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?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dallas,J Counselor

I do believe the interview is going to be a real plethora of information. I personally will be interviewing my SEVLT who is the counselor at my school. But she has also been in many setting of the educational process. Being that our school is all IEP students our counseling staff has to have good credentials. The information we can gain I think will be very useful, and the resources that can be learned as well. If you probe you will find that the councilor is probably the most important person in the school. Our councilors have so many connections with help for our student not only in school, but after school and their families. I know alot about what our councilors, but after this interview I think I will really know what they do and how to use all of the resources that we can use for our students.

Dallas,J Sharing Information

Hello all! I don't know how many of you have a co-teacher or paraprofessional in your class room. If you do here is a good suggestion. Inform your para. or helper of the things we have been learning in NTI. I have a para. in my class who has been in the teaching business for many years before NTI was established. As I have learned new things in the class and found so many new ways of doing things, felt it necessary to school my paras with this information. This is part of the cooperation that must be in the classroom. If the students see a flaw in the teamwork they will exploit this fast. There must be teamwork for the class to operate correctly. I was having trouble before with this para not wanting to follow the lesson plans, and wanting to do things the way he felt. After several team meetings and me sharing the information from NTI with him he completely turned around. I think all paras should at least have to take the summer class of NTI,also, this would greatly help teachers in the classroom. Especially the ones who have been teachers in the past.

Counselor Interview

I expect to gain valuable insight into a counselor’s roles and responsibilities. I believe that knowledge is power and in the end will always be an asset. Since I am not in a traditional school, I have given quite a bit of thought to this project and appropriate questions to ask my counselor. She has already been helpful in many ways some probably traditional and some could be a stretch, I am actually unsure. I have had a couple of students who were homeless and she has helped them in many ways. She has asked me to assist students that were badly in need of “extra help” in order to graduate.
I have seen her be very tough on a student with a tremendous amount of absenteeism, but yet she gave him another chance. I really learned something from that encounter.

The interview questions hopefully will elicit the information I need to improve my program. For instance, one question that I cannot wait to ask is “How is the information about my program communicated to other counselors? I have had many students tell me that their counselors or advisors knew nothing of my program and others have told me that they were told it didn’t exist. On another occasion, I had a student placed in my class after two thirds of the program was complete and the student was seeking certification and was told she could catch up. SOooooooooo………I expect improvement.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I haven't conducted my interview yet because I am still thinking about various ways to formulate my interview questions. I am in a different position than most because our school is changing from the "block" style learning day to the "hybrid" or combination of traditional and block class lengths. This will greatly affect my program as well as the ways counselors place students. The counselors may be considering a new approach on how they look at recommending students.

We will have 7 periods daily with an optional zero period, and a study hall/"enrichment"/homeroom period two to three days a week. Thursdays are professional development days and students won't come in until about 9:30 in the morning.

There is so much going on in our school with the new schedule and with budget cuts that it's hard to speculate about how it will affect my program. Nonetheless, building a solid relationship with counselors would definitely be a valuable asset to the courses I teach. Effective communication will give our counselors a true perspective of what the courses have to offer. For example, when I first began teaching they were telling everyone my class was like "CSI", which is not even remotely close and some students were disapointed with that. These efforts will also keep our counselors up to date on changes with our curriculum or other areas of the program. If the counselors have a greater knowledge base of what I teach, they will also be able to compare those qualities to the qualities or interests of the students to make a "match" or effective placement which is a benefit to the students.

Counselor Int.

I have become very familiar with our counselor this year. This is my first year at this high school. My experience last year made me very aware of the benefits of having communication with your school counselors. You can see what students are interested in your class and decide which students you would or wouldn't accept in your class. Sometime the counselor will say give you advice on what to expect from the students.

My counselor this year has been a great help. She keeps us aware of scholarships and any opportunity that will benefit my students. She also holds different classroom meetings for our students about financial aid, colleges etc. Also she is a good person to talk to about anything. Interviewing her for my project will assist my classroom even more.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I have set up an appointment to interview one of our school counselors. We have 3 school counselors and they are incredibly busy with over 2000 students to place in 4 blocks every semester and all classes must be toward their graduation goal. It took the counselor 2 days just to find a good day for me to come in so that I could do the interview, so I know they are always backed up. It astounds me that not only do they do all the scheduling, but they also help students with crisis issues, help with all standardized testing and help arrange assemblies and speakers to the school in general. I believe that knowing this information will help me to appreciate the counselors even more than I already do. It will also help me to know when to send a student to a counselor and when I need to just tell the student that just because they want to take health occupations but is now placed in cosmetology (because that is what they put on their schedule card last semester) they cant' just randomly change their mind at anytime during the semester. I will also be able to recommend resources to students that the counselors offer and know more about what may be helpful to the students throughout the year.


After assessing the responsibilities facing the counselors, I already have a new appreciation for them. Just considering the social issues that arise, this alone seems insurmountable. Given all the other requirements to see our students to graduation, their patience, resolve, caring, and logistical skills far exceed most I have known. I am fortunate to work for and be a part of North Paulding High School. Being surrounded by professionals in every aspect demands me to give the best of myself to the benefit of my students. I believe good communication with the counselors is essential for them to do their job well, this in turn will benefit our programs. These professionals are often taken for granted. Without their diligence we all would fail our wards.

Counselor Interview

When we were given this assignment, I was really excited. I was quick to decide that my choice would be an interview with a counselor. From the information I would learn, it would help make a connection between my students and me. I have not had the interview with a counselor yet, but it is scheduled. Maybe, after the interview, the counselor can come in my classroom to show how teachers and counselors work together as a team to meet their needs. I am looking forward to this chance to learn more of how to help my students. It will possibly show where my students are going with the information I'm teaching them, and help them process the information. If they are having trouble with processing it, I might be able to recognize it before it gets away from us. The key to this is to catch it early, before they feel overwhelmed. This will also show the students a bridge between the teachers and the counselors. This will also help in communication with parents as well.

Counselor Interview

Interviewing our counselor gave me a much better insight into their role. The way it can help me is when I have a question about a student, I should start with the counselor. I did not realize all the data that they have even before a student enters high school. They work with all of our middle schools counselors informing students about the difficult curriculum at our school so as to help students to make better decisions before applying for the lottery( we accept 200 students a year out of 500 application).. Also, by meeting with parents and students they help weed out students that should not be at our school. This process along with our summer boot camp for freshmen that the counselors run for a week each year help students and parents make better decission. Our students have to do on the average of three hours of home work each night. Because of this we get better prepared students which makes teaching a much easer job. One of the things that I plan to do in the future is to bring the counselor into my classroom to make students more aware of the services that they offer. I think that this could help students make better decisson and prepare them better for college and the type of career program that they want to purpose.

Interview Post Secondary Technical College

One of your assignments this semester involves interviewing either a guidance counselor or a technical school administrator. How do you think completing this assignment could effect your program, and ultimately your students?

My interview was with an administrator at a Technical college. I previously went several counselor meetings while with the Cobb County School District nurse program. I had a good idea of their role in the high school setting but I realize you can always learn more. After interviewing and touring Chattahoochee Technical college I can attest to the validity and cruciality of this technical college. One of the most interesting facts that I left with was how graduates from one particular county in Georgia usually had to place their students in lower level and some remedial college classes until they "caught up". Oddly enough, this was the county I had previously taught in. The two areas that these students required help in were Math and English. I found this so enlightening and very helpful when dealing with students.
I gained valuable knowledge regarding the various degree, diploma, and certificate programs. One of my challenges as a Healthcare Science teacher was in answering questions students had about options after HS. I was not too familiar with the technical college level. I feel more confident now when these types of questions arise. I previously tended to steer healthcare students to a 4-year college path. But I realize that this is not the path for many students and now feel much more confident when explaining the different programs of study at the technical college level.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Effect My Program

Three years ago when I began my teaching career, my mentor gave me some good advice. The part of his advice that I remember the most is to make sure you don’t get the guidance counselors upset with you. Therefore, your program will always have the cooperation and assistance that comes from the guidance counselors. The guidance counselors and I make every effort to work together to make sure the students get the courses they need to complete high school. My program has grown for two reasons. First, I strive to give the students the best I have to offer. Second, I work closely with the guidance counselors by taking students in my class that are sometimes difficult to accommodate. Guidance counselors have a large responsibility to the students, parents and teachers of the school they represent. The counselors at our school are true professionals and have help make my program a success. By interviewing a guidance counsler, I believe I will gain more insight on ways of making my program more effective for the students.


Learning more about something always has some effect on the learner. The assignment will help me learn more about the functions and responsibilities of the school counselor. What I learn will help me to better understand the role of my counseling department. If I understand more about the purpose of the counseling department, then I will be able to utilize it more effectively. If I do not know about something, then I can't use it like it is supposed to be used. I will know how to help my students when they come to me with problems or concerns if I know that the counselor is there to handle that specific problem. I may be able to make the counselor an active participant in my program. She can help my students prepare for life after high school. An important part of my program is to prepare students for what happens after graduating high school. When I discover whether or not my counselor's purpose is to work with my program, I will better be able to use the service as a resource for my program.


I think that by interviewing one of our school counselors I will gain a better understanding of the offerings of the guidance office. As a teacher I see e-mails, flyers and hear announcements but I seldom understand what prompts these messages. I also hope to gain a better understanding of the testing available that is done through the counseling office. Then, how can I assist my students with deciding to take the test, or understanding the results of the test.
We have advisement weekly at the CA, but the time is often wasted. I would like to get some ideas from my counselor to use during advisement such as leadership, personal qualities, employability. Yes, I know much of this, but what I know is healthcare specific and I would like to expland my advisor portfolio to encompass activities that meet all of my students needs.
And last, I am interested in learning how the counseling office works. How is scheduling done, and what must occur to make changes in sheduling. With this knowledge I can better assist all fo my students in their decision making.


I have completed these reports and have found great resources. I had no idea the counseling office had so much to offer. They provide various services to students and teachers. The students can get not only academic help, but social or personal advice. Adolscence is tuff, so to have someone to help you through it is great. Also, it is very convenient being located in the school. They offer teacher support by being present during parent teacher conferences. That is a huge plus to me.

I try to stay in touch with all the post secondary schools. I invite them to visit and speak to my classes. This gives the students a chance to ask questions and watch demonstrations. Gives the schools a chance to promote themselves. It is a win-win situations for everyone involved.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lavoie Videos

One important point that Mr. Lavoie made in his video that stands out to me was the fact that there is no compensation for social skills. These students face social isolation and social rejection frequently throughout the day. How do we as educators facilitate their understanding of what is socially acceptable behavior and the unwritten curriculum of the school they attend? I like how Mr. Lavoie explained that we needed to do a social skill autopsy by examining and inspecting the cause of the social error. Mr. Lavoie stressed the importance of using the error that the student committed as an opportunity to teach the appropriate social skill versus using blame and punishment towards the student. I had never given much thought to the unspoken rules of school until Mr. Lavoie explained what a challenge this could be for the student with special needs. Now I understand how this could be quite challenging for some students and will use this increased awareness to guide students in the future who may face these challenges.

Rick Lavoie Videos

Both of the videos by Rick Lavoie have influenced me greatly. After watching them, I have a new outlook toward several of my students who are special or labeled as LD. The most striking thing that I have realized is that the videos point to a much, much wider audience. What I mean by "audience " is that the same ideas and techniques are needed by many of my students that are not under that "label". Students that are "normal" would benefit from the ideas and techniques used by Rick Lavoie. The three things needed by us to work effectively with learning disabled children should also by used all the time by effective teachers.
The most important thing that I learned were that any negative reinforcement only stops the behavior for that moment. Postive reinforcement , by praise and reward, will succeed because it will change behavior. It is always easier to express the immediate negative response, rather than taking the time to come up with the correct one. The seven questionable behavioral practices illustrated by Lavoie pointed out some of my own miscues. Also the three reasons why students argue with a teacher are classic discriptions of misbehaviors in my classes. I have used the postive poker chip technique with very good results with some very severe ADD adults and students. The use of poker chips will always be on my mind when confronted with any LD person. As Lavoie states, we all must be a "Talent Scout" to be able to find out what talent or gift a student has.
The second video was also good in that it pointed out we must always be teaching "Social Skills". The environment that our students have experienced may be so different from normal that many skills, learned at an early age, have been lost or not even taught. We have difficulty teaching those skills because they are so natural to most of us. The LD student does not learn the same way as what we have been able to. What seems so normal to us is very strange to the LD student. It makes it very difficult for us to teach because we know it really well. The point about not be able to question things to be able to learn was totally new to me.
I hope we can view more videos like these. I feel that the hidden social skill education and the unwritten curriculum are one of the major education problems that we have today.

Rick Lavoie Videos

“Learning disabilities: The real challenge is educating those that don’t have one.” This statement by Rick Lavoie lingers in my mind as I work with each of my students. It reminds me of the statement, “Half of the battle in resolving a problem is realizing that you have one.” So often, we do not realize we are doing things incorrectly. It is not until we see it done another way with better results do we realize something is incorrect about our method.

The information Mr. Lavoie provides not only identifies strategies and illustrates how to work with learning disabled students; it serves as a great resource for working with all students and people in general. The importance of providing the “chips” and being a talent scout cannot be stressed enough. It is amazing what a little bit of praise or positive reinforcement does for a youngster’s self esteem and initiative. When classes started this semester you can be assured that each of my students had a full stack of chips to start the semester. For those that have started to loose some, I have implemented ways for them to get more as quickly as possible. Having the right tools to teach makes such a difference in accomplishing the task with the most positive results.

Rick L. videos

The fact that was most thought provoking to me was the idea of individualism within thought processes. I have several special education students who do a great job in broadcasting but they require direction in a different way than a mainstream student. The video session reminded me of the lessons learned in my exceptional child class. As a teacher, I need to be in tune with all of my students and their strengths and weaknesses. There are a variety of learning styles and my classroom should offer lessons that cater to each type of student. I have a special education student presently who does not do well with written tests. He is better able to relay his information to me verbally. I accept this, understanding that this is the best way for him to present his learned information to me. I cannot work in a box as a teacher and have students succeed. My desire is to get to the root of each student's learning style and to help them experience their ultimate potential. Their way does not have to be my way or the highway. I will have achieved success as a teacher, when I am able to accept the differences with special needs students and have helped them reach their highest possible achievement in my class. Rick Lavoie presented material that was both informational and positive. I will remember various points that will help me become a better instructor.
Rick Lavoie Videos

Since I have several learning disabled students in my classes, the Rick Lavoie was very enlightening and informative for me. The information from the video has helped me in dealing with each disabled student on an individual bases. I have seen both of these videos in classes I have attended in the past. But, watching the video for the second time has made this information much clearer. I use several of Lavoie strategies with my learning disabled students and I have had considerable success. After watching the videos, I have more patience and indulgence when dealing with learning disabled students. The main thing I have learned is the difference between disabled learners and handicap students. I believe the videos are very beneficial for all teachers to view.

Lavoie Videos

The Lavoie videos were a reminder of how every learner absorbs knowledge differently. Although I try to remind myself to be empathetic to the various circumstances that exist within the minds of the children within the classroom, it can be difficult to empathize with a student when they are off task or causing a disruption. Through his videos, Lavoie reminds us that ones behavior is typically an act of something that is going on within and he shows us various ways to deal with such situations.

Lavoie reminded me to take a step back before reacting. He reminded me to remind myself that exhibiting patience and understanding can be more effective than embarrassment and intolerance. Showing a student that you care about them and providing them with a comfortable learning environment are two key elements in teaching a classroom full of various learning levels.

Rick Lavoie Videos

The Rick Lavoie video series should be included in the orientation process for all school systems. Mr. Lavoie has a gift for making the language of dealing with students with special needs less complicated and easier to understand. After viewing the video series, I understand the social skills of the special needs child better and I have made conscious efforts to communicate the subject matter on a level that all can understand without labeling. I was most impressed with the definitions for "no attention span" and "distractibility". Now that I am more aware of these students, I have made adjustments to ascertain successful outcomes. On a daily basis I am making every effort to make sure all children, especially those with special needs, "go to bed with more poker chips than what they woke up with. I am making more of a conscious effort to look at the world in the eyes of the students I am working. Most important "consistency" in dealing with children, not just adolescents, has always been a key factor in raising children to realize their fullest potential.

Lavoie Movies

The Lavoie movies have given me great insight into the life of an exceptional child. He explains things so simple. The tools he has given us will be used in the classroom and in everyday life. As he mentioned when disscussing the childs behavior be sure to separate the child from the action he or she did. Also when speaking to the parents start with the positive things their child has accomplished then speak on what needs to be addressed and then end the conversation with the positive. 
I am taking an exceptional child class now and we saw one of the videos. It still had an effect on my outlook. We also had to give presentation on certain disorders. My group had Visually Impaired/Blind. Most of the teaching strategies for our presentation were the same as the ones Lavoie pointed out for a learning disable student. Things videos have given me the ability to look at everyone the same by acknowledging the differences we all possess. 

Richard Lavoie Movies

The Richard Lavoie videos have made me more aware of the need to build all students self-esteem, to make sure that all students have enough poker chips to get through their school day and to contribute to their lifelong chip account. After all, some students may only have an opportunity to get their chips from you. It is important to value each individual student on his/her individual strengths and especially to never compare. Sometimes that can be hard to do.

I have always have held a high consciousness for the fact that we need to build self esteem but what I did not realize was how easy it can be to take away chips without even being aware that your were doing so. We are often so unaware of our comments in our rush to accomplish all of our tasks. It is very easy to convey disappointment without even knowing it and that is one of the things that the child/student has the most difficulty dealing with.

The Rick Lavoie movies have certainly made me more aware of the need to use reinforcing feedback and support. Even when we are being critical we must be reinforcing and focus on the task or behavior supporting what is expected. These movies are very informational, a must for all to see.


Richard Lavoie Movies

The Richard Lavoie videos have made me more aware of the need to build all students self-esteem, to make sure that all students have enough poker chips to get through their school day and to contribute to their lifelong chip account. After all, some students may only have an opportunity to get their chips from you. It is important to value each individual student on his/her individual strengths and especially to never compare. Sometimes that can be hard to do.

I have always have held a high consciousness for the fact that we need to build self esteem but what I did not realize was how easy it can be to take away chips without even being aware that your were doing so. We are often so unaware of our comments in our rush to accomplish all of our tasks. It is very easy to convey disappointment without even knowing it and that is one of the things that the child/student has the most difficulty dealing with.

The Rick Lavoie movies have certainly made me more aware of the need to use reinforcing feedback and support. Even when we are being critical we must be reinforcing and focus on the task or behavior supporting what is expected. These movies are very informational, a must for all to see.


Don't take away my poker chip...

Hey Everyone,

Happy Sunday. The videos were valuable to me in that they showed me a new perspective of viewing people and interacting with them. Regardless of whether "special" ed or "regular" ed, I think this mindset should be applied always when dealing with students. How many times have we witnessed kids taking chips away from each other? Or a teacher taking away from a student? Or as hard it may be to many times have we taken away chips? The videos presented situations in a Hit Home kind of manner and I actually have put his thinking into application. I try my best to be positive always and to build people up even though I have my moments of jokes and sarcasm. I guess long story short, you never really know what people are going through..what happened that morning, the night before, right before they entered your class even - so we should be mindful knowing we can make an impact and be in a position to give back those chips instead of taking them away.

50,000 chips to you all.



I honestly enjoyed the videos because it opened my eyes to have a better and clear understanding of seeing things from the students view. Sometimes we overlook or think that once we teach it everyone in class has gotten the information presented. With the videos and the Exceptional Ed course that I have previously taken it gives me such a better insight to how to help all students gain an understanding of information. I really enjoy working with my special needs students because once they accomplish something it gives my general ed students more of a push. I will never forget one of my students that would stand to the side and really not participate in classes and labs but one day after speaking with him and giving some encouraging words I decided I wanted him to be group leader. The kids in his group thought I was crazy and he was a little reluctant. Surprisingly he really opened up, started answering questions in class and proved that he to could accomplish anything. At the end of last semester he came to me to say thanks, for the first time he had friends and the kids would speak to him in the halls. :) I was so excited for him. I look at the each child that I teach as my own, how would I want the teacher to help them reach the next level. This job has proven to have its ups and down but for me it is more of the ups.

Rick Lavoie Videos

These videos have been very helpful and informative for me. Rick has a way of presenting information in a very tangible format. His examples, stories, and perspective helped me actually "see" what it must be like to be a special needs student. Things were brought to my attention that I would never have thought of or considered. The perspective of the adolescent was especially helpful for me and also the "poker chip" system. We all want to have a positive balance and as a teacher I would never purposefully want to take away from a students "balance". Through watching these videos I have been made more aware of what actions I can do to add to that balance and also actions that would take away. We can never discuss the needs and perspectives of our students too much. We will always be better teachers if we can place our selves occasionally in our student's shoes. I think we will be less frustrated and less likely to get burned out.

RL Videos

Mr. Lavoie's perspect on special needs children has influenced the way I deal with all types of students. Everyone has "poker chips". While I may not have the opportunity to learn what everyone's specific chips are, I always try to say something positive and give compliments to everyone. I love his spin, his practical exercises, and his demonstrations. They have really opened my eyes to a new world and a new way of thinking.

I wish all the teachers at my school would take the time to watch his video's. Especially our parapros and special ed teachers. Sometimes they can come across so harsh, like they forget so easily how these children operate.

I really enjoyed these videos and will recommend them and share them during our department collaboration, advisory committee meetings, and professional learning sessions.

Visit Rick Lavoie's Website at:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lavoie Videos

Rick Lavoie videos have influenced my thinking and actions in multiple ways.
For the first time, I felt that I was able to actually experience what the students with special needs experience on a daily basis. The concepts seemed so simple once they were explained in terms that I could relate to as an adult. Sometimes we forget to view actions and problems from the perspective of our students. Difficult as it may be sometimes, it is the pathway to understanding the pain these students experience. I especially love the self esteem portions of the lesson and the illustrative example of the poker chips. Additionally the adolescent lesson was invaluable. I knew the stressors associated with being a teenager and that being embarrassed about nearly any and every thing associated with adults was first and foremost the driving force for most misconduct. Mr. Lavoie brought this back to the forefront in my memory bank.
Thanks NTI for the opportunity…I plan to purchase the series

Rick Lavoie Videos

The information from video was very knowlegable it helped me understand the views of students with disabilities involving social skills. I have a student in my class with special needs, normally when I go over a topic in class she may ask several questions and at times she may interupt the class during the lesson. From watching the video it gave me ideas on how to deal with the matter and allow for the student not to fill out place or disrespected. I fill once you allow time for trust and respect it opens a window of oppurtunity to provide a foundation for learning that helps students with speacial needs and gets everyone in class involved the lesson and task. Everything has been smooth sense the start of Semester.

Rick Lavoie Videos

Although I was only privledged to view one of the Rick Lavoie videos, I was greatly influenced by what the author shared. I viewed the video on social skills in which Mr. Lavoie discussed social skils and whether they should be tought by teachers. I believe that as as educator you have no choice but to teach social skills because of the amount of time that you spend with the students. Although most students' behavior is not that far removed from when they are around their parents, they tend to do more acting out and exemplify more socially incorrect behavior at school. That acting out most of the time will cause a teacher to intervene and attempt to correct or repremand that student's actions. Mr. Lavoie's video laid out some very simple intructions on how to deal with social misbehaviors.

The suggestions that Mr. Lavoie shared on how to correct and teach those social skills was very insightful. A few of the key point that stuck with me were that: 1) we have to look at the world through the eye of the adolescent, 2) we have to teach the culture that they are in in order to achieve the correct social skill, 3) everything has to be broken down to it's most finite point and every social rule should be used as an opportunity to learn and teach. I have put a couple of these key points to use and have also shared them with a few of my colleagues at school. But the main conclusion that I brought away from the video is that there seems to be a fine line being drawn between special needs students and general education students. They all can use a social autopsy on occaision and we as educators have to be prepared to use that oppotunity to acknowledge the error, determine the damage and teach prevention of it's reoccurence.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I must say that the videos where quite entertaining and at the same time brought a tremendous amount of insight into my views of special needs children. I do not teach “certified” special needs children that I know of. But by watching the videos, I realize that I teach a lot of special needs students or are they? In one of the examples in the videos, the instructor talked about a woman in an empty auditorium and someone sits right next to her. To the average person, this is quite weird unless there were more people in the auditorium, but a special needs person would not know this was strange in any way. To that analogy, either many of the kids I work with are special need or simply ignorant. To that same analogy from the video, I meet the parents of some of these kids and find it impossible that these parents have raised the some of the kids I teach! On the other hand, I understand where some of the kids get their strange ideas about how life should work. Yes, the videos made sense, but I am just as confused after watching the video.

Life, Love, and Lavoie

I really cannot say that the videos have influenced my thinking and actions as far as special education students are concerned. I will say that they have influenced me in my dealings with all students. Now I honestly try to treat every student like they are special ed. Maybe that is wrong... maybe it's not. If I use Lavoie's suggestions only with students labeled as "special education" then I am treating certain students differently and I'm not sure that I think that is fair. Obviously Lavoie would disagree with me as he has stated, "...'fairness' is not equal, identical treatment; rather, 'fairness' means that every student receives what he needs."

Despite the tremendous sense of despair and agony I feel at having to watch the Lavoie videos, due mostly to production value, I really have learned a lot from them. The poker chips analogy has actually proven very useful in my personal life. I could use a governmental bail out with my poker chips sometimes. But as the wise, and aged, Kenny Rogers once said, "You never count your money when youre sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin when the dealin's done."

And with that... I bid you all good night.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question of the week for 1/17th -1/25th

These videos made me realize and helped me understand why some students behave the way that they do. The video content was very enlightening. The example or illustration that was given using the poker chips really helped me grasp how much others' words and actions influence students' lives. The old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", is a lie. I think that as a teacher, it is our job and responsibility, to encourage these students. We need to find good in every student and tell them about the good we find. Why is it that the negative always seems to weigh more than the positive? I see how these negative things influence my students every day at school. Students embarrassed and trying to save face and others that have been made fun of so much that they are numb. It is sad. How can I bring that numb student back to having self value and a healthy self esteem (give him poker chips)? I believe that in some way everyone has a special need and not just special need students. I think that this is what it is all about.

Friendly Reminder-- Class this Saturday

Hello All,

Just wanted to post a reminder about our class session for EDBT 3710 scheduled for this Saturday, January 24th, on the Alpharetta campus. We'll meet from10am-3:30pm. Please check your GSU email for more details about what you need to bring to class on Saturday, etc. I look forward to seeing all of you there.



The video really changed my view of special needs students. It has shed a little light on what makes special needs students function. I realize that my special needs students have individualized needs. I need to talk to them on a more individual basis. It is usually easier to expect them to understand everything that I say. I can be more patient with my students because I realize that there are reasons that some may be slower than others. I feel that it is common belief that special needs students are simply lazy. Another belief is that they do not want to try. The video and my teaching experience has proven that special needs students can not control their actions. A teacher's job is to consider each child's individual needs.   

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lavoie Videos

The Lavoie videos have opened my eyes to things I otherwise would not see. The Poker Chips video has had a great impact on my philosophy of teaching. The analogy of comparing self-esteem to poker chips was right on. Some points of the video could even apply to my personal life in regards to the amount of poker chips I sometimes feel I don't have. I have learned that my main and number one objective as a teacher is to make sure that my students leave with more poker chips than when they arrived. I see this as a liberating idea. Suddenly the "important" things move down the list. The lens through which I view my position as an educator changes, and I now see how my actions can directly give or take away self-esteem. Great video!

Lavoie Post

The 2 Lavoie videos that we have watched in NTI have made me more aware of students' needs in general, special needs or not. What really struck me was when he mentioned that the number one most important thing an adolescent wanted to avoid was embarrassment. This made me stop and think about when I was an adolescent and I can remember that feeling of 'Oh, please just don't let me stand out in a bad way or look wierd.' This has made me more sensitive to the social students' needs and I have tried to implement his advice in my classroom. What also has made a difference is my mother's advice. She was a Special Education teacher at the high school level for over 10 years and she told me to treat all the students like I wanted my own children to be treated. She reminded me that not all of these kids have such a great home life or foundation to begin with and she echoed Lavoie's statement that I have to watch everything I do in the classroom because any little slight could tear down a student's foundation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I think I have a better respect for the issues that all adolescence deal with each day. Like many of you have mentioned, I can apply what I am learning in my classroom, but also with my own children. As for special needs, it's the recognition of their needs that is the hardest. Only when you become aware can you begin to make interventions for them. We all like to have a great day, but when Lavoie stated "what can I do for you to make your day go better", WOW! If I can maintain that mindset during each block that I teach, all of my students will benefit. I'm not saying make lessons easier, or modify for all students, but keep in mind each of the students unique needs as well as talents. I think this is where we, as career tech. teachers, have an advantage. At present we don't have to worry about EOCT, therefore we can have a bit more flexability in the time that we take on a particular lesson, or the way inwhich we teach it. We can also have our students up and about practicing and applying the knowledge that they learn. Lavoie made me realize that, in a small way, we are all special needs people. It's just about identifying what our special needs are, right???

Lavoie Videos

These two videos will probably impact my teaching more than any others I have or will watch throughout my teaching career. In the past I judged poor behavior as a direct hit upon me as the teacher and had difficulty with patience regarding these students. Parenting came so easily to me why not to other parents? My children did not act in these ways so why should it be allowed in the classroom? But, it makes sense to me now. When Richard Lavoie defined adolescense as "a 365 day/52 week-a year battle not to be embarassed" it really influenced how I have and will now look at my students. I have tremendous compassion for students but when Mr. Lavoie discussed the "hidden curriculum" I felt saddened for these students and what they must go through on a daily basis. I will from now on look to these special students through a different set of eyes, eyes that need to seek deeper at what may or may not be spoken.


The videos have impacted my life greatly in several aspects. It changed the way I teach, my parenting, and my social interaction with kids. I did not realize how many times I asked a retorical question. I was setting or baiting the kids. Did not realilze how unfair or how demeaning I was. The poker chips! Wow what a novel idea. I always thought I was building up the children in my. I never realized I was taking away from them. This was the biggest impact on me. On the average, there are 10 kids in and out of our home on a weekly basis. Just friends of my daughters or neighbors. I hope and pray that I can implement the technique I have learned to touch these lives in a positive way.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The videos brought a new prospective on what special needs students may have to go through day to day. The video hasn't really changed the way that I view the special needs students, I have a special need student in my class but he really doesn't seem to function in that way he has some moments but for the most part he displays that he is just one of the other students. He has asked that he be treated as the other students to the RVI teacher that would assist him. On thing that I can say is the time that we watched the last video that upcoming week I had a conference with the student's parents and I used the technique they gave in starting off with something positive about the student and not negative things


Lavoie helped me understand the issues that face us and our students. It is not enough to know about these problems. In understanding, we can better evaluate and resolve problems. He has a way of explaining these problems you might not understand through traditional sources. I love how he removed the classroom from the student! I would have never considered this! Twice this year I could have used this. His thoughts on adolescents would not have crossed my thoughts without his input. I realise there are some but would not have thought all. It is the teachers, teaching teachers that make such a difference.


THe two Lavoie videos have made quite an impact on me. Not only in how I view my special needs students, but also my typical peers and my own children. THe last video especially spoke to me. The explination of what is an adolescent was profound to me. It really made me stop and revisit situations from the past. This explination that adolescents spend 24 hours a day doing anything to keep from being embarrassed made incidents really make sense. As we have learned in NTI it is important to take the audience away from the misbehaving student. This student will do anything to take the embarassing attention away from them and put it onto the teacher. THey need to be in control. I also better understand the "no sarcasm" rule when dealing with teenagers. Sarcasm puts them in an embarrassing situation and they are likely to lash out. I truly enjoyed both videos.

Mamane on Lavoie

The Rick Lavoie videos have been an eye-opening experience. You could also say heart-opening as well. He is quite masterful in helping you see through the students' eyes. That is the key to being a successful teacher with learning disabled students... or ANY student for that matter. The repeating a request three times in a row -- WOW -- it really works! I have a student who has Asperger's and is ADHD. He definitely is not a social creature, and I'm always trying to help him integrate in class. First I try to put him in a group that is going to tolerate him (and most do), and I try to find his strengths so he can have a role in the group. I think Lavoie's techniques help you understand students' needs, which in turn helps you become more patient and compassionate. Learning to create a calming atmosphere alleviates many possible problems from arising.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This fall semester has been very challenging. After several months of planning and designing my lab it still is not completed. I have had to explain to my students on several occassions why my lab is not completed . It seems as if the Atlanta Public School system do not understand the urgency in completeing this lab. I am trying to keep my students interested but some of them are losing interest due to the lack of equipment. Most of my students signed up for my class thinking they would have the opportunity to have hands on experience with the latest broadcasting equipment. I hope the school system doesn't let them down.

Back after a nice break

I hope everyone is off to a good start to a new semester after the nice two week break most of us had (and needed). Can you all believe the school year is half way through or that we are almost finished with NTI? Everyone, take a deep breath, summer will be here before we know it!