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Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
HAVE YOU EVER MADE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ONE OF YOUR STUDENTS OR SOMEONE ELSE'S ABILITY TO LEAN LATER WAS INNACURATE?
It is very important fro me not to prejudge my students because this will put them an an unfair advantage. However,I can be very rigid sometimes and I am working on dealing with my students in a not so rigid manner. As we learned in NTI I have to remember that the student mind i not yet developed and they may not be responsible for some of the decisions they make, so I cut them some slack but still hold them accountable for any unprofessional behavior/attitudes.
In the past if I feel that someone has made an inaccurate judgment about me I go to them and bring up the subject and discuss same if the other person is receptive to the discussion. This has worked for me sometimes, maybe you can try it sometime.
Not all students learn on the same level so instruction should be prepared using different delivery tools such as power point presentations, visual like video, lecture/verbal presentation, hands on presentations like my culinary labs (where students can actually do a task and you can judge if they got the concept).
When preparation is done you as a teacher are also preparing yourself for the task at hand. When you plan and present a lesson you see where you fell short and can adjust the lesson, especially when the kids do not get it - you adjust instruction and maybe reteach if needed or change the mode of presentation.
I have learned so much by planning my instruction even if I felt I was very organized it allows me to grow as a teacher.
Monday, October 25, 2010
First and foremost, in almost everything you do you should have some objective in mind. Rather it's to be debt free in five years or to leave the students with a better understanding of the material you just covered.
As it relates to learning at various levels, I believe in each level the material should compliment the previous level, and the objectives should become more rigorous. In my intro classes, I give the foundations, in my second and third year classes, I build on top of the foundation. I want my students to complete the pathway with a clear understanding of the criminal justice process.
Picture, a student with sagging pants and his eyebrow's cut up. Then imagine him sitting in you class and giving you one of those "looks"..you know the kind of look as if he was sizing you up.
"Great!" I said to myself.
Well he has turned out to be one of my brightness students. He join my Skills USA Criminal Justice Club, and told me that we were going to nationals. He always have a positive attitude, and when I learned that his sister was raising him because his mother passed away some years ago then I knew he was truly a "diamond in the rough."
What I enjoy most about life, is that I'm still learning. I pray that never stops.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Now the same student is in my class this year. She still professes that her goal is to become doctor. The assumption that I made is that she really wants to become a doctor. When asked, she has all the right answers. But she only does what is minimally required. She does not listen in class because she believes she already knows the answers. Her actions do not line up with the desired goals. In fact from listening to her mother, I understand that to become a doctor is really her mother's goal.
This young lady has family support, good grades and very active in school but she does not have passion for the profession. I assumed that when you have the resources that a student will succeed or wants to succeed. What I see is that no matter if the student is surrounded by resources, if they do not have the passion or dedication than you cannot make them into something they are not. I had the connection all wrong. It is not the resouces that ultimately will lead to a student's success, but the student has to to have a desire to meet their own goals. No matter what I see in a student, I cannot do it for them. Like this young lady, her mom is doing all the work; she on the other hand, watches the work being done.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I went to school under the assumption that my students would know nothing about this powerful drug, and that we would have a discussion about drugs specifically pills and why they should be careful when they are out not to be influenced by peer pressure to take pills. Well to my surprise, they knew plenty about this pill and others as well. I just asked a question. "How many of you know something about pills?" They named pills and their doses and what makes them work and what they sell for on the street. I was told that the pill I was given sells for $25 a pill. I assumed they would know the basics about drugs but I was really blown away to find out the knowledge they had about pills.
I know these young people are knowledgeable about most things, but the discussion about the possibilities of not returning to your right mind after taking certain meds is possible. I asked another Question. "How many of you know someone that's not in their right mind after taking drugs?" and plenty of them raised their hands. Please help me to make student aware of the dangers of taking perscription drugs. Please respond.
My assumption was that this student would not make a good employee and would only last a short time on the job. Was I ever wrong.
The student stopped by my room last week. He had been on the job for 6 months and had even been promoted. He was confident and collected. When I asked him how he did it he said he remembered how we worked in the classroom to learn a task in small pieces at a time learning to master one step before the other. He applied this to each task he was given at the job and it worked for him.
My overall lesson learned is that sometimes when you think a student is not always listening he very well might be.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The class went on and over the course of several weeks, I noticed a change in his participation and this year even though he is not in my class, he makes it a point to come and speak to me and calls me his other mom. He becomes agitated and raises his voice when he tries to explain things, especially when he feels he's right. We worked on that trait during the past year. I had an opportunity to assist him with another teacher this year, helped him clear up the altercation, had him lower his voice and apologize. He said "but that was what I was trying to do!!!
We discussed using a lower voice, so he can be heard and it worked. He is a better student, actively participates and my greatest joy was watching him help a fellow student calm down...what a change! Did he have a chip on his shoulder because he was adopted, I honestly do not know...but I'm forever grateful to the person who shared with me the idea that adopted children have the honor of being selected as part of a family. It sure helped and he ended 2009 - 2010 school year with a high B in my class.
My perspective changed because I realized my students have many issues underneath the surface that may overflow in the classroom and that in spite of what I may feel most of the time it has nothing to do with me.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
With the realization that everyone works at their own pace (seen in the students); I stopped comparing myself to other teachers. It will take some time to find that groove. So, while I have much to learn; instead of running backwards, I think I will walk forward.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Every year in my first level courses about 40%-60% of my students are failing during the first progress report. And every year it puts me in a funky mood. I spend as much time teaching about character and integrity as I do my subject and its frustrating to see such a high failure rate. Although I try to focus on the long term effects I have on my students, its still frustrating. With my class averages in my two first level classes at 43% and 51%, it simply a stark reminder of how far behind these students are academically and socially.
But I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, because my 2nd year classes are averaging in the high 70's and my advance students are in the low 80's. And by the end of the year about 80% of my first level students will eventually see the light and will pass and move on to my 2nd level classes. But it's still frustrating to have to teach so much about life before you can begin teaching your subject.
Well, I have always known that I posses an ability to build rapport with people, especially students. This week, I had a situation where I had to split my 6Th period class between two teachers. It was the last minute and I was not happy. ( I made prior arrangements but department head informed Friday after school on the way home, he could not do it)
Well, when I returned to school the next day, Tuesday, Some of the students decided they did not want to stay in one of the teachers classroom. They left the class and did not return. I was livid. So, when 6Th period arrived I had a heart to heart with the students. I was honest and the students where quiet. I did not yell or scream, I spoke to them from my heart. At the end of it one of the students came and told me he was sorry. At that moment, I made my decision. I am still not sure how I feel about teaching; however at that brief moment,one of the five that did not return also understood the importance of doing what I ask of them.
So Monday we had a talk as a class with the activity "Chalk Talk". I ask them how do they feel as a class things that we can do to take care of the problems that we are having. I was amazed at some of the things that the students were coming up with. They even had some things that made me look at myself. Things that I had to admit to, like maybe showing favortism of certain students. Once it was all over, we played "random acts of kindness", and the class was very productive. I lefted the words on the board so that they could reflect on them, and kept them on the board the next day as well. Our lab experience really was better the next day. Everybody was on board and I believe they appreciated being in the lab more, and put forth more of an effect to have and peaceful experience.
It sounds kind of strange, but I think that my proudest moment was a comment that came from another teacher. She has been going through a tough time because her father is terminally ill so I check on her every day to see how she's doing and if there is anything I can do to help her. While chatting with her she was telling me that the senior superlatives were being voted on. During this voting time, teachers are voted for different categories. This teacher told me that most of her students had voted for me for the category "Being the teacher most like a mother". At first I was a little dumbfounded wandering why they would say that, but then I realized this was a compliment. I took it to mean that the students know that I really care about them and their future. Teaching is not only about the academic knowledge that is passed on to our students, I believe it's also about the knowledge that they are important to someone and that they have value.
I am having significant discipline issues with one of my students. This student is failing every class including mine and I am the RTI caseholder. One of the other teachers for this student also having similar issues stepped up, filled out all the required paperwork, called the parents, organized a meeting, and firmly held the line on the school's position. Other teachers in the meeting including myself each participated and contributed our own perspective based on our experience with this student. The outcome was an established game plan to help this student be successful at Cherokee HS.
It was really great to have the assistance of the one teacher to help me facilitate the process and gave me a real boost given the paper work and time requirement.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The power point was geared to go, the class is coming in and I felt pretty good about my preparation. As I begin talking about various insurance plans, there is a blank look in one of the student's eyes. With my NTI observation skills I noted this student mumbling to another student," do you have any idea what she is talking about?'. The other student comment was,"no". At that moment I am proud to say, I laughed at myself first and apologized to the class. The next couple of minutes was recovery and understanding that most adults do not understand insurance. In preparing I forgot my audience but from lessons learned this summer, the insurance class was saved. Also, the two students honesty help me to see my audience and not just my lesson plans.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The kids were split into their assigned groups and had to use the hard copy of the hand tools list and locate as many tools as they could find in the storage area of the lab. They had 15 minutes to locate as many tools as they could.
This activity allowed them to have fun while learning where the tools were kept. All the storage areas were numbered and they had to put the number of each area on the relevant tool. On the day this assignment was completed we had a quiz first then ended the day with the Scavenger hunt. I saved the most exciting activity for last as we learned in NTI. This was a lesson I taught went well.
This observation period is was a learning experienced for me - I saw that some students did not get it so I was able to adjust my method of teaching or reteach certain things so that the students were better able to understand the material fully. I all goes back to the various/different methods of receiving information. Some students do better by watching and doing while some may get it from the lecture method. This summer in NTI opened my eyes to the various methods of teaching so that the kids benefit from learning and most important we as teachers need to make learning fun and make it as interactive as possible. I have been using a variety of methods to ensure they are not bored. We all know that they are not all angels - I still get lots of complaints but I do see some progress. Keep up the hard work guys and enjoy your proudest moments!!!
Monday, October 4, 2010
The proud moment is the proudest any teacher can have..when they literally see a light bulb go off around their head.
this small group is what I really enjoy most. It has given me the inspiration to take each student as a person rather than focusing in on the ENTIRE class....sometimes I think the students like that one on one time...just wish i could do that every day!!!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I am proud of accomplishing the task of creating lesson plans. Making interesting lesson plans is one of the hardest parts of teaching for me. I attempt to keep the lessons attention grabbing, so the students will stay on task. In my class sessions I try to utilize as much time as possible. It’s my job to ensure that the students are equipped with the right learning materials to help promote their success in the classroom and the future workplace. Completing proficient lesson plans that will engage the students make me feel more prepared for my upcoming classes. Producing lessons that are practical, creative, and efficient in a classroom/lab setting is very time consuming, but well worth the effort. It is very obvious to students when a teacher puts forth the extra energy.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I had to cover the section for my intro classes and instead of me teaching, I had two of the seniors come into the freshman class and conduct the lesson from the safety issues all the way to making the weld.
It was a great way to get the students engaged. I set up the initial lesson and then let them run.
My thoughts before and after the lesson were that the students were very engaged.
My plan is to do more of this as the year progresses
One student just could not run even the easiest of the rods. He just kept trying but could not get it. I had two seniors work with him on and off for a week and still no luck.
I finally had a chance to work with him and we spent about 20 minutes trying. It was clear to me this student had some sort of a mental block with this particular type of stick welding.
I switched gears and told the student that I would give him a good grade for his outstanding effort and that I was more concerned about the ability to try than a good weld.
The student stayed with it and 2 days later asked me to watch while he ran a very decent weld.
Turns out he was also practicing after school at a friends house who had a welder.
Nothing like commitment in a student to make you feel proud.
This idea was given to me by another Health Science teacher; it is an opportunity to say thank you to someone who has helped or inspired you at school, as well as to learn how to write a thank you note. The students were allowed to pick the stationary to write their notes on, which I envisioned was going to be special. Well, once I give them the instructions, many were excited but some said that they had no one to thank at the school. In fact, one young lady was so upset that for a few seconds she explained that no one had helped her in life and she had absolutely no one to thank for anything.
I am thinking, this did not go as planned. The students gave me their letters to distribute to administrators and teachers. Within the letters there was one addressed to Heaven. OK, so were do I send this one. As I read the letter, the young man went on to express his sincere thanks for life and all that God had allowed his mother to do for him. The lesson taught to me is that I must listen to the students. Many have wombs that are deep but If you keep going they will try. It does not always go the way we want but in the end they learned how to write a thank you note.