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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?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My week began well as I demonstrated the fresh salsa and cheese dip, the students that made a 100 on the sanitation and safety test would be making. I also came up with the solution that I was going to give a retake for the tests in class while the other students were cooking so that those students that could not make it after school would have an opportunity to cook next week. I did not have the budget to purchase enough food to do a repeat demo so I did a lot of repeat back and questioning while I did my demo. I then concluded with them repeating back the steps on what to do. They did fantastic and so I was so excited about today since it was the first day of producing the food.

My 1A is a fabulous class so I had high expectations but they were soon deflated when I had repeat questioning on what to do, what equipment they needed, and the lack of organization they had at their tables. Some students did not even finish their salsa (seriously it is just some basic ingredients done to a small dice or minced). I was so frustrated because they had taken the test, then I had done a practical run through of the kitchen twice before, and finally I had demonstrated exactly how to make everything and then they had repeated it back. Ugh!!! I know that everyone is not meant to be a chef but I feel like I am set up to fail sometimes because I do everything that I can think of to teach my students and then they do only half a job. I would love to do repeat demos with every student for activities like setting up the 3 compartment sink but that would become very boring very quickly and would waste the chemicals that I pay about $600 a year for. The problem is that I did demo it, I did do a repeat demo, and I put it on the test. What else can I do? I know you may be thinking - Ginger, they just don't care, but it was actually one of my students that is seriously considering this career that made the mistake of setting up the sinks improperly and then putting hot water with the sanitizer which makes it completely ineffective.

I will take any advice because I want to cook a lot more this year than I did last year but am going to be discouraged once again if it ends up being me doing most of the work. I will take any suggestions because you all have been so helpful in the past.


Patrick said...

There is not much I would know about this problem because I can't cook a pop tart. I can relate though. Sometimes the whole thing just falls flat, period. Honestly, sometimes my brightest kids lose their minds. The other day I felt like I could've asked them to pick their noses and they would have poked their eyes out trying. Back up and punt, thats all I got. By the way, sometimes when I am drowning in my own puddle of exhaustion I remember one of your demos from NTI with all that sweet and cheerful energy and it makes me smile wide. More than once the kids have asked, "What was so funny just now?" I simply answer, Pratt-atouille!

Dr. M said...

Hi, Ginger - Pat's comment should at least make you smile . . . they always do me. Remember that your students are still recipe's-in-making themselves and need lots or practice sometimes to really get things down pat where they are smooth and on point. If you ever watch any sport practice at school you will see the same thing - practice, practice, practice.

How does that relate to career tech, where practice is expensive? Not sure, but can you come up with some really cheap substitutes for food or other kitchen items where they can actually practice the routine over and over - maybe even have a competition on the really critical routines where everyone is focused on the same things over and over. The winners may be dubbed the Sanitation King/Queen or Equipment Czar, where they would then help you monitor/assist everyone on an actual cook day.

Or maybe incorporate "practice days", where they only work on certain routines that are repetitive throughout the semester. I know I had to devote a considerable amount of time to basic skill practice, otherwise actual real job performance suffered. Hope this helps - keep us posted.