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Sunday, September 30, 2007
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.
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 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
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
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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.....
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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.
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 !!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
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.
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! :)
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
Have a good week
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.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
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."
Friday, September 21, 2007
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!!!!!
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.
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!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
SEE YOU ALL SATURDAY
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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! :)
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
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?
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
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.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
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!
Friday, September 14, 2007
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.
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
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
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
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.
Monday, September 10, 2007
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.
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
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.
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
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…
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
Discipline by Design—Stages of Discipline
11 Techniques for Better Classroom Discipline
Behavior Management Checklist
The Online Teacher Resource
The Online Teacher Resource
A Reference Guide for Handling Over 117 Misbehaviors at Home and at School
Ideas for changing behavior
Ideas for changing behavior
What to try next? I guess I need to go back to class to learn some more tricks! :)
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
Thursday, September 6, 2007
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.
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
Posted by TracyF at 6:22 PM 0 comments
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I Love My Students
Tracy Floyd View my complete profile
I was not nervous at all but now I am.......
Say a prayer for me!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
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.
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????
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
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.
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
Sunday, September 2, 2007