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?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The most important thing I learned about me as an NTI student!

I finally understand it ! The fundamental concepts of teaching are truly different from industry to the private sector and then to the public school system. I would have never thought i would have learned so much in the NTI summer boot camp!! Yes a booth camp that was very educational and mind blogging . I learned how to restore ,revive and renew my teaching techniques.


myself as an NTI student...

I would have to say that the most important thing I have learned as an NTI student is that there seems to be a cyclical nature to education. I have noticed that the preferred methods of the past are off limits today and the current mothods are also on the way out. All the while there are some"experts" extolling the virtues of the old days as well as more "experts" struggling to usher in their new ideas. I suppose therein somewhere lies the best of both worlds. Question is, will we ever be able to agree on what that consists of?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year 2010 to all my classmates!!!!!! We all thought the world would end in 2000 but the funny thing is no one will ever know when the world will end until it is actually happening. SMILE

Friday, December 11, 2009


The most important thing I have learned about parents this semester is that many times they are more interested in their children's educations than the students themselves. I have had little interaction with parents this semester, and to be honest I am very thankful. I don't know how I would have worked that in with my other first year responsibilities. The parents that have contacted me have been great. They usually want to know if their child is missing any work or if there is anything they need to know about. But let's be honest, the parent that will contact the teacher out of the blue is usually the one with a child that is doing well; Probably because of the parent's involvement.

I have not had the opportunity to deal with an irate parent. Though there was an honor society student's mother I met who could without a doubt blow the roof off if needed. I hope it will be a long time before I have to go toe to toe with a mad parent. As for now, My parental interactions have been nothing to complain about.

I still have a lot to learn!

What I have learned as an NTI student is that I still have a lot to learn. Dr. M came to visit me on Thursday and it is amazing the stuff that he saw in my class. You know you think you have started to get it all together and then just one evaluation makes you feel like you have never been a teacher at all. Dr. M was great to me. Like I said before, he like a loving father that in one breath praises you and in the next tells you of all the mistakes you have made. I have learned through NTI that I need to never stop growing and learning as a teacher. Just because I may think I have it all together doesn't mean I do. I will say that I need this break from NTI and from the students. I love both, but absence always makes the heart grow fonder. Thanks again Dr. M for caring enough about us to tell us the truth.
The most important thing I learned as an NTI student, thanks to Dr. M's visit, is that I was working too hard as an instructor. Never even thought that I was working too hard but after Dr. M's assessment it has help me tremendously.

"As an NTI Student"

The most important thing that I have learned as an NTI student this semester is that I am very well capable. Or in other words "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". I have so much on my plate as a single mother of three and with my immediate family 2 1/2 hours away. My days are hectic and usually begin around 4 or 5 in the morning. Once I get my kids up at 6:15 it is non-stop. Since going through NTI this summer, I am grateful to have learned some helpful teaching strategies and classroom management skills. This has helped to make my school year a little easier than it would have been had I not enrolled in NTI this year. I am at the point in my life of doing frequent self-reflection. I am learning to focus on the most important things. I have learned that life goes on, no matter what. I have learned that I have to look for myself and do what works and what is best for me. I am learning ways to make my life easy. I am learning to love, live and laugh.
The most important thing I have learned about myself as an NTI student is that NTI and 9 hours of Grad school is too much!! NTI was an interesting mix of academics and social challenge. I learned that despite what the outlook seems to be you can do anything if you put your mind to.

What I learned as a student at NTI.....

What I learned as a student at NTI is that I am in an awesome profession with other professionals who truly care about being significant in the lives of their students. I have learned so much about the administrative side of teaching (i.e. lessons, strategies etc...) as well. I came into this with an open mind to learn and have been wowed by the experience. As Anthony said this is a blessing and we are Blessed! I hope and pray you all have a Blessed Christmas/Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year. See you all in 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's alot to Learn

As an NTI student I realized that there is a whole lot more to learn than just keeping up with my industry. I sometimes cringe when I look over on my desk & see that whole binder of things we learned this summer & fall. Will I remember all of it?? It is never too late to learn & keep on learning. Onward to Spring !!


The last thing I learned about an NTI students is that I still have alot of learning to do. I learned about time management it's always good to put a time limted on the work that the students do in the classroom.

Anything is Possible

I have learned so much about myself but the most important thing I've learned about myself is Anything is possible. I never imagine I would be in my second year of teacher and still here. I've had some highs and I've had some lows but I will continue to press forward. This time last year I didn't think I could make a difference with the students but this week I had 3 former students to come and visit me at the school. I ask the students why were they here because I just knew they were not there to see me. To my surprise the student shouted we are here to see you Ms. Kelly. Believe it or not I didn't feel worthy. As I look back over the past year 1/2 I realize I should feel confidence and worthy of motivating/offering education to my students. I have improved my teaching but I know I still have a long way to go. Thank God I'm still here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The most important thing I learned about myself as a teacher, is like Dwayne stated, I love my job and what I do to help get our kids prepared to return to their schools different than they were when they arrived at the alternative school. I still have a lotof room for improvement, but I am a whole lot better thanks to the NTI program and my classmates support. I am still pinching myself because I can't believe I am teaching.

What I've Learned About Myself As a Teacher

I have learned so much about myself as a teacher this semester. Where do I begin? First of all, I am too serious and I take things too seriously. As my daughter says, I need to chillax (chill out and relax). I have Type A personality and I am a perfectionist. I like things done a certain way and my expectations have been set too high. I put entirely too much time into every thing that I do. The students could care less about all of the time and effort that I spend in lessons for them. I have learned that the lessons need to be short, sweet and to the point. I have learned not to be so rigid and loosen up some. I have learned to leave work at a decent time so that I can spend time with and enjoy my family. I have learned that whatever is not done today will get done tomorrow or the next day or the next. I need to socialize more. I have an office in my classroom. At lunch time I go into my office. I will attempt to make changes in this area. I look forward to learning more about myself and the areas that I need to improve on. I also need to "pat myself on the back" for the good things that I do and for the things that I have accomplised.

I love my job!

One of the most important things that I have learned this year is that I truly love my job. Four years ago someone talked to me about the possibility of me becoming a teacher. And since that day, it has been something in the back of my mind that I thought I would like to do. With my learning disability, there are times I thought that it would never happen. But, two summers ago when the school contacted me, I was scared to death, but I knew I would kick myself if I didn't give it a try. I loved last year, but you know how teachers are. They kept telling me, "Oh, that will wear off. It's just your first year." So I tried to overlook how much I enjoyed it. I have had more struggles and more problems with students this year than I did last year, but I can tell you, I still love my job. As I have posted before, I have great administrators and as a whole, I have great kids. I feel like my whole life has been preparing me for this time. I have said it many times, but I LOVE my job.

Me, Myself and I

The most important thing I've learned about myself as a teacher is .....That I'm a ball of fire inthe classroom. I tell myself SLOW down lady you cant cram a ear of Cosmetology in a week ! I'm just eager to teacher my first year students everything they need to be sucessful in the industry. Well I have learned to pace myself , relax and just keep having fun with my students.
Remember that Rome and the art of Cosmetology was not built in a Day!


The parents of my students

The Most important thing I've learned about the parents of my students is ..... They are just like myself , caring and simply with a shadow of a doubt want the same things for there children . A great public school education in spite of the economic hardships that plaque there low income area . Many of my student are raised also with grandparents ,who care just as much as the parents ,and most of all Laney High School being RICH in tradition I've learned that many of the parents of my students are Laney alumni.

Selina ,

Still learning about Myself

I guess we should always be evolving as a person or else we are dead. As this semester has evolved I have found that I am more patient than I thought. That I am more relaxed when I have planned for work. As a nurse I often had to improvise on the spot, deal with things as they evolved, but in teaching I have to plan, plan, plan and if it does not go well, have another game plan. This planning thing for me is new, but I found that I can do it- just have to continue to work at it.

The Important Thing I've Learned About Myself As A Teacher

We all like to think we know ourselves. We think we are smart, good-looking or brave. We like to think the best of ourselves. Even when we think about our flaws, we tend to think those flaws won't really affect anyone but ourselves. The truth is that we are all both great and flawed, and ever so often we are forced to come face-to-face with the sometimes unpleasant reality that we may not be who we think we are.

Since I have started teaching, I have found that I am far more lenient than I had thought myself to be. I had always prided myself on being an old school type of personality. No nonsense and to the point. I have found out through teaching, that I am an easy going, far too understanding person. This may work well in my social and family lives, however it can be a great detriment to me as a teacher. I found very early in the school year that I would have to be careful about how laid back I can be in the classroom. I believe there is a place for my personality type in teaching, I just have to find out what it is.

To be fair; I haven't had many problems from my students this year above the normal annoyances. I have good kids and they tend to be well behaved and obedient (for the most part). I still believe my classroom management can be enhanced by me becoming more strict when dealing with classroom behavior.
The most important thing I have learned about me as a teacher this year is that I have been able to use the many years of street and academy instruction experience to benefit the student in the class room. I have been able to take the years of real life situation and turn it into an asset for the students.

What I have learned about lil old me

I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher this year. Most significantly, I can forever change the course of real human lives. I must be extremely careful as I can change lives for the worse if I misstep. Currently have three graduates from last year in tech school(I only had 6 guys in my senior class!!). Thus far this year 8 guys have applied, been accepted, and made all arrangements for tech schools. More are sure to follow. This truly feels good. This is what I was placed on Earth to do.

"What I have learened as a teacher"

What I have learned as a new teacher is I'm diffidently not teaching for the money. I really feel that the students need someone that really cares about there life and careers and try to help them make the right decisions about school and always trying to put there best foot forward in college and in life.

What I've learned about students

The biggest thing I have learned about my students in this, my first year teaching, is that they truly want to be busy. Aside from the maturity factor, the teacher and the student are not very different. I know that if I am in a situation where I cannot leave, but I have nothing to do, I get anxious. It is only my personal maturity that keeps me in line. As I have gotten older, I have learned to manage my time and control my impulses. I can't say that was the case when I was in high school. I certainly know it's not the case for my students.

However, when kept busy, my students have produced some inspired design work. Of course they are all at different levels, but in their own way, they have excelled. As a result, I have tried to provide enough work to keep them as busy as I can. I have a long way to go, but I think it will get better as time goes on.

Also, I have learned that the most obstinate student can sometimes end up being the most helpful. I am not a yeller (even though I am quite capable), so I tend to pull students to the side and talk to them. As a result, they tend to respond much more favorably, at least for me.

Students can be incredibly complex, as well as extremely simple to figure out. They don't hide things very well, but they are not willing to share. I think that it is going to be a very interesting career.

What I have learned

What I have learned this year about myself is that I have alot more patience than I thought. When I first started in teaching high school student, my thoughts were how could they be so clueless. Then I began to realize, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich exercise. They do not know what I know unless I show them. I hardly thought I could slow down enough to actually teach them anything. Especially considering all that needed to be accomplished regarding my program. i.e. Certification Accreditation etc. However, when told, shown and given an opportunity to physically do it. The students come through regularly. With a little constant nudging in the correct direction of course. But I must say, this year is far better than last year.

What I have learned....

I have learned that when I am more organized, I am a much more pleasant person. I am still struggling with my organizational system that we developed this summer for the lab but it is better than last year. When I can get it more organized, then I feel like so much pressure will be off of me. Right now, I have delegated many of the things that I did last year to my students. The problem is that I still have to remind them of what they should be doing even though they sign in each week with their title and responsibilities. It is great that I do not have to do everything but I still spend a lot of time chasing them down to do things. The problem then is that I do not have time to go back and check them out and then I realize too late that they did not do their job. Whenever I do have time to do everything because they are following directions, I am much happier because I can actually focus on teaching cooking. I have learned that I need to have a better plan for me to be happy.

Lessons in Parenting

I have learned that there are parents that will support the teachers and there are parents that will always support their children. Overall I have encountered the parents that will support me. They want to help their child as much as I do but sometimes the child just does not want to be helped. The tough thing about parents is they want nothing but the best for their child but sometimes it is very difficult to give that one on one attention to each student. I have spoken to several parents and we will brainstorm ideas to help their child but it can be difficult to do all that we plan just because of timing.

I am glad that parents are overall supportive of the teachers but it is difficult when you encounter one that is not. The parents that will do anything to avoid blaming themselves or their child. I have only had a few of these types of parents but it is more harmful than helpful to their child if they work against the teachers rather than with them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

To Help Or Not To Help

I think the most important thing I have learned about my administrators is that they are a lot like my supervisors in the corporate world. My supervisors are always willing to help, but many times there is no help they can truly give me. If I have a real concern, I may get saddled with an array of catch-phrases like "hang in there", "it'll get better", or "I remember that". The life of the first year teacher is very lonely. Many times your best help will come from the most surprising places.

My mentor at my school is the head football coach. He is a great guy and we get along very well. The only problem is that I don't think our experiences are relative. On the other hand, there is a young business education teacher on my hall who has been incredibly helpful. She is in her second year and I suspect she remembers many of the trials she faced last year. She informs me of special agendas and helps me learn the ins and outs of the school and it's students.

Truth be told, the administration has its hands full, running the school on a day to day basis. I am positive that they would love to help every teacher, student and faculty member. But, there are only so many hours in the work day. So in the end it falls to us to help one another, and believe it or not, it has been working out pretty well so far.


The most important thing that I have learned about the parents of my students is that to my surprise, they don't take sides with their child. I have had many instances where I have had to call parents to be the bearer of bad news regarding their child and their behavior or bad grades. After I introduce myself and explain the nature of my call, to my surprise they listen patiently and they let me know that they will deal with their child. I have seen instances where parents were very beligerent with other teachers and administrators. Because of the area of the county where I teach, I did expect to have problems with and from parents, espcecially since the students many times emulate their parents. I am however glad that I can and have an open relationship with the parents. When I am speaking with the parents, I communicate and emphasize how much I care for their children. When they see this rather than negative a attitude or vibes, I think that this helps them to see my heart. I also share with them my goals for thier child and the program. I appreciate being able to have the parental support that I did not expect.

Is their Hope for the Parents?

The most important thing I learned about parents this semester is they don't want to be involved with their child. The parents want the students to teach themselves how to be responsible and handle adult responsibilities. The parents doesn't support the student nor the teacher. It's just a few parents who call to check on their child's progress. The sad thing about it is that the students know their parents are not concern about their school academics. I pray the parents wake up today before it's absolutely too late.

Parents: The True Behavior Problem

Sometimes I have to wonder what these people thought they were getting into when they had a child. We all have seen the varying degrees of what some call parents. You have the ones that don't give a flying flip about their kids. If you call their house, their first response is "So, what did they do?" When really you are calling to tell them something nice their child had done. When I was growing up, I remember saying phrases like "Go ahead and call my mom. She don't care." when I really knew I was trying to call their bluff. If she knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week. A lot of times when I hear this phrase now, it almost breaks my heart. And then we have the parents that want to be their kid's best friend. They are reliving their high school life through their kids. When you call their house, their first response is "So, what did they do? Aren't they the smartest kid you have ever had?" And you are calling them to say what a pain in the butt their child is and that they have no respect for authority. Kids are kids and they will always be that. The biggest problem we have now is that parents aren't parents.


The most important thing I have learned about my students parents are, we cannot get them to come to the school to periodically to check on their kids. We have a handful of parents that are involved with their kids, but that's all. If we take a student cell phone (whew), NOW here comes the parent that we have been searching for. Amazing isn't it.

Kids not the Parents

The one thing that I have learned most about my parents is I am glad I have their children and not them! That may sound harsh but I can understand and I am amazed that the children do as well as they do with the little support they get from home.

What I have learned about parents

What I have learned about parents is that most of the time the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Some of the students that have the worst attitudes are the ones whose parents blame everyone else for their childs (and their own) shortcomings. These are the same parents who have the "us against them" mentality about teachers. They seem to give their children the idea that it is okay that they don't do well or try hard in school because it is the teachers fault if they fail. On that same token, the parents who are active in the community and are successful in their own lives seem to have children who are well rounded and really try . These parents seem to hold their children to a higher standard and the children seem to respond. They understand that there are consequences to their actions or lack of! I believe that the influence of the parents is so important!


I handle all discipline in my own room. Last year I only had three write-ups. I have none so far this year. The kids appreciate it. Even more, they appreciate that I call home with good reports. This is where I was surprised; I have found that parents are dumbfounded to receive a call from a teacher that does not bring some form of doom. It would seem that they really need to know their kid is not a budding Charlie Manson. In return, I have had many parents call admin to express gratitude for my efforts in this regard. The parents are our most important ally in this fight to educate these kids. The parents don't always need to understand the material or spend vast amounts of time prodding their kid to do work. They, very often, just need a reason to pat the kid on the back.

What I learned from the parent's of my students...

What I learned from the parent's of my students this semester is that they are totally shocked when you call and or e-mail them to tell them their child is doing well or to check on their child if the student is ill. It seems they hear your name and think it is something bad like a conduct issue or a test grade etc... I will be honest it is cool to hear the parents happy and then see the student the next day with a little swagger because of the confidence they received from a positive phone call or e-mail. I actually need to do this more often, but when I do it seems to go such a long way.....

Parents that Care!!!!

The most important thing that I have learned about my students parents is the one that show up for school meeting are the ones that the students seem to be more on task and tend to stay on task because I have meet their parents and they know I will call their parents right then and their in class if I had too. SMILE


I have learned this semester that the administration backs me 100 percent. I recently had a situation where a couple of students were trying to intimidate me. They had gotten in trouble and knew what they had done was wrong, but would not admit to it. When I decided to write them up they threatened that they would tell the AP that I didn't do my job and sorts of other things. I knew that I was doing what needed to be done, but it really bothered me that they would say such things.... When I finally went to my AP the were very supportive and dealt with the situation at hand. Everything since then has been taken care of and things are finally back to normal.

We Care

From the conversations with Parents the last year I have to say that parents really do care about their children , and want the best for their children. Sometimes they do not know how to go about getting what their children need, or they want someting that the children are not capable of. There is something positive about all children, and if you start to talk about the positive first, parents will often times listen better to you when you have to discuss needed improvements.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Administration with A True Love for Students

Even though I have only been teaching a year and a half, I knew our school had great administrators from the start. They communicate well with each other. They always have each other's backs. You can tell there is a genuine love for one another. This semester and this past summer really showed the bond that they have and their commitment to the school. Last year we had our principal and five assistant principals. With the cuts last year, the school system decided to remove an assistant principal position. All of his duties were delegated out across the other four. It was amazing to see them step up and take up roles that they had never had to cover. They are always encouraging. Even when they are performing tasks that seem mundane. I believe this comes from their true love for the students. Again, I am thankful to be at Northwest Whitfield High School.

"The Next Most Important Thing"

The next most important thing that I learned this semester is the value of my administrators. I work with a good group of administrators. My school has a total of 5 AP's. One AP in particular is excellent at what she does. She is the AP over instruction. Her last name begins with a B. When the principal is out she is always in charge because she is good at what she does. When she is not there, I feel lost. Her presence brings me relief and comfort. I know when she is not there even if I don't have prior knowledge of her absence. Because of the aforementioned facts, I call her "the Queen B of Columbia". She is very supportive and resourceful. For me, as well as others, I can say that she will always have your back. As long as you do what you are supposed to do, you're covered. She is very welcoming and easy to talk to. She is a wife and mother and is therefore very understanding and sympathetic as well as empathetic when needed.

Our principals last name also begins with a B, so I call him "the King B of Columbia". He is very knowledgable and resourceful as well. He is only 40 and is excellent at running or managing a school. One of his goals is to promote higher learning for the students. He has and is implementing many different strategies for student improvement. He is also implementing different teaching strategies for the teachers in order to see an improvement in student behavior as well as achievement. Slowly but surely we are all beginning to see a change in the students as well as the mindset of the teachers.

I am truly blessed to have an excellent group of administrators who are genuinely concerned about the students as well as the teachers and staff.

I guess some of this is coach proof or Sly proof...

Hey everyone I have learned a lot from reading your posts and have enjoyed the writing skills exemplified by everyone. We truly have a talented class and it shows daily. The only problem I have is I write a comment on your posts and then they seem to get lost in that big cyber space garbage can in the sky. I have commented on 4-5 blogs in the past and none of them seem to show up. So first it was the elluminate microphone, then I could not even get on the blog and now I can't seem to master the art of commenting to all of your blogs. So props to you bloggers and I apologize for not commenting (even though I have tried like a good little Sly) on your blogs because they are awesome and thank you for commenting on mine as well. That also appears to be a run on sentence. Today I was at the College Football Recruiting Expo in Cobb, so I might be a little punchy right now....peace and I will blog with you all tomorrow!
The most important thing I learned about my students this semester is my kids have the greatest resiliency for coming back from setbacks in their lives. Most of my kids do not want a pity party they just want you to teach them. The harder the challenge for some, the more they produce if they are prepared. I am expecting great things from a surprising number of them. Hopefully they will not let themselves down.

Communication is the Key

Well Well the most important thing I've learned about my admin is that they don't communicate with one another ......That sets a bad tone for the teachers . The administration the schools strength and viable soul , in all actually it is the foundation that we all must build on,to keep the learning cycle complete . We cannot allow for any level of communication break downs . We must communicate effectively as a team .Remember TEAM .... Together Each Acheives More !!


What I leanred from my admin. this semester.....

What I learned from my administration this semester is they are approachable no matter what the circumstances. I have had to approach my administrators from the boss man down to the "acting administrator" and no matter what the circumstances they are truly approachable. I know this may not be the norm and that I am Blessed, but between my 6 classes, FCA, SADD and football I find myself in their offices more so then I want to be. I may not get the answer I want, but they will listen and explain why they decided the way they did before our meeting has concluded. My administrators seem to be accessible as well and we all know getting an appointment could be the biggest hurdle sometimes. So I have learned they are approachable, accessible and supportive more often then not.....................

The Students

The most important thing I've learned about my students this semester is ......That are kids are kids ,that's right very similar to the same little ones many of us have at home . They need to fell secure , safe and most of all loved , I 've that my kids in the class truly love me and they know just where the heart of a teacher truly lies. recently I was voted most likable teacher in the building someone that would listen and most of them said I'm very similar to their own mothers . Wow that feel great as a teacher to get that kind of love from students . The most important thing that I have realized is ...... God is the one that placed me here with these kids at Lucy C. Laney High School .


Hold On !

Today most of the students were feeling the pressure as they prepare for the final exams. Every third student who entered my room complain about test and being tired. I found myself encouraging the students all day. I tried to motivate the student by telling them to do their best and fight until the end. I also facilitated an positive activity to bring positive energy into the room. By the end of the day I had a few students to tell me they needed to hear something good to get through the day. I told the students it was my pleasure.

ooohhhh I forgot to tell you!!!

I talked to Chris Johnson tonight. She said she is still hanging in there at Paulding County High School. She says that she is beginning to feel comfortable there. She was in a really awful state the last time I spoke to her. Now, she says that she would sign a contract for another year if it were handed to her right now. She wants to take the remainder of the NTI course as soon as possible. She is a great person so I was very happy to hear this!!!!

Love my admin!!

The most important thing I've learned about my students this semester is how much difference it makes when you have great administrators behind you! Last year I was tossed in without a life vest. My AP was sweet, and that's all. She was absolutely worthless as an administrator. I persisted in winning her as a friend in spite of it. I learned that she had caught her husband cheating on her a week after the start of school. No wonder she was so distracted. She moved to another school. The Ap I have now was feared by everyone in our department. I found immediately that, as long as you do the things he asks in fairly short order, he provides tremendous support. Even when I have screwed up a couple of times he held firm behind me and admonished me only privately. Good admin makes all the difference!!


The most important thing I have learned about my administrators this semester is......"and this too shall pass"! :-) Ok, I guess I could give them a little bit of a break. I know it is very difficult to meet every one's needs all the time. I know first hand since my own parents were administrators. My father is still an elementary school principal, so I understand the pressure they receive from above. However, with that said, I do believe there is a right way and a wrong way to approach people and situations. I think this semester has really reinforced my belief in treating people how I would like to be treated. I take what people say with a grain of salt and tuck those experiences in the back of my brain....I just remember how I felt when things were going bananas and vow to never make anyone else feel that way.

The Administration

The most important thing I have learned about my administrators this semester is as I have mentioned in many of the other comments is how caring they are. Last year my principal had very little help with handling the discipline problems but this year she does. My principal is also a person that will give good constructive advice and try different things. If it does not work we can make changes we don’t just keep doing it because she thought of it. My administrators also are not just managers and educators but they also display leadership. You are not just another employee but you are someone they care about, and it shows and the work day is good!

I would vote for her to be Principal of the year!!! She is great!!


The one thing that I learned about my admininistrators they are very helpful when I need something explained or when I need to go to a conference about my Cosmetology class. I feel they really care about the Teachers and stand behind them what we do.

Learning about each other

Our high school has a new principal this year. He has been here several years as an assistant principal and athletic director. We had worked well together in my former capacity of school nurse, so I was pleased when he took the principal position. He is easy going, yet has high expectations of the staff, and a no nonsence attitude. I have learned that nothing stays the same, expect that things will change, and do your best to adjust. In CTE we also have a new Vice principal that does our evaluations. I am somewhat intimidated by him, as he has never had much interaction with a CTE department, and really knows very little about our programs. That combined with a new evaluation tool that he must use has caused some tense moments. Having said that, he has been open to some discussion of my concerns & has given me a higher level thinking focus for my cirriculum. I hope I can live up to the expectations.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Student Dynamics

The most important thing I've learned about my students this semester is the mix in your class makes ALL the difference. At the beginning of the semester, I would have told you that my first block class was my worst class. They talked all of the time. They still talk all the time. But, they achieve all of the goals that I have set before them. At the beginning of school, I would have told you that my third block class was going to be a breeze. Boy, was I wrong! I have one student that doesn't want to be there and he has gravitated all of the complainers around him. They try me every day. I have two students in that class that love me to death. Their undying love they show in words and deeds. One of them brings me an apple from lunch EVERY day (Some of this is real. Some of it is being sarcastic.). Today one of them made me a sign in paint that had "I" with a heart "Mr. Maynard" and hung it on the back of my door. You might say they are the only ones keeping me alive during third block. Fourth block has been even kill the whole year. They do what I ask and are ready to go when the bell rings. Not a whole lot of be quiet or get to work, but yet not a whole of great product coming from them either. Very middle of the road. So, again, the most important thing I have learned about my students this year is the make up of the class makes all the difference.

Take a chill pill

With standards, lesson plans, assesments, differenciation, and a treasure chest of teaching methods, I often feel like I am on a merry go round, and actual teaching is a something I will never quite do well enough. Well my students have certainly let me know that the best teaching moments come when I least expect it, when I let my guard down alittle- forget all the techniques I have to adhere to- just listen & teach. Not that this can happen on a regular basis- planning & preparation certainly have a place of high honor- but sometimes you just need to listen to students and go with the flow. The seems to have gone better as I have gotten to know my students & listned to them !! Sometimes just take a chill pill-


My kids have shown maturity in helping one another instead of criticizing one another. The backgrounds some my kids come from, I have to give them much respect for beating the odds to even have an opportunity to graduate from high school. If you can hear some of the stories that I have heard from my kids (whew), but most of them use that as an initiative to continue on the path of exiting this program. With the teamwork mentality these kids have embraced to help one another get out of the alternative school has helped us have one of the largest exiting group I have seen in three years.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T !!!!!

The most important thing that I have learned about my students is that they respect me as a teacher and they know i want the best for them so they are really trying hard to get the best grades they can to be a positive model in the future. I also learned that they really want good management in the class where they feel safe.

What I have learned from my students

One of the most important things that I have learned from my students is not to take things too personally. When I first started teaching I was shocked at some of the things that my students would say to me or some of the things that they would do. Sometimes it was more of what they wouldn't do that made me feel like they didn't care. I thought "these kids really must not like me, otherwise they would do what I asked them to do." I have slowly started to realize that it is nothing personal. So many of these kids tell me on a regular basis how much they love me and my class, yet sometimes they still are lazy or unmotivated. I have to remember that they are teenagers!! I have to remember that these kids are so focused on themselves that they don't have time to think about how their actions (or lack of) make me feel!! I now know that when students are tired or not wanting to work it may be because they have been up all night playing video games or texting. I have found that when I explain to them how their actions may be perceived by others, they seem shocked that they were sending that message. Some students have not been taught any manners or social skills at home so I try to implement that into my interaction with them. I have to remember to be patient and not take it personally!!


The most important thing I've learned about my students is to never underestimate them. My students continuously surprise me. Yes, there are times in which I am disappointed by their behavior or lack of motivation, but just when I get frustrated they pull something out of their hat! My students are enjoying learning new things and utilizing that knowledge in their everyday life. Whether it is a story about how they told their parents something they learned in class, or they tell me something they saw on tv and are able to tell me why it was wrong, I couldn't be prouder! Or perhaps that one student who I think is never paying attention in class is the only one who can answer a certain question correctly. Time and time again I am reminded that just because I think they may not be listening, they really are and they make me proud and excited to be a part of their learning process.

Got your back

The most important thing I have learned about my students this semester is that if they perceive you to "have their back" they will have yours too. I don't hesitate to tell my kids which rules are strictly mine and which are from admin. They know that they are all to be adhered to regardless of whom decreed them. That said, they have all realised that I don't mind going to bat for them in a pinch. They have also seem me take heat for them on occasion when the lines were blurry, so to speak. Some of you have noticed that when Dr. M came to observe, the kids were on better than average behavior. They respond to the idea that we all have rules to follow. Consequently, when a misunderstanding arises, they rush to stand behind me. Feels good.

The Most Important Thing....

The most important thing that I have learned about my students this semester is that they are just kids! Sometimes I think I forget that. I am only 6-7 years older than most of them and sometimes that is difficult for me to grasp. I give them way too much freedom and expect too much from them at times. I am used to working in a salon where everyone pushes through and gets the job done even if they are having a bad day. I have realized with my students if they are having a bad day, they dont care what needs to get done, they will cater to themselves above anyone else. They are not receiving a paycheck so it doesn't matter if everyting gets taken care of! I am not used to having to repeat myself 75 times either. I forget they have not been through beauty school and have not passed state board and that it may take them a couple of times to understand the technique. I must say I have gotten a lot more patient with them and vice versa. Halfway through the semester I can look back and honestly say... We have come a long way!

The most iimportant thing....

The most important thing I learned about my students this semester is they want you to take an interest in them as young adults. All of my students (male, female, any race or ethnic back round) all want to know that you take an interest in their sports, extra activities, family life, struggles, friends etc... Not in an inappropriate crossing the line way, but in a mentoring/caring type of way. This may sound "soft" coming from a coach, but I truly believe we can impact our students lives relationally and that will impact them academically. Even if you ask them about their Thanksgiving break, or their game last night etc... I gave "props" to a student of mine when we won the one act play state championship and he was pumped that a football coach knew about what he and his fellow students accomplished. I truly have learned to bridge that gap between the teachers desk and the students desk. They need to know that we are counting down the days to Christmas break as well; however we still need to focus and finish strong! Everyday is a new experience...I always said as a police officer we have a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. In teaching I believe in the same thing! Look forward to tomorrows blog and thanks for the opportunity to make up some points.......

The most important thing

The most important thing I've learned about my students is that they lack time management skills. My school is the only high school in the county that has returned to 7 period days vs. block scheduling. I recognized early that the students seemed to lack rudimentary organizational skills. As a result, I instituted the use of a notebook with specific guidelines for organization and success. On Friday, I completed a notebook check during 7th period after posting the check for 3 days with the specific items that would be evaluated. Many of the students had all the required components. One student in my class is really experiencing challenges submitting all of the assignments and as a result, he is failing the class. I ran into his mother during lunch on Friday and invited her to sit in on his afternoon class. He was shocked to see her walk into the room. Acknowledging his lack of participation, his mom rapidly ask him for rational for his performance in the class. His response was, "I don't have time to do these assignments with the work from my other classes each night". His mother sat and reviewed the work that was missing and rapidly concluded that each assignment would take less than 15-20 minutes for an organized student. She vowed that I would see a change on Monday. Well, here we are and I can't wait to see what the day holds.

Lessons Learned

I have learned that some of my students will eventually be, what I want them to be right now. I am realizing (having a tough time with it though) that a student's best and my expectations are usually not on the same level. In my last blog I wrote about how I had a tough week with some of my kids. I am having to learn that they are just kids and sometimes they will exceed my expectations and other times they may let me down.

After this past week, I had to recall something my mom always told me in high school. "You will never be responsible considering how messy you keep your room." Well I did keep my room a mess as a child but funny enough, I moved out at 18 and got my own place and have always had a neat home since.

She assumed then as I do now that if a child (our students) cannot achieve something now then they never will but the messiest (most unruly or unorganized student) child might become the neatest (most successful) adult.

The title is lessons learned but I think I should change it to lessons still being learned. This one is a hard one for me to grasp but I realize the sooner that I do, the easier my life will be.

"The Most Important Thing"

The most important thing I've learned about my students is: that they have a mind of their own and that they are going to do whatever the @#%& they want to do. I work so hard to instill values and morals in them, but they are not interested. I recall on of our lesson from this summer which was adolescent behavior. I am so grateful to NTI for offering this. I think back on that lesson and realize that what the teens are going throught is just a phase that will unfortunately not pass until they are long gone from high-school. As my principal stated, some lessons they will have to learn once they graduate. They will unfortunately not learn every lesson or every lesson that we think they should while they are with us. This is also another life lesson for me and something else that I have to let go of so that I can stay healthy and live long. Some things we just cannot and will not ever change. Student behavior is one of them. I have to learn to develop different comping mechanisms or develop a different approach.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The most important thing

The most important thing I've learned about my students this semester when it comes time to step up to the plate to support the teacher they will! This has amazed me all year. Every time that there was a need from the students to help or support me in a project they were always there. The same group that I wanted to choke one minute was saving the bacon the next. The bacon reference is appropriate for public safety, if you know what I mean.

Career Day

This week the CTAE Department hosted Career Day. There were 27 vendors from colleges,banks,business etc. The teachers in the department had to make a major adjustment to bring everything together. Some of our classrooms were being used for sessions. Some of us had to keep other teachers students,bring food, coordinate students to go to the appropriate session etc. We were running around the school like we were running a marathon. It only lasted for 3 hours but it seemed longer. It seems everything went well. The suprise I had as being a shy person, my duty was to welcome all of the vendors to the school. Well lets just say I did it. It was quite an experience. Thanks to NIT

The light.....

I think I saw a light go off in some of my "Intro" students eyes this past week and they actually began to use common sense and put things into perspective. More often then not the level one students just try to memorize and do what is necessary for a good grade. I am trying to teach them (as I did with level two and three classes prior) that if they try to digest and discern, things will come easier and they will come together for the big picture. It is just like profiling offenders (organized/disorganized etc...) it is part common sense, a dash of "art" and a handful of science. Isn't that how life is? If we use common sense, our personal experiences with factual information everything seems to come together and the light goes on! I guess that is why teaching can be so gratifying, like Courtney said in his blog about a student skipping then texting him. Students cease to amaze us......especially when the "light" goes on! As one of my female students said to another student "Don't hate because I am beautiful, hate me because your boyfriend thinks so." Arrogance, swagger and confidence all rolled into one. Now if only the "light" would come on for her! Ha!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The students are anxious for the exiting committee to start issuing exit letters. They are becoming uneasy because they have to pass eight out of eight classes to exit. The students are driving us crazy because they continue to ask the teachers are they on the exit list, which the teachers are not giving any clues. This is the best time of the year for us and the students because you are proud of the ones who put forth the effort to meet the criteria to exit and hopefully never to return.

Tough Week

This week has been a tough week but I hope it will get better. I love teaching and have to remind myself often how much I do love what I do, to keep me going. Some of my students have pushed me to that breaking point this week. I got rid of culinary club and our fundraisers in the morning because it had become me doing everything rather than my students. My mom was telling me that they call the kids we are teaching the "me" generation and I believe it. They want someone to do the work for them and then they get the results from it.

My students were selling sweet tea in the mornings and it was a huge money maker for us. I realized that I could teach these kids anything with food because our budget was no longer an issue. The problem became that I was the one getting there early to set up the tea station, I was the one helping make the tea, and I was the one that had to clean up afterwards. On Thursday, I walked back into my room from my morning duty and saw my students just standing around while the room was a disaster area with empty tea pitchers everywhere. That was my breaking point and I made Friday the last day for tea sales. The sad thing is the students don't seem to understand the consequences because I do not think that they usually have to deal with consequences. I think they will understand next week when we cook a very small amount of what we were planning to cook because we must now budget our money.

I care so much about my students but I realize that I cannot do things for them and expect them to learn. I hope that the rest of the semester goes better and that they will be begging me and promising me that they will work harder if I bring back tea. It makes my life easier if we do not have to budget so carefully.


I know at 46 years old and in my second career that life is about decisions. I understand decisions are about choices and that is all good. However; it is the decisions that come up unexpectedly that can make you go "hmmmm". I guess being a S.W.A.T. team leader, a K-9 Officer and a football coach in my mind decisions can be a matter of life or death or possibly your job! In this case thank God it is none of the aforementioned and all good no matter which I choose. I base all my decisions on God, Family then football/teaching. I guess I am having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees, because with that formula it should be easy and right now it seems a little cloudy. Whatever I decide I want to use my podium as a Christian coach/teacher to be significant in the lives of my students and players and keep my family happy as well. I write all this to say that I am looking forward to the Christmas break to clear my mind, decide on what path to take and come back with the same focus I had early on. I feel myself teaching with the same passion; however I feel like my thought process is fatigued if that makes any sense. As I stated earlier this is not a life altering decision or career altering for that matter; however it does change the path that I was riding on fairly smooth. I know God has a sense of humor and I know a few months from now I will be good to go whatever path I take and will grow and be better from this decision. Yet they are still decisions and they effect more then just us as individuals and that is the part that makes them difficult even if they are for the best in the long run. Let me close by saying this is not a bad thing and my wife, children, coaching and teaching will all benefit from the choice I make whatever it maybe. I am blessed and thank God everyday for what I have and what I look forward to in the future. This semester has been challenging with all the juggling, but seeing you all going through the same things has helped immensely. Look forward to the final semester and I hope you all have a Blessed Holiday!

Thanks Big Ant for the heads up!


long week

This week was long to me. I had students that just did not want to follow directions. My student in which the school calls my son got his learners lic. this week. I have seen this past month that many of my male students talk to me different in class than one on one. They want to make themselves look GANGSTER to there friends. I also had a student say that she did not want to go to college this week. I asked the student why and they stated that they were scared to go off to college. I told her that she was not the first to feel that way and that i was scared a little to go off to college so don't think that you are the only person to feel that way.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keep on Going

This week has certainly flown by. I really think that the break was good for the students. They are so focused. Maybe it's my daily reminder that there is only a very short time left in the semester. I think I have saved the most interesting lessons for the last few weeks , or maybe I m am getting better at planning. (Let's go with the latter !) Thanks to the feedback from my obsevations, the classroom management has improved. Now I just have to use the "language of the standards" in my teaching & I will be perfect (yes in my dreams).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good Day

Well, It's easter Seals playhouse time again. But this time it's very different. I cannot thank Dr. M enough for suggesting that I assign positions to my students. The level of work completed on a daily basis in incredible. The students are fluent in the language used on a job site. Tools and equipment are handled most professionally. We are already hanging roof joist at the end of the first full week of construction. It's really starting to get interesting watching them work. The students are so receptive to the information this way. And I'm not so exausted at the end of everyday. Thanks again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Georgia Board of Education trip

Today was a good day my students done great on a test so good I think I might let them eat chips on Friday. I will be going to the Georgia Board of Education on Thursday for the new name in Cosmetology (Personal Care Services) it's from 8-3:30 they are talking about the new pathways for high schools it should be pretty interesting. I saw my self in the paper with Dr. Burns in the NTI class we looked great!!!!!!!!LOL LOL