my post for last week. I am running behind lately. I find myself always a day late and a dollar short everyday. I realized this weekend that I don't have enough time to do everything that I have committed myself to (personal and professional). Even though we did those Classroom Management Plans during the summer I still find myself needed more time to do things. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get everything done in a school day. I don't like taking things home but this weekend I took papers home to grade. I like to get everything graded and returned the next day. I think my biggest difference between this year and last year is that I am teaching 3 different levels of Healthcare Science. Last year, I taught only 2 level each semester ( I had 2 classes of the same level). I have also committed myself to starting HOSA which as been on the back burner until this week. Do any of you Healthcare Science Folks have any suggestions on a good Kick-off for HOSA? I am planning to elect officers this week so I am planning to let them do the kick-off.

Any new ideas?

Good Morning-

It feels like a Monday, but yes it is Tuesday...a 4 day week...Hooray! Well the past week has been full of excitement...ha ha! I need your assistance. As many that feel like responding to this post, the better!

Some of you may know that I work for KSU, however from time to time, the Department of Education (DOE) requests our help. Whether we want to provide the help or not, we are sort of "suckered" into it if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, it seems that any time we work with them on anything it is an UNORGANIZED MESS!!!!

Lately, they have asked for our help with many of the CTAE trainings all over the state. KSU only serves in the capacity as a host for the training(s), but part of what I do at KSU is not only teach but work with teachers and their understanding of the GPS and unit/lesson planning. Now I am not an expert in many of your content areas, but from what I have seen the training isn't providing you with the tools and resources you need for the new GPS. Do you all see this problem? Or do you feel that the appropriate training is being provided? To me it seems very unorganized...I would love to get your thoughts on this.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Racist Remarks

I had a situation were a group of students wanted to talk more than complete a computer lab assignment. I asked the students to stop the monkey business and get back to work. Then one of students twisted the remark and said, "I called him/her a monkey." The reply by the student was obviously trying to provoke a situation. Then the student took my last name and turned it into a racist word. The situation never escalated beyond that point. Parents were called and administration handled the discipline. The parents were familiar with the common cliche "monkey business." This simplistic seeming incident could have been a nightmare. I guess there will always be someone or something trying to distract a teacher from a good work. The amazing part of the story was how much the students disliked the racist remark.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

student arrested

Had a student arrested for writing gang graffiti on the bathroom wall. He just turned eighteen I here he is going to be in real trouble. The detective told me he would be charged with some kind of gang laws in addition to destruction of property. Can any of you public safety people give me some info on these gang laws. I need to make my students aware of the consequences of gang activity.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Planning Periods

As a first year teacher, I find it extremely frustrating that the administration feels it necessary to use planning periods for meetings, monitoring, etc. I "have" first period planning - unfortunately I never seem to get to "plan" for my students. I have not had a planning period for over a week due to meetings, monitoring, testing, etc. I wish they would let us use our planning periods for just that - planning.

First Blog

Checking to see if I did this correctly.