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, September 19, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I just finished week 6 and put my grades in yesterday. My first few weeks have been quite hectic. I have been doing a lot of soul searching to figure out why this year is not going as well as I thought it would. Last year I walked in naïve but ready to kick some butt and take some names. I was strict and kept to due dates and such. I was also very unorganized and relied on my students to help me through to make a GREAT program. This year I came in with a bigger heart and am more understanding and I have a plan for everything. So knowing that, you would think I would be set and be shouting about how much better this year is going. Yes, this year is going better because I am organized. I now work many less hours than I did last year and my room and kitchen are organized by the students rather than me. The problem is that I seem so organized and the students are not responding as well to it. They love and understand that this process will make everything better and we will be able to get much more accomplished yet they almost rebel against it.

So there are pros and cons so far this year. I am happy that I am able to leave earlier and that my room and kitchen are so much cleaner but I do not feel the team spirit that we had last year. I did incorporate the kids in some of the decisions also so I thought they would be more on board. I am sooooooo happy to actually have lesson plans. I am still sometimes struggling to get through them on time.

OK, I am writing this in a word document so I could really think about what to put and the above was written throughout the week. The next part is written after last night’s catering.

On Friday home football games, we cater for the Touchdown Club. It is usually between 120 – 150 people but we just do simple food. Yesterday I had 8 students coming to help me out with only 4 staying after school to help finish the dinner because we had already made the marinara sauce and ranch dressing in class. I needed to put in grades so I was busy in my classroom. I went to check on them several times and the last time, I realized that the pasta was all stuck together because the student did not stir all the way at the bottom of the pot. We needed to be leaving soon so I was kind of freaking out but I just told everyone to get on gloves and start peeling the pasta strands apart and they did and that crisis was avoided. Then as we were beginning to pack everything up, I saw the 20 pounds of vegetables that I had bought to sauté and completely forgot to do that. I pulled them out and start cutting. It was amazing, all 8 students were now there and they began asking what they could do. I gave each of them something to do as we worked like a well oiled machine to get everything done. When we left, dishes were done, floor was swept, tables were cleaned, and food was cooked. We showed up just at 5:30 and began serving. You could see it on the kid’s faces how proud they were. That is what I am looking for in my class. There was no organization or plan but everything came together and they learned so much in those last 15 minutes of cooking.
I learned so many great things at NTI this summer including Lab and Classroom Management that I could never live without. I now just need to figure out how to take those last 15 minutes from Friday and put them together into a plan that works for me and my students


Tonya said...

Ginger, just reading your post about how all of your students pulled together gave me goose bumps! I know they must have been proud of themselves and I know that you were too. I'm sure that those students took away something from that experience that they will never forget. Not only will they remember to stir at the bottom of the pot, but they will never forget the power of teamwork. Isn't it amazing how we create our own style of teaching!? It is so nice to have the framework that NTI gives us and to develop that into something that works just right for each of us. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job and have some really great students. I wish I could take your class because it sounds like so much fun! Keep up the good work!

Dr. M said...

Hi, Ginger - I really like how you identified pros and cons so well. Your pros all seem significant and meaningful to the success of your program, and I believe the missing team spirit can be infused as you move forward. I also like how you recognized the great experience coming out of Friday's catering, and know that you are searching for ways to use that to improve team spirit. Maybe have those students do a testimonial in class, maybe re-create that situation in class, create lessons that utilize real-world challenges that students may face . . . just some ideas to spark your thought process. I know you will find a way to improve team spirit, as you are all that - whoo hooo!