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?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Learing Strategy FLOP!

I experimented with the Read and Run learning activity. I found that this does not work in my small classroom. It was almost a disaster. The students that I thought were in the “best” class (my advanced level) to utilize this strategy were also not capable of self control. Because of space, I could not use the rows that Ms. Hayden demonstrated with the chairs at the end. Instead, I put the desks in groups of 4 and used the whiteboard tray to hold their stapled questions. I made sure all book bags were out of the floor and set to the side. I explained the game and students repeated the directions and my expectations; however, as soon as I said “go” the students were extremely competitive and what sounded great in the beginning almost turned into a disaster. Students were cheating, bending the rules, etc. I had some groups take it seriously with well written responses using patience and good research skills, while other groups tried to write what they assumed to be “common sense” answers which were not in their content packets. Groups were placed but with the high number of special needs students coupled with the very small space, this activity proved to be more than they, myself, and my paraprofessional teacher could handle. Can anyone suggest another activity that would cover a large amount of material in a 90 minute block that isn’t a Power Point presentation?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something Sad

A student who had been absent many times since the beginning of the school year told me that she would be leaving at some point to live in a group home.  She did not want to discuss why, so I didn't press the issue.  I've just been doing what I can to make up the work that she had been missing. 

This week, her guardian (her mom's sister) emailed and asked if she could meet with me.  I agreed and it turned out to be a really good meeting.  Her aunt said the mother was on drugs and not wanting to have anything to do with the child. The Dad was not in the picture and stayed in jail or intoxicated.   She's had her in her custody since February, but the child had attempted to run away by hitching a ride with some guys that she didn't know.  When she found her way back home, the guys had given her the date rate drug and she had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.    After that incident, the aunt felt she should go to more secure surroundings, the group home, so the child could be safe.   While waiting for placement, the child and the aunt agreed that they both really wanted her with the aunt, so they cancelled the group home placement with the condition that she would not try to "escape" again.

The aunt stated that the child really liked my class and was always excited when talking about it.  We agreed to work together to keep her engaged and excited and current in her work.  She actually has a good grade at this time, so we thought telling her this would boost her confidence.  

I also had another student, who I talked to about her bad attitude state that I didn't know what she was going through.  She stated that she has an anger problem, depression and a lot of trouble at home (her step dad gets put out of the house once a month). 

I am just in shock at the problems these kids have and have to admit I was very naive about it. I'm glad that her guardian and all of her teachers are working together to make it better for her and look forward to reporting good progress about her accomplishments in class to you in the future. 

week 2 surprise

One thing about teaching is that it's always full of surprises. This week, I was unpleasantly surprised that my third year students don't share the same enthusiasm as I do for a particular project.

Here's the background that builds up to this week: This summer was when I received my pleasant surprise. A group of my 2nd year students had made a commercial for our school store's very popular product, the Breeze Freeze, 100% frozen fruit juice. These ads were a hit on our daily news broadcast. I uploaded these videos to YouTube so everyone could continue to enjoy them. Lo and behold, the Breeze Freeze company found the videos, and they were so impressed by them that they instituted a national YouTube competition. The school of the winning video will win two free cases of Breeze Freeze product - enough for 320 cups of frozen delight. The school store will decide on how to reward the winners.

Now, you would think that my students would try to exceed in this project, but it has been rather lack luster. They just don't share my enthusiasm, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I set the deadline for this project on Wednesday. I still have two groups that haven't finished. Granted, the quality of this year's videos don't compare the those of last year. Perhaps that shouldn't surprise me, but it does. Maybe I'm just disappointed.

Brenda, Week 2

Last week was really a busy week with the HSGT writing assessment test and planning for the HOSA Fall Leadership Conference on September 25-27th. I had originally registered 14 students to attend the Fall Leadership Conference, two of which I sponsored because of their loyalty to HOSA and their determination to work in the health care industry. The other 12 were sponsored by their parents and several of the teachers in our school. I was really appreciative to the teachers for stepping in to assist with the cost of this affair for some of our students. My colleagues, like me, really go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our students have positive life experiences and opportunities to help them improve their leadership skills and knowledge levels.

One of my student came to be at the last minute and expressed an interest in attending the HOSA Leadership Conference. The last minute was after the registration had closed and all late submissions would have a late fee attached. She stated up front that she did not have any money but she really wanted to go to Jekyll Island and that she had already found a couple of sponsors. I thought it would be really great for this student to come along on the trip because she is an extremely intelligent young lady with a great outlook on life. She has a 3.9 GPA and is very active in lots of school activities including being a SGA officer. In order for this student to go on the trip I had to put things into action shortly after the conversation in order for the trip to become a reality for her. I confirm the sponsorship with the teachers as stated by the student and felt reasonable safe to go ahead and make plans. I e-mailed the HOSA Headquarters and asked for an add on and the request was granted with a final cost for this student being $206.31 to include membership dues, HOSA shirt, registration, meal plan, late fees, and her share of the hotel room. I called the student's home on Saturday morning and spoke with her mother who was extremely happy that we could help her child go on the trip. The student was happy when I told her that the last minute add on was approved and the cost. I offered to
go ahead and send the registration and membership fees to expedite the registration. And so I mailed the check for $125.00.

On Monday afternoon the sponsoring teachers for this student asked me why she had not come for the money for the HOSA trip. I informed them that I was not certain of the reasons but I would find out and mostly because I needed to finalize the trip plans. When I finally located the student she told me she was not going and did not have a good explanation at this point. She did say the cost was too much for the teachers to pay and she did not want them to pay that much money for her. I reminded her of our conversation of Saturday morning and all she said was "I am sorry" but I don't want to go now. After school another student told me that the student had told them that the HOSA trip was going to be boring and they would not learn anything about leadership.

Needless to say at this point I was a little distressed. First, because I had lost $125.00 trying to help someone I thought would benefit from attending the leadership conference. Secondly, because I had given this student more credibility than what was being displayed. And third, I am questioning how I will respond the next time a student express an interest in attending the HOSA Conferences. I am not unhappy, jolted, or shook up about the money. I was mainly caught off guard by a good student whom I thought would have benefited from such a good opportunity to travel and enhance her leadership skills and qualities.

Administrative Support

Well, my surprise happened Wednesday night at parent teacher conference. A parent attacked me verbally about lack of communication for the HOSA trip (her daughter did not tell her the whole truth about the room assignment nor did the mother read the paperwork that she signed). However, the women was very rude and I asked her to change her tone of speech or I would not talk to her about the issue. Of course, her tone did not change and I walked out of the room. Another parent overheard the interaction and walked with me to calm my nerves. She was very supportive and offered to talk with administration about what she had witnessed with the other parent. Next, I was called to the main office for my side of the story. To my surprise the administration team accepted what I said, told me not to worry, to have a great trip with the student in JI and that they would take care of the rest. I could have fell out of my chair! I was very please and happy to know that I was being supported in my actions. To have an administration team that support me is sooooooo nice and makes me want to do more for them, the students and the school.

PS, my trip to HOSA was a lot of fun and the student were great.

KJ; Surprise Event

Boy do I have a good one for this. I had one of my female students approach me and ask if she could invite another female student out in the hall to confront her about some accusatory comments she had made about her.
I’m not sure if I handled this situation properly or not. I told her it would be alright with me as long as she could guarantee me that nothing physical would happen and she could wait until the assignment had begun and I could stand by the door to monitor their behavior and actions as well as the other students in the class. Luckily everything went well and they talked it out like adults.
After the situation had been resolved, I thought about it and I should have invited an Assistant Principal to monitor my class or monitor the hall situation. I also am very proud that a student has that much trust in me that she would come to me with her problem and inform me of the situation at hand.
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Lori-Blog Week 2

     I had something that shook me up this week. It effected me so much, that I have considered changing professions. I considered the change because of pressure, not because I dislike teaching. I truly enjoy training students in the area of broadcasting. I feel that I have a lot to offer, considering that I have twenty years of business experience. 
     The first year that I came to my current high school, I began a new technology area in my county. I was given the opportunity to pave the way for other teachers and the chance to see if the program would be successful. Successful is has been, as far as the number of students signing up for the class. Students naturally gravitate to computers, cameras and microphones. I spent the first two years of teaching using limited equipment provided by the county, supplemented with my own personal equipment. I willingly brought in my personal equipment because I wanted to accurately teach according to standards set by the Georgia Professional Standards Committee. I needed my equipment to do this. 
     The second year of teaching, I was made aware of the possibility of receiving grant money for equipment. My husband and I filled out the paper work and submitted it. To our excitement, my high school received the grant money which has remade the studio into a wonderful state of the art studio for students. I realize that our school's program is extremely blessed and advanced in their opportunity  to learn.
      With receiving expensive equipment, I set up a check-in and check-out policy. This will ensure the safety of our equipment. On one occasion last week during homecoming week, I found a flaw in the system that made me reconsider my job. My advanced students took an expensive microphone outside to videotape the homecoming candidates. It was a tremendous interview, in which the filmers were all very proud. This was until the next morning, when the lab manager could not find the microphone. We looked all day and could not figure out what had happened. Couldn't we trust the advanced students ? Noone remembered who brought it back inside the equipment room. Noone told the teacher that they were taking it outside of the classroom. Noone checked it in or out, because it was an in class project. We waited for the weekend to pass, hoping that it would surface, and praying that it was not hijacked. The check out system had failed, because we did not have an "in class" policy set up for the responsible students who were lab managers. The check out procedure was mostly for off campus shooting and for "underclassmen". Advanced students were flawless..... weren't they ?
     A few days later, I was summoned to an administrators office. The meeting is the crux of why I question my continued career pathway. He pointed his finger at me, leaned over his desk and stated that " your check out policy is not working" and "that if I did not get it corrected, I would be looking for a new job next year".  Needless to say, he is a little worried about the new lab that has come our way. This is the first incident of lost equipment under my watch. Although I did not approve it going outside, I am ultimately responsible. Now I am checking in and out all equipment personally. Thankfully, a bus driver who was smoking near the shoot, found the missing bag.  My question is.... should I live under this bondage ? Is this a program destined for failure ?  Will I be spending all my time worrying about missing equipment, instead of being able to teach ?  In defense of myself, the microphone went straight from the library where it was being tagged to the interview outside. It surpassed me. I can work out as many kinks as possible, but what if there are more that I haven't considered ?  I felt very depressed after this incident. I checked into teaching in other counties where I can make more money for the stress that is involved. However, I enjoy this county, but now I am not so sure about this school. I feel confident that I am very hard working and I try to be responsible. I don't feel appreciated for what I have brought and can bring to the county. I am glad that I can bring this before other NTI teachers for their advise and keep my thoughts away from my fellow teachers at school. 

Shocking Observation (Vincent)

This week was really smooth until Thursday morning my upper level courses have entered the topic of Capital Punishment in Criminal Justice we have had interesting activities on the Web, Textbook work and Discussion on who agrees or disagrees with the subject of Capital Punishment. Thursday Morning I set up a Powerpoint to show my class the different types of capital punishment instruments used on Inmates for the last 100 years, Electric Chair, Gas Chamber, Lethal injection, Hangings, Firing Squad etc. While I was doing my set introduction to start the Power point the Projector went out. Immediately my prinicpal walked in the classroom to observe me WOW. My students for some reason understood the problem and immediately started asking me question about Capital Punishment. Some way we ended up using the topic to go into the controversial topic of abortion which had differences of opinions between both male and female students, which also entered into the topic of Brian Nichols the court shooting in fulton county, which lead into the discussion of 18 year high school graduates fighting in Iraq, which lastly lead to the Democratic and Republican candiates and their views on the topics discussed in class and Friday's upcoming debates. My Principal stayed in my class about 20 minutes. Although some may feel we went down a slippery slope in class on all the different topics, I really was proud of my class how they applied the topic of Capital Punishment to everyday current life and topics and how the good discussion made way for some good productive thought when things didn't work out with the Power Point Presentation.
Happy Moment in Teaching

Several weeks ago Delores shared with me about a website called where you could create tests and games. I signed up for a free 30 day trial of the site. This past week I created a test for my Applications class and it went so well that I am still amazed. The students took the test online and received their scores right after the test. They were able to see immediately what questions they answered wrong and the correct answer on those questions. I was able to print a copy of each students test and also a report that showed what percent of the students missed each question as well as a graph that showed each students score. As a new teacher creating test and grading them can be quite time consuming. I am so thankful that Delores shared this wonderful website with me. The best part of all is the membership is only $50 a year. What a deal!

Happy Moment in Teaching

Several weeks ago Delores shared with me about a website called where you could create tests and games. I signed up for a free 30 day trial of the site. This past week I created a test for my Applications class and it went so well that I am still amazed. The students took the test online and received their scores right after the test. They were able to see immediately what questions they answered wrong and the correct answer on those questions. I was able to print a copy of each students test and also a report that showed what percent of the students missed each question as well as a graph that showed each students score. As a new teacher creating test and grading them can be quite time consuming. I am so thankful that Delores shared this wonderful website with me. The best part of all is the membership is only $50 a year. What a deal!

Hinz-Week 2

My kids have been working on power point presentations as a career exploration activity in which they began sharing last Thursday and Friday. Because of the variation of student learners within my classes, I knew some students would finish their presentation promptly while others would use more time to work. So, I came up with another assignment for those who were finished to move on to independently and also using a computer. I was a little worried that having two separate assignments going on at once would not work because I was afraid that those finished with the power point would not take moving on to the next assignment seriously. Yet, I introduced the new assignment with a set induction that worked rather well and to my surprise, the students worked well within the classroom on two separate assignments.

Also, I was really, really pleased with the power point presentations that were presented lat week. The students did a wonderful job displaying the information that I asked for. They were also respectful to presenters (this is something I always worry about and try to encourage students to do). I am also using the red/yellow sheet from NTI this summer to manage the time during each presentation. That is working well too!

Comments to Connie

Connie, I thought your comments were very philosophical. I do agree with the comments in some respect. However it is also human to feel sadness and happiness when your beliefs are inaccurate. I also agree that this was a chaotic week. I am glad that HOSA went well for you as it did for me. It sounds like your students behaved very well as did most of the students in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised by my male students that attended in that they behaved like real gentleman. They are so playful at times, I wasn’t sure how they would behave on this trip, but as you stated just giving them the benefit of the doubt sometimes is all that is needed. Go MAXWELL wow.

My Surprise was Sad

To say the least, this has been a very busy week. In addition to getting 10 students ready to attend the Fall Leadership Conference for HOSA in Jekyll Island, we were told in a staff meeting to call all parents (even though we are not the Home school) regarding absenteeism. Surprisingly, I had a parent tell me that her child had decided to move out of her house and in with a boyfriend but she was maintaining responsibility for this student. She was totally unaware of the absences and very hurt since she had spent a lot of money on her child for lab supplies and a car (of all things). The student is very attentive, interested, excited about the course, and participates enthusiastically whenever present. Initially I thought she would excel in this course and achieve certification. I was very disappointed to hear this news from her mother and additionally saddened to hear the mother’s account of her own struggles. It seems that the student was a result of a teenage pregnancy and the mother was only able to obtain a GED that has limited her in so many ways. She confided in me that she has struggled as result of this and wants so much more for her child. The entire conversation made me very sad both for the mother and the student.

Teaching this week

This has really been a chaotic week to reflect on. It really only consisted of two days of productive time. I had to be an examiner for half the day Wednesday during the GHSG writing test. Surprised perhaps that one student did nothing for an hour and then frantically wrote for the second hour to be the last one to finish. However, not surprised because he was the only one who jokingly stated that he didn't plan on graduating (perhaps not a joke after all). I was then gone Thursday and Friday to attend the HOSA Fall Leadership Conference. I could have easily worried myself sick wondering if my students were going to behave but found the calmness not to over react to normal teenage behavior when other advisers jumped on kids the minute they appeared to be doing something wrong. Pleasantly surprised by the fact that my students said I was the best but then maybe I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they could be good and they were. What I am getting at is that I feel like I am a person who is rarely surprised in a good or bad way. I just don't get surprised very much. I think that is because I like to take things day by day and never assume anything about anything. To be surprised negatively usually means you put that person on a pedestal or didn't allow them to be human and falter. If you are surprised positively you may be limiting your view of the individual and or situation. We should always be prepared for things to work out opposite of what you expect or that people will at some point disappoint you. I am a realist. You hope for the best, expect the worst, and you are then usually happy with the in between you get.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Penny - Week 2


Something that really surprised me this year has been my lab clean-up process. Since I teach architecture and engineering classes, my classroom is generally very messy. Timing does not always allow for a proper clean up of the room so I decided to make Friday my clean up day. But, I make my juniors and seniors do it. So I implemented this new system two weeks ago and it was amazing. Before my class came in, I had made a list of jobs (enough for everyone) and posted it on the projector screen so everyone could see it. I explained what had to be done and they all volunteered for their positions. I turned on some music and set everyone in motion...and to my astonishment, everyone was performing their job and even helping others when they were finished. The room became an army of cleaners.

Since then, every Friday we have done the same thing. They know to come in, sign in for a job on a first come first serve basis and begin as soon as I enter the room. It is great. It is almost like they look forward to it. My surprise is that this works. Its not a miracle type operation but when you put responsibility and ownership into the hands of the students they respond. I guess if an easy management system can work to clean, it can work for just about anything!

Event in my teaching

An event in my teaching this week that took me by surprise was when one of my students started acting more positive in class. This particular student is one I had actually spoke about to some of you in class during our learning wheel exercise. According to him, he hated my healthcare class. There was also another student who verbalized the same sentiments. Both of these students would come to class, sit in the back and talk. Based on the information I received from you all, I reviewed my approach to this student and did somethings differently. First, I rearranged the seating in my class so that no one in this class sits in the back and my talkers are separated. This particular male student actually sits in the front now. I told the students that my reason for changing the seating assignments was to have the students closer to the front so that they could be more involved. I mentioned nothing about being punitive to the talkers. Secondly, one day when I came to class I took the first twenty minutes to ask the students what they thought they would learn in my introductory class and what types of things they thought they would do in labs. Needless to say most thought they would be working with the mannequins, taking blood pressures and conducting other health assessments. What I found out from this student was that he didn't like the class because it was not what he thought it would be. Once I showed him by a few examples of how important it was to learn basic health information in order to properly implement the labs actvities completed in the second course he began to change. He was on time for class this week and actively participated in all lab activities. I was so amazed I even thanked him for being so positive and participating in class even though it may be something that is not that exciting to him.
On the flip side of this, I had to make a call to the other student's parent because of her negative behavior. She had actually behaved worse. Dr. M shared some ideas with me for dealing with the male student that I actually had to implement with the female student because of her poor attitude. Now that I look back on the whole situation, I see why she acted out so much. I had removed her support when I placed her friend in the front. Since his behavior was changing, she no longer had someone to laugh or otherwise support her sarcastic remarks. When I spoke with her mother, I made sure I informed her of the student's positive abilities but asked for assisance on identifying strategies the mother found helpful in working through some of the negative challenges. As one might guess, mom is dealing with very similar issues at home but is supportive and willing to work with me on some possible positive reinforcements to help get this student on the right track as well. I will let you all know how this goes in a future blog!

What Surprised Me Most.

Hello Everyone, What surprised me most is how many personalaties there are in our students, and how one class can differ from another. I am constantly surprised by my students from one day to the next. One day talkative in class to model student. My classroom's may even change, though I had already thought I had that (personality) down. I find that it is not as easy to (label) our students as one might think. This one is model, this one could care less, etc. Our students are as complicated as we are, and should not be deminished by a one, two, three size fits all mold. Everyone has a purpose and ours is to try to mold. I hope I never loose my energy for this purpose, and never find myself judgemental to others. This has to be a calling or we would be crazy to do it. The hours spent are worth it if our resolve does not falter.

My Event This Week....

I had several things going on this week. I had just returned from a three day conference in Savannah, GA. To my surprise, my second and third year students (juniors and seniors) missed me, and were so glad I was back! They hated the substitute. Last year, they couldn't wait for me to be out for a day, so they could get a substitute.

My 1st through 4th period classes went right back to work, where we left off the week before. They are starting to manage each other in the shop, and my "shop foreman" is informing me of who needs to still do which tasks. This was awesome! My "shop foreman" is checking to make sure all repair orders are filled out correctly, that students are keeping their safety glasses on, and even checking to see who didn't put their full name on papers. I wish all of my classes worked this well together. Everyone is eager to get up and use the scan tool, or check brakes, or tear down parts on stands. Also, everyone keeps their safety glasses on! Last year it was like "pulling teeth" to get them to do much of anything.

Something that really disappointed me this week was the lack of effort and motivation in my first year students (5th & 6th periods). I handed out a detailed assignment for the students to get "signed off" for the CTAE Safety/Haz.Mat. Standards. This assignment should have taken two class periods, maybe three. No one was ready to present after the students had three class days to work, and also the weekend. When Monday rolled around, everyone said they forgot, or didn't want to do it, or didn't know they had to do or turn anything in for the assignment. I extended the assignment until friday, restated the "task" and what needed to be done about 10 different ways, gave examples, passed out about 80 copies (only 56 students) of the assignment, and wrote everything on the white board. Each day, very few students were on task. I have about eight ESEP students in each of the classes, but none have any accomodations/modifications for literacy. I re-stated the importance of the assignment, re-stated what was due friday, and kept reminding students that if they didn't present with their group friday that a zero is un-recovereable per the student handbook/grading policies. When friday came, only a couple were ready. Half of the students came up in groups of two or three and mummbled through a brief discussion on the safety assignment. The majority of the students that actually did something, failed. Now I'm in the sixth week of school coming up, and 90% of my first year students refuse to do work, they have no home phone or cell number to call the parents, and I would say at least half of the students in my first year classes are failing due to not doing anything. Help! My first four periods of the day go so smoothly outside of several ADD and ADHD students, which I've adapted to, but 5th and 6th periods don't want to do anything. I tried taking a slight "left turn" around safety to bring in a little automotive careers and shops into the safety lessons to grab their attention, but I'm not getting very far. I only have five or six students per class in the first year that want to be there, and want to learn about automotive.

Pleasantly Suprised

Event in Teaching
Second Week Blogg
This week all three of my classes had a power point and essay project that was due. The projects were assigned as group projects. This is the first time I had group projects of this size and wasn't certain of how well the groups would work together. At the beginning, I gave each group a rubric and a written guideline for their project. The groups were given a two week period to have their project ready for presentation in class.

On Friday of this past week, each group presented their project. To my astonishment, each group did an outstanding presentation. Each student in their group presented their own part of the power point. I was surprised on how well the groups worked together without the bickering. It was obvious that each team leader, the captains, took charge and handed out assignments to each person in their group. Obviously, each group worked well together because of the way the project was presented in class based on the rubric and written guidelines.

I was really amazed on how well my students all worked together in harmony to accomplish some remarkable work.

Week 2 the new world or teaching

Hallow ever one. this week I had a shock in my class and that was my lesson plans. I though that I had a long enough plan but I was wrong about that. What happened was a simple day of going over some power tool and parts turned in to a day of the students not even caring about it at all they just wont to run throw it and talk to etcher. So the next day we did the same thing but I gave them a grade on it. the students look a little so prise wen I told them that. they did not under stand why I was giving them a grade on this work because they were my 2 year student. well I said to them it has been a long time cents you all were here and I need to know what they remember from last year. But I was right a bout it they did not remember all of it so now they have a better look on what I am doing with them.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A little attention goes a long way!!!!

I must say this has been one of my best weeks of teaching. I'm sure you all can relate to those students that just want to talk, walk around the class, or just do absolutely nothing during class. Well I share you pain but this week I seen that a little attention goes a long way. I have three young men, not all in the same class but each one share the same challenge for me each day. I must say this week I decided to take a different approach to handling the situation. I'm a firm believer in letting the problem kids become your class helpers but this week I tried something new. I allowed each of these young men to lead their groups during lab. When I decided to do this I had to question myself. After announcing the news to the groups they wanted to know if I had lost it. Well I must say they ALL exceeded my expectations, each one of these young men done exceptional jobs. In each of the labs this week they made sure there group stayed on task, cleaned properly and completed each activity in the time required. Also the products that they each produced was absolutely wonderful. I made sure I commended each one of them in front of the class. They were smiling from ear to ear and the best part for me was they stayed on task the entire class time. It was the best!!!! They enjoyed the attention they received from their peers and comments from me. I had to one to come to me to ask if he could take pictures using his cell phone, of his work, so that he could show his mom and dad. I must say this week ended on a very good note!!!!!!


Well Tuesday a student was honored by being a "respected ram" this points out great things done by teachers, staff, parents, and students in 9th -12th. This particular young lady had surprised me in the summer time by wanting to get an early start on this years video ideas. She is very motivated and a go getter, I only wish I had her drive. She started a Video Club and the kids just love it. Its a great toll to attract kids to my TV Broadcast class. She even got an interview with Kathy Cox and the Secretary of the State. She also manage to get all the principles in our area elementary to middle to speak via video to Grayson HS at the beginning of the year. 
She had no idea of the award she was to receive on Tuesday so I had to get her to stay after school and video tape the ceremony, so when they called me up to introduce her I was overwhelmed with emotion and presented her with her certificate. She was emotional as well and was very surprised. I know this young lady will go far after her graduation next May. She says she is already preparing to run for President of USA...I think she will!

Sadly Surprised

There is a young lady that I taught in her freshman year. Though she is not in my class anymore I still see her in the hallways. She is very bright, I have met both of her parents in the past and it "seems" that she is in a good home, unlike so many of her peers. She speaks well, and frankly she is a very well rounded student. On Monday of this week, was the first time I really realized that she was pregnant (much to my surprise). She hid it very well. She is not my child, but I really have high hopes for her. I am really disappointed when I see someone with so much potential make this kind of a mistake. This is her last year with us as she is graduating and I hope that she has the full support of her family. She is having a child when she is still a child really makes it that much more difficult to pursue any of her career goals. I just hope that the obstacles she will face will not be overwhelming, because it will be difficult. My 2 cents.

A Happy Surprise

We had some material to cover this week and I found out that we are having early release days. Well we had some chapters to cover in the book and we all know how much students enjoying reading, especially when they need to, even us. What could I do to cover needed material in a fun way and in a way that the students will learn?
So I was thinking maybe I could employ some of the training aides, games, which Ms. Hayden had posted on line. It provided an excellent vehicle for reviewing material that had been covered. Certainly the fact that it was a game caught the students interest and provided much competitive enjoyment for the students. By applying to several learning modalities, quality learning and reinforcement of previously learned material was successfully accomplished.
My happy surprise was to see students that are rarely excited about school get involved and to see the active teaching/learning process reach a very high participation rate. I will be using many of the other games that are available. The game we played was “Who wants to be a Millionaire” while learning about tools.
RS at Alpharetta

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Proud Student

Okay so this may seem like small potatoes after reading some of your blogs, but this really helped me make it through a Wednesday. I have been teaching french braiding for the past two weeks. If you had ever tried to teach french braiding you would know how tedious and stressful this can be. I hear "Mrs. Durden" about a thousand times and have to stop and count to ten more times than I can remember. I have a particular student who seems to have ten thumbs and not much coordination. She had worked and worked trying to get the motions down for braiding and just couldn't seem to get it. I had helped her hand over hand numerous times and she just wasn't getting it. I tell you I dreamed about ways to help her "get it", was I not breaking it down enough? Was my "wording" not making it clear enough? Well, Tuesday night it came to me. My wording was not quite basic enough for her. So Wednesday when she came into class we gave it another shot (with my new wording) and sure enough it started to click. She was so excited we both yelled out and danced around a little. I think my class thought I had lost it. I couldn't have cared less, it was a hard earned moment and I was going to enjoy it. It made me forget about the thousand "Mrs. Durden's" and the aching back and fingers, this is what teaching is all about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes It's OK To Touch A Student

Last week I was trying to do all those administrative tasks that really occupy more of my time (that I don't have) during my planning period (2nd). I went to our school attendance secretary's office to look up a student's schedule. She has several duties such as reports, grades, withdrawals, admissions, transfers, transcripts, school cameras, and is our Registrars secretary too. I like to think of her as our "Radar O'Reilly" of the TV show MASH. She is on top of everything in our school and knows what goes on. Well that day I went to see her she was with a nice looking young black male student that I recognized as an athlete. I stood back in the corner as they were facing her computer screen and was just waiting for them to finish. Not meaning to eavesdrop on their conversation, I was clearly overhearing what was going on. The student was in her office getting a copy of his grades to withdraw from school. This is one thing I hated to see happen with any student. As I listened further to their conversation several interesting facts became apparent. One, his grades were outstanding, second the withdrawal was not what he wanted. His family was in the administrator's office across the hall having a argument with each other and wanting to remove him from our school! My blood was beginning to boil at the thought of parents placing the welfare of their child at risk because they could not" get along." He was a good student first of all, he was active in sports, and he was a good role model for his fellow black athletes. I just stood there in silence and took a big bite out of my tongue. Then I noticed the tears streaming down his face. Radar noticed too. She went up and reached out and wrapped her arms around him. She hugged, hugged, and hugged, and hugged him some more, dried his tears with her own napkins, and softly told him that everything was going to be alright. I was taken back a little, but then offered my empty office for him to sit if he needed some privacy, then he could get it back together in private. He declined my offer and said he wanted to sit there and wait for his mother. Hurriedly I concluded my business in her office and left, thinking about what had happened.

This secretary was not his teacher, but she cared. She reached out. She got involved. She touched that student when he needed it most. Somehow the withdrawal was reversed, stopped that day. I think she had a big part in the reversal. I emailed her after I had read the school announcements that he was back in school that day, and I told her how proud I was of what she did. She wrote me back saying " I treat all kids like I want my kids to be treated. I have a son that just started here in the ninth grade."
Enough said and done.

9-24-08; An Event I Am Teaching That Took Me By Surprise

This week in class we are working on finger waving, sculpture curls, and roller sets. There are three students that are currently in my second period class that have claimed continuously that they can not do hair at all. All three of the students are intimidated by their other classmates that obviously have a little more experience in the field of cosmetology. I work very closely with the three young ladies assisting and encouraging them every chance I can. It took me by surprise when all three of the students mastered finger waving after my first one on one demonstration with them. The students are required to give a return performance for all objectives. Every student is must demonstrate five (5) of every service required. The three students showed determination as they not only completed the objectives but mastered each objective as well. All three students now stand confident when working on their objectives and have changed their conversations. The students no longer say they cannot do any hair but are now saying, Mrs. Smith, thank you so very much. I can do it.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Event of Surprise

With this being my 3rd year teaching at the same school not to much happens that just really shocks me, I kind of know what to expect for the most part. But one pleasant thing that caught me by surprise was the event of me missing thursday and friday of last week, usually being out the students are like ok he's back, I rarely miss days from work. So when I returned on Monday the first thing I hear is "Mr. Chapple we are so glad that you are back I really missed you being here, that was kind of a shock, you don't really know how much the students really take a liking to you and your class until something like this takes place.  It was very surprising I really didn't know what to say.... but that is something that got me in shock this past week.

2 week post

Dr. Burns I did miss the point.

One thing that worked well for me was using a seating chart to separate the students who wanted to talk and socialize with one another instead of paying attention in class. This has led to better classroom management on my part and has solved most of my dicipline problems. Also, students are now getting their work done on time. I have also moved to the back of the room where I can better monitor their computers, making sure they stay on task.

Things that have not work well for me are my lesson plans. I have tried to put too much material in my lesson plans and have not been able to cover all of it. This is not only frustrating to me, but is also frustrating to the students. Because of this, it limited student classroom participation, especially their spontaneity responses. It made me realize that it was better to cover less material adequately than to have to rush through the material.

You mean I can copy?

I really try to portray the "I have it all together" to my students, not in a superior way, but in a way that makes them feel like the lesson is planned and well thought out. That being said, I tried out some of my collaborative learning skills on my advanced students. First, I had students complete 2 activities that were related to the unit (Communication) and that was a huge hit so I thought, this is good. I did the group division task and explained my methodology in a positive way. I gave them an assignment to do as a group with objectives, explained the grading scale, provided a rubric, and smiling, told them to begin working. Okay, the objective was for them to "communicate", this was the unit afterall, and complete the work as a group. They continued to work as individuals with minimal to no talking among the groups. I finally asked them to put their pencils down and tried to reinforce that, yes I wanted them to talk, yes I want them to share answers, yes they will do some copying and yes they are to communicate important aspects of the unit. I think students are so accustomed to getting in trouble when they share answers or copy work that they have difficulty making a change. Jessie said that trying something the first time seldom works! However, tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to try. I think I'll sit down with each group as a "member" and model how they should be working together. I truly believe that once they get the hang of it they will be asking if they can do the work in their groups. I think I need so additional information too, but that will come next week. I'll definately be taking notes during the chapter presentations.

2nd week

Something shocking! I would think at this point nothing would shock me. However, Friday I had a student share with me her family issues. The student had been taken away and put in a group home, she then ran away from the group home because of the environment. She has just recently been returned to the custody of her mother and step-father. The living conditioned have not improved, they have gotten worse (if that is even possible). After a long discussion with her, I call the school social worker to report it. Later that day, the girl is called to the social workers office but is too scared to report anything. The fear of returning to the group home is too much for her.
I am unsure how to help and protect the students who know the system. I can not blame them for their mistrust. That is all they have ever known. I know the law requires me to report any incident and I do that. How do I get them the help they need and deserve?
I went home Friday night and held my daughter very tight. I told her how much I loved her and how proud I am of her. Teaching puts a new prospective on my home life.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Josh - Second Week Posting

I have to say, that this year has made me really regret leaving the television industry. I was good at that. I knew that job. And I was comfortable.

While it has been a difficult experience overall, there are those moments that make teaching worth it. While working on a project, I had a student come up to me with that excitement in her voice that I remember experiencing with my high school teacher. She was so into the project that she started telling me how she wanted to do "this" when she went to college. She was passionate about making videos and she has been ever since. Every day she comes in ready to work and has even volunteered to help me with the little things that I thought I had all taken care of. She is an excellent group leader and has made that particular class period a more enjoyable experience for me, as well as her classmates.

Honestly, her excitement is spreading and that class is becoming my favorite. (I know we shouldn't have favorites, but there, I said it.)

To sum up... all it takes is seeing that "light" click on for one student and the rest seems worth it. It's at least worth trying. If you don't try, you'll never get to see that light click on.

Body Planes Win, Lose or Draw

I had a request to post my idea for Body Planes Win, Lose or Draw game. I used this in my Applications class to review the body's directions, planes and movements. Basically, I took the part in unit 6 of Diversified Health Occupations book and put each plane, direction and movement term on a slip of paper with the term's definition. I had two sets of these slips for 24 students(you can create however many you need depending on class size.) I divided my class up into 2 sets of 12-one on each side of the room facing the white board, and then divided each of those sets into competing teams of 6 students. Each side of the room got an envelope with the slips of paper inside. The white board was divided into 2 big sections, one for each side of the room, then on each big section, there was a scoring section for each team of 6 drawn. The competing teams chose who would draw for them and the teams took turns drawing one of the terms on the white board. Each team had one book to look things up and the first team to get the correct term got a point. At the end of the class, the 2 teams who had the most points got a free dress pass or extra credit on their test. It was fun and lasted the whole class. They did not even stop for the bell.

New blog Week 2

Hello again. I hope everyone is having a good week. In response to Dr. Burns' question regarding an event that has taken me by surprise good or bad this past week, I have to share something that occurred last week during my craziest class. My third period class is over 2 hours long due to lunches. We have the last lunch, of course. In addition to the length of the class, hunger and having 30 students, this class is also made up of mostly freshman and sophomores. Imagine all of that combined with a few "too cool for school" seniors and you can imagine what my day is like from 11:46 to 1:44 everyday.
I have been having some problems with alot of talking during my lecture part of the class. Some of the students were even getting up and sharing snacks during this time. I have to refocus this group about every five minutes or so, and sometimes I feel like I am a big babysitter instead of a "technical expert instructor." It was one of those days and the students kept talking and whispering and we were not accomplishing anything. I had about had it, so I started silently counting to ten over and over while just looking at the class. This went on with them continuing their talking for about 4 minutes. All of a sudden, out of the blue, my most reluctant Junior student stood up, told everyone to "Be Quiet" and "Quit being rude to Ms. Draper because she is trying to teach us something we don't already know. Remember the number one rule is respect."
Well, I could have died right there. This student is one that I have struggled with to keep on task, reminding him of assignments and encouraging him all year long. Sometimes he does his work, sometimes he just looks at me while I am talking to him with a smirk on his face. He has let me know he did not want to be in the Healthcare Science class and that he thinks "all of this health junk" is boring. For him to be the one to stand up and quiet the class was amazing, but the students reacted quickly and apologized and started to take notes when I went on with class like nothing had happened.
Later, I spoke with the student and asked him why he stood up in class like that when usually he showed no interest in what I had to say. He told me that "Ms. Draper, I may not like all of this health junk, but your class is alot more interesting than some of them and you are a cool teacher. You help me when I need it and you are good to all of us and I just thought you needed a hand today." That blew me away. I realized that sometimes, even in our most trying times, how we model ourselves in class really does make a difference to someone. That makes all of the hard work worth it!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What has worked well and what has not.

Hello Classmates/Fellow Bloggers,

What has worked well for me is implementing the healthcare team concept. The students love having responsibility and really look forward to participating in leadership roles. Team activities have also worked well. The classes appear to love getting in groups to research and present information to the entire class. They loved choosing positions within the teams (leader, timekeeper, recorder and reporter). They spend their time wisely, reviewing the information and preparing for group presentation. 

What I've been struggling with is classroom management. However, I must say that after our class on Saturday, I went back to school with a fresh perspective and things appeared to go more smoothly. I think I felt much more confident after gaining advice and support from so many of you. You all reminded me of strategies we used this summer, so I implemented more of those, as well as some other techniques and they all worked!

Penny's Reflection

Hey Fellow Bloggers!

Looking back on the last few weeks compared to the last two years has been interesting. I have learned a lot. Teaching is a learning process...very organic. Always changing and there is always a need to improve to keep up with a changing classroom.

The NTI program has been very beneficial. I have tried to implement many of the classroom management strategies and have found that my time has been better managed. One thing that has gone well for me is the use of a classroom management plan...specifically giving all of my students a job. It has been great and the kids respond well to having responsibility. It has also freed me up to help more students and spend more time instructing as opposed to handling simple tasks. At first, the plan did not really work because the job descriptions were too complicated, so I simplified it and it suddenly worked. It is amazing how the "trash taker outer" becomes a job that is fought over (not physically). :)

One thing that has not worked has been my lesson plan preparedness. I am only teaching two preps...but I am teaching extended day for the first time. Its tough! I have one class completely planned out thanks to NTI but the other class is more of a day to day type thing. Extended day makes it tough to try and stay on top of everything. It is tough to try to manage the day, teach, and complete all the admin stuff while trying to not take your entire classroom home with you each night! Anyway, I am doing better using my planner and getting to school earlier. Hope this works. Any tips from some experienced extended day folks?

Thanks! See you all soon.


This school year concerning the New instructional techniques from NTI really helped me get off to a good start I was more in control and demand of my classroom. The problems I had last year with time management improved because I used the different methods and activities during the summer. I know my upper level students saw a change and improvement, because one of the students said the class seems to have more stuff added from last year concerning activity and instruction of criminal justice. I feel it doesn't matter how long you have taught your paticular subject or worked in that field when you receive good information that helps you to become a better teacher at your profession you should humble yourself and use that knowledge. I have a new confidence in myself as an instructor and that helps me with instruction for the day.

One thing that has become a problem that did not work in the classroom was attendance. Because we do so many hands on activity in CRJU sometimes you need that 23 to 28 students to make class interesting because of the grouping. Due to the fact of our county loosing 2,000 students Morrow High school has been hit the Hardest. My upper level courses are small which at times can be both a advantage and disadvantage. My peers say small classrooms are a blessing, but I enjoy the different personalties. I continue to find ways to help myself using the methods we discussed this summer I always refer back to the NTI book.



It seems as if your year got off to a good start too. I agree that the instructions and directions we received at NTI this summer has made this position much better. Last year I had the worst time trying to keep the students focused and on task. The worst problems was keeping them a wake. I now know it was primarily the teaching strategies and instructional methods I used that was causing many of the problems. Being a new teacher to the educational profession was a transition all by itself, but when I found out that the old fashioned lecture based classroom no longer existed I felt like I had made a mistake in wanting to be a teacher.

I only wish I could use the same lesson plans used at NTI. Our administrators gave us a new lesson plan template which is cumbersome to complete but very detailed. That is good in one sense and bad in another -takes took much time to transfer information even with cut and paste
techniques to the new form. Overall, everything is going well.

My thought on the New School Year

    I felt more confident beginning the school year after attending NTI this summer. The previous two years of classroom instruction gave me a knowledge base to reflect upon, as I mulled over the instruction that I received as a student. I began my third year of teaching high school with direction and preparation. 
   Classroom strategies, discipline and methods have benefited me tremendously. These ideas were presented to me this summer, and I have incorporated them.  My level one and two classes keep a student notebook. It keeps their minds and hands busy. The students seem to take pride in their work and they have a better understanding of the direction in which they are moving. I have set up lab managers, equipment managers, and classroom assistants. They keep me from being so overwhelmed with ninety-eight students. This also develops future leaders for my upper level classes.  The school year began with a routine which I repeat and I remind the students often of the classroom logistics and expectations. The method of demonstrating and modeling equipment usage has helped the students to perform properly with less accident issues. Having learned that there are various styles of learning, I am incorporating all styles into my classroom presentations. I am using visual, audible and tactical sessions. The tool that has helped me the most from attending the New Teacher's Institute is preparedness through good lesson planning. At times it is hard to stay on top of the preparation but the time is saved in the long run. Also, there is a noticeable difference in  classroom management when the lessons are prepared and varied. NTI has given me an overall brighter outlook on teaching.
     The area that I am struggling with is classroom management. I do not struggle with the two classes that are one level of twenty-eight students. However, I am struggling with my divided classroom that has an upper level class and a lower level class. Fifteen of the students are a level. The struggle comes with being successful at balancing my teaching responsibilities between the two groups.
One group needs a written lesson plan and constant supervision during the time block. The other group needs input from me as they run the studio. They also need guidance as the studio is new and when problems arise. The way that I am problem solving is two-fold. I am developing my senior leaders to follow through with my directives. This takes outside preparation by me, ahead of time. I give written instruction or clear verbal directives. The other thing is that I have sent each group of fifteen students to a different lunch. This gives a thirty minute slot of time for me to spend with the upper level students. I don't do this every day but only as needed by them and I eat my lunch in the classroom. As time goes by, the studio based students will become more self-sufficient and independent. This is the best solution that I have for now, as I was unaware that the class would be mixed. I feel that with the expensive equipment now accessible to my classes that it would be best to keep the classes separate. As we all know, in education, sometimes you have to roll with the tide.

What Worked and What I'm still Working On

What Has Worked Well: There are several things that have worked well for me. The behavioral strategies, I would say, have helped me the most. I am more able to keep myself in control this year after the summer NTI. Some of my out of control students from last year are back, and I'm actually keeping them focused and on track this year. I originally thought "To you..., To me..." Wouldn't work, but it actually does. I've learned how to identify that "proximity" actually makes a big difference. Students that I have just walked near, or stood near by when they were disrupting instructions or group discussions, have said to me "are you standing near me because I'm talking too much". I am able to keep a straight face and say "Just say on track, and finish your work" and continue walking around the room without stopping my class. I am approaching individuals and speaking with them quietly, instead of talking to them over the class- eliminating a lot of the bickering/arguing back and forth from the student. I definately feel that the behavioral strategies have given me a huge lift in my classroom.

What isn't working very well: Getting my first year students through Safety! I am struggling with inventing new motivational activities to keep the students learning safety. They are not allowed to enter the shop, and that is what they are pushing for. I am having difficulties gettting my two first year classes to understand the need and importance of safety in the shop. I have done individual work, group work, activities, study guides and games......and very few of them are participating. I feel like I need to move onto Automotive Careers and come back to safety. Would that work? any opinions?

KJ; Reflecting on the first weeks of school

The one thing I have been most impressed with to this point is utilizing a warm up. Last year I had no idea what a warm up was or even how to put the concept into place. I would let them come in and talk quietly as group while I got my teacher duties out of the way and got prepared to start class. This year after hearing many ideas during NTI, I settled on the “Quote of the Day” and tied it into their work ethic grade. They are to read the quote, take a moment to reflect on it, then, right me a paragraph on what it means to them. Several times we have broken off into a 10-15 minutes of discussion on how they feel the quote can help them better their study habit and/or their life in general. This part is amazing to me, once they open up and you show them respect for their opinions, they show even greater respect for you a person and a mentor. Out of my three blocks, one class in particular seems to enjoy this 5 minute exercise more than the other two.

Now on to the negative, I still struggle with time management as a whole. While I feel I’m more prepared for class this year, I struggle with the maintaining a steady pace with my Engineering Drawing and Design Class. I’ll have about 6-8 students (Group 1) that grasp what I am showing them to do and have another 6-8 (Group 2) that with a little one on one time will come around to what I am showing them. Then there is the rest of the class that looks at me like I am speaking a foreign language to them and will take the entire class period and some time two days to understand. I feel like if I keep giving the moving forward with group 1, group 3 will never catch up. On the other side of the coin, if I continue to work with group 3, I am not being fair to group 1. For this most part I utilize group 1 as student teachers to help out group 2. Is this a good idea or not?

comment to Shellee

My regular classes are 3 hour blocks and I too struggle with management. It seems that I usually plan too much for the students to work on, however, this does seem to limit the time they have to spend on talking and misbehavior. I usually start them with a writing task, then some type of computer assignment, then lecture and demonstration. If they have labs, on these days, they would return demonstrations and then work under the direction of team leaders with me supervising all groups. If this is not a lab day, I give them complex scenarios to work out as a small group or cooperative group. I still use the team leaders to facilitate their groups and again continue to monitor all groups. I used cooperative groups for the first time this week and it did work well. Again they did not quite finish the product but they did not have time for idle talk.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Career and Technical Education Teachers' Blog: Comment on Jayna's First week blog

I am very concerned about several of my students also who have missed a number of classes due to ISS. It is very difficult for these students to get back on track when they miss several classes a week. This issue becomes even greater when they miss a lab and need to have a partner with the skill checkoff.
I am thinking about having a certain day each week for the students to make-up any labs or projects they may have missed. I really like your idea about working with each student individually and creating a behavior plan that they design. Students tend to be more vested when they are able to take ownership of the process. Another thing I have noticed is that when a student falls very behind they become so discouraged that they quit trying. When we give them opportunities to be successful I believe they become more motivated.

Reflections - First Week of School

What worked well for me the first weeks of school? The first thing that comes to mind is the preparation that I did over the summer with what I learned at the new teacher institute and the projects we did in our groups. I used the classroom rules and the lab management system from the beginning and it set the tone with my students from the start on what was expected. I also implemented class managers and a public relations representative from each class. This really made a difference in decreasing the transition time and increasing student involvement from the start. One thing that hasn’t worked as well is the students using name tags. Initially it worked however as time has past they are not as diligent about wearing them. I am not sure that I will use name tags next year.

What worked and what didn't

Reflecting on the first weeks of school, what has worked the best for me is the monthly assignment of a classroom manager and a public relations manager. On the first day of school, I allowed the students to volunteer as managers. I told them that their learning expereince would be two fold through out the year. They are going to learn about healthcare but they are also going to learn how to function in a work environement and develop their interviewing and leadership skills. Each month I will assign new classroom and public relations manager. Every student will be asked to serve in at least one of these capacities in order to develop their skills. I decided on two managers after hearing from administrative staff that our school's students were highly migratory. Combined with the hear say of the difficulty in conducting classes and catching students up on missed classwork, I felt a need to have a public relations student help out. This student's main responsibilities are to introduce new students, guest speakers and special activities to the class and to assist students who missed classes with obtaining needed materials and updates/notes. My classroom manager assists with distribution of papers, writing information on the board, most recently, getting students on task at the beginning of class and other duties as the need arises!
The one thing that has not worked well is my proper utilization of lesson plans. I thought I could use one set of lesson plans for all of my Intro classes and keep everyone pretty much at the same pace. Fat chance, I did not take into consideraion all of the variables I would encounter from one class to the next. I have learned that smaller classes fly through material and have minimal debates or thoughful insights to vocalize compared to larger classes which will engage you in so many teaching moment converstions that you will fall behind in your lessons. With only a few moments between classes. I have found little time to jot down changes in my plans based on the students' learning for the day. By the end of the day, I have mixed up who was doing what. Recently, I made a checklist of things to cover during the week on the board. Now I try to check off the information as it is covered for a particular class or write changes on the board as the events occur. In this way, I can refer back to the notes at the end of the school day and make my final changes. There ae a number of things that were good and not so good during my first feww week, but overall, the good outway the bad and I look forward to learning more teaching strategies this semester.

Reflecting on First Weeks.

What worked first weeks, introducing classroom manager has helped with work load of class. In most cases it has worked well, however in some cases not so well. I have been rotating this weekly, and filling the position by elections. In some cases the classroom manager has taken the duty and flown. In others the classroom manager has not taken the duty seriously and become a distraction. Perhaps I should have fired the poor classroom managers, however it seems I have mutiple students with learning disorders and more and still receiving notifications, have been reluctant to fire.
What has not worked so far is most work groups prior to ten days ago.
I was setting up work groups by the count to three -four etc. method.
A few days ago I did a cooperative learning experiment with two classes,
I used the first method with my first period class and chose the students for my second period class.
What a difference! My second period class excelled beyond my first period class by leaps and bounds.
However I would not have known my students at the begining of the year
and this would have made no difference. Ken B


Things that have worked: Starting out this year I came in better prepared and organized. Having my lesson plans completed and learning different teaching strategies helped me have a better start. Now I see the kids more engaged and eager to learn. I love when I use one of the discipline strategies and it actually work. The kids honor the classroom/lab procedures, it is amazing when the kids notice and let each other know if they break one of the rules. This year has been better because I don't allow myself to get bogged down with so much work that I am taking home. I plan my day accordingly completing all paper work before or immediately after school. I am not taking alot of work home with me each day. So the benefits of making sure I am organized is really working well for me.

Many of the techniques and strategies we learned in NTI I have tried to but them to use. I must say I wish I could have had this course at the beginning of my educational career. Having it now let me look back and know what not to do or where I do not want to go through again. Many of the things learned I share with some veteran teachers, they wish they had attended a course like NTI back when they started teaching,

Things that have not worked: I am not going to say they didn't work but I think that there are things that I need more training on. That would be in the area of working in the labs. Its so hard to do the split class because you will always have someone that is not going to stay on task. The way my class is set up, it is merely impossible to moniter the kids in the lab cooking up against the kids that are in the class area working. My only suggestion would be to have a paraprofessional that could watch the students in the classroom while I conduct the kitchen lab of students. Even if I conduct a lab with the entire class the setup makes it hard to moniter all of the students at the same time. Also I need to work on moving around the classroom more, since we don't use desk we have tables and chairs it seems to crowd the space. With this it makes it hard to walk around the room as much as I would like. Due to the class size I have looked at different ways we can set up the room to make it more easy flowing, so the classroom setup has not worked for me as well as I would have like.


Last year I faced the first day of school with multiple anxieties. Would I have the same chaos as the first year or would it be different now since I knew procedures and a few classroom hints taken mostly from other teachers. This year after NTI, I could not wait for school to begin! I began the year equipped with so many plans and strategies. I used the lesson plan developed in the format we were taught along with the task list that I compiled this summer. This worked very well, improved my organization and my confidence as well. I involved my students from the very beginning by allowing them to complete the bulletin board with a simple analysis of their own character. They were welcomed and given hearts when they entered the room and later were asked to tag their heart with their name and most outstanding character trait. Next they were given the student handbook that I had completed in NTI which answered most of their questions about the courses. My courses are taught sequential and in essence is a 1 year course designed to certify students as Nursing Assistant, so you can imagine the questions. My students are from the surrounding schools and remain with me for half-day sessions in 3 hour blocks. Because of this, good lesson planning is essential and must be diverse and active in nature to maintain the interest of these students for that length of time. So in essence, I am going to say the lesson plan format and having these ready the very first day is the thing that has worked well for me.
It is difficult to isolate a particular item that has not worked well, because overall most have worked. I have found the most difficulty to be in timing a particular project. I have had to revise many of my lesson plans because of the time element. Also I have found that my lesson planning does require more time than I had initially anticipated and it seems to take more time to complete a lesson within the curriculum. Our curriculum for the introductory course is so theory latent; it is a great effort to include a hands-on activity. The projects and activities have basically been successful and enjoyable for the students; however, I feel I have had to race through some of the curriculum in order to include these things. Perhaps this boils down to time management as being the culprit and the thing that did not work well.


I must say that this school year has brought it's own unique set of challenges. Last year, my classroom was not my own. I shared it with the graphic arts teacher, therefore I could not arrange things as needed for my program. This year, I was able to "take over" the room and now I have it solely for my program. I was able to use the tips given to us at NTI to arrange the classroom for optimum instruction within my program. It has been great to use all of my resources this year with instruction.

However, since enrolling in the NTI, I have learned many different strategies and methods of instruction which I am excited to employ into my class lessons. Using these methods and strategies has been a challenge because I can have up to four, yes that's right, four different courses within a single class period. Therefore, the challenge has been using the "transfer in, set induction...etc." when I have four different curriculums going at once. Last year, each student received a project module which matched their curriculum. The students would have to work on their own to master the content while I floated around the room to tie up the loose ends for each student individually. Last year seemed to be more organized than this year.

I find it very hard to actually "teach" (lecture, demonstration, etc) when I am only speaking to maybe half of the class at a time. This leaves the other half of the room to "work", but they find themselves doing other things while unsupervised. The solution for this problem would be to only have one course per class period, but my administrator believes (and I agree) that my numbers would go way down and the program would not be as popular.


Reflecting on the first weeks of school, describe one thing that has worked well and one thing that hasn't worked well.

Reflecting back on the first 5 weeks of school has been very exciting for me because I have a large new classroom and lab. I have enjoyed setting up the classroom and laboratory as discussed in NTI this summer. The staff and students are also excited also. Overall things have gone well for me. I am using the lesson plans and classroom management plans which have proven to be very helpful. The emergency lesson plan was submitted when requested and I was so happy to have it already completed.

The frustations felt over the last couple of weeks are related to equipment and supplies. The HSTE laboratory list of supplies ordered last school year has been placed on hold. I find that particularly disturbing because I had planned my lessons around the items needed to do demonstrations. The best part of this situation is that I was successful last year in a classroom with only a textbook and no supplies, I am certain I can do well with the few supplies that I do have on hand and the teaching strategies I am learning at NTI.

The other frustrations this school year has been the placement of students in the HSTE classes that have not had the introductory class. These students have not been exposed to the medical language and terminology and is expressing some frustrations themselves trying to keep up.
Assisting these students and performing demonstrations and checkoffs have been the greatest challenges so far.

I am hopeful and I know that I can continue do well inspite of the circumstances beyond my control. The students are enjoying the class and that is the most important fact in this giant high school puzzle.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Works and What I am still working on!

What works. - Something that has worked for me real well has been the installation of a classroom organization. By allowing the students to have and participate in active roles it has increased their intrest in the class. Although it does not work perfect at all times or the same for all classes it does introduce them and increase their knowledge as to how a organization works and to some of the challenges they might face as they endeavor to accomplish the task of the organization. It also helps with classroom management by increasing their responsibility to their assigned task and their work areas. It also allows me an opportunity to improve my classroom management by having the students to share in the responsibility of the class and facilities.

What I am still working on - I have had an opportunity to use many of the ideas, tools, and training that we have covered during the summer and into this fall. As luck would have it I have three of four students that at our school that have been identified county wide as having a tendancy to act out, in all their classes. These three, from different school areas, are all in the same class for me. I feel that I have made progress with them this year but still have a long way to go. They seem to have many issues and have been identified by other teachers as such. The students seem to want to do better and at times they do try. They are very impulsive with very active minds. Some of the teachers seem to accept their failing ways. Again I believe I have made progress but have a long way to go with them. Does any one have any thoughts on how to help these students who have spent a lifetime becoming the way they are.

Thanks in advance.

RS, Alpharetta


Checking to see if I can still sign on.

First weeks of this school year

As I reflect on the first six weeks of this school year, overall, I am pleased with the start. I have tried to implement several ideas from NTI this summer into my classroom. I have the "line of transition" on the floor as the students enter the door and have explained how they should transition. I use the "lights off" method to get the attention of my students when the noise level gets too high. Also, I have used some of the "take five" things fromt he notebook, which the kids seem to be enjoying. I try to refer to my classroom procedures as often as possible when need be. Even when utilizing all of these things, the students still get off task at times and I feel that, on some days, it is a true struggle to get much work out of them. Last week, I started using writing assignments as a form of discipline and they seem to be good. The writing assignments are paragraphs that I have students who choose to remain off task copy. They emphasize the importance of the student staying on task and the problems that his or her not doing so cause to the teacher and within the classroom. Like I mentioned, I am truly trying to utilize several of the things from class this summer, but I often reflect on something that I should have used or said after the fact. I am hoping that with practice, I will continue to grow as a teacher.

I think the thing that I have had the most problems with this year is stopping class towards the end of the period for closure and transfer-out. If I am doing a lecture or something that requires them to remain seated, I typically watch the clock and am able to fit it in. Although, I still can't get the timing completely right yet. On the other hand, when I am having the kids work in groups and when the room has to be fixed, I find that it is harder to do. Mostly, it is hard to get the kids attention again at the end of group work, after they've reorganized the room. Getting them completely quiet to close out after group work has been difficult for me to do. As, the year continues, I hope to master this, as well as other issues that may arise. All I can do is take it one step at a time and that's what I am doing.

What Has Worked For Papa Joe

The first weeks have flown by! With NTI starting back and my school administrators adding a lot of additional studies and duties ( Differential and Learning Focus Strategies, Emergency Updates, Security and Traffic Control), things have been hectic to say the least. I would not be where I need to be without the classroom management plan and the first weeks of school completely done in my notebook. I have followed these notes to the letter, and it has worked. The behavior issues have mild compared to other schools in our district, especially the first two weeks. It was almost too quiet. I thought something was wrong with my first two classes. It seemed way too smooth. The class and shop rules are posted ( the ones we made this summer) and no edits had to be made. Having everyone follow the classroom procedures and having students help me, has really helped. The 9th grade classes have just started the shop organization ( the Shop Foreman, Parts and Tool Manager, Technician roles) This has been a true blessing. I never would have thought that it would work, but it really has. The students selected for some of the leadership roles were not the best or brightess, but what a difference it has made for most of them. It may be somewhat a play role, but has been taken seriously by all. They do not want to be fired by me! Some students were inspired by the fact that I choose them.

Some things have not been perfect. I got off my lesson plan schedule and I am a little behind. Not all my students want to be here. They seemed to make it their goal at times to stop learning. Not all the behavior techniques work all of the time. The additional duties and studies have taken their toll on my time. I expressed my frustration last Saturday about how to multi task all the time and how to cope with the constant interuptions. Meetings, parents, teachers, students wanting passes, emails, the radio and intercom. I sometimes got emails during the day that I know nothing about and because I do not read them during instruction time or between classes, some things do not get done.
Overall I am happy, I am thankful for the successes that I have experienced the first six weeks of this school year. I look forward to even more ideas through these blogs.

What worked and what did not

We are in our 4th week of school and I must say that I feel like I finally have a grasp on this teaching thing that we do. What has worked so far is the lesson plan that we have already done. I feel that I have more time to dedicate to my classes because I do not have to worry so much about the lesson planning. The set induction works quite well to get kids attention. I would normally use bizzare ethereal photos. I started using the class objective as their notes in the beginning of class. Other strategies for kids behavior like the look has worked for me, but I'm sure I'm not doing it like the man we saw on the video. His look is more like "you need to stop", my look I believe is more like "what in the world are you doing?".

What has not worked. I tried to implement the "notebook" like what we did in class this summer. I seem to have only 70% of my student on board with this. The other 30% I'm investigating to see what I missed. Also the closing remarks or questions, for some reason I seem to forget to do it. I can catch myself sometimes, but not always.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What has work and what has not

One thing that has worked well for me is integrating activities with lectures. Teaching the History of Mass Communications to a group of teenagers who are itching to get their hands on a video camera is, needless to say, challenging. By implementing “arts & crafts” activities to help the lesson along has made a big impact. My second year students look at all the colorful student-created artwork all over the walls and ask me, “Why didn’t we get to do cool stuff like that last year?” I simply tell them that I am a “post-NTI” teacher now, and that I learned a few tricks over the summer that I keep up my sleeves. When I had the first years “illustrate” what could happen if the safety rules were broken, it clicked with them. Now they understand where I’m coming from. And they get to see the fruit of their labor every day. The students who actually contributed to my now deftly decorated room feel that they have contributed something to the classroom, and they feel proud of themselves. Besides, every classroom needs a little construction paper, Elmer’s glue, googlie eyes and pipe cleaners.

What hasn’t worked for me? I’m still trying everything in my arsenal as needed. I haven’t had any behavior issues yet – knock on wood. One thing that I struggle with on a daily basis is time management. I’m trying very hard to use my planning period to do just that, but there are so many other things that need to get done as well. When teaching three entirely different classes and skill levels, I find my imagination is growing weary. I like following the lesson plans I developed over the summer, but I have had to deviate a little. I use them primarily as a guideline and come up with daily plans that day. But that’s only for my two classes of first year students. Second years, I have only one class. Not enough students to complete a daily news show and video projects – there’s not enough time. And my third year students – bless them – independent study students. I have to completely invent lessons as I go. I didn’t have this problem last year, as the 2nd and 3rd years were mixed in one class, and they all did the same thing.

Hello and Good Luck

Hello NTI Class!
Just wanted to say hello to you and wish you well. I had sent a blog during the summer to welcome you but you hadn't been introduced to the blogging site yet. So I will take the opportunity to do so now. Welcome!

I "graduated" from NTI in May and now have my full-fledged clear and renewable teaching certificate. I teach Healthcare Science at Ola High School in McDonough. You are well on your way already to learning many, many wonderful things about teaching. I have been reading some of your blogs and sounds like several of you are already putting your newly learned skills to good use. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go to NTI because it certainly has made a huge difference in my life.

NTI is hard work but you will be so happy that you stuck with it. Dr Burns and Jessie are just the best! The absolute best! Learn all you can from them. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride! And if I can ever help any of you with anything please don't hesitate to ask. Good Luck!

Connie Dial, RN

What has worked and what has not worked

What has worked: This is my second year teaching. Having a year's experience under my belt coupled with all the information learned at NTI this summer has made the first month go pretty smoothly. I feel more confident and relaxed and I believe that is impacting the "psychological learning environment". It is nice to see familiar faces among my students and it was easier to learn my level I student's names quicker. Last year I had to learn 130 new students because everyone was new to me and this year I only had to learn 53 new students. That made a big difference for me right there. The transfer in and take 5 activities have been the most helpful. Especially the "3-2-1" we learned a few weeks ago. My students really picked up on it and enjoyed answering the questions.

What hasn't worked: I really liked the concept we learned this summer of having the students repeat back instructions before moving into an activity. This hasn't worked out for me though. I know the reason why. It is because I forget to ask the students to repeat back to me. I give instructions and then set them about the activity. I guess I don't feel like time is really wasted during transitions so I haven't had a big need to change my routine to include it. I do believe if I could get into the routine of asking it would benefit the flow of things but truthfully I just keep forgetting to do it.

Jayna First week blog

What has worked well for me; My favorite things that I have learned at NTI this summer were the classroom management skills. I absolutely love and have had remarkable success with my students repeating back to me what they are going to do before they begin the new task. I also have had wonderful success with my newfound student interaction strategies. Just today I had a situation with a student that could have escalated to the point where I would have needed help. Instead of letting this happen, I took her aside and used the "to you to me" speach and she really went to work on the task I had assigned. It was amazing!

What I have had trouble with; A big issue I have had this year is absenteeism. On an average day I have about 6 students in ISS. These seem to be the same students and they are missing out on so much in the class. This is very frustrating to me. I decided today that I would take them aside as they came back to class and discuss whatever behavior they are choosing that keeps getting them into ISS. Then I thougth that we would try to work on some strategies to help them stop the behavior. We will see if it works!


What has worked well for me: I have used many of the strategies that I learned at NTI. My favorite is having the students repeat the direction to me. By using this technique I have cut the transition time in half. The less time the students spend transitioning the more time they spend on their activity. That is always a good thing. Overall I think the semester is going much smoother. I know I am more confident and secure with my teaching.

What has not worked for me: The classroom procedure "ask 3 then me." The students have not grasped the concept. I am not sure if was my explanation or if the concept is too complicated. I plan to reintroduce the concept for spring semester. In the mean time, I made a new classroom procedure poster and set the other one aside for now. I figure if that is the only thing that has not worked I am doing okay.

Welcome Everyone From Dr. Burns

Hello Everyone and welcome to our first week on the blog. I will be the instructor who gives you feedback this week as well as the instructor who awards the points. Please refer to pages 19-21 of your course syllabus for EDBT 3690 if you've forgotten anything we went over in our blogging session.

Please remember that you are to respond to the question of the week. It is located on the right side of the blog and is in RED. Then, if you would like to post something else related to teaching and learning you are welcome to do that as well. Since this is our first week, I am here to give you gentle guidance if you need it (smiling). Dr. J (Burns)