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, February 28, 2010

A lot of PROS and a little CONS

I am so glad that we do Elluminate Live. The thoughts of working all day Tuesday and then jumping in a car and driving an hour and a half to go sit in a class for two and a half hours and then drive back home an hour and a half just sounds exhausting. Not to mention, how grumpy I would be Wednesday. I love that I get to learn and be a part of a group, but yet I still get to be at my house and eat dinner with my wife and kids. In being a technology minded person, the class has not been a struggle for me at all. Logging on, using my mic, saving the whiteboard, chatting have been second nature to me. And then to bring in my ADHD, it's nice to be able to stand up or lay down or just walk around while class is going on and not disturb anybody. On the negative side, there is a neat dynamic that exists when we are all in one room together. As much as I love computers, sometimes you have to have the human side of things. As I mentioned, I did not have any problems with the technology, but I know a lot that did. I can't imagine how frustrating that would be to sit there and look at your laptop and go, "Why aren't you working?"

Pros and Cons

The pro's and con's of learning the course material using Elluminate Live are kinda hard to compare because although the day is long enough without having to go class, The sacrifice is worth every minute because it is helping us to achieve a goal. The goal is to become certified in our area of expertise. I think that I like seeing people face to face however it is not all about me. I am willing to overlook the cons of being online to help out the others who would have a longer drive for us to meet in one location. Moreover it is kinda cool at times to think about where technology has brought us:)

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of Elluminate Live

I have both pro's and con's or advantages or disadvantages of using Elluminate Live technology for our class this semester. One of my advantages of using Elluminate Live this semester is the convenience of not having to leave the comfort fo my home in order to participate in class. I don't have to travel downtown or to the Alpharetta campus. I can easily avoid the evening rush hour traffic. I do not have ot deal with childcare for my kids and I can save money by not having to eat out because of possibly getting home late. One of my disadvantages is having to be on-line after work. After a long day at work, I find it hard and challenging to be on-line for 2 1/2 hours. I am more the face to face, sit down in class person. I can say that I feel that my advantages of Elluminate Live outweigh my disadvantages.

Comfort and convenience

When thinking about the pros and cons associated with Elluminate live I must admit that attending class in the comfort of my home tops the Pros list. The benefit of not being required to race down town or even worse to Alpharetta to attend class is priceless. I also like the differentiation in content presentation. As an audio/visual learner, I have multiple opportunities to engage in the process of learning. The class last week is a perfect example of this benefit. I was struggling to understand the differentiating a product from a process. My classmates eagerly chimed in to help me understand and I emerged with clarification in the end. The major Con associated with this learning platform is inconsistency in technology. It can be frustrating when I am engaged in the classroom and suddenly there is a loss of participation by either me or a teammate. I have not experienced many technology problems but the one that I did experience was extremely frustrating.

Thanks E-LIVE

I'm just grateful for E -Live .It allows me to be in the comfort of my own home ,while still engaging into vCheck Spellingery intriging content with other professionals . Each week the topic are interesting and very educational ,the contents allow me to incorporate the learning into the classroom .with real results. I really thought I knew about the fundamentals of teaching Cosmetology until I became involved with NTI . E-Live sometimes has its down sides , only when your involved with school meetings, conferences , parent nights and other things that pull you away from our daily Tuesday night class . Well that's all apart of the job !!

See you guys Tuesday Night !!


eluminate or elumi-not

I have taken online classes before. I liked them. They were different in that it was not "live" as compared to eluminate. With this class, I have found that the impersonal nature of online learning has been bridged somewhat. Being able to chat, and key in on the mic, and listen to everyone's answers is very helpful to me. The lack of commute is outstanding. I attended GSU in 1990/1991 and I hated the drive. Now, with a family and many more responsibilities, I really appreciate the online option. I do miss the "face time" interaction associated with brick&mortar learning but this gets the job done much more efficiently.

Elluminate Live

Well, all I can say is - Thank goodness for Elluminate live!!! Every Tuesday evening when I am driving my 10 minute drive home from school, I am thanking the Good Lord that I am NOT having to drive almost 2 hours to Alpharetta. Honestly, some of those Tuesday's I don't know that I could have made it. I really enjoy the class on-line. I must admit that in the very beginning it seemed a little strange to be sitting in the middle of my bed, with my headset on, trying to work in a group! That "strange" feeling only lasted a couple of classes. I love Elluminate live and would choose it everytime over having to drive!!!

Pro's and Con's of Elluminate

I can think of a lot more pro's than con's about my experience with Elluminate. When I first learned of it back in the summer it scared me because it was new and I did not understand it.
After being walked through it and using it for a while I have become more comfortable with it.
It has allowed us to learn from each other and to come together as a group, when we might not
have been able to otherwise. It does seem a bit cold at times without actually being able to see
and be in the same room as each other, but it is the closest thing available. I do not think the white board is all it is cracked up to be, but it serves as a good platform for power point and
other examples of work. Getting knocked off right in the middle of class is a draw back, but
I have always been able to log right back on. I think the technology is great and all I can see is that it will just get better and better. I look forward to Tuesday evenings beacause I always learn something and it is my night for ordering out. I agree with a lot more of the post I have read than disagree. I think for the most part we seem to have all learned and that is what Elluminate was made for, right? It is a great learning tool and it has made it possible and a lot more convenient for the entire class.

Live Ellumination

I have enjoyed our Elluminate Live sessions. After a busy and tiring day at school, it's wonderful to know that I can drive home for a class. I find that the only time I sit during the day is at lunch. It's great to take a class from the comfort of the sofa. With the terrible weather we've have lately, our journeys to Alpharetta would have been postponed or extremely tedious. I enjoy computer technology and am always willing to learn. I can understand, however, where this might be difficult for those who don't enjoy using the computer. Fortunately, I've been very lucky and have had internet issues on only one occasion, which I think, was due to weather.
Of course, internet issues are extremely frustrating. Because the sessions are taped, those few occurrences do not prevent learners from accessing the lesson. Based on my experience with Elluminate Live, I would consider taking online classes in the future.

Elluminate Live

Elluminate Live has been great for convenience this year. Although I must admit that if I had to be online for class more than once a week, I'm not sure I could handle it. Despite the fact that I don't have to drive anywhere, can wear what I want, and be at home during class I still have to sit at the computer, and pay attention, for over two hours. Some class sessions are easier to focus on than others - not due to the material - my mood/add/adhd is more to blame. I've always found it easier to interact in a discussion and maintain focus in person. I don't do well on the phone, or in other less personal communication. I am impressed with Elluminate Live's ability to place us in different learning environments while still online. Using the polls, whiteboard, groups and other features allows us, as a class, to accomplish many more activities than I ever thought possible when "online class" was first mentioned last summer. While Elluminate may not be the greatest thing for those of use with active imaginations (or, short attention spans) it definitely gets the job done. As I often end emails and phone conversations since using Elluminate Live...I'll see you online Tuesday....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pros and Cons

I must say that I am enjoying Elluminate Live far more that I expected and not just for obvious reasons either. For obvious reasons it's awesome- no long drives to and 'fro, the comforts of my own home and no need to hire a babysitter.I have the ability to interact with my peers and educators as if I am in the actual classroom. For years I shunned online learning. I didn't have much faith in it and I believed people who got their degrees on line were taking the "easy" way out. I even questioned the validity of it all. Truthfully speaking, I am not the most disciplined person and for this, I feared online learning. I need accountability and this session has provided me with that. Do I feel the same way about other online programs?....The jury is still out. I can not speak on what I have yet experienced. The one time I did attempt online studies, I psyched myself out so bad that I went back to ground studies and never looked back. The long and the short of it is, I am really enjoying E-learning this time around. This has prepared me for my next phase of my education which will be primarily online so...... we'll see.

The only Con I have is my earphone cord isn't long it is as if we are in class....I really can't cook my dinner as if I am home. Tuesdays have become a take-out or fend for yourself day unless I get home early enough. I am not complaining ...I'm just saying....I love it. It gets out of cooking at least one day a week..;)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pros and Cons

Elluminate Live is new for me so it's a challenge from time to time. Sometimes I become nervous about learning new tools on elluminate live because I'm not computer savvy. I'm so thankful the NTI instructors are patient and repeat the steps. After using Eliminate Live for several months it has pros and cons. The pros for Eliminate live is that we are able to be in class online and not have to travel to the campus. I think it's tailored to non-traditional students. Also, Elluminate live allows you to hear classmates' comments and thoughts on concerning the topic. As time goes on I think we continue to grow as a family. The cons for Elluminate live is we are not able to see each other. Sometime the computer and mic malfunction during the session. Sometimes school duties and responsibilities delay students from getting online on time. All and All it's not so bad!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

pros and cons

I truly enjoy the fact that I don't have to drive to class and it is more time efficient. The technology aspect is a non factor for me since I deal with new technology everyday. I guess my learning curve was very quick to pick up elluminate. With that being said, sometimes I feel the pace gets a bit slow for me. I'm impatient by nature, so I like quick moving information sessions. I get a bit antsy in class sometimes. I'm also a social butterfly, so I really like to see my classmates and interact. I feel like my personality is completely taken away with online classes. I find myself as a completely different student online and become more reserved. However in this case the convenience factor trumps all, because that drive to class is long.


I like the use of Methodology it give me more time with my family and still able to get my work done without leaving home. I like learning new things in technology this way we can be better teacher for our students. Gwinnett Tech will have their first Cosmetology online class this is our future in technology.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Double Duty

When I first was exposed to this technology in the fall I panicked. I am occasionally slow on the uptake when it comes to new technology. Having used this for several months now I must say that I really like the format. The pros are NO TRAVEL. Finishing up at school and still having a moment to change clothes, grab a snack & hop on the session is very nice. Another pro is that I am forced to really learn a new technology and use it on a consistent basis. That is what hurts me , learning something & then never using it for a long time.
The cons are limited interaction with classmates and instructors, and of course the always present danger of technology meltdown. One aspect that took getting used to is giving an answer or opinion in a very concise format, as to give others the mic in a timely manner.
This is most likely the direction of education, especially at the higher education level. Being a nurse from the old school I still believe in human interaction for the basics, but this has made learning very enjoyable.

All pro!

I love this methodology. Considering that I have a young one to keep track of this allows me to be in two places at once. As well as, there is no traffic. I have no trouble finding parking . And most importantly no two hour drive! Woohoo! I believe that this venue for learning is an excellent substitute for an actual class. Except, of course, to visit with the instructors. I have enjoyed this class very much.

Elluminate, Pros and cons

Having lived in another less developed country for many decades, I am only too aware of the possibilities that this learning medium can present given the right conditions. When you think of children unable to go to school because the river they need to cross on foot is full for the better part of two weeks; when you think of long distances that some children travel to and from school to get an education; when you think of students that never see a computer throughout their schooling days; then you may better appreciate what "learning while you are at home" means. This is what Elluminate means to me. It bridges the distance gap and brings the whole class and instructor right in to your home. It's simply marvelous! It has taken distance learning to a totally new level!

Hopefully one day we might just see technologies of this nature being spread throughout the world.

Imagine an expert teacher from Paraguay, coming to a home classroom, to teach children from 5 different countries at the same time! Imagine the savings that will be entailed. Poor countries do not need to go through the same struggles that developed countries have experienced. This technology enables us all to share our resources and improve the lives of all of us. It enables all of us and everyone to move together as one world community!

One idea that springs to mind, nearer home, is to enroll all school administrators (by district or county) in a short intervention program that will teach them about Carl D. Perkins legislation and the very latest developments attending to it. There is absolutely no reason now why some school administrators still remain unaware of the benefits of this legislation and of how they may implement it for the advantage of their students and their communities.

Anyone of us here, who have taken this course from Dr. J. can easily mount, facilitate and run a teaching program of this nature through Elluminate. How feasible is this proposition? Is there anyone who might like to investigate this with me? :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Elluminate Live

Pros and Cons

E - xtra time to do school work before beginning class
L - ess time in traffic
L - ove the headset
U - nable to stay focused at times
M -ore hassle than a traditional classroom with technology glitches
I - nteresting topics with more freedom to explore them further by googling during class
N - otes are easier to take because I can type in a word document while we are in class
A - djusting to the use of all the whiteboard buttons - UGH
T - ime is allowed to step away and keep the laundry running at school while I am in class
E - xceeds expectations as a lecture class

L - ack of face to face interaction
I- nterruptions can be frustrating at times like when the system kicks you off
V - ery 2010 - the new way of teaching!
E - veryone can participate since it is online rather than in a classroom.

I Love It!!!!

I don’t know what else to say, I love it. You are at class with a parking space just feet from the door. You are 15 seconds from home after class and you can where anything to class. I have been very lucky in that I have had no problems what so ever with the connections. Dr. Burns and Ms. Chillis have both done a great job with this technology. It would be a good thing to have been able to use it some during the summer. Thanks for thinking outside of the box. Keep up the good work! The brick and mortar is important but this is the wave of the future.

Elluminate Live....

Since I missed last weeks blog because of my computer issues that have plagued me all this semester I would have to say that Elluminate Live #$!#&*!! However that is not the case. Elluminate Live is an interesting way to learn especially because we spent time together over the summer and we got to know each other face to face. It is amazing how I can see every ones personality's come through even in their chat room comments because we know each other already. It must be harder for the newer students who came in mid-stream and have yet to complete the summer courses. I do believe our instructors (no this does not qualify as sucking up because it is factual and directly goes with the theme Ha!) do a good job keeping the Elluminate Live classes flowing and tend to every ones needs and issues (me included). Elluminate Live also gives each student a chance to perfect their computer skills (boy I need that) and it can be done in the convenient comfort of their own home or hammock whatever they prefer. I will be honest when you get kicked off, or can't get sound, or lose Internet or whatever else technology can throw at us Elluminate Live can seem like a hindrance more then a convenience. But after the stress melts away it is a awesome way to learn especially for all of us who have families, teach, coach and oh yes sometime have a life. In closing I think the mix of seat time classes, school visits and Elluminate Live is the perfect formula for a successful experience.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Balance and Prioritization

As a 2nd year teacher, I am still in need of improvment in some areas. Teaching is so much more than I had inticipated. I need balance with work, family, and me time. I find myself putting everyone and everything before me. I am better than I have been in the past. But I still have a ways to go. I am also in need of some help with prioritization. In some areas, this is not a problem for me. But I find that with teaching, prioritization is an issue for me. There is always so much to do and there are alot of demands from my administrators. Hopefully, over the summer, I can brainstorm and implement some changes that will ensure and better school year next year.

Tough Times and Budget Cuts

Our school system is in the same boat as all the school systems in Georgia. It has been the talk of all the teachers and administration for most of this year. Some teachers are acting brave and taking the stance, "They can't get rid of me. I am way too important here." Some you can tell are scared to death and are nervous about their future. I have always been one of those people who plan for the worst and hope for the best. I have not really been dwelling on this situation, but it is in my mind. One of the silly things about all of this in our school system is that, not this fall, but next, they are opening a brand new high school. So, right now, they are telling all three of our high schools that people are going to lose their jobs, but in one year, they are going to have to staff a new brand new school. So, I am thinking, "Maybe I could travel the world for a year. Backpack through the mountains of Tanzania or swim the waters of the Dead Sea." I know I am being a bit silly, but isn't it strange for a school system to tell people that they don't need your services, but hey they might next year!

Take a little time!

I have been reading all of the post this week and to most of them I can honestly say, "I know what you mean"! Morale seems to be at a very low level in so many schools. It is true, we are constantly being asked to do more and more and being compensated less and less. That doesn't quite add up and it takes so much out of each of us. If we keep up at this pace, we could easily burn out. This week, on top of all of this everyday junk that stresses me out, I had to deal with some real behavior issues! I was really questioning my reason for teaching. Sometimes it is really hard to come up with very many positives! We had early release days on Thursday and Friday, so on Friday many of us teachers went to lunch together. We don't normally get to do things like that. We had such a great time just talking and laughing and spending time away from school. I left that luncheon feeling so much better. I have been spending so much time trying to figure out my lesson plans, spending my own money, etc., etc, that I have forgotten to have a life! It is not worth it. I want to be a great teacher, but not at the expense of losing myself and my family. I think we all need to take a little time to take care of ourselves. You know what they say, "How can you be any good to anyone else if you aren't good to yourself?"

Grading Students!!!!!

For the first time since i've been teaching, I had 15 students to receive a grade of failing on their progress report. When I assessed the material to see if there had been an error on my part or if there was any extra credit that I could offer the students to help improve their grades. I discovered that the students had either decided not to do the work or that they just don't come to class. We have a big problems with students skipping class. I decided that the best thing that I could do for them was to allow them to see the grades that they had earned. I received an e-mail from my department chair stating that the whole department had a high failure rate and that we did not want to fail the students because it would make them not want to take our classes in the future. I was said that CTAE classes were electives and not required so, we need to make learning fun.

184 or Zero

I have spent my whole adult life in a career that guaranteed one thing, change. Police work is a dynamic occupation that requires a person to be prepared from one minute to the next to be different. This year in school the budgets have changed, work schedules have changed, and people have changed. The economy is tight and everyday counts. The State has made schedule changes that they now call “Furloughs” and oh my goodness what a stink. I take a little bit different approach, 6 or none! That’s right me, a different approach! As I think about it, would it be better to have 6 less days pay or 190 days less pay. If I can take 6 less days of pay and save 184, I take that every time. You have all heard the saying I felt bad because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. We need to stop and be thankful for what we have, not what we have lost.

Make each day count and capture each teachable moment!

Just Wondering?

I have always been taught the old adage, “you can work harder, or you can work smarter”. With that in mind, I must first say, I truly believe that we as teachers must be; highly knowledgeable in our areas of instruction, dedicated to our professions, prepared to teach whenever we enter the classroom and devoted to stimulating students to succeed. Also, I like almost everything that I am learning about Working on the Work, creating engaging lessons and lesson plans and giving clear and appropriate evaluations, etc. But as almost everyone has expressed, all of this places an enormous burden on every teacher that spills over into their home life to the point that many are being encouraged by their family to find another career.

Instead of teachers working harder, why aren’t we being allowed to work smarter? Let me explain. When I took over teaching drafting, I acquired a closet full of old drafting junk that I was asked to go through and clean out. Among the rubble I found a complete set of the Drafting curriculum that was created by the University of Georgia and was provided by the State of Georgia to be used to teach the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Drafting Classes. The teacher’s books were provided with all lesson plans, tests and teaching objectives. The student workbooks contained study blocks which listed all of the requirements that the students needed to complete in order to meet each objective. Reading materials, worksheets and scripts for a slide show were also provided for each study block. It was designed to accompany a text book. All of the material was reproducible. This curriculum allowed for the teacher to instruct the class as a group or for the student to work ahead at his own pace. Students were required to show competency in each book before they could move to the next study block. Either way, it insured that every student received the training that the state required before moving on to the next level. You see, teachers were then provided with all of the tools they needed to achieve almost all of the requirements that teachers are now being expected to create for themselves today. As one of the students who took those classes, back in the day, I know that we were better prepared to enter the workplace than our students are today. I believe that that anyone can do any thing as long as they have the proper training, proper tools and material and enough time, which leaves me with one question. Why does each of us need to create our own wheel?

My time is my own worst emeny

I find myself looking forward to the week-long breaks scattered throughout the year as a relief AND a chance to plan ahead. Somehow it never seems to work out that way. I have so many things to do that I am up late every night, as most of you are, and still never quite catch up. Then the break comes, and I seem to lose focus. I write this 12 hours before I have to be back in the classroom after a week off. What did I accomplish toward my goal.....nothing! This is the part that really brings me down. I am really getting exhausted with so much to do.

Career exposure explosion

As a first year HSTE instructor, I feel as though I am finally settling into the mission and vision of the school. Part of that vision includes exposure outside of the classroom in the form of field trips and internship opportunities. The students are also exposed to various careers through guest speakers and innovative laboratory experiences. My student population consists of approximately 130 students over 5 class periods. The total program between two teachers consists of approximately 260 students. I am finding it a bit of a challenge to provide exposure to large student groups while maintaining the students attention. I also feel large class oriented presentations are unfair to the presenter. I am always seeking new contacts and resources to enrich the learning environment. I am struggling with how to communicate to my fellow HSTE instructor the need to schedule a separate speaker agenda and not combine classes during guest lecture. My struggle is that this may not represent the spirit of true teamwork. One of my primary weaknesses is having an expectation of those that I work with to perform with the same intensity and drive that I possess. I am far from the perfect teacher but my drive is to bring as much career exposure as possible to the students to decrease the didactic rigor. I am also struggling with the thought that classes may not receive equal exposure. I welcome the thoughts and suggestions of my peer group and instructors.

A Day without Water

This week students reported to school for three days because of the winter break. The night before school, an announcement was sent out to teachers and students via phone stating there is no water and to bring your own bottled water. I know what you are thinking, yes it was a nightmare on elms street Wednesday morning. After the first bell rung, the administrator reminded everyone not to drink the water,wash hands or flush toilets but they can use the toilets. So of course many of us had a difficult time keeping everyone under control including teachers. I'm sure you can image what kind of day it was. Finally, after 4 hours the school decided to dismissed the students at 12:00 pm and teacher at 2:00pm. Guest what! The next day everyone reported back to school hoping for the best but we couldn't drink or wash our hands; however we could flush the toilets. I'm thinking not again and so were the students. Amazingly we all survive through the whole day. Most of the students went home early. Lets just say this is a lesson learned. We forget how vital water is as a basic necessity. When your environment change you must adapt.

Think Positive!

I have been reading some of the post and I can honestly say that if you let
someone else influence you and how you feel then you are not in control. I
feel like I'm out in left field most of the time, but I still try my best to be a
positive influence on my students. I think you can always find some good in
anything if you look long enough. I know the economy is bad and people are
worried about jobs and money, but I believe things will improve and that
sometimes we worry just to have something to worry about. As long as I have
a teaching job and I can try and have a positive influence on a student I will
be there for them. I try and focus on the ones I can help and let that be my
reward. I can only pray for the ones that seem lost.

Class T-Shirt

If you haven't noticed, the club/class related t-shirt is gold to a high school student. There has been lots of talk over the past few years for our classes to have their own shirt. Finally folding, no pun intended, to the project, I began planning with some of my upper level students. When the design of the t-shirt came up, they said they'd like the back of the shirt to feature funny phrases/terms/situations that have come up throughout our year of Broadcast/Video Production. I shrugged and told them that if that's what they wanted, and everything remained appropriate, that would be fine. They began making a list on a whiteboard right outside of my office. Over the past week or two, the list on the board has grown to well over 50 quotes. Every time I walk by the board to go into the office, something on there catches my attention and makes me either smile, or, laugh out loud. During this hectic time of year, something as simple as remembering a clever anecdote a student made can make such a difference. All the experiences I've had teaching cannot fit onto that board, but the short list my students have created sums up so many of the positive things I feel about teaching. Being young, and a "newlywed", people often ask when I plan on having kids. I smile and tell them that I have a few hundred already.


Before writing my blog entry this week, I first read all my colleagues' entries. Unfortunately, I am experiencing all the difficulties you are encountering. I try to stay away from negativity, so I spend a great deal of time isolating myself from my coworkers. I also feel as though I need to find a second job just to "keep my foot in another door". One of my relatives sent me a link to a teacher based blog from an Atlanta Journal article. I'm not going to share the blog address because it would only reinforce the warranted negativity by which we are all surrounded. I would not want to be Sonny Perdue. Think for a moment about irony of the "new" buzz word for ensuring our students' enthusiasm for learning: WOW. When considering the adjectives below, know that WOW actually stands for Working on the Work. Working on the Work's Five Levels of Student Engagement are:

Passive Compliance
Ritual Engagement
Authentic Engagement

All I can say is WOW. Where do you find yourself?

Return of exit students

It was delightful when two of my students return to the alternative school to thank me for being a great influence and kept them focus to exit from the school. They both have passed the high school graduation test and informed me that I will be receiving invitations to their high school graduations. This was rewarding to me and it was a teaching moment, because I was conducting class at the time and used these exiting students as examples to let the other students know that it can be done, students do leave the alternative school and graduate and become successful. Thank God for giving me that spirit.

Exposing the Children to the Hair Industry

Today was an exciting and positive day ! I have the great opportunity to escort my children from my Skills USA club at Lucy C. Laney to the World famous Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta. I want to express my feelings as both a teacher and a industry stylist. This was a very heart -felt experience for the children ,many of the children from my area have never had the chance to travel to Atlanta at all , more less experience a World renowned Hair Show. It was a trip of a lifetime that was both enlightening and awesome. We started this journey at 8:30am from Augusta until we arrived back from Atlanta 8:30pm . Now all i can say is its time for Bed and the all -day excursion with my children was GREAT !!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Morale at all time low

I guess the thing most on my mind is morale at my school. It is continually getting worse and worse. From the economy and Furlough days to the administrative approach that seems to be how can we punish our hard working staff more. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm fine, but it seems like I can't turn a corner in my school without running into someone who is disgruntled. My fear is that with so much time left in the school that it might begin to affect my mood. Luckily my program is thriving and students are enjoying it, but I can honestly say that outside of my walls we have teachers literally standing on the edge. I try to remind them that administrative teams come and go, and to think about next year. The sad part is that we will lose good teachers at the end of the year because of the school morale. I will continue to try and motivate my colleagues, but at what point do I back off before their negativity begins to take a toll on me?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Continue the thread

Okay so I just typed an entire blog and it got lost in cyber space- so here I go again. Since I have been having a brain dead week, this thread will just continue.
I believe that teachers have always given way more than they got in return. Taking work home, sponsoring clubs, and coaching all seem to be in a days work. In our arena CTO's have been around for a long time. All this to supplement the classroom education of students. Unfortunately in this climate money has become tight, basic salaries are being cut, & I fear we have not reached bottom. In addition most teachers are asked to do more planning, be more creative, challenge students more in the course of the day. Parents are stressed with daily life and the volunteerism and support does not appear to be increasing. (I had 2 parents for open house!) The thought of pay for student performance gives me the shivers.
So what are we do to? Well I can honestly say that I have never worked harder at a job, and I have had more than a few jobs in my working days. As my program ramps up, I find that weekends away at workshops or CTO competitions have taken time away from home, with no financial support from my employer. Yet I am expected to continue extra offerings for the continuation of the program.
Having said all this, I truly believe that each of us has to make our own personal decisions as to what we choose to give beyond our basic curriculum. Our family responsibilities and personal financial situation must come first. In addition, we must be pro-active to ensure that what we are asked to do beyond the classroom is what we really want to do.

Continuously Doing More With Less

There are a lot of initiatives I'd like to start at my school and with my students, however the lack of compensation and support prevents such thing. There was a time in my career when I was hyped about having a Security team and Criminal Justice Club, creating a peer-principal discipline panel and so forth. I spent countless days and evenings giving of myself for the kids and nothing more until I begin to associate my tasks with that of an asst. coach or sponsor. After all we are essentially serving the same purpose. I took my concept to my administrator and ask for some sort of compensation / supplement since the school was benefiting from the service provided ( parking lot patrol, Student-Security during after school functions, escorts around campus, etc) only to be told there was no room in the budget. The flip side of that was shortly after my request, administration requested the services of my students and I for a w/e function....Hunh? I spent countless dollars on supplies, equipment, and uniforms to no avail yet there was no funding in the budget for my services. After burning-out, I placed the Security Team on hiatus until further notice. In doing so, many students have come to me asking "When is Club CrJ returning?" or "I want to be on the Security Team" . Administration even told me to have my kids in the parking lot writing tickets in an effort to crack down on illegal parking....go figure. In saying all of this, I feel our classes are the most discounted yet they need our services the most. Why is this? I only wish each teacher could spend a day in our curriculum (on a lab day) to see what really goes on on this side of the tracks. This would hopefully give them a true idea of what we do and how we feel when are classes are discounted until there is an immediate personal need.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Extra Extra Etc.

I too has a constant battle between my program vs coworkers need. On a daily basis I am visited for various "favors". I been asked for everything from an addition to a retaining wall. I too understand everyone is attempting to save a buck or two here or there. However, I too have issues that I am dealing with that compete for my time. For instance, My child, my wife, ,my education, and restoring my recently remodeled home that has been damaged by a frozen water pipe that burst during the cold snap last month. I truely would like to help all that come to me for assistance, but realistically can't. What's truely insulting is when my coworkers recieve a realistic price for my time, they back out. Or, flat out tell you that they hoped I had some supplies just sitting around. When my coworkers see the supplies for my students lab activities, they assume, that they can be used for extracurricular activities. As a result, I'm through! I simply explian, without a shred of guilt, that I can't assist them because of my current obligations and I hope they will understand. I can't be everywhere.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Extra, Extra, Extra

I want to write about all the extra stuff that no one tells you about teaching. I am HIGHLY encouraged to enter culinary competitions and to do caterings. The thing that concerns me is that these things do not offer any form of compensation or I feel like I cannot charge for them. I stay after 3 days a week to practice for competitions until around 5:30 (3 hours after schools lets out) and then do at least 10 hours every 2 weeks in catering. I show up 1/2 an hour early each day to get tea ready so that we can make money to cook with. That averages out to at least 15 hours extra a week and that is definitely on the low end. My concern is that I will burn out quickly and still be poor. I do not know how to handle this especially in these tough economic times. My direct boss has encouraged me to pay myself for caterings but if I do then the price goes up about $300. The problem is that people are already tight with their budgets and I fear that they will not use us and then we will not make money to cook with.

Does anyone else deal with this type of thing? Maybe I am just being ungrateful but I went many of years doing extra work in the restaurant industry and I always left those jobs. I plan to teach until I am ready to retire and am not sure how to do this balancing act.

My slant on evaluations

My evaluations reflect the requirements set forth by the curriculum. That's not all though. My evaluations also reflect the sole reason I took this position, ethics in the workplace. My particular Pathway has little in the standards regarding this topic. However, there is a great deal of coverable material that is referred to a "suitable for all Pathways". This gives me the wiggle room to hammer home the need for honesty and integrity on the job. I know at least a hundred mechanics. I can count on one hand, unfortunately, the ones whom are honest. This must change if the public is to ever to have a positive perception of the typical car repair facility.

Firm but Fair

Yes I believe my personal values come into play when I evaluate my students, but I based it on effort and hard work. I give my students class assignments and homework assignments giving them various opportunities to learn the subject in different ways. I do not use only chapter test to evaluate students on the whole but it gives me a pulse of my class on where we need to go next. They have individual assignments as well as group assignments using their kinetics skills to also be evaluated because students learn in various ways. Dr. Burns also stated feedback from the students is a tool that can be used to evaluate also. But effort plays a vital role with me when a student is truly working hard and putting they best foot forward I tend to grade with a curve with these students (mostly my students who accept the challenge to learn).

Student Evals

I think we all evaluate the way we wish to be evaluated. I am a notoriously lenient grader. I know this, and I am trying to get better at it. I tend to try to compensate by making my tests very thorough, even though I cover the material as much as I can. I think because I have been a person who has been given chances and has been very blessed in life, I tend to pass that on to the students I teach. I also believe that a student that sees their efforts bear fruit will sustain interest and keep trying. I know that this may not be a popular theory amongst teachers, but this is just how I feel. I also make corrections to students papers when I can tell the intent of an answer and try to help them understand their mistakes. So far I have had three students ask me to sponsor their Senior Projects and one that asked me to help her with the writing for her National Honor Society submission. I think the students can see more in me than just someone who is making them regurgitate information, but someone who actually wants them to understand the information presented to them. Don't get me wrong, I know there is definitely a place for strict discipline when it comes to academics. Maybe in the future I will tend to be more rigid. But for now, I tend to like the correct and explain model.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Evaluations or Personal Values

I believe that my values play a major role in my evaluation process. My students are aware of the primary believes of my classroom, which are fair and consistency. I feel that by being consistent, the students are aware of the evaluation process that I use in the classroom. I present a lesson based off the objectives for the unit. At the end of the unit there is an evaluation either written or practical. I usually conduct mini-assessments along the way to ensure that the students understand the material.

My students have learned that no-matter what they will be evaluated with fairness My students are held to higher moral standard therefore, they are expected to do the right thing. I trust them with anything from razors to Marcel irons and stoves so they are expected to conduct themselves appropriately.


My students learned from day one that trust and integrity are a huge ordeal in my class. I let them know that I will be trusting them with video cameras. They cost money and I have to trust them to not shoot things that are inappropriate. My evaluation of students is not only if they have gotten the material I am teaching, but also the integrity that they have towards the assignments. A case in point, I have some students that are great at shooting videos and editing. A few of them will goof off and act like they are working during the assignment and then in the last moments, they will throw together a project that is better than the rest of the class. I have to explain to them that just being better than the rest of the class is not our goal. You doing the best possible work YOU can do is how you are being evaluated. I have students that take until the last second to finish their projects and sometimes they are are hard to watch, but I know they have put everything they have into it. I believe as career and technology teachers, teaching them the trust of our trade and integrity of our trade will help them in whichever career field they choose to go in. It is a life long lesson.

My Evaluation and My Values

Since we have been talking about evaluations, I have had to do some thinking and re-evaluating of myself. I believe and stand for honesty, integrity, excellence, and high morals and values. I failed to realize how my presentation/teaching skills could affect the evaluation of my students. When we discussed this in class, it was like a light bulb came on. I need to not only evaluate my students but also evaluate myself. I can't just think that something is wrong with my students. I had to realize that I need to improve in some areas as well. I work with a student population that come from varying levels of socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. I have to take this into consideration when I lecture, give homework/classwork assignments, as well as tests and projects. Students learn at varying levels and I need to make sure that I am accomodating to all of them, the higher level as well as the middle and lower levels. From my heart I want all of them to be successful. When they leave the high-school, they represent me. I appreciate the constructive criticism that I received from this lesson. I also appreciate having the opportunity to work on the areas in my life and in my teaching that need improvement.

Evaluations vs Personal Values

I do believe that my evaluations with students model my personal values. My personal values rely heavily on trust, communication, and respect.  Many of my evaluations weigh heavily on whether the student has communicated effectively throughout their production and pre-production process. If communication is lacking , the whole project is a waste because nothing will ever get done.  My evaluations are also measured by the students feedback within their groups.  I gain knowledge about the group based on whether they as a whole believed that their team members could be trusted in their roles for the project. I also rely heavily on whether respecting the chain of command was achieved. This also will be evident in the final product as well. So in closing, I believe that imposing my personal values in the evaluation process is a plus.  My values  help the students to implement new strategies and ways to problem solve when things are not going as expected.

My Evaluations......

I truly feel my evaluations reflect my personal values, because they are relational and significant and that is the way I try to teach all my classes. When I evaluate my students it is to measure how they digested the material presented to them by me. This maybe in various forms such as reflective writing, practical form, short quizes and or oral presentations. This personalizes the evaluation to each student at one time or another. Over time I can identify the students strengths and also try to help them grow in their deficiencies. I also want my evaluations to be significant not to "catch the student", but to make sure they are learning. Such as evaluating what was taught and or demonstrated, not something they should have read and wanting to make sure they are doing their work. I am not a busy work type of teachers or a home work just to do home work type of teacher. I want the students going home and talking about what they have learned and recalling it the next 2 years when we meet again in the 2nd and 3rd levels that are offered. I also try to be fair and know that there is an error margin built in for the students because that is how I teach fair and equal to all types of learners. This goes with my load capacity theory. We teach s-10 pick ups, dually extended cab pick ups and or dump truck. All 3 want to carry the same load, but each one can only carry a certain amount before we shut them down. It is our job to identify what type of truck we are teaching, load it properly (not to little, but not to much either) and watch it run and carry the load efficiently.

Evaluating Values

Some of my personal values are as follows ...

Honesty - Through self evaluations, I encourage honesty. I allow students to describe things that they did incorrectly while in the kitchen and tell me the correct way to do it. This encourages the students to be honest with mistakes they made while also teaching them the correct way that they should do next time. If in their self evaluation, they are honest about mistakes then I take off less points for the mistakes. Honesty is important in a kitchen because if you have done something like accidentally left the chicken out of the refrigerator too long, you need to tell someone rather than just cook it and hope for the best. I ate somewhere recently and my food was spoiled rotten (literally) and I am certain that it happened because an employee was scared to tell their boss of the mistake.

Work Ethic - Through my classroom/lab management evaluation, I encourage work ethic. It is designed that there is one manager at every table and they are in charge of the 3 employees at their table. This encourages the students to take charge and be leaders. It also teaches them that it can be fun to be the boss but that the boss is ultimately responsible for everything that happens. The manager gets 30 points for each week they work but can lose points for the employees not doing their assigned jobs.

Teamwork - Most of my evaluations are done as groups which encourages teamwork. In a kitchen, nothing can happen just with one person. The group must work as a team. It is tough sometimes to work as a team especially when you have team members that do less than their share. I tell my students that in the real world that happens all the time and you must learn to adapt and find those individuals strengths.

I feel that overall many of my evaluations focus more on teaching lessons on how to be a great employee regardless of what career they go into. I may not be able to make all of my students into great chefs but I do want them to learn traits that will make them successful in whatever they do.

My evaluations...

I never really thought about this until I administered a standard test that came from the textbook resource guide that my students use. I administered what I thought was a relevant test. Upon grading the tests, I realized that I presented the information to the students in a totally different way than the Resource guide.

For the most part I make my own evaluations, whether it be rubrics or tests. I never realized that the way tests were set up or the way questions were asked could affect the students so drastically. I felt good going into the day of the test that the students were ready and understood the material. SO, when the majority of them failed I just couldn't understand why. I decided to re administer the test, but create one of my own and cover the exact same material that the pre-made test did. We did this two days after the first test was administered. I didn't recover material in class or even review for the test. I just told the students they would have a retest in two days to give those that failed a second chance. Guess what--they all took it and I just had a couple that did not pass.

So yes, my evaluations reflect my personal values or personality. Also, I believe that my tests reflect what I consider to be important or key concepts that I value. I think that is why the students did so well on my test rather than the pre-made test. I unintentionally emphasized the concepts that I felt to be important and the students picked up on that from my lectures and interactions in class.

Evaluations with Students

Evaluations are used to determined knowledge learned. Also evaluations show me what I need to focus on in class. I'm glad I know more about evaluations such as qualitative and qualitative. It's so important to know its' not a perfect instrument to measure performance. Students and teacher can be evaluated on varies ways. Some students and teachers may be limited on test or psycho motor skills. Now, I know the different types of forms for evaluation all student can show their abilities. It's difficult not to impose my own beliefs and values on students performance but I will try to separate the two. Hopefully, through evaluations we can become better teachers as students become better learners.

Building Students through Positive Evaluations

I believe that teaching high school students is a calling and that it is a privilege that I have been blessed to do. Personally, after six years working in the classroom and after 30 years of working with youth, I have never found one student that I did not like. That is not to say that I have not had any bad or aggravating students. It simply states that I have chosen to like the student despite their bad behavior. However, when it comes to evaluations that I use in the classroom, the separation between the student and their work is not as clearly defined. I always have some students who possess unlimited abilities and are truly gifted. Evaluating these students is a breeze. These students are generally evaluated strictly by their work. Usually the bar is raised to challenge the student to achieve their best. Then, there is the middle of the road, average student. These students are generally evaluated by their work also, but some hedging may be given depending on each student’s situation. This might include accepting late work without penalizing the student’s grade. After all, the purpose for giving the work was achieved even though it might have created more work of me. Then there are the students with limited abilities. I believe that all students when given enough time and accommodations can learn. Whenever I have a student in this group, I cater to these students in order to help them learn the objectives of the course. These students may not progress as quickly as other students. So, I set the standards at an appropriate level for the student’s ability and carry them as far as they can go. My personal teaching objective is to make the subject interesting, the work challenging, the tests both appropriate and valid and the evaluations as positive, encouraging and as meaningful as possible in order to encourage and motivate each student. It is for this reason that I have a personal, unwritten policy that if any student who gives me the honor of taking my class will; give me their best attention and effort, do as I ask, complete their work to their best ability and study as needed, I will in turn will do my best to help the student pass the course. This involves allowing students first completing each assignment according the standards stated in their rubric. Then, a student may be allowed to redo a drawing assignment with corrections for a better grade as needed. If for some reason one of these students does not master some of the objectives this year, I will pick where we left off when they return for the next course. Typically, students desire to do well. Whenever they receive a sense of accomplishment, they usually enjoy what they are doing. On the other hand, some students work hard to become a good drafter but are never quiet able to get it. I do not tear these students down by grading them too harshly. They, with some hedging, usually pass the course. These students generally chose to not take a second drafting course. As a result, the student receives the credit they have worked for and I am usually able to maintain a positive influence in their life. I believe the most important education that I may give my students often has little to do with the drafting. I always consider the old adage, “No one ever cares how much you know until they know how much you care”.

The Check-list Chick!

As many of you are aware, I have experience in the field of health care that spans greater than 20 years. My experience pre-dates my high school graduation. As a health care employee, I have always been given a series of steps to complete tasks in a proficient manner. This began with a schedule of what time the ice and trays were passed out to the nursing home residents. The daily assignment also included the time that all residents should be tucked in bed. As a nursing student and early in my career as a Registered Nurse, every procedure learned was based on a technique that had been scientifically studied and proven to be the best method to the designated outcome. My final career exploration prior to the classroom was as a clinical research professional. This career was centered on a list of Inclusion/Exclusion criteria. Subjects enrolled in all clinical trials are to meet the Inclusion/Exclusion criteria 100%, prior to the enrollment in a clinical trial. The Inclusion/Exclusion criteria was presented as an elaborate check list consisting of color coded boxes indicating that a subject did not qualify for study enrollment if this box was checked. My career has been dominated by a check list of some sort to evaluate how well a job was executed.

I walked into NTI the summer of 2009 without a clue in the world what a the letters—R U B R I C meant. I quickly realized that it was a tool that I had used over and over again to complete tasks in an efficient and effective manner, the familiar check-list. The use of the rubric for the evaluation of student work gives the student a plan for success. It is the student’s responsibility to use the tool to develop the product based on the guidelines listed on their personal check-list. As a professional, I have found the rubric to be a friendly support in the success of my educational endeavors. As a parent, my first questions to my children center around the criteria listed on the assigned rubric. As an instructor, I develop a step-by step check-list that walks the student down the pathway of success. I value a complete product. I value knowing what is expected of me prior to executing a plan. I value the success of completing a task the way it designed to be completed. I feel that a rubric gives each student the opportunity to seize the success that I hold in high esteem.

The Evaluation Process with my Students

Now I have a better understanding of the evaluation process. I can incorporation an evaluation sheet take the place of the older outdated evaluation forms from the previous retired Cosmetology Teacher. I understand validity , reliability and consistency in relation to evaluations . I will work on developing new forms and team up with our business teacher to create this. Mostly in the Cosmetology class i will have evaluation forms that will better assist me with the observation process that demonstrate measurable ability for practicum . Of course in the decision process it's hard not to allow my views and beliefs as a licensed Cosmetology not to effect my judgement . Understand however ,my position and ideas in Cosmetology are to strengthen my student that are ready to take on the world with a rewarding career!


Personal Rubric

This topic reminds me of one of my first days as a teacher. I kept hearing the word "rubric" and honestly had no idea what anyone was talking about. After a few days, I got up the courage to ask my team teacher what she meant when she said this new-fangled teaching term. Once explained to me, the rubric made perfect sense - I'd even seen one before as a student, though I remember it being called something else. Do my rubrics reflect my personal values - yes and no. MY rubrics reflect my personal values, some of the rubrics I use, do not. This reflects my job situation...I am a team teacher who is the 6th hire in about 6 years. There are lots of materials that existed before me that I am trying to rework in order to better reflect expectations that would be found in the industry. All of the rubrics that were in place when I came to teach consisted of a line item and then a numeric ranking from 0-5. This setup made the possible points for projects incredibly high and clouded the expectation. I have since changed all of my rubrics to a Yes (2 points), Partial (1 point), and No (0 points) format. This basically simplifies the project for the students and the rubric better serves as both an evaluation tool and a checklist. The great thing about teaching BVP is that video doesn't lie. It's either in focus, or not; properly exposed, or not; framed correctly, or not. The rubric that I've utilized does reflect my personal values in that I was an exacting shooter/editor who believed in a very small margin of error when I worked in the industry, but with the partial point, rewards effort for someone who is not as experienced in the field as I am. I am never happy with my rubrics and am constantly changing them - I've even gone so far as to have an upper level class help me design the rubric by which they were graded. I would like my rubrics to change as I learn more about teaching and to reflect my students' ability to continually exceed expectations.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Value my Evaluations

Everyday I enter the classroom I bring along with me something from my childhood, from my school days and professional affiliations. It is hard to create an evaluation without incorporating my beliefs into it. Sometimes it works for the good of the class and other times it causes me to re-evaluate my personal belief system. One of the biggest challenges I face daily is getting the majority of my class to believe in the "system". A system they have been taught to distrust and dislike because of what they have experienced or what they have "heard". No matter if it is a formative or a summative assessment, I am constantly met with resistance. During those times I am compelled to lay down my teacher hat and put on the "mama bonnet" or the "auntie's tam". I have to remind myself to not put on the "judge's robe" because I am dealing with children who must at times be redirected, re-programmed and re-evaluated. Once I have incorporated my values into the assessment component, some students begin to look at the assessment for what it is worth- a test of their knowledge. My students are then able to look at each situation individually opposed to a blanketed one. So the long and the short of it is.....I BELIEVE MY PERSONAL VALUES HAVE AN OVERWHELMING AFFECT ON THE EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS USED AND FOR THIS I AM GRATEFUL AND PROUD ALL AT THE SAME TIME. After all, a great part of who I am is in part due to the teachings I received in pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school, college, graduate school, and other professional affiliates.

Evaluations and personal values

When it comes to making my evaluations, I so badly want for every student to be successful. There is no better feeling in the world than to see a child who considers himself "dumb" succeed in an evaluation. I have so many different learning styles and learning levels in my class that I have a tendency to create evaluations that may not challenge all of my students. I have to wonder if I am creating a bit of laziness in my more capable students. That is not what I want to do, however, I don't want to create an evaluation that makes my less capable students feel like a failure. I know that with more experience I will learn to balance this better. Sometimes I feel that the mother in me has a huge impact on my teaching and evaluating style. Sometimes we want to do so much for our children (our own and our students) that if we are not careful we could easily cripple them and create children who are unable to think for themselves. I aim to work harder to create the most reliable and valid evaluation process that I can.

Professional Evaluation and Personal Views

Overview of Evaluation

When I use evaluation I am keenly aware that evaluation has many aspects to it. There are many ways to describe the process of evaluation. The student achievement testing that we do so often is only one aspect of a much larger pie. Any form of gathering information, analyzing that information and arriving at a conclusion based on that information is called evaluation. One can think of formal and informal evaluation. When you look out the window to see what kind of weather the day may become, and when you use that information to choose the kind of clothes to wear on that day, then you are conducting an evaluation. If there are snow flurries outside, then you will choose clothing that can handle colder weather to keep you from freezing. You are using the information to determine what the weather might turn out to be like, and therefore what type of clothing to wear under those harsh conditions. The same is true on a bright clear day in the summer. This is informal evaluation and almost everyone performs some kind of informal evaluation at some point in their lives.

Another large category of evaluation is formal evaluation. This is characterized by formal enquiries mostly written down on paper or coming over the internet or the telephone. A major distinguishing characteristic here is that information is written down, presented in written format. Information appraisals, analyses and results are similarly written down, communicated in written messages. Formal evaluation has many aspects to it as well.

One attempt at a definition is to look at formal evaluation as the systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance of something or someone using criteria against a set of previously set standards. On many occasions evaluation is used to characterize and appraise subjects of interest in a wide range of human enterprises, such as criminal justice, the arts, profit and non-profit organizations, government agencies and programs, and other human activities. Evaluation is also used in industry to appraise, maintain quality and produce goods that meet certain standards. There is no one definition of evaluation that is acceptable to all practitioners.

There are many types of evaluation. Some of these are as follows:

· Formative evaluation is a type of evaluation whose purpose is to improve a program or a project while it is being implemented.

· Summative evaluation is that type of evaluation that that is typically performed at the end of a program or project or cycle.

· Course evaluation is that type of evaluation that is used to appraise instruction of a given course.

· Educational evaluation is evaluation conducted specifically in educational settings.

· Program evaluation is used to determine the worth, merit or significance of a program. Programs are usually of long-term duration, such as K-12, elementary to middle school programs, etc.

· Project evaluation is used to determine the usefulness, worth or merit of a project, usually of shorter duration, such as a few weeks or months.

So, basically, when one gathers and analyzes information for the purpose of making a decision, then one is conducting an evaluation.

Evaluators use many different ways to compile or collect information for later analysis. Some of the ways in which evaluators collect and assess information include the following:

Action Research, Benchmarking, Clinical Trial, Cost-benefit Analysis, Electronic Portfolio, Field Experiment, Grading, Marketing Research, Multivariate Analysis, Participant Observation, Policy Analysis, Quality Audit, Questionnaire Construction, Rubrics, Structured Interview, and Student Testing.

As an educator, it is usually instructive to be aware of what type of evaluation activity we are engaged in when we test students. In class we went into detail about what we can do to improve the evaluative effort. We should be aware of what limitations we will encounter as a result of the type of evaluation we are conducting.

Professional Evaluation

There is an international organization for professional evaluators. It is the American Evaluation Association (, one of the foremost organizations in the profession. Its mission is to “improve evaluation practices and methods, increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession, and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.” Its vision is “to foster an inclusive, diverse, and international community of practice positioned as a respected source of information for and about the field of evaluation.” Its values include “excellence in evaluation practice, utilization of evaluation findings, and inclusion and diversity in the evaluation community.”

Evaluation is a thriving profession in the US and elsewhere. A brief look at the companies whose members are affiliated with the American Evaluation Association (AEA) is shown at the following website: There is an informal microblog (, which shares resources and updates regarding evaluators, evaluation, and the AEA community at large. Professional evaluators are involved in a wide range of activities on many facets of our social life. The AEA is in touch with a number of social media such as Evaluation Talk, Facebook, AEA365Blog, RSS, Twitter, Linkedin. may become “fan” on any of these media. This may be seen as an attempt on the part of AEA to reach out to the community. (You may be taken to the websites if you click on these apparently empty squares.)

Evaluation and Personal Views

When I use evaluation to provide estimates of how much students have learned, I am all too aware of the limitations of obtaining information about a person when so many variables may alter the observed information. Just like we discussed in class, the observed score is an estimate of the true score. It is only when one removes all error scores from the observed score will one obtain a true score. That seldom happens, if ever. The more accurate the instrument is, the better prepared the student, and the more accurate the estimate will be. In general, therefore, it is always prudent to treat the scores as approximations of a person’s academic or cognitive or affective or psychomotor behavior.

With reference to Career and Technical Education, I would say that perhaps evaluation should be used more to document evaluation information and to present findings. When we talk of shrinking budgets at Congress, it may be useful for career and Technical Education practitioners to hire one or more of the professional evaluation firms to conduct formative or summative evaluations and to present such information to Congress. Congress may take a good second look at the proposals to increase funding when objective evaluative data is presented to them. Such evaluations are termed external evaluations because they are conducted by a consortium which has absolutely no ties with the parties requesting the evaluation.

Another way to tackle the problem of presenting credible information to Congress is to train and hire our own evaluators who can work with the CTE establishment. It is usually less expensive to train and hire your own people who can use the same techniques used by external evaluators. These would be called “in-house” evaluators because they are hired by the same parties that request the evaluation. I think we have a better chance of convincing Congress about the need to increase funding for CTE projects when we regularly present performance data to them. There seems to be a good case for the CTE establishment to seriously consider the role of professional evaluators in the future administration of the profession. The needs of the hour call for a different approach to be employed. This may be a profession worth embracing if the future of Carl D. Perkins funding is to be assured.


1. Formative evaluation

2. Definition of evaluation

3. Evaluation methods and techniques

4. American Evaluation Association (AEA)

5. AEA Web – Evaluation Esoterica

"Personal Values"

Well for instance your first priority should be your students it is very easy to loose sight when so many other priorities on a day to day, moment by moment basics. I would love to have more time with my students. Just not enough time to learn so much. I want every student to have a fair chance at getting their education and you want to just do the right thing for each student to be able to achieve their goals in life and you do what every it takes to make sure they are getting what you are teaching. Personal values are just being fair and upright.

Core Values

Evaluations we use with our students reflect common underlying values as discussed in this blog, however, a clear distinction must be made between values and opinions.’s definition of the term values is “estimated or assigned worth”. Opinion is defined as “a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof”. Evaluations, after all, are estimations of assigned worth. A well defined, objective driven learning environment provides necessary structure and continuity for students as well as teachers. Requiring teachers to create a standards based classroom has merit. When standards were developed, educators started by asking themselves what students needed to know. Educators, much like architects, have to start with an idea of an end product, then analyze steps necessary for completion of the project. The blueprint for student achievement begins and ends with reliable and valid assessment of teacher performance and student performance. As teachers, we all value and respect individuality among our students. We value the concept of providing alternative and varied methods of assessment based on learning styles. The majority of teachers also value the concept of keeping an open mind when assessing our own fallibility when creating evaluation methods. Keeping an open, yet analytical, mind when considering student commentary on evaluation methods, may require putting aside preconceived ideas of the teacher always being right. Evaluations we use with our students should reflect core values of creating fair, accurate, and varied assessment of individual students.

My Values

I find that my evaluations usually conflict with my personal values. When I decided to become a teacher and bring with me the knowledge of subject matter, I thought that was all that it would require. Teach what you know right? That's how I learned. I find myself fighting the never ending battle of standards based learning. Standards, standards, standards...essential question! I find that when I am covering the standards I focus so much on the standard itself to "cover my butt" when I truly feel that the standard shouldn't be the goal. So my evaluations sometimes become skewed, usually from frustration of trying to achieve "this" standard. Don't get me wrong, I believe we should have guidelines, but in Career Tech it should be all about the individual teaching their content. I dream of a classroom that will take the leash of me and let me teach Broadcast the way it was meant to be taught.