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, February 28, 2009

Mastering Your Environment

In mid-January, our CTAE department launched a massive recruiting campaign. Second semester always brings uncertainty when the numbers game begins for the following school year. I have always taught on the extended day schedule -- meaning no planning period and six classes each day. With the economy spiraling downward, it was even more important to recruit enough students to justify having and extended day schedule.

The recruiting campaign was a success. I increased my numbers enough to have six full classes and then some. So I'm assuming that I should not lose my extended day and not have to make less dollars next year. What a blessing!

Well.. this week, my AP comes into my room to tell me that regardless of numbers there is no more extended day across the board for any teacher at the school. So all that hard work preparing marketing throughout the school, a thousand flyers to be handed out at parent/student events, and a recruiting video played on the closed circuit TV, did not produce the desired result. Bummer....

So how does all that tell me that I am progressing as a master teacher? Well numbers tell a great deal about how your students feel inside the environment you create each day. If the students are having a good time, they tell their friends, and those friends tell their friends... and the cycle begins. When I arrived, this program was only three classes of maybe 40 students at Etowah High, and then only 3 classes of maybe 40 students at Woodstock High. Having turned this program around a full 180 to a six period day at only one school tells me I am doing something right.

I know without a doubt that I am not a teacher who is lazy. My students are required to to produce much more work than with the previous instructor. However, I feel that I produce a positive, fun, relaxing environment where the students produce this work. This philosophy has changed the game...

Funny story here if you need a laugh.


Kevin J said...

From some of the stories the students tell me about their other teacher, I feel like a master teacher. I try to make the class as interesting and as open as possible. I feel I have earned their respect as well as given them the respect they have earned. We set goals at the beginning of each unit and most of the time we accomplish the goals we set. All the while maintaining a fun, (maybe sometimes to fun) and open atmosphere in the class while giving them a gift they can use forever.

penny said...

Hey Grummer.

We have our recruiting stuff going on this week. 8th graders and all. I have to wear a costume for our department to try and peak interest, or at least get people to sign up for a class, or just for some laughs at least. Its an inflatable longhorn costume. Pretty funny. I'll post pictures. Anyway, I am worried about the extended day pay as well. Thats frustrating that the powers that be keep taking away from schools and teachers. I think you and Jeff and I have a great class to teach and probably have similar class atmospheres. Its always fun and a positive place to be. Performance learning lives in our classroom.