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?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Parade Success

Tuesday was a great day for my Construction Technology program. It would appear that each year, I am going to be given the "opportunity" to create our entry for the downtown Rome Christmas parade. Other instructors do get involved, but my classes are responsible for the bulk of the work. This is actually ok, the students get to practice building something with a real-world meaning. It also means "competition". The students really get "psyched-up" when they have a chance to compete. The instructor doesn't, though. Ok-who am I kidding? I love it. Last year we placed fifth in the Adult division, this year we came in second. If we move up just one more slot next year..... You may want to consider doing a float if you can- it is great publicity for your program and your school.
joe c


Today everything came to a head during the first few minutes of second block. The usual horseplay begins and a bulb on the ceiling gets knocked down with a piece of PVC pipe and a couple of kids almost get hit by the debris. Dr. B was at my last observation and was witness to the kind of behavior they are capable of. Given all the other incidents this semester I felt it high time for a reckoning. The whole class has been assigned to copy the entire glossary of the Core Curriculum books before they can set foot inside the shop to engage in another project. The funny thing was I was as calm and collected as a jeweler setting a diamond. I've decided that I can't go on like this and I shouldn't let them either. They never started on the words and had some 70 minutes to do so, they just pleaded with me. We'll see what happens on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This has been a very busy four months. This year my automotive program had to be re certified from NATEF and AYES. The NATEF re certification finished up about four weeks ago. About three weeks ago Ms. G scheduled her observation visit to my class for November 28th at 1:30, which was fine. About two weeks ago, the lady from AYES also scheduled on the 28th at 10:00. Needless to say Wednesday was a very hectic day, but all went well. During Ms. G's visit the students were scheduled to work in groups in the lab. Everything went great. Also, our AYES re certification went well. All the hard work has paid off and now we are re certified in both areas.


SkillsUSA Students Wanted

It's about twelve school days left in this semester and I'm not pleased with the progress my program has made. I worked very hard to promote SkillsUSA and the rewarding benefits students can gain from being a member. I showed the SkillsUSA DVD, I showed a letter of SkillsUSA winners from the National Competitions, and told them about all the self improvement workshops they would have the opportunity to attend. I had only one student to pay. I thought several other students were going to join but they never came up with the initial fee money. I then submitted a request to sell snacks and have not gotten it back yet. I was going to use some of this money to reduce the cost of the initial fee. Now it looks like it's going to be next year before I can possibly get more students to join. I was so glad that this courageous student stood tall and joined, I put on a pizza lunchon to get things off to a good start. My student enjoyed it and looks forward to SkillsUSA acitivities in the future. If anyone has a successful SkillsUSA chapter, please share the wealth! I need all the pointers I can get. Thanks in advance.

3 Weeks Left...WHAT?!

Well, here we are. Almost done with the first semester of the 07-08 year!! I guess this is about the time where most of us are truly realizing how "on" or "off schedule" we've been all year. It seems like many new teachers, at this time of year, are either finding it difficult to keep students engaged because they've taught everything on the curriculum; or, they're wondering how they are going to cover two more units and tests in these last 2.5-3 weeks!! YIKES! Anyway, I hope that all of you have "hit your mark" with instructional timing this year and that your students are ready to ace your final exam! I know that my kids have been working up to this point ALL YEAR LONG! On Monday, my students will be "in session" for the rest of the year until finals. They are producing a commercially viable music recording and all students groups will receive 12 hours of studio time this year! (As opposed to last year's 8 total hours.) Needless to say, this is my, and my students' favorite time of year. Rock on y'all!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fund raiser

It seems that there are no more funds to be had in the construction tech class for the rest of the year. We've spent the meager funds that we had which came as quite a surprise. However, plan B was discussed and accepted by my principal. We are having a storage building bash! You pay for the material and we furnish the labor! I've had several reply e-mails from interested teachers here at school. I hope it works! I'll keep you posted as to how it all goes!

Confronting without Accusing

Hello NTI Family:
Recently I was reading info on The Master Teacher series and wanted to share some valuable tools to use when confronting a student or parent.

1. We need to remember that confronting and accusing are two different actions with two different intents. When used together they become two negatives that almost always combine to produce a negative result that solves nothing.

2. A common mistake made when confronting is to talk about everything except the core issue that led you to confront in the first place. Therefore, don't skirt the issue.

3. The skill of confronting is easier if we look upon the act as caring, rather than an act of accusation. This attitude can guide our approach. After all, caring is a basis for human acceptance.

4. Confronting should be private and confidential. This way future relationships are enhanced and the person doesn't feel threatened.

5. If you're angry, take time to gain control of any negative emotions before you confront so that you avoid saying accusatory words such as "You did..." or "You always...."

As we strive to become Master Teachers, we should know that confronting without accusing is a responsibility we must learn to perform well. We should learn to address the real issue in a considerate and professional way. If we don't learn to confront without accusing, we fail to become the Master Teacher that we are capable of.

Never Give Up!

Ethical Issue?

Hello all! I hope you are having a great week, knowing we only have about 3 left in the semester!! (104 days left in my school year!!)

I have something to run by you...I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

I learned yesterday that our Employee Intent forms for next year will be given to us next week and that they will be due before we leave for Christmas break. Then, upon our return in January, we will be signing our contracts (due before Jan. 31) for the next school year? Does anyone besides me see some MAJOR issues with this? Does anyone else experience this at their school? I have many concerns, all of which I have voiced. These concerns are not from a personal standpoint in terms of my employment next year, but out of concern for the message it is conveying. If all the contracts have to be signed by Jan. 31, this means that all the teacher evaluations must be done by then. So, what is to prevent a teacher from just "taking a semester off"? I know that they will still be monitoring teachers, but truthfully, an administrator might walk down the career/tech hall once a semester! What do you all think of this?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mark Your Calendars

Hello Everyone,
Jessie sent out an email but I think some of you did not receive it. When we put the schedule together for next semester, we forgot about TIEGA - which I hope many of you will attend. If you are going for the Saturday option next semester these are the class dates:
February 2
February 9
March 15
April 5
April 12
April 26

Please remember to stay current in checking your GSU email. Thank you and sorry for the change. It is difficult to think of everything . . . . Dr. J

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Ya know, the more I look the more I find. Being an Automotive Instructor, I once thought that 95% of my resources were "hard parts" such as wheels, water pumps, A-tech trainers ect.. . I am now finding that I can teach as much if not more from the classroom and my need for "hard parts" is still there, but other resources are just as beneficial.

I just came back from Durhamtown Plantation in Union Point, GA for a weekend race/ride. While I was down there, not only did I pick up a ton of literature that could be used but I also took some pictures. Not just your basic pictures on me jumping some crazy ramps on a motorcycle or ATV, but some pictures that would rattle the minds of my students and teach them more about the Automotive and Motorcycle cultures. I also took many pictures of different things that could be used for identification purposes. Its not cool to take your job on vacation with you, but sometimes its your job that takes you on the vacation that you are going on.

Also, on the trip back home I stop by Wal-Mart to have some pictures developed. As I'm waiting I decide to blunder through one of those 2 for $10 video bins. Needless to say, I have come to expect nothing good out of these bins, and that's exactly what was in them. I have seen the movie "Tucker" once a few years ago. It was "just OK", but not good enough to watch multiple times. As I pic it up, I can see that being a biography about a man that made and manufactured his very own automobile that was way ahead of time would now become a useful learning tool to prompt further investigations in my classroom. It pays to use perspective sometimes.

BTW, my second movie for my 2 for $10 deal was "Supercross: The movie" which can also be used in the curriculum frameworks.

Hi Guys

Hi everyone,
Sorry I haven't kept in touch lately. We have been very busy. We (the baby and I) have had some complications. We have been to the doctor almost everyday. Leah has jaundice and wasn't eating well. Her weight dropped down to 5 lbs 7 oz. She is now up to 5 lbs 14 oz. We go back tomorrow to see if she has gained back to her birth weight. I developed a hematoma underneath my tubal incision and had to have it drained. Hopefully after Tuesday (our last scheduled doctor's appt.) we can settled down and enjoy our time together. It is hard to believe that Leah will be three weeks old tomorrow. Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hope to see you all soon. Jamie

TIEGA Conference

Hello Everyone,
I wanted to encourage each of you to attend the TIEGA Conference in January. It is January 25 (evening) and January 26 in Newnan, GA. TIEGA stands for Trade and Industrial Educators of Georgia. Jessie and I will have a GSU information booth there and would really like some of you to help us staff it. I was going to say "man" it, but that sounded gender specific, and "woman" it didn't sound right either. HSTE teachers also have sessions at the TIEGA conference and I think they have a pretty good time. I think Jessie and I will be presenters at the HSTE part.
TIEGA has a web site and I encourage you to check it out. At the same time, check out the web site of the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). ACTE is the national organization and it doesn't cost much to join in comparion to other professional organizations. ACTE keeps you posted on all the latest CTE news, plus you receive Techniques Magazine. Jessie and I are both members, and we will be presenting a session at the National Conference in Las Vegas. I presented last year at the conference in Atlanta. With this organization, I have colleagues all over the country and I really enjoy seeing them once a year! If you have any questions about either organization, please email me and I'll tell you what I know. Well, Thanksgiving is over and it's back to the salt mine - at least mine is wonderful Sea Salt! Dr. J

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Week of Vacation

Like many others, I have enjoyed an entire week of vacation. I was very glad to have the break to sleep and enjoy myself.

I am looking forward to getting back next week and finishing the semester with my students. I actually began to miss them around Thursday.

Steven V

Friday, November 23, 2007

Career Projects

I am thankful to have this week off. It has given me an opportunity to get caught up on some things. I have spent time with my family which has been wonderful. We went to the World of Coca Cola and went ice skating in Centennial Park. I have also been able to get caught up on grading projects. I gave my students Career Projects. They had to write a research paper, make a tri-board or power point and present it to the class. It has been hard grading the papers. I gave the students complete instructions on what is expected in the project and I am shocked that probably 10 % actually did everything they were supposed to. Some students did not even turn in a project which is worth two test grades. I am supprised at the writing skills of the students. Some of the students made the tri-board and presented it to class but did not write a paper. I just don't understand the lack of concern they have for their grades. Some of the students do not take the time to do what is needed to do well on their projects. Some of the students do not take pride in their work. I did have a few that went all out and completed a wonderful project but it was only a few. I don't think these kids understand what they are in for. How do you make them understand that in order to make it you have got to work hard! They just don't get it!


I am so thankful to have had this past week off to enjoy my family. It's going to be really hard to go back to work on Monday!!! I had an enjoyable Thanksgiving day with my husband's family and am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.

I want to give a special shout out to Jessie and Dr. B for the best class ever this past Saturday. I wasn't feeling too well, but they always make it worth the time and the drive. I love this class and I'm already wondering what I'm going to do when NTI is over. I'll really miss it!

Is anyone going to TIEGA in January? I think it's the 25th-26th.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slipping through the cracks

I know some of you new teachers are wondering just like me "How did some of our students make it to the twelve grade and cannot read or write? My first day in class I will never forget when I ask the class to go out in the parking lot and find there favorite car and bring me a brief description about what they like and dislike about the vehicle. I couldn't believe what I had seen. I was so shocked to see some of their writing. I went to a veteran teacher and ask her if she had notice after all these years of teaching how bad some of the students writing was. She replied "don't worry about it just do your job it will be OK" I know that parent send us their best, but it scary. This is our future.

What a difference a year makes

Haven't been on in a while computer issues. Last year I didn't know if I would make it or not. My class was unruly, my personal life was a mess and I was broke. I pretty much felt like a failure in every aspect of my life. I hope the statute of limitations is up but one time last year a kid was driving me so crazy that I put him in the closet desk and all. When I realized that what I was doing was crazy, I told him to come back out and he refused saying that the closet was his office. I didn't know what to do so I just let him stay there the rest of the day. He finally came out when they called his bus. Also, I would hear other teachers gossiping about how chaotic my class was and I would not have admitted it at the time but it was hurtful not to have the respect of my peers and administration. That may give some idea of my teaching ability last year.

This year has been much different. We have had minimal discipline problems. The students are generally engaged, my principal has asked me what I did with the teacher from last year and even had me demonstrate lessons and classroom management techniques to the faculty. I'm not always pleased with my performance as a student but I'll have to say I don't know what I would have done without NTI.
Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one!

Great class on Saturday!! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot too!

You guys are the best classmates ever!!!!

And Dr. B and Jessie are just super terrific teachers!!!! What WONDERFUL role models we have!

Love to you all! Enjoy your families this holiday!

Media Literacy

A very interesting article about facilitating students' media literacy (click on link). Check it out.

Something for our HSTE Folks

I found this website (click on the link) quite by accident, but it looked like something that might be of interest to the HSTE folks for professional development. Check it out.

GREAT class Sat.

Kudos again to Ms. H and Dr. B. I had a great time in class on Sat. with the panel discussion and the game we played with guessing the states. Where do you guys come up with such great things to keep us motivated to learn? I know I wasn't feeling good in the beginning due to teeth extractions, but by the afternoon I was much better. I also know that the experiences shared in NTI class will never be forgotten. I only hope to be able to motivate my students just as much. Today students need varied teaching methods and without engaging them, we lose them.

To the panel group: The questions were very good and the actors names were adorable. The other group was great as well. Thanks to all of you on my team; you were great to work with. We really do have some talented folks in our class.

On another note, I need some input from people in the Monday group. Are the Monday evening classes as good as Saturday? Are they rushed? Still confused about which one to register for, since April is my busiest time of the year for weddings.
Wishing all of you a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Never Give Up!

A Great Observation!

My special thanks to Dr. Burns for a great visit! I was so relaxed this time I think I could have fallen asleep! My kids were a bit more like their usual selves, somewhat zooish, but then they eventually snapped out of it. It's amazing how these kids act sometimes. It was as if they had no idea there was an important visitor let alone the teacher! I figure if we can teach these kids with this kind of adversity and still do a decent job just think what we could do with a bunch of ready and willing kids! But then we might find ourselves out of place and not be able to do anything! I'd rather think not! Not after NTI! Thanks to all of our instructors, Ya'll are the bomb! Thanks to all my fellow NTIers, you guys are the best classmates! Thanks to God for this awesome job!
Ya'll have an awesome turkey day,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I must say.....

Its been a pretty good week! Ive had a ton to do but Im fishing my way through it pretty good! Ive had a school observation, a GSU observation, a state observation, and a board observation and all have went well! I think im gonna become a professional obersvee.

It was great to see everyone at campus again this saturday, I hope you all made it home OK. This acting thing was pretty fun as well as funny, I just cant get enough of this Johnny guy! But ya know, I didnt really know what a panel discussion could be used for in general but it would appear to work well in a classroom setting from time to time. The only issue I see is coming up with the student experts. This might make for a good long term assignment to help fill in time when needed. I figure I could start each student on a separate mini section and have them study it to the max, then possibly do some panel projects middle and end of term. Either way, Im glad I got to see one in action and I hope all of you guys had a great time!

Proud to be an American

Ladies and Gentleman,
The holidays are slowly approaching us. Don't forget the soldiers and families that died and gave you the right to be free.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

NTI on Saturday Hey!!

I am glad to have classes on Saturday. I made a promise last year, not to go to GSU downtown. The one time that I tried to attend GSU NTI was a nightmare with traffic. I rode around in circles looking for a parking space. I started talking to myself, road-rage was setting in, and when I stopped at a traffic light, someone wanted to know if I had some change to spare. Dr. B and Jesse thank you for looking out for me and other NTI students. If I really, really had to come to attend GSU downtown, I would call one of you guys to come and get me.

Thank God for Saturday classes!!

Student disrupting class

Ladies and Gentleman,
Disrupting class use to be a nightmare for our teachers not anymore. First check your schools policy and see how they want to handle disruptive behavior. At my school, I had a come to Jesus meeting with my administrator's. I basically told them that we are losing good teachers because of a problem we could fix. As the school resource officer I told them that I don't do disciple, and they don't do criminal procedure. Now if a student gets charged with disrupting a class, he will get ISS and I will give him a court date. This cut down our disruptive behavior.

Saturday class

I just wanted to tell all of the class on the 17th that this was the most fun I've had in a while.We had some wonderful actors and actresses in there.There for a minute I thought we were on a field trip to a comedy club.I had not looked forward to the 60 mile one way drive saturday morning but it was well worth it.I hope everyone has a GREAT THANKSGIVING and enjoy the well deserved day off.I give a standing ovation to all.Remember if things are not spelled correctly,I am an automotive teacher.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lots to be thankful for!

Hi everyone!
It's FRIDAY!!!! YEAHHHHH!!!! I just love Fridays.
As I was sitting in my desk at the end of the day, I started thinking about all that has happened since pre-planning. It has been incredibly busy with learning a new system, learning the policies of our school and then it hit me, the thing that has been the most valuable is taking the time to know some of my kids better. I received two notes today from students. One was a two page thank you and the other an explanation to an absence that had been a mystery to all of us (teachers). Immediately I felt thankful for having the opportunity to teach these students. Yes some of them can be knuckleheads, but the majority are great. Things may be hard at times, but one never knows the trials others are going through. Take the time to be thankful for little things and everyone around you. Have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

A Well Deserved Honor!

Hello all,
Things have been crazy the last few weeks, and I am so ready for our holidays! Yesterday, I had a extremely great speaker visit my class from Automotive University Technical Institute located in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was really worried about how my students would behave- this gentleman had traveled quite a few miles to speak to us. Once again, I was delightfully surprised, my students were very attentive and respectful, they asked interesting questions and told the speaker some interesting stories of their own!. The UTI Speaker actually invited us to visit his Nascar Technical Institute in North Carolina (Which to my understanding is a great honor that is not given out very often) and I am currently working on this trip for my students.
When all seems to be crazy and confusing- just leave it to a few great kids to pull a surprise!
I hope that each of you have a Healthy Thanksgiving with your family and friends, and I wish God's greatest Blessings on you all for all you do- everyday, to make a difference!- Riley

Baby in the House

Sorry guys. We're going PINK for a few weeks in honor of Jamie's new baby. Congratulations to the Thomas' family on their new addition.

Winding Down!

Four more weeks after the break, where has the time gone! I have mixed feelings about the new semester. I've had a chance to establish fairly decent relationships with some of the kids and now I kind of hate to see them go. But then there is the excitement of starting the new classes and being able to implement all of the new changes in-turn making things run even more smoothly and efficiently for the next 18 weeks. I have 2 advanced Carpentry classes coming up so the curriculum will change but the stuff I'll be teaching is a lot of fun. My other class is a level 1 class. I've already taught it twice and it just keeps getting easier including the discipline issues. I think the better you get at teaching a particular level the more professional you get. I've started building my house and hope to include some of the kids from my advanced classes in the project. I have to speak to my principal about legalities. My two 2nd level classes as well as my 1st level class made it through the electrical portion of their curriculum. They seemed to have a lot of fun. I know I am!

Special Ed EBT class

Happy Friday Classmates,
Today I have the privilege of subbing in an EBT class of students that don't want to do anything but clown around, curse and stay off task. I have a parapro with me who knows everything about the students, however I am not teaching anything. It is more like babysitting. It really does take a "Special" person to teach Special Ed. I am grateful for the experience of being in here to know that this is one area that I don't want to teach in.

Yesterday was just the opposite with college prep history classes where students didn't want to do much, but there were about 10 kids that really valued their education. On top of that I was in a class with another teacher that obviously hasn't been through NTI so his classroom management was totally weak. I am convinced that the more I teach and witness the behavior of students and teachers, that we as a society are losing the battle to properly educate kids across America. Educators don't make enough for the hard work that we do and students devalue education. It seems that students today don't want to be in school, think that they can be disrespectful to teachers. I concur with the recent statements by Bill Cosby on Oprah while discussing the new book "Come On People" that talks about how education is no longer a priority for America and that we are failing our youth by not parenting them properly. This book is a wake call for America and not just for African-Americans because this week I've witnessed all races failing out and just being low level students that don't care. We really need to take this to the Capital steps and try to get more done to increase the educational values in America and make people more responsible for the injustices being done in our schools.

On another note, I am really looking forward to seeing all of you in class tomorrow.
Never Give Up!

Disrespectful Children

Hi everyone,

I really don't have any complaints this week. I am very excited that we have next week off. I really need the break. This week, we had a fight at school which is nothing new, but the thing that really concerned me was that a student hit a parent in the head with a chair. Can you all believe that? It really bothers me that students have no respect for adults. I talk to my students all the time about respect and some still don't get it. I tried to explain to them that when I was growing up, It was okay for someone else's parents to chastise me. Some of the students thought I was crazy. They absolutely believe that no one else should be able to tell them what to do even if they are wrong. Whatever happen to "It takes a village to raise a child"?

Welcome Leah Breanne Thomas!

Just wanted to let you know that we had our baby on November 5th at 12:29pm. Here are some pictures of her. We named her Leah Breanne Thomas. She weighed 6 lbs 2 oz and was 19 1/4". She was born three weeks early so we are keeping her at home for awhile until she is a little bigger. Sorry it has taken me so long to let you know. I have been busy with breastfeeding, MD appts, and everything else. I had a tubal after Leah was born and I have had some complications with the incision.
Jamie Thomas

P.S. I don't know how to load pictures on here but I'll bring them to class tomorrow! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Good Week

I hate to be positive in case the demons are listening and mess up a good week. All is going well and I am looking forward to the Thanksgiving holidays. Administration and my mentor both gave satisfactory observations of my classroom. The SACS review was this week and we (CTAE) passed with flying colors. Monday the 19th is our professional learning day and I have been asked to lead the automotive collaborative session. I felt it was an honor that the county would put that much trust in me. I am so far out of my comfort zone it is hard to describe the anxiety. Each week seems to bring another challenge and then passes. A good week!!!

Another Cell Phone!! Aaaaarrrrr!!!

Yes, I had to take up another cell phone today! The guy is sitting right in front of me. His cell phone vibrates in his pocket, he proceeds to take it out and answer it. He couldn't believe that I was taking his cell phone away and writing him up too!

I am going to recommend the cloaking device that Gary talked about Paulding County having in schools to my principal. Way too much time is wasted with teachers battling students over cells phones! And iPods and other electronic devices!

I know parents are concerned about their kids being able to contact them if something tragic is happening at school, and I do understand that. But parents have no idea how disruptive cells phones and iPods are at school.



Connie brought up a concern that I'm sure has affected everyone! Cell phones, I-pods etc.! They should be banned from school! Any student found with one should be met with swift action! I'm constantly, constantly and more constantly having to speak to my kids about this. They don't realize it but their minds are actually in competition with these things! There should be a state-wide ban! If you agree with me then I think we should approach the DOE about this. These things are affecting our kids ability to learn, in turn affecting grades, AYP, testing scores, etc., etc., etc.! As Ty would say on Extreme Home Improvement, "Let's do iiiiiit"!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Skills USA Help

I am in charge of the Law Enforcement/Public Safety aspect of Skills USA. I have no idea what to do. I know how to find Skills USA's website, but am looking for actually advice from those of you who have taken your students and have competed at this event.

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steven Vinsant

Kindness Week

This has been Kindness Week at my school. And, unfortunately, it has been anything but kind. Fights every day. Yesterday was a particulary bad day. Happened in the commons area near the vending machines at the end of B lunch. One guy threw another guy into the vending machines. The guy's head was bleeding, the other guy proceeded to continue hitting him. Over and over. Finally the SRO and the administrators broke it up. It was awful.

Then this morning, as the students were released from the commons area, before the 8:25 bell rang, another bad fight in the hallway. Ditto for lunch time. As the 3:30 bell rang, more altercations at the bus ramp.

I want my students to LOVE one another and be nice to one another. But it has not been happening at our school this week. Lots of gang activity going on. Too much violence.

I guess I am just a left-over hippie and all this violence is very upsetting to me. I wish every kid in the entire school could see the video Freedom Writers. And read the Freedom Writers Diary book too. Maybe they would see themselves and end this senseless violence!

Can you figure?

The 2 boys that were expelled for fighting in my class are back. I asked them for the real reason of what the fight was all about. One kid blamed it on an instigator. This so-called instigator, and true enough he was, has since moved to a different school. He said "without him here things will be a lot better"! I told him "you shouldn't allow yourself to be influenced by anyone". I'm searching to find a way to get these kids to start thinking for themselves. They are so into this sub-culture of fighting that a seriously volatile atmosphere has been created. I told them that there are soldiers over in Iraq dying so that they can have the freedom to fight and kill each other over here! Can you figure?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Podcast Test

Hello All,

Please excuse my latest technological adventure. I'm experimenting with Podcasting. I recorded my son playing on his Djembe (an African drum), and uploaded it to a free podcast (and blogging) webhosting site. Ultimately, there's a way to podcast from Blogger (the site we're using for our blog), but I don't want to injure our blog by trying this out here. At any rate, if all goes well, I'll soon be able to teach you all how to create podcasts with your students. Click on here to go to the podcast site that I'm experimenting with.

Click here and here to learn more about podcasting with your students.

Cell Phones, IPODs, etc.

I wish our principal would just ban cell phones, IPODs, and all other electronic devices from school. He allows the kids to use them in the commons area before the morning bells rings. When the bell rings, they are to turn them off and put them away until the 3:30pm bell rings. Of course, the kids are constantly text messaging, threading their ear plugs through their sleeves, or just walking down the hall checking their messages.

This causes all kinds of ugly confrontations and write-ups.

I think it would just be better all the way around to just ban cell phones and all electronic devices from the campus. Period.


Hi everyone! It's almost break time! I survived my first blood drive. It was quite a learning experience. the HOSA kids had a great time! We came short of our goal, but overall it was a good experience. We will repeat the drive again. Everyday is a continuous learning experience. The parent - teacher conferences are getting a bit easier. I found out my principal will be evaluating me. I'm not really sure what to expect. Hoping it will go like our evaluations at GSU. All I know is that it will be unannounced. 3 more days until break.


As we all know we are told to follow the schools protocol that are sent by the principals. My question is what do you do if they tell the faculty important information at the last minute.
This last month we were testing and the faculty was not aware of the schedule change and who was suppose to proctor. All year things have been unorganized. It is frustrating for me cause I am also not organize. I am starting to get adjusted to this administration; my last school didn't have this problem.

Kids These Days

I'm amazed at the number of high school students who cannot make change!! Last week, for HOSA Week, we had a daily bake sale. I typically let the students do everything, but I chose to sit up there with them (and it was a good thing!). They couldn't even make change for a $5 bill! They would hand the money to me and tell me they needed change but didn't know how much to give them back. I was appalled!! Then on Saturday, our ROTC hosted a yard sale. I spent $3.50 and gave her a $5. She couldn't count the change back! What is wrong with kids these days that they can't even do simple math!?!? It makes me even more aware of how I can rip off or get ripped off easily at McDonald's! (Which, by the way, I'm a very honest person and won't rip them off, nor will I let them rip me off!)

Have a great week and I'll see ya Saturday!

P.S. My kids are loving the blog! I have received some AWESOME responses to my post this week! Check it out! or

Stolen Cell phone

Well hello,

Class since our last meeting things got a little crazy. I am so use to communicating through the phone that i neglected to use this form of communication....
Well My phone had got stolen last week on Wednesday around 9:55am-11am by one of my students. I left it on my desk unattended and that wasn't to bright of me. After class while on lunch duty i realize my phone wasn't in my pocket. After my duty i went into class and looked for it. I even had a colleague call the cell phone. I wasn't able to locate it in my class. I remember who sat around my desk and located them. I asked the 8 th grader if he had anything to tell me? He responded no; than he mumbled this must be about that cell phone. We went into the the SRO office where he told a couple bogus lies about how he found a phone. I told him it was mine. Once i got my phone back all my 200 contacts and my pictures of my daughter had been deleted. The young man received 13 days of suspension my class should be peaceful now....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

We had a very nice assembly last Friday in honor of Veteran's Day. We honored past graduates, current employees as well as those in the community that have served in the millitary. Among those honored was a Marietta High graduate Captain Hayes Clayton. Captain Clayton was killed in the line of duty in Iraq last December. He left behind a wife and baby son. He also left behind his parents and two brothers. The reason that this story is so special to me is that I actually knew Hayes Clayton. We grew up on the same street and spent a lot of time together as kids. I had not seen him since high school when I found out about his death and I got to see his family at the assembly and offer my condolences. I just want to say a thank you to all who serve and have served because I really appreciate all that you do.

My Schedule

I am getting a little absent minded lately. I find myself forgetting to do things I normally do with no problem. I blame it on my busy schedule. I have my teaching responsibilities, then I also have the many requests that come in from my co-workers and administrators. It sometimes feels as if they don't realize I actually have to teach a course also. They constantly walk into my room during my class to ask for jobs, sometimes I'm in the middle of instruction.

Then I coach as well. I recently finished my freshman football season only to begin my wrestling season. I enjoy coaching and it usually is no problem, however this year another twist has been added. The head coach of our middle school team also coaches varsity football and since our team has made the playoffs we have no one to coach that team. So after school I run over to the middle school and coach the middle school team.

I also have my NTI course load. I think I am finally up to date with most of it, except this blog assignment. Then I have my church life. I am involved at my church and I enjoy that also.

First, and foremost I am a husband and father of two girls. I have to find time for them also. I think that I am finally getting the hang of it and I think the key is realizing how much time is actually in a day and that I have more time than I realize. I also am just trying to hold on until February, wrestling season ends and I go home at the normal time. I guess this is helping me to multi task and schedule better because I now need to.

Veterans Day

Seems like it has been forever since a day off in the middle of the week. Couldnt have come any sooner. The only thing better is Thanksgiving is coming up then Christmas. For those of you that have the day off, enjoy it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This club thing!

Do any of you out there feel like the club you are in charge of is taking over your teaching job? If so, what club and why?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hosting a Pageant really hard!!

Man! I didn't realize how much it took to host a Miss Georgia, and Miss Teen Pageant from a security point of view. My public safety kids and myself are exhausted from working on parking, seating, inspecting, and giving direction. These last two weeks, we have been running as fast as we can to make it happen. We have four shows over two night each show last about 45min. We have one more night and its back to being normal. One good thing is that my public safety kids got good exposure being around some High Dollar people and sponsors of the pageant. The producers of the pageant and parents gave my students some high marks on handing the situation.

stop taking those flu shots

Have you ever stopped and considered why some cultures use so many spices in their meals or have a bottle of honey and some lime in the house, or pices such as pimento, onion, curry, garlic, thyme, scallion and ginger. Doctors have proven that these spices have properties to control the cold and flu. A closer look of these spices will reveal that they also have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.These spices help to fortify our immune system and provide us with the extra protection we need to fight various forms of parasites, especially the cold and flu.

It is proven that honey is packed with powerful antioxidants and natural antibiotics the darker the honey the better it is. Lime on the other hand is high in vitamin C, which help to flush the system.

Remember to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water per day ( if your weight is 200lbs you should drink 100 fl oz of water per day). Wash your hands regularly and use a lot of fresh spices.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thank you

If you are a Veteran, I want to take a minute to thank you for your service and dedication to our country.

Formal Evaluation

I was so scared that I wasn't teaching right. You know first year insecurities. My administration has had either my department head or the administration staff themselves come observe my classes at least 5 times. Finally my vocational administrator came in for the formal evaluation.

She sent me an email stating "Please see me Wednesday at 9:00 am to discuss your evaluation". Nothing else - this was sent to me on a Monday so I had two days to worry.

I am proud to say that I had nothing but satisfactory and great comments listed on my evaluation. Now I can relax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I always knew how to teach adult learners, but had to adjust and am still adjusting to teaching teenagers. Thanks goes out to Dr. B, Jesse and all the rest of the staff for teaching me how to manage a class full of crazy and hormone driving teenagers.

Steven Vinsant

The Week-end

I am glad the week-end is near. We had a "planning day" on this past Tuesday ( which really wasn't ). We are having to manually write in roll books instead of using the computer version. This has caused a lot of unhappy campers ( teachers ) but sometimes you have to roll with the flow. Our school was divided into small learning communities at the beginning of the school year
but rumor has it we will become small schools in January. We will know officially on next Tuesday. As you can imagine, a lot of the staff are anxious to know because it will mean reapplying for your job within one of the schools. Otherwise , it's business as usual with the students. My 2nd observation will take place on 11/14/07, with Jessie. I am looking forward to getting it over.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Double Edged Sword

A word of caution to everyone...I was told, "If you run into any problems, ever, with your classroom control, and feel like you need some administrative support, please do not hesitate to call administration to get the support you need." I took that heart, and accepted that as an honest offer of support. I needed to call for backup and felt it was appropriate to ask for support a couple of times. Give me a break! Classroom management is the hardest part of a new teacher's getting the hang of this teaching conundrum! In any event, I was called into my administrator's office for a "counseling". She had out a piece of paper on which she had recorded the dates, exact times of day and other specifics for the occasions when I had asked her for support. I was told, "This is clear evidence that YOU are unable to control your classroom Ms. Kim." So the very system I thought, and had been told, was a resource turned out to be a method to monitor my lack of ability to cont5rol my class...What could I have done differently?


I have enjoyed blogging so much for this class that I thought it would be fun for my students to do the same. I have now set up a blog for each class where they get to have an online discussion over questions I have posted (using Bloom's Taxonomy of course!). So far, they are really enjoying it. They love being on the computers and this gives them a chance to practice skills necessary for using computers while applying healthcare knowledge as well.

If you would like to view the blog, please send me your email address for logging into the blog and I'll invite you.

More Money!

We've gone through all of our carpentry materials here in the shop and so I approached my supervisor about funds for next semesters' Carpentry 1 classes, I have 2. She said "Oh No, you have to buy all of that material now! We don't have new monies for next semester"! So I'm thinking, "Is there a lot of money left in the supply? Do I have to purchase all of that stuff now and cram it into my shop, (Because I have no outside storage)? Carpentry 1 is an advanced class. We get into building concrete forms, buildings, doors and windows, etc. I'm wondering just how much recycling I am going to have to do because of a lack of funds. All the more reason to raise the money I guess. We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One week until next break

I am really ready for this next break. It has been so crazy this last few weeks. I feel so overwhelmed. Tomorrow is my next observation with Dr. Burns. I get so nervous being observed. I don't know why because I am observed everyday by my students and I am sure they have many comments about my teaching abilities. I don't want to hear what they are. I will just pretend that they all think I'm great. Ha! Ha! I really cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. Soon, we will be celebrating New Years. This week is HOSA week and my students are excited. I hope this week is successful. I am trying to let the students run things. It is so hard not to try to control everything. They are doing a good job. I need to step back and let them run with it. I wish all of you a good week.

And you thought your job was bad.

I'm probably not suppossed to post this but it's too funny to pass up. We gotta laugh sometime or we will all go crazy....

When you have a "I Hate My Job" day, try this: On your way home from work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the thermometer section and purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson &Johnson. Be very sure you get this brand. When you get home, lock your doors, draw the curtains and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed. Change into very comfortable clothing and sit in your favorite chair. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Now, carefully place it on a table or a surface so that it will not become chipped or broken. Now the fun part begins. Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. You will notice that in small print there is a statement: "Every Rectal Thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson is personally tested and then sanitized". <>Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times, "I am so glad I do not work in the thermometer quality control at Johnson & Johnson." HAVE A NICE DAY AND REMEMBER, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE WITH A JOB THAT IS MORE OF A PAIN IN THE A** THAN YOURS . . . . .

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fifteen second delay!!!

The stuff that comes out of my mouth sometimes even scares me. My wife told me to wait fifteen seconds before I reply to anyone’s comments. I use to be so silver tongued and witty. Today one of the coaches asked if I would coach the JV soccer team. I did not use the fifteen second rule. All I could think about was when I coached a girls soccer team. I remembered how much fun it was competing and traveling to the tournaments. So I said, “Yes.” When I arrived home and told my wife she used the fifteen second rule. She stared at me and said, “When, where, and how will I find the time to fit this into my schedule.” Well let’s see, nine hours at GSU, teaching extended day, two soccer games a week, soccer practice, and a few scrimmages sounds easy to me. Do we have mental health insurance?


anyone going to the skillusa meeting in whitfield on the 13th?

Gwinnett Job Fair Madness

Hello NTI family,
We had a great time on Sat. I really enjoyed Dr. B. She is such a GREAT instructor. I hope to be like her one day... I also attended a job fair earlier that day at Peachtree Ridge HS. It was VERY crowded to say the least and I didn't get to all the schools because of class. I discovered that there are many people searching for teaching jobs in Gwinnett specifically. It was almost depressing to see that I had that much competition. But then I realized that I am probably one of the few that have NTI knowledge and expertise under my belt. I then began to think, I know I will get a job next year because all that I am doing will not be in vain. I'm looking forward to having my own classroom and am seeking to look in other counties just in case there is one for me at DHS. I am certain that I will get something soon, it is just taking a little longer than I anticipated. Now, I do enjoy being a stellar sub most of the time until I get my paycheck....

On another note:
A great website for students who need to learn about money, spending and budgets is:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Life keeps happening.....

The past two weeks have been REALLY out of the ordinary. First, we had my daughter's wedding in Murphy, NC. The wedding was beautiful and everything went well. Just lots of stress trying to get everything done the week before, and then traveling to NC. My little husband will be 78 yrs. old on Nov 18. He doesn't travel very well and the wedding hoopla was a bit much for him. But we got through it all OK.

Then Wednesday, Halloween, my daughter missed the bottom step coming down stairs at my other daughter's house and took a bad fall. She thought both ankles were broken, but after some time in the ER and some X-Rays, they determined that she had severely sprained both ankles, but no broken bones that could be seen. Both ankles were wrapped with ACE bandages. She said she was grateful that it happened the Wednesday after the wedding and not the Wednesday before.

Yesterday, Saturday, my daughter's 14 yr old daughter (my granddaughter) was a passenger in a pick-up truck on I-285. The truck was sitting still, when another pick-up truck came up from behind going about 70 mph and plowed into the truck. They took my granddaughter to Egleston Children's Hospital. After some time in the ER and X-Rays, my granddaughter was OK. She was more frightened than anything else. She has a whip-lash, but no broken bones anywhere. The police and doctor told her it was a good thing she had her seat belt on, it kept her from getting a more serious injury. By the time my daughter got to the hospital, her ankles were really painful. So the staff at Egleston got her a wheelchair to be with my granddaughter.

Everybody is back home safe and sound now. Last Saturday a wedding. This Saturday a bad scare. This was more terrifying for us because we lost my oldest granddaughter in a terrible traffic accident 3 yrs ago. She was 18yrs old. A senior in high school. (My other daughter's child.) It happened the day before Thanksgiving. My heart just sank when I got the call this Saturday. But, thank God, everything is OK. We have 11 grandchildren. Eight are boys and only 3 are girls. We love them all dearly. With one girl already in heaven, we didn't want to lose another one.....

Maybe this week will be dull and uneventful. Ha! Ha! I am sure ready for a rest. And a little less stress....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Racing Dog

I just got home from NTI and I decided to go for a ride on the property behind my house. There was a dog back there that looked really weak and hungry so I stopped. After further inspection, this was a dog that jumped out of someones truck on Halloween and hung around that night with the trick or treaters at my house. Hoping it would find its rightful owner, I just let the dog play and run off on Halloween but now its found 7 miles from my house. I picked her up, she rode on the ATV all the way home without a care in the world and I fed her and put her in my nice warm garage. She is a short haired, all black dog with a little lab in her. She also doesnt look to be any more than about 6-8 months old. If anyone could use a good freindly dog, let me know!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Who is this?

Today at 4:00 I am busy trying to finish this week’s grades when the phone rings. Of course it is someone calling with a car problem I really don’t want to talk about. The person is a little apprehensive on the phone stuttering as if they are unsure of what they are talking about. After a lengthy conversation I have finished giving the person adequate lip service and told them they could leave their car at the bay door of the shop on Sunday and I would look at it first thing Monday. I then said, “by the way who is this?” The person answered “something Fincher.” I thought to myself that sounds like the principal’s name only I remember it as Mr. Fincher. I then realized why he was stuttering. Well I went up to the office and asked if I could keep my job and apologized for not showing a little more respect. Tomorrow is another day!!!

GACE workshop

I had the opportunities to go to a GACE workshop at Kennesaw State this month it was interesting. The only requirement was I had to be a GAE member. Good instructional material.

Why is fourth period a nightmare?

All of my years of teaching I never had a fourth period class, that's usually my planning period. These kids are all over the place, they want to stay in the hallway and talk to their friends, come to class late. My situation don't them neither. I am having to give up my room for NOVANET. There are only 6 students in the class, and I have 30 that I move to a trailer everyday. By me doing this I will get 10 more computers for a total of 20 in my room. yea! I am beginning to think the computers are not worth it to move 30 students.

Getting away.

Its nice to get away for a few days. On Wednesday I went away to Pittsburg on an all expense paid trip, where I met with 16 other teachers in my field. I came back tonight instead of tomorrow because I did not want to be another JuJuan (My group knows what I am talking about). Teachers were from 5 different states and its amazing that all of us shear some of the same problems with our students. We went to visit an school that has 1400 students that only does automotive. What the school does is to break up some of the areas into sub-areas so as to have the students specialize in the area of their choice. Of all these students there were about 20 Females. The school also provides housing for these students.


Today was a new one for me.We had been revewing for a test for about a week now,Going over wiring diagrams,and learning how to diagnose electrical problems.Well today was the big day we had the test.It was 20 question with a 10 point bonus question.Well one of the girls in the class ask to go to the restroom. when she got back it looked as if she had been crying,so I ask her what was wrong.As she was telling me that she didn't remember anything on the test the tears got bigger.At this point my heart went right to that spot in your throat that makes it hard to swallow.Being an auto tech all those years I dealt with guys whining all the time,but never a 10th grade girl crying. All I new to do was just tell her that she knew this material and it wasn't that hard.I reminded her that she has about a 90 in class up to this point and that she would do fine.The test took about 70 minutes to take and after it was all over she had an 86 on the test. N.T.I didn't train me for that one!!


This week went by extremely fast..I guess because of the "Homecoming festivities and such???"
The kids acted better than I can remember and for that the Principal is allowing a PEP RALLY today..I think the incentive thing works pretty good with High School forces them to govern themselves more closely. I tested my kids today and from what I see so far they are actually studying and learning somethings...I FEEL PRETTY DARN GOOD!...with all the distractions this week I think it's wonderful to see..
Well see y'all in class tomorrow...have a good FRIDAY!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

6 Weeks Left!!

Wow, so there's only 6 weeks left in the semester! Seems like this year has gone faster than most of my previous years. My students will be starting their final performance exams soon, which is basically to write and record a commercially viable song. They can't wait and neither can I! The last two weeks we have been talking about, listening to, performing with and recording as many different instruments as we/I have access to; it's been fantastic. I am really seeing some true talent in my kids this year and I surely have the best drummer & one of the best guitarists that I've had yet (in 3.5 years!) I hope everyone does great in the coming weeks and has a great holiday.


November is upon us...the year is getting on by quickly,huh? And to think we still have the teacher workdays and Thanksgiving to look forward to...WOW...and next December!(another abbreviated month)..I LOVE MY JOB, MY KIDS, MY TIME OFF!!!!....If I knew back then what I know now...I would have been an education major in! No wonder my wife practically begged me to consider this career change...I am loving now!
Hopefully my career as a teacher will be this wonderful until I hit the "GEORGIA POWERBALL" or until retirement...LOL...
Have a good month of school guys and gals!!! it will be 2008 before we know it...

3 Weeks and Counting

Hi Guys,
I have three weeks until my due date. I am so ready for the baby to come. I know the Lord has given me the strength to make it through this pregnancy. I think about all that has happened during this pregnancy with school, my family and NTI and it is amazing that I haven't lost my mind. I won't be seeing you all at the Saturday Session this week or on the 17th. . I will try to be back for our last class in Dec. I will be thinking about you all on Saturday.
This week at school has been a good week. I was observed twice in one day, which made me a little nervous. I was observed during 2nd block by our vice-principal and during 3rd block by our principal. When the principal came in during 3rd block, I was thinking, am I doing something wrong and the vice-principal wanted him to observe as well. Later, I realized that they had just realized that I will be leaving on maternity leave soon. They needed to get in my evaluations before I left. I am very thankful for Dr. B and Jessie for putting us through all those observations and classroom presentations. I think it has prepared me for days like this one.

Amazing Wednesday

Hello all,
Well, we have survived Spirit week and Halloween, our students were allowed to dress-up for Halloween and it really was amazing. Some of my students, that don't seem to participate in much of anything came to class in costume. As I stood in the halls and lunchroom looking over the students, I tried to imagine just how they came up with the various ideals that they had applied to their outfits. Did they see these ideals on television, or even possibly in a book? Heaven only knows, but I think that these students actually created some of these outfits in their very own thoughts. This proves what I believe with all my heart, our kids are capable of achieving things in this world that are unimaginable! Let's continue to pray that they will apply their talents in a good way and enjoy it! -as we continue moving forward toward Thanksgiving and Christmas! --Riley