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?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I know I'm as guilty as anyone here. We all like to think we are completely unbiased, but seriously, we are only human. I had one student, who early on, really pushed my buttons. I thought to myself that "it's no big deal, I dealt with several kids like this last year." I new that he was just there to try and give me trouble all year. After our first edit session, I was blown away with how well he took to editing. I took him aside and had a real conversation with him about what he would like to achieve in class. I told him that I would show him everything I could this year. He has become a group leader and one of my most trusted students...and most talented. We never really discussed why we butted heads early on, but I'm certain he was just bored. That experience really opened my eyes to the possibility that I might have others like him, and it has really made me a more self aware teacher.


I believe everyone has made assumptions of someones expectations and abilities especially regarding assessments. I try not to do it, but I have found myself doing it as a coach and a teacher in the past. As a coach I did it in 2004 when we were killing the clock in an important district football game. We had the lead and I put in a young back to give him reps, yet with the hopes that he can get us a first down to keep the clock ticking away. We called a simple inside trap play (run up the middle) and he busted it like an escapee from prison and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. So much for low expectations or abilities. This young man was named to the All-Star game in 2005. I just did the same thing in the classroom, when I assigned one of my 24/7/365 type of student an important role in the mock trial we just completed. I told him he better come prepared or his grade would reflect it. I was not saying it as encouragement unfortunately, it was more like a threat. Well this young man not only nailed his role like an academy award winner, but walked around like he was Valedictorian. Both opportunities gave both young men the boost they needed to kick start them athletically and academically respectfully. So from now on (it only took me 6 years to understand it) I will not assume or pre-assess ones ability until they have demonstrated that ability to me first hand.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Who are we????

Some would argue that schools cannot be all things to all people, and that schools are changing too much in order to meet such challenges. How do you feel? What do you think the role of the school should be?

I do feel like schools are changing too much to try to accommodate all people. I know at our school we have so many different types of diplomas that you can get, which seems to be more confusing rather than helpful. Students try to decide if they should be IB, CP, AP, or Tech prep and then they try to figure out what that means. I feel like the school (especially high school) should be a place where students learn characteristics of what a good student looks like. I look back and realize that I made great grades but do not remember much from my high school days. What I did learn was how to get my work done on time, time management, and organization. These skills helped me when I went off to culinary school and faced information that had never been taught to me before.

At the beginning of this class, we had to find out what our mission for the CTAE program was and I was surprised to read ours just because I do not feel like we follow it often. Our #1 goal in our school seems to be placed on academics but many of our students need to be focusing on career traits rather than college. I wish everyone could go to college but it is not in the cards for everyone and so I feel that we need to divide and conquer rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

can we be everything ?

I think that the role of the school should be to educate, motivate, and empower. I don't necessarily believe that this should be through books only. I think that the school should focus on training teachers how to embrace the differences in students so that there are not so many children left on the side of the road. I see so many children that are super smart but cannot pass to the next level. I have noticed that education really seems to be a numbers game sometimes, meaning we may be so worried about impressing the state with our numbers we forget that these are people. We may laugh with them, and teach them a few life lessons, but are we truly trying to educate, motivate, and empower. I say no because the numbers would be better and so many would not be lost upon entering the workforce. Someone told me a long time ago to focus on the people and everything else will fall into place. No we can't save the world but we can start by having a little more compassion.

Today's Schools vs. the Schools of Yester-years

I agree that schools cannnot be all things to all people. I also agree that the shcools are changing too much in order to meet the many challenges that we face with our students and education. Our yester-years were so much simpler and there were few external distractions as there are today. Education was the priority then. Today, education is not the priority. The students today care less about getting to class on time and they care less about completing assignments on time. They lack the foresight about graduating from high-school on time and about their lives after graduation. The expectations fo the students has been lowered. Rather thatn the bar being raised, it is being lowered. The lack of parental involvement in the homes as well as in the schools is a major part of the problem. It is impossible for the schools to take on the great burden of raising todays kids. There is only so much that we as educators can do. We have our own lives and families to maintain. My goal as an educator is to prepare my students academically so that they can be successful in this competitive society. I am doing my best and I will trust the Lord wth the outcomes.

Changing Schools

All of you know that I was diagnosed with a learning disability in middle school. Without the extra help that I received, I am not sure that I would have ever graded from high school. With that being said, I think the government needs to be careful that our schools remain a place for general education and not a glorified come one come all service. I am going to try to be careful as I say this because in no means do I want to offend anyone. I believe special education has its place and think there should be schools set aside for severely profound students. I am sure there is plenty of research to say that I am wrong and these students should be in the general populace of the students at our schools. From my limited interactions, the teachers in our special education department work very hard, but their classes are mixed with different special needs. How are they to help all of the students that they have when they cannot specialize to help their specific needs? Last year, I had an autistic student. I loved him to death, but there is not one thing that my class did for him in an education setting. His paraprofessional pretty much took the tests for him. He was never able to edit a piece of video or to run a video camera. I believe if we are not careful, the general ed. students begin to suffer due to the modifications I had to make for him. It slowed the class down so much that we didn't get as much done in that class. I will finish it with a thought I had from last night. I had to chaperone prom. Early on before most of the students arrived, a severely profound student was dropped off by her parents. My first thoughts were, "How sweet!". She looked beautiful. She had a nice dress on and I thought "She must be having the time of her life." As the next hour and a half to two hours went by, I kept noticing the special ed. teacher pacing her back and forth through the main hall. She screamed at times and the teacher kept saying, "They know she can't stand loud noises and music." I don't know what this little girl was thinking in her head, but do we truly believe she was having a good time? On one of the videos we were watching at NTI this summer, one of the most profound statements I had ever heard that probably changed my life not only as a teacher, but also as a parent, he said, "Fair is not getting everything equal. Fair is getting what YOU need." I am not sure as a school system we were fair to that little girl. I still don't believe she got what she needed.

A school for everyone...I think...

In Columbus, the high schools operate on a "magnet system". Meaning that all of the high schools offer some magnet program the others do not. This allows the students of the county to "choose" where they go by applying to different magnet programs. My understanding is that all of this was put into place after Columbus High School wanted to become a "liberal arts magnet academy". In order to make it okay for Columbus High to basically operate a private school in a public system the school district made it mandatory for all of the other schools to create magnet programs (or so the legend goes). I cannot complain too much as I have the magnet system to thank for my own job. On the surface this system seems to work, giving students different options to suit their different needs. But, by making all of the schools open to all of the students of the area many other problems are created. One problem I find especially troublesome is the lack of the schools as a community institution. Students can leave the school they are attending to attend their "home school" (the school to which they are assigned geographically) from year to year. This makes school spirit and parent involvement hard to come by. Students are often attending school at the opposite side of town from where they live, making it difficult for parents to attend functions, or, for the students to arrange transportation to any after school function requiring outside transportation. Schools should serve as a place for communities to come together, decide what is important for their children to learn and have those values taught to the students effectively. While all schools in Columbus work hard to meet state standards and exceed in achievement levels, the community atmosphere is missing in many of the schools (the magnet system also extends to several middle and elementary schools). The school should be a place where learning is not the only thing of value that is taking place. Being an integral part of the community makes the students/faculty/staff experience at a particular school more enjoyable for all involved.

School Role

The role of the school should do just what it's design to do and more. School is designed to educate,counsel,guide,expose and discipline. As a Teacher there are more responsibilities that come along with it that we don't expect. As my colleague stated in her post education starts at home and school highlight the subject matter. As we know some students don't have the exposure to education at home. Naturally, the school are held accountable to close the gap. In most cases Students are expected to have a health/balance home life. Unfortunately, more and more students are considered at risk. In turn the school has to counsel student to assist with self-esteem and other situation. The school also have to help the student to caught up with their academic due to the fact they don't receive reinforcement at home and they have negative/complex circumstances at home. This cycle repeats itself over and over again. The school role continues to change and no one can really stick to one thing which define the school role. Since there are so many things schools are having to do along with education, students and teachers are not able to focus on the main goal education.


All or Nothing

This question presents an opportunity to think about the role of schools in today's society, specifically in Georgia. Each student has a different need that presents in a different way daily. As educators, we have an expectation that we are ALL knowing, All seeing and have answers to ALL questions. I have found as a parent and educator that those terms are ALL wrong. When faced with such drastic economic short falls as we are currently experiencing, it becomes increasingly hard to recognize the shortfalls of individual students while keeping up with the rigor of the everyday grind. Knowing that we will receive larger student class sizes and smaller paychecks simply adds to the stress of our daily tasks. With those factors in mind I would have to say no schools can't be all things to all people.

Then there is the question of what schools can be. The role of the school should be that of a mediator between the parent and the child. The school should be responsible for providing the infrastructure required to educate a child. Some students will take the material given and build the building to educational specifications. Some will build a structure that is not sound but with assistance from the mediator (school) will restructure the foundations required to complete the assignment. Then there are those that will be left with a pile of ruble that may not be formed into any effective structure. With the school as the mediator it is vitally important that parents identify the resources required to complement instructional mediation. As a parent, I feel that it is my civil duty to recognize characteristics in my children that may not be recognized in a classroom of 30 + children. As we all know, all parents don't have that commitment and sometimes the access to the resources required to support the student.
That leaves us with the question of, what happens when a parent can't provide the support required to complete educational structure? No Child Left Behind? Instructional differentiation? Career Technical Education? House Bill 1232 mandating parent-teacher conferences for failing students? These are the hypothesis that we find on the table each and every day we report to the classroom. We know that smaller class sizes work. We can't afford smaller class sizes, so what next? That's the million dollar question with more answers than the opposition to healthcare reform. In the mean time, I will keep working 1 class at a time to do my best to impact the needs of the future through the needs of each student I teach!

Role Reversal

I believe the roles of the school have changed tremendously. There has been a lot of blaming in the last few years in regards to the role of the school and the role of the family/home/parent. My theory is, If parents were more accountable or at least mandated by law to be more accountable, the role of the school could be better defined. With all of the cultural, economic and educational disparities, learning and the idea of school mean different things to different people. As a minority woman from a single parent home, education meant the world to me. It was the difference between leaving my poverty stricken neighborhood for a better life overflowing with opportunities or becoming another statistic in my neighborhood- an uneducated teen mother. My mother stressed the importance of education, manners, home-training, respect and everything else associated with raising a child during that time. She was one of the biggest supporters of all of my teachers that I ever knew. She never sided with me instead of the teachers. The school knew if we got out of threat of a phone call home would cause my brothers and I to "tighten" up. Why do you ask?? We were afraid of being embarrassed in front of our peers. We were also afraid of our mother coming to the "school-house" and tanning our hide, going home and getting another "licking" and then going to grandma's and getting an even harsher scolding. It was clear to us that the school was a place to excel in learning and also a place to make our family proud of us (and not in sports but academics). We were taught that you didn't go to school to play. You went to school to learn. You get your socialization at recess and not in the classroom. Today, many students come to school to socialize. If they learn something oh well...if they don't so what. There's no one in the home that bothers to ask "how was school today?" or "what did you learn today?"
As for my answer for the purpose of the school all honesty....I have no idea. I've seen the penduluum swing in both directions with the students being caught in the backswing. Some are able to catch on and hang on for dear live while others are pushed to the side and pushed thru the system. With all of the "new program" ideas that come at a high price, the value of education has been sacrificed. I think some school systems have wasted funding on nonsense ideas of the powers that be that were short lived, costly and worthless to the masses.

At the end of this semester, my pathway will be phased out. While it is bitter-sweet, I am ready to go back into industry. Being an educator in the public school setting has exposed me to a lot as a parent. Now I am a bit more prepared and ready for the state of my child's education. It has caused me to re-evaluate my purpose as a parent. Learning begins in the home, it is highlighted at school and those highlights are re-enforced again at home and in our community.

What should the schools be to the people?

There was a time when those who could excel had to wait patiently for the rest to catch up so the lessons could advance. There were also those who got left behind because the rest had to keep moving. Those in the middle were the ones for whom the pace was created. Increasingly, there is a more diverse setting wherein superlatives can pull away from the pack. Inversely, there are more opportunities for srtugglers to slow down and refocus. Those in the middle can truck along without being stretched to either end of this spectrum. In other words, the schools are attempting to provide an education suited to each children's need and abilities. Notice I said "attempting". More often than not, the middle must cater to the strugglers because class sizes and budget cuts limit instructional resources for the strugglers. AP students receive dummed down versions of the "gifted" classes because the curriculum simply does not provide challenging environments for those desiring more. It all comes back down to the old way.....shoot down the middle.

What Schools Should Be

I believe schools are a place where learning happens or at least it should happen. Being in school
is not an act of learning just by showing up, like so many of my students believe. I try to let them know this right off the bat. I tell them, I will provide as safe of an environment as possible, but it
is up to them to follow the rules and learn. I am fairly conservative and believe we are not baby sitters. I do not put up with disrespect and believe we lead by example. I stand up every morning during the pledge and ask that each student do the same. I also, believe that being dressed appropriately is part of learning respect. A school is not a playground. I believe if a student shows up just to play and cause problems the three strike rule should apply. I think that
corporal punishment should be re-instituted. It was used on me and made me think twice before I acted up or did something I should not. Without it, we have to fill out to many forms and walk on egg shells for the students. I see kids doing the same things over and over to only have to serve ISS. I believe in a very strict policy and I believe until the schools can regain appropriate punishment we can not be near as affective as we should.


Schools are like churches....the church is not a building, doctrine or even the denomination it is the people. Schools are the same way. It is not the newest building, the high tech equipment, the curriculum being taught or the available pathways. Schools are the students and the teachers. The culture of learning be it prepping for Georgia Tech or Lanier Tech. Being in National Honor Society or the National Technical Honor Society. Some teachers and classes are there as a "drop out prevention role" and some are there for the "Honor Roll". Teaching is communication, motivation and inspiration. No matter what the subject matter is or what the student's capacity is to learn. All students need accountability and responsibility. That leads to discipline to live and learn no matter what is being taught. We need to put down the excuses and raise up our expectations in the educational field. We need to get back to good old teaching fundamentals. We can't forget that the word FUN is in fundamentals. We also can't forget the word MENTAL is in there as well and that means intellect. We all must once again have fun learning and teaching!

School's Today

The School's today have first and obligation to the world, the nation , and the community to resemble a pillar of strength not only to the community but also to today's learners , Yes as educators we are faced with students that endure economic strife and the hardships of gang violence that e currently plaque today's youth . The school offer a pillar of hope to many that find refuge in the four walls . For some students just the ideas of a building that offers love and support from caring individuals ,that consist of everyone that touches a child life daily ,from the bus driver to the lunch lady ,to the office secretary ,lets not forget the school nurse ,the coaches and those teachers like myself that love children and love the institute of teaching . I do realize that the school cannot be all things to all people ,however for those that reach out for a helping hand ,teachers can all things to all people . The teaching industry currently is in a state of turmoil ,however me must press on through ! Prayer changes things.


The Role of Schools

Values are deteriorating at a pandemic rate. We see this at our schools everyday. Teachers should provide academic guidance and reinforce the foundation of positive values established by good parenting. Unfortunately, good parenting is becoming less and less a priority. Children who lack guidance will loose their way. Many of our students are already headed down the wrong path. In middle school, it’s so obvious which students are fortunate to have positive, supportive and involved parents. As I stand in the hallway everyday, I overhear student conversations. I am worried about the future of our society when I hear some of these conversations. With unsupervised use of the internet, television, and cell phones, students are creating a world for themselves which is frightening. The innocence lost between 6th and 8th grade is depressing. Even more depressing, is seeing more and more students experience this lost prior to the 6th grade. Absentee parenting has to stop. Being a part of a child’s life is not enough; equally important is leading by positive, respectful example. The domino effect will corrupt our society if things don’t change. Students who lack guidance will become parents who don’t have the skills to provide guidance. If things don’t change, the corruption of our society is going to be devastating.

Schools cannot be all things to all people, nor should it be. We live in a society with a prevailing sense of false entitlement. Normal stages of child development involve pointing a finger and saying, “She did it!” or “He made me do it!”, or even saying “I am not going to follow your rules and you can’t make me!” This is not normal adult development. Society, as a whole, is taking this to a dangerous level. When parents are doing this, what can you do except shake your head and wonder about our future. No one is entitled to this type of behavior. Parents are not entitled to use schools as their surrogate parenting partner. The role of schools is to provide opportunity for intellectual and personal enrichment. The role of teachers is to facilitate this enrichment and serve as role models of positive behavior. As teachers, we must remember we are in the trenches with those who are fighting the good fight, in our nonviolent, structured, day in and day out battle. The reward is seeing the little warriors who are in the struggle with us and knowing they have loving, supporting parents at home. Perhaps the most amazing, rare and beautiful moments are when we find the little warrior on his or her own, managing to continue the battle and somehow win along the way. That’s when we know there is something out there greater than ourselves.

Super Schools

I have been thinking about the expectations placed on teachers and schools Add Imagefor quite a while now. We have so many demands placed on us from every different direction. Our administrators expect us to perform magic in our classrooms with very little money. Some parents expect us to teach their children the subject matter, discipline, self control, character, manners, etc., etc. Then we have the students. Some of them really want us to teach them and some of them would really rather not learn anything at all. I feel like the school system is constantly changing to try and reach those who are in the latter catagory. I realize that it is important for us to try to reach those who are not interested, however, I sometimes feel that we do that at the expense of the other students. We try so hard in high school to make school enjoyable that we are creating a society of people who don't do anything that they don't "want" to do. These kids expect that college is going to be the same way. WRONG! Not only is college not like that, but the real world is not like that. In the jobs that I've had, no one has ever catered to me so that I would do my job. I hate to say it, but to be successful, sometimes (a lot of times) you have to dig in and do things that you might not enjoy doing.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lots of Changes...

Schools have definitely changed a lot over the past couple of years! I believe the economy is the cause of the majority of these changes. Politics have overwhelmed our school systems. Just this week the county I work in has decided to shut down one of our elementary schools that has been around for over 30 years. How sad is this? Just to save some money. I understand that we are hurting for money and we must do what we need to do to save, but I just think there are other ways of going about this. As a school we are supposed to educate the students. How can we educate them to best of our abilities if we put 32 students in a classroom? We will not be able to give them the support that they need. Not only are the students going to suffer, but this is also going to put over 100 teachers out of a job. It used to be that teaching was the safest profession around, my how times have changed... For many students school is a safe haven for them to come. I just hope we can carry on that name for these students.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Give them the Tools

In the health care field you learn early on that you cannot save everyone. You use the best tools you have available, but sometimes things do not go well. Fortunately, we do not loose students to illness and death in the classroom, but we still try to save them all. We have staff that includes many non teaching positions such as social workers, psychologists, therapists, counselors, grief counselors, graduation coaches and dietitians to name a few. Yet despite all of these helping professionals students still get in trouble, get pregnant, get drunk, use drugs, go to jail, & are disrespectful (not a good day today !) Why is that? Why is it the more support we give to students and the community, the worse things seem to get?
Bottom line is that we are not their parents. We are outsiders trying to do a job. That job is to give students the tools that they need to learn and be successful in the process. All this in the few hours a week that we see them. Yes ,we make an impact on a lot of lives, but I do not believe an impact that supersedes parents. We hope that we are teaching them to be successful adults, but in reality we are only a small part of that process.
In this economic climate some of those helping support services may go by the wayside. I fear that even more will fall in the teacher's laps, or will that force families to retake the responsibility that is theirs anyway?

DON'T GET ME STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was in school it was mandatory for the parents to show up and meet the teachers. I wish that would happen again so you can really see and talk to each parent to make sure they have your back when it comes to teaching their child. We had prayer every morning in school prayer did not hurt anybody. Now when we pledge to the flag of the United States of America the students do not have to stand what type of crap is that my friends and family fought for this country no respect. I am going to stop now on this subject!!!!! The role of the school should be to communicate with the parents and kids and stop changing things so much.

Schools are Schools.

When did reading writing and arithmetic's become an all encompassing responsibility. When I went to school, we didn't have a lot of color or words pasted everywhere. When I went to school we still had corporal punishment. Somehow we managed to learn to read, spell, and have proper grammar. We learned how to compute mathematics. We learned history and some of us even liked it. My best teacher was not a man who had colorful words on his walls. He was a man who treated us fairly, yet firmly maintained his control in his classroom. He was a man who challenged his students to be smarter than they wanted to be. Or, felt they needed to be. When I went to school, parents still trusted and respected a teacher, regardless if the children tried to deny an action, or said the teacher doesn't like me. I think the pressure to be "all things" is too great for any government institution. Parents and students alike are responsible for their own academic careers. As would anyone of us be in our own careers. Furthermore, we have our own family relationships to cultivate. As much as I would like to save every kid from poverty I know I can't. So I use the approach of I can show you what I know, but it's up to the student if he or she wants to learn. I have to say, it's been most effective. Five of my seniors are now taking on small repair and not so small jobs and have spoken with other student's about it. Now the kids are starting to realize money can be made! And then they realize, it's up to the individual and his or her aspirations, not the schools responsibility.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Way

I think school is to teach our students and prepare them for the ever changing world that is awaiting them. Teachers have a great challenge just teaching, therefore you cannot be all things to all people, that's is highly impossible. If teachers tried that the suicide rate would increase astronomically. Just be consistent in your teachings and prepare our students for the challenges they will be facing, and that cannot happen without parent participation and student involvement in the academic arena. What I love about our CTAE teachers because we bring life skills along with academics to the class room for the fast pacing environment.

Good teaching and uniqueness

I would like to answer the second question first, like Tonya did. The reason why each one of us is unique is that each has DNA that is uniquely different from every other human being on the planet Earth. From there, one can see that of those people that have taken the profession of teaching, they will, of necessity, have different approaches, different beliefs, different starting points and different philosophies regarding teaching. Their own different experiences in life and in the field of teaching also contribute to the differentiation. Therefore, we should expect that people will have different ideas about what good teaching is. The word "good" itself may have different meanings according to who the person is.

Just looking at the responses of my colleagues in this class, one can run through all of them and pick up very good points that would improve teaching for each and every one of us. Even then, we would probably differ in where we lay emphasis.

Good teaching, for me, means awakening the potentialities inherent in each and every human being. Everything else comes second to that. I may never know that the potentialities have been awakened. I may recognize years later that a student has been positively affected by my teaching. Merely scoring high is not necessarily a good measure of awakening the potentialities, although it is necessary (for purposes of accountability) that we encourage students to perform. High grades also ensure continued growth in one or more fields that the student may choose to follow. The acquisition of good marks without cheating is one of the major aims of education. And so, I would look at the student's longer lifetime to see whether there has been anything that I did or that I encouraged during class that has rubbed off in the student.

In the final analysis, it is the students' contribution to the well-being of society by which we should measure the value of our contact with them. The details of how to achieve this may, indeed, differ from one teacher to another. But the overall goal never changes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2 questions

I think good teaching is comprised of explanations and applications. I believe that you should explain all content throughly then show the students how to apply it. I think that many people just expect the students to come in the door knowing many thing that I have learned as an educator is that common sense is not all that common. I would rather explain the concepts or activities from front to back instead of leaving out small things for a fear of insulting someone. I have learned as soon as that happens that may be the step that someone may have needed. I think that each of us has a unique idea of what good teaching is based on the way we learn and what techniques have helped us retain the most information.

What Constitutes A Good Teacher

Being a career tech teacher, I think an effective teacher is someone that is strong and knowledgeable in the field they are teaching. They also have a special way of delivering the information or knowledge to the students. I learn best from someone that is entertaining, but that is not always a proper method for teaching. Someone else may learn better from a lecture given by a well spoken instructor. I try to fall more on the lines of a well spoken instructor, but I think most of the time I still end up trying to be entertaining. I believe all of us are still honing in on our teacher skills. I believe we all have unique ideas of what a good teacher is because of the various ways we all tend to learn ourselves. We have all been in a class in college where we have thought the instructor was incredible and the person sitting directly next to us will say it is the worst instructor they have ever had. One of the things our school system is pushing is understanding your WHO. Each class that we teach has a different make-up than any other class. Our WHO differs from period to period. I would love to elaborate more on this, but I guess you could say I am still trying to figure out WHO I am first.

Good Teaching

Wow...teaching is being significant in the lives of our students. That may mean teaching them in our respective disciplines or that may mean keeping them from dropping out, making poor choices and or preparing them for life after high school/middle school. All of us have gifts that we call skills and each person skill set is different from the other. That is why we can all teach with specific approaches that vary from one another. I always refer back to my load capacity theory...we all don't teach dump trucks. Some of us teach s-10 pick ups or dually pick ups, but each student can only take on what he is wired to take on. So we must teach 35 students per class with the same general approach yet be able to discern between the dump truck and the pick up.

Qualities of Good Teaching.....

There are many things that constitutes good teaching. The ability to communicate, organizational skills, and credibility are just a few. To me, the ability to communicate is very important when it comes to teaching. You have to be able to convey the information that you want to share with others. No matter how much knowledge you have, if you are unable to communicate it is not good teaching. Organizational skill are also important when it comes to teaching. When you work in a lab you have to be able to plan multiple activities for many students. Finally, Good teaching comes from someone who is well versed on their content area and is able to convey that knowledge to others. When people know your background and they believe you this makes the teaching experience that much better.


What do you think constitutes good teaching? Just being patient with your students and making sure they have a good understanding of what you are teaching some students are scared to speak up. I go around to every student to make sure they understand what is being taught. (2) Why do you think each of us has unique ideas about what good teaching is? Well for one we are different people we have been brought up and taught different ways in our lives. Some things work and some don't work. That's why school is important to get different ideas about teaching.

Making the connection.

It is my opinion that good teaching is the result of making good connections to the student population. These connections may manifest in the form of communication styles, classroom setting, and teacher availability. These connections contribute to a conducive learning environment. On Monday, good teaching may consist of providing support and structure by assigning work groups. On Tuesday, good teaching may manifest in the form of listening to individual concerns associated with project completion. Good teaching is not one single element but many fused together. Good teaching identifies the need and chooses the tool required to fill the need.

We each possess different ideas about what "good teaching" is because good is a subjective assessment of teaching. "Good" is defined by the individual as what that individual considers to be positive teaching aspects. Good in one person's mind may be 5.1 on a scale of 10. Good in another person's mind may be in the range of 7-8 on a scale of 10. This subjectivity can lead to unintended pressure on an individual that has a lower expectation for their good teaching strategy if paired with someone with a higher expectation for good teaching. At the end of the day, good teaching is measurable. Good teaching produces a product. If the product does not meet the criteria as specified, good teaching can identify at what level an error occurred and work to improve the outcome.

Good Teaching and Different Ideas About Teaching

What constitutes good teaching? There are several things that I think constitute good teaching. One of them are organization and prioritization. Theses are 2 important factors. These can help with lesson planning as well as implementation of the lessons. Staying focused and encouraged are important as well. Teaching can be very frustrating and overwhelming. Therefore it is very important that we learn to encourage ourselves even in the midst of our troubles. A final trait that I think that constitutes good teaching is teaching from the heart. We all have unique ideas about teaching. I think that this is true because we are all unique individuals with unique giftings and ideas. We all have different things to offer to our unique body of students. Therefore, we all have unique ideas about what good teaching is.


What constitutes good teaching? Good communication. Communication is key in every relationship, but, aside from our personal relationships, nothing tests your communicative skills like teaching. Want to create a behavior problem? Start the class with some ambiguous directions. Communicating with the students as individuals and as a class helps alleviate problems in behavior and aids in the design of effective curriculum.

As individual teachers we all place higher importance on one or two aspects of "good teaching". I would assume that the vast majority of teachers would agree on a collaborative list of 50 or more "good teaching" practices. It's the two or three items we, as individuals, place at the top of our list that makes our ideas of good teaching different. Not to mention that our differing program areas demand the mastery of very different skills. While creativity may be very important in my area, someone teaching Accounting III may not identify creativity as their number one priority. It's not to say this teacher doesn't value creativity, but, that they may not find the skill as absolutely necessary to teaching the art of accounting.

Amazing Communicators

Good teachers must be amazingly talented communicators. Knowledge of a subject is crucial, but without the ability to convey and explain concepts, knowledge meets a dead end. Successful transfer of knowledge requires creativity and enthusiasm from the teacher’s perspective as well as from the student’s perspective. A good teacher teaches students problem solving methods which will help them question and apply more than just knowledge to everyday experiences. Students want to learn when a teacher makes each lesson interesting and relevant to their everyday life. Showing respect for each student is part of a good teacher’s daily routine. Students feel respected when they are encouraged to learn, are given opportunities to be successful, productive team members and are rewarded for their efforts. Good teachers are those who communicate well, make acquisition of knowledge interesting and important, and impart a sense of dignity and pride within students.

I think opinions about good teacher qualities vary between individuals due to personal experiences as a student. Each of us remember a teacher who had a positive influence on our lives. This experience made us feel valued as a person and as a learner. We tend to base our opinion of good teacher qualities on what made us feel successful in the classroom. Recalling these personal experiences and providing these opportunities for our students makes us better teachers.

What Constitutes Good Teaching?

Wow! What a question. I think this question could be answered a number of different ways. Obviously we all want to be good teachers. I thought I was a pretty good teacher before I came to NTI. I have seen and learned so much since I started it made me rethink whether I was a good teacher or not. Teaching with what you have at the point you teach is the best you can do at that point. So, never stop learning different ways and different methods would make me a good teacher. Never stop careing about the student and never think you have learned it all. I think in
order to be a good teacher in all the different trades that we teach, we must be able to relate to the students in a way they can learn. It is not just how much we have in our head or how well we did in our industry, but how we can relate all of that to the student and make them want more. I think back to all of the classes I have been in and the teacher was not relating to me and the other students. Hopefully we are all life long learners and our students will think we are all great teachers.(One day!)

What constitutes good teaching and why do we all have different ideas about what good teaching is?

To put it simply, good teaching is any technique that gets the job done. More precisely, to get the job done one must employ an array of techniques to keep students engaged, active, and aware at all times. This can be difficult to discern from an administrators perspective. A principal may pop in for a few brief visits throughout the year which only provides a glimpse into the teacher's technique and not a full grasp of it. Every classroom is unique. I think of music as an example. There are so many different types of music and yet every type reaches and touches someone. Every teacher makes his own educational "music". If we were all identical, much would be lost in the delivery. Students would drift from one class to another, not connecting with any of the material. I have my own set of experiences, skills, and talents. This drives some of my opinions as to what qualifies as effective teaching.

What is Good Teaching ?

What is good teaching? Good teaching is a array of many elements , such as a good listeners, organization , a good intuition to pay attention to detail , and most of all understanding the teaching requirement from the needs of the industry and the needs of the classroom .And mostly I feel good teaching constitutes a good classroom management plan . Many teachers have very unique ideas on teaching especially if they are from industry such as CTAE teachers . We have the ability to transfer our industry training into a classroom setting with pizazz and experience ,this experience of hands on entices our student you want more, More of what CTAE teachers have to offer. However a good teaching with also embrace the learning instilled into us from NTI and run with it .


My Teaching

I think good teaching is being different from other teachers. Our students see 8 different teachers in the course of 2 days, and boredom is sometimes the result. I take it as a personal challenge to set my self apart from other teachers using as much creativity as I can to keep my students focused. I have seen a difference from last year to this year, where as last year I just tried to survive and this year I'm focusing on the mission at hand. I really feel all of us in Career Tech will have interesting philosophies on teaching considering our past work experiences. My field was extremely creative and allowed for so much artistic opportunity. That is why I try to bring my creative personality into the class. If I'm not being me in the classroom, then how can I expect the same from my students if I want them to reach our goals?

Good teaching

Wow, what questions this week! I was contemplating the answer to the first question when I realized my answer for the second question so I will start there. I believe that the reason we all have different opinions about what constitutes good teaching is because we have all had different experiences in our lives with our own teachers. When I think back on the teachers that I had growing up, there are a few very special ones that immediately come to mind. I asked myself why these teachers were so special to me and it wasn't because of the vast amount of knowledge that I gained from them. Quite honestly, I know that I did learn some of the subject matter from them, but what I really remember is the way that they made us feel as students. These particular teachers always had a way of helping us learn when we didn't even know that we were learning. There was such an easy spiritedness to the way that they taught. They made each one of us feel smart and capable. They made me want to learn more!

So, this brings me back to the first question, what do I think constituted good teaching? I believe that we have to try to teach in a way that every child can understand the material, however, part of the battle is getting every child to want to understand the material. I believe that this comes from the relationships that we build with our students. We have to break through that "us against them" mentality that so many students come to us with. I believe that part of that comes from us respecting our students and only accepting respectable behavior from them. Sometimes,this is all so much easier said than done! I have a long way to go, but, I believe that I am headed in the right direction.

And the award for best teacher goes to.........

I remember that you asked this question during NTI and we wrote on the board different characteristics of a good teacher. There were so many different characteristics from easy going to tough love. When we were asked to think of a good teacher, I thought of Mrs. McNeeley. She was my Junior and Senior English teacher in high school and she was the first teacher that encouraged me to enjoy literature, writing, and the "hated" grammar. The reason I thought she was such a great teacher is because she had such interesting ways of teaching the lesson that seemed to rarely involve books. She also was very strict in her grading but fair. You knew what grade you were going to get before she gave it to you because you knew if you had put effort into your work or not. She also seemed very calm even when students could be unruly (a characteristic I need to work on desperately). She was a teacher that we all respected because of the way she carried herself. I don't know that she would have ever done anything to punish us but we never took the chance to find out.

I guess with that long story, good teaching involves varied methods of teaching the same subject, tough love so that students learn principles, fairness so that students always know what they are going to get (they love consistency), and respect both from the teacher to the students and vise versa.

The reason I think they are so varied is because we all have different ideas about what good teaching is just like our students do. Some students will never leave my side because my teaching style is conducive to their learning while others may choose to try out another field. As much as I love Mrs. McNeeley and think that her teaching could not be beat, I am sure there are others that did not like her style as much as I did. Different strokes for different folks and we as teachers try to cover teaching styles for as many different folks as possible.

One side note, I have spoken with Mrs. McNeeley since and she no longer teaches the way she did before because she said that she is forced to teach to the test so that she has a high passing rate. I hope Obama gets this fixed because CTAE will have EOCT's soon and we will no longer be teaching so the kids can learn and explore but just reading text to make sure they get it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's Good??

Good teaching is as much what you do as it is what you say. I think good teaching is the act of a person that has the skill, ability and flexibility to capitalize on “teachable moments” Good Teaching requires flexibility. Teaching is dynamic and requires the ability to make changes in mid stream. If you have it on the plan and another door opens, take it if it applies to your class.

The reason for the differences in what good teaching is, we are all different and what is good varies from person to person.

Good Teaching

When I first started teaching many of my colleagues advise me on how to teach well. There were a few ideas I like and some I dislike. For a year I think I tried them all to find out what works. The ideas and styles range from classroom management,discipline and learning strategies. There was no one right way of teaching. After teaching a year I realize I had to find my own way of understanding and connecting to the students. I also realize experience is the best teacher. After you have used effective strategies and observe veteran teachers you will began to become a good teacher over time. All teachers come from different backgrounds and bring something special to the classroom which makes a difference.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Teaching

I think "keeping it real" constitutes good teaching. In CTE, we are expected to teach industry standards, protocol and procedures along with real life experiences. Our students appreciate it when we factor in life skills and true life experiences into our lessons and this is what make what we teach and how we teach it so unique. No matter how many standards I cover and evidence based practices incorporated into each lesson, students still hunger for those "I remember the time" moments. Whenever I recall professional situations in class, the students are captivated and attentive.

"Keeping it real" not only refers to professional experiences but to those times when we as educators offer guidance as it relates to collegiate choices, financial aid preparation, completing an application and even confidential matters. Some of our students value the opinion of good teachers over those of their parents. Just this week-end one of my former students pledged my Sorority because of some of my influences on her while she was a high school student. I was able to write her letter of recommendation and Pin her during the induction ceremony. I felt as if I was welcoming my own child into my Sorority. Had I not been a good teacher, I would not have been able to experience this so soon.

What makes a good teacher

Well I believe building a re pore with the students as you begin the year. But first and foremost I had to established the rules and expectations of each student in each class. Also consistency, that way students know what to expect from you as a teacher and they know what you expect from them as a student. Once expectations are established teaching can begin and we will have a great year. When I attended high school, it was many teachers who had a positive effect on me and I will be remiss to say it was just one, because it takes a village to raise a child. If I was not limited in space I would name each teacher who had a positive impact. But one I can think of is my high school football head coach Herman T. Graves who taught me about responsibility and whom much is given much is required.

What makes a good teacher.

Well let me first say when I began teaching high school students I was a bit confused. I believed that being a good disciplinarian was being a good teacher. I have since learned that having a good connection with your students far exceeds the need for stern discipline. I think that students, when they can feel your interest in a subject and them learning it, will behave more according to the rules set forth upon the onset of the class. When students admire and respect you for your efforts, I have noticed that their behavior far exceeds in my class vs my coworkers whom may not try to "reach through" to the students. I believe that the connection is most important. Why do teachers have such various thoughts on this subject? I think it's because we have all had such different experiences. I believe, usually an individual will refer to the teacher whom most "reached" them. That person would be Mr Ippolitto for me. Now he was a great teacher. I hope to aspire to his greatness, in my mind, some day in my students thoughts.

What makes a good teacher

I believe a good teacher consists of patience and understanding, not to be confused with a push over! We all know we are not just educators. We are mentors and parents and much more. Everyday when we walk thru our classroom doors we don't know what the day holds. What situation we will have to overcome that day. We must be ready for anything. We are not to let our emotions show because someone is ALWAYS watching us.

I also believe diversity in teaching methods create a great teacher. Every student learns differently and we must be prepared for this. What works for one student may not for the rest of the class. We must use several different teaching methods in order to give every student the ability to learn the curriculum at hand. Teaching is not an easy profession but it is very rewarding. Not everyone is cut out for it, but those of us who are must do our best to give every student what they need!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good Teaching

Leave them wanting more. I believe that good teaching makes students want to learn more. Whether it is on their own or through another venue, they are excited enough to want more. With technology at our fingertips and information just a click away, this may be getting harder to do. Then again it may open up more doors. The biggest challenge I see is that some students want to know the advanced knowledge without learning the "boring basics". Here is where the teaching challenge arises.
We are influenced in our beliefs about what good teaching is by the way we feel comfortable learning. If you are visual, then I think you tend to go visual with your style. Our personality definitely shows in the ways we teach our students.I saw that even in NTI group sessions this summer. I think that the different styles are good for students. If we were all the same & taught in the same style- how boring the day would be !

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I wish I knew....

I think the most important thing that I have learned at NTI has been the ability to plan effective lessons. In looking back at my first year's lesson plans, I can see a major change in the way I handled lesson plans. I would lecture and give a worksheet. NOT EFFECTIVE!!! With all the different learning styles that I have in my classroom, it is amazing the difference I see this year in the students I had my first year. To be able to cater more effectively to what they need has made a huge difference.

The one other thing I wish I had more knowledge of prior to NTI was management of student behavior and how routines/procedures help with that. My first year was a mess. My students were all good students for the most part, but my classes were small thankfully. I was able to handle everything without problems. This year, I have full classes and thanks to NTI, I have handled everything they have thrown at me with ease. It has been a great year!

Great Year!!

I can say this has been a great long but rewarding year! I have learned so much and look forward to my next steps in the teaching field. Looking forward to April 24 seeing everyone again.

Breathe and Release !!!

Its great to have a break !!! All teachers need and deserve a break from all forms of school .
Just breathe and release , Try a long ride on a nice spring day . I'm glad for this short break to relax relate and release .... Yes it feels very good to get my working day for some type of normality . Soon here is Augusta Georgia we will break again April 5- 10 plus that is the week of the Famous "Masters " Golf Game ... Well anyway my quest to further my educational endeavors is fast approaching as I set the tone towards my degree . That NTI for the chance to breathe.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Technological discoveries

For me the use of Elluminate enabled participation in an online community in ways that were completely new to me. Breaking up the class in to smaller units was another new thing to me. It brought home the idea of active online collaboration with peers. Ideas for using these technologies to provide much-needed information to professionals currently employed seems to be a distinct and immediate possibility.

The other huge element that was new was the fact that class activities are recorded and made available to every student. This allows post facto participation in cases where the class member was absent during the active session. So, these two "discoveries" were an big eye-opener for me. Imagine if the audios of every class (in a traditional classroom) were made available to every student to access in their own time! Wow!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"My, what I wish I had known"

Prior to NTI, I wish I had known a couple of things. One thing I wish I had known was how to make lesson plans. I struggled so much with making lesson plans. I had no one to sit down with me to show me how to make lesson plans. I had to just wing it. It was hard and I feel as though my children lacked some things as a result. I also wish that I had of had good classroom management skills. I was too hard on the students at times. And then there were times when I allowed them to get away with some things and disrespect me. Thanks to NTI, I have learned alot in the above listed areas as well as other areas. I look forward to having the opportunity to comb through my NTI notebook so that I can implement the many other things that I have learned.

HUMMM...the career changer's view of before and after.

As a new teacher, without experience to draw from to develop the answer to this question, I must reflect on MY experiences. One of my assistant principles made the remark that I functioned like a teacher that had been around for a while. I considered that a compliment but the truth is I owe the success of my first year to the organization that was instilled during NTI. Don't get me wrong, I am still terribly challenged with a number of items but establishing authority in my classroom has diffused what could have been a very chaotic environment. I respect my students and they respect me. I experienced my very first HOSA competition this past week and it was a huge success. The students gained respect for what we as instructors are exposing them to in the classroom. I gained respect for their drive and renewed energy to become the best students not only in the school but in the state! The competition even yielded a 3rd place winner to compete at the national level! With that said, I don't have a reflection on the before but the after is breath taking. I love teaching, I love the students, and I love NTI for giving me the tools to survive. Thanks!

Thing I Wish I Would Have Known

I am not sure I have enough time to list all of the things that I wish I would have known. So, I am glad you are only asking for 1 or 2. The first thing I wish I had known is having a detailed syllabus makes a difference. My first day of school was so much smoother walking the students through the syllabus I created in NTI. I had a syllabus my first year, but it was vague and I just used what the teacher before me had. The second thing has been daily grades. My first year I worked primarily off of group projects and tests. I had each group member evaluate themselves and the other members in their group. But, it was frustrating. I knew kids were skating by and were getting grades that they did not deserve. Going to a daily grade has changed the behavior in my class and the level of effort given by the students.

What I wish I Knew....

I wish I had known about lab management plans. During my first year teaching, I spent countless hours cleaning up after my students. I was under the impression that the students would appreciate the opportunity that they had been given and would take care of the classroom....NOT THE CAES.....Since implementing the lab management plan the students take pride in keeping the classroom clean and it teaches them responsibility. Thanks NTI

What I know Now.

Hands down....for me it was time management. Before NTI I felt like I was always running out of time. I did not know really how to structure the class where the students could get the most out of the class period. This discovery emerged for me when Dr. M came to see me the first time. There are some structures set in place at my school that were kinda taking away from instruction and he taught me how to move on from those things. Basically bellringers should be finished when the bell rings :) I felt like maybe someone would come in after the bellringer and question whether or not I was doing them. Rookie mistake and now that is no longer a problem and I can truly say the NTI structure from beginning to end helps me stay focused, and In particular I enjoy the closing questions, because the kids always have them.


Rubric Rubric, Rubric, that’s all I would hear as last year first started. What’s a Rubric? Is the person having trouble speaking? Rubric this and Rubric that. I never saw one just heard about them. I guess next there will have one on how to use the restroom. NTI has taught me the value of the RUBRIC. I still don’t like the name but I do like what it does for you. Now we are in that part of the NTI where we are talking about rating scales and score cards I have learned to love the application of the RUBRIC, still don’t like the word! Why can’t we call it something else? The “Dr. J” the “Dr. M” how about the “Ms Chillis” anything but a “RUBRIC”. Please NTI class develop a new word, we can call it the word from NTI Summer 2009. If you can come up with a “Strawberry Hamburger” or whatever it was you can rename the RUBRIC. Regardless what you call them, they do work .

Thanks NTI!

NTI has given me so many useful tools that it is hard to choose just one! If I have to choose what has helped me that most I would have to say that it was learning to do lesson plans. I'm not really sure what I was expecting when I first began teaching, but I was expecting more than just being given a text book and a list of standards. Had I not had NTI I would have been totally lost. NTI gave me the the map to get to where I needed to go when it came to planning my lessons. I remember being so shocked that there were actually steps to delivering a lesson!! Planning my lessons using the format that I learned through NTI helps me stay organized in my delivery and helps me to make sure that I include all of the information that needs to be taught. Thank you so much to all of my wonderful instructors at NTI!!

I Only Wish

I have learned some many wonderful techniques and procedures while working in the public school system of Georgia, However this is open Mic ... Right ? I only wish that my admin would have given me more insight regarding the process and procedure of NTI ,from the admission process to Financial Aid . The financial aid process was very unexpected , for the simple reason I was already enrolled with another 4 year college . I was unaware of the cost of NTI , which then cause me to withdrawal from the college I was attending . This course however has been very enlightening ,after teaching Cosmetology in private sector for over 14 years . I currently have a more profound understanding what teaching is all about . Well currently I'm preparing two new Cosmetology Teachers in my School district for NTI . I'm giving them constant updates and advice to be successful in the program . And as far as the district goes, the administration from various districts should spend at least a week in NTI so that they can better informed their teachers of the procedures and expectations. During my quest to teach in the public school system .I'm required to as many of you know ,take the GACE exam ,obtain an Associate Degree, take the Exceptional Child class , and complete NTI .... Wow that's a plate full..... Well I'm working on these things step by step ... Well I'm here now... in the words of the world famous P.Diddy " Can't Stop Won't Stop "


Before NTI and Now

I taught for two plus years before even thinking of NTI. I tried to clean up the mess left behind
from the previous teacher I replaced, but the kids were already used to doing whatever they
wanted and it was very hard. I had to do all of the dirty work in order to get a lab assignment
going. I worried about the program in general. I had a lot of lip service and very little real support. I tried to follow the state DOE curriculum, but always seemed to run out of time. I had
never seen students with behavior problems like the ones I encountered. I wondered often was
it worth going back and trying. Having said all of this is not to say that every day was terrible. It was just not structured in the correct way. I was not organized enough and my lesson plans were after thoughts. I had my doubts about NTI, as well. How could any class help with all of this?
NTI has taught me to be more organized and has given me insight on both classroom and shop
management. I have learned to write a lesson plan that can be followed and makes sense. I have learned that there is no magic wand or silver bullet, but basic steps that you build upon in order
to become better. I am very thankful for NTI and the course it has set me on.

Before NTI

I find student assessment to be the most difficult aspect of teaching. Having taught in the technical and community college setting, my previous assessments focused on multiple choice tests and skill performance. State board licensure exams focus specifically on matching tests, therefore, the academic portion of technical training traditionally adopts this assessment format. I can imagine that future board exams will involve much more interactive simulation skill assessment, if this is not already the current trend. As we all know, standardized testing is the topic of heated discussion these days. Adjusting to the middle school curriculum has been a tremendous transition for me. Thanks to NTI I am learning multiple ways to assess students. Multiple teaching strategies and multiple assessment strategies makes complete sense. Well organized lesson plans, classroom management techniques, multiple teaching strategies and a variety of assessment methods is possible. Thanks to NTI, we have been given a map and a compass for the classroom. Without this guidance, I would have been wandering around in circles.

Get Organized

The most important things I've taken away from NTI all center around the importance of organization. Before NTI, I was much more unorganized than I am today. Even lesson plans were often hand scrawled outlines of broad topics that were thrown together at the last minute. I spent most of my first year trying to help my program recover from the confusion that the teacher I replaced left it in. That left little time for planning, and because I have always been good at doing things on the fly, I did just that. I would never go back to that, simply because it is too stressful to spend an entire year waking up each morning and try to invent new lesson plans. Now that I have my year planned out, I can work on other projects without worrying that I'm dropping the ball on something. The other organizational tools that have changed my world are all simple things that I never thought of until someone in NTI told me about them. I have someone take my roll each day, and then I double check it (thank you Penelope). My student groups consist of an appropriate number of students (thank you BVP folks). I don't get angry with students and try my best to put effective communication first (thank you Mr. Lavoie). My classroom management plan is in effect, and the day to day operations of my class are much smoother (thanks be to Burns, Montrois, Chillis). My final evaluation was on Friday and when Ms. Greene left I had a moment to think about how far I've come since first finding out about NTI this time last year. The fact that I was excited to see Ms. Greene and not nervous about my evaluation let me know that NTI has worked and the knowledge I've gained has helped me tremendously.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Working too hard

Thank God for the class visits, because if it was not for Dr. M, I probably still would be working too hard in the classroom. After school each day I would be so drain, but could not understand why, until Dr. M. brought it to my attention. He said I was doing the students work and not facilitating the responsibilities to the students. Once I made that adjustment it became easier for me to teach the class and freed up more time to do other things to make the learning environment better.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I wish I knew before NTI

I wish I knew how to develop lesson plans and classroom management. My life would have been so much better if I knew how to develop a lesson plan before I began teaching. Since NTI I have learned how to develop a lesson plan and understand it. The lesson plan promotes structure and clarity. The daily lesson creates a smooth transition. Most of all the lesson plan gives me more confidence as a teacher. I didn't know my students would be so diverse with academic challenges and so many behavior issues abroad. I wasn't prepared to manage such a class with any guidance or help. It would have helped if I knew more before NTI or before I began teaching. Hey, Thank God for NTI!Dr.Burns,Dr. Montrois and Ms.Chillis Thanks!!!!

Thank You

During the first several weeks of my teaching days I asked several people "how do you write a lesson plan?". I got many different answers, none of which really fit our curriculum. So, thank you NTI for giving me a simple, usable format that works for me.
The other really important thing that I have learned is classroom management techniques. I was under the misconception that every student who walked into my room would be hanging on my every word, waiting for the next amazing bit of knowledge they would encounter- WRONG- You have given me a great variety of management and behavior techniques to choose from so that most scenarios are covered. I do have the great fortune to work with a few people who have finished NTI,and show me on a daily basis that your techniques work .

Thursday, March 4, 2010


NtI has taught me so much over the past year. There were times when my inner self fought with what I was learning and expected to do by in the end I have learned so much. I think the single most important thing I learned or wish I knew prior to NTI was the Objective Statement.. OMG! no matter how many agendas or briefing I put up, students still asked...What are we doing today (W.A.W.D.T.)? Hunh? Mrs. Jackson What are we doing today???? This irked me so esp. since I took the time to put it on the board...I couldn't believe for the life of me why they were asking this...Now with the objective statement- they know. It takes them some reading it and give me a slight chuckle..because it they read it they almost always respond with..Oh!...Do they really know? I don't know...but its funny as heck and the next student does not ask me the W.A.W.D.T. question.

Thanks NTI!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I wish...

I wish I would have had my lab management plan in place. Having these teenagers help run my lab has made it like a well oiled machine. They hold each other accountable for equipment usage and it's really great to see them take ownership of the program. This really frees me up to monitor the class as a whole. Last year I did everything myself, and it was beyond a stress factory in my lab. Now in my labs I see my students going to the managers for equipment, or questions. It really is amazing when at 15 minutes until the bell, I hear my time keeper yell out "5 more minutes, save your projects." I never thought that something as simple as class/lab managers would be such an affective tool.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If I only knew!

The biggest thing I have to say that I wish I knew would be the assigning of positions. I heard of it before NTI but, didn't fully comprehend the importance. Creating job descriptions was probably the most important exercise that I did during the NTI. Being a supervisor in Broward schools before I came to Georgia, job descriptions were an everyday tool. However, assigning them to the students! I would have never thought of it! I felt it was to great a responsibilty to bear for a teenager. Boy, was I wrong. The impact is incredible. Thank you NTI!

Things I wish I knew before NTI.

I wish I knew about lesson plans and about time management because those two important plans can really make or break a classroom. You may have to find your own ways to discipline your students because the staff may not always be there to help or the parents. NTI what a great program!!!!!

Oh, I wish I had known....

The biggest thing that I wish I had known prior to my NTI training was how the high school education system would differ almost entirely with what NTI has taught me. If I had known this I would have been able to save myself a great deal of embarrassment in the face of administrators, Instructional Lead Teachers, and Board officials. I would have kept my mouth shut about what I have learned, not because I agree or disagree with any of it but because I have had to listen to them scoff at me about it repeatedly. Next, I wish I had realized that one should never tell colleagues "just wait, because such&such is coming". I have found that the county will tell us that one technique in the new thing, the University system will tell us another thing is the next big idea, and the state Board has yet a third opinion as to what should be next. It is just like the old southern adage, "If you don't like the weather in Georgia....wait five minutes for it to change." I believe this is why so many teachers strive to do just enough to get by. They know that if they commit effort toward the new best practice it will be a waste of that effort. I know what actually works in my room and I will use everything I have learned, and everything I continue to learn to meld a technique that gets the job dome better every year.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Staying out of the classroom

I laughed when I first read this because I think the biggest thing I learned was that you should only lecture for 15 - 20 minutes max. I was given the job, a few power points and told good luck. With this, I would talk to the students for hours about cooking terminology and techniques but only in theory. It took us several days (1 1/2 hour classes) to get through sanitation and now looking back, I have no idea how my kids survived or why they came back for a second year. The reason that I did so much lecturing brings me to the second thing I learned, delegation.

I would dread doing practical hands on work because I would always end up doing all the dirty work. I had developed a very basic lab management plan (didn't even know that was what it was called) but it was so vague that the students could not follow it and I could not keep track of who was in charge of different tasks. I would be at work as late as 11 pm doing clean up. Now, after NTI I have a GREAT lab management plan that works overall for everyone but definitely works for me. We now cook every other day and spend very little time in the classroom. I am happy, the students are happy; it is a win, win situation.

Thanks NTI!!!

Im Finally Back!

Hello Everyone! Wow it has been quite a while since I have written on here. Due to some se rious health issues I have been out for a while. I am on the mend right now though, thank goodness! I had surgery 2 weeks ago and things seem to be getting better. I still have good and bad days, but much better than before. Now I am just stressed about trying to get caught up on everything! So everyone please say a prayer for me!

Last week was my first week back to Elluminate live, and I must say I still love it! Probably more so now than ever! I love the fact that the sessions can me recorded and and sent out. This has helped me so much during my illness. I was able to go back and listen to the sessions and somewhat keep up with what you guys were learning. Technology has came a long way and I am very thankful for that! I enjoy being able to be in class with everyone and hearing your responses but not having to drive an hour out of the way. Its great!

The only negative thing about elluminate live is when we have computer issues and it doesn't want to pull up. This has happened to me several times, but I have learned to be patient and it normally works out just fine! This is a small price to pay for such a great thing!