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?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


As I have said many times before I am new to teaching, in October I completed 2 years teaching in the Georgia school system. Now I realize why people say teachers deserve better salaries and more commendations. We are overworked, underpaid and swamped with paper work; often left wondering what administration is doing. Why we as teachers spend so much time on administration instead of spending more time giving quality instruction to our students.

As a result of the pressurs of time teachers are forced to do what is comfortable or less time consuming, this can lead to us falling into the "rut trap". Another reason is fear - we are often afraid to try something new when opportunity presents itself. Fear steps in and we become scared to implement new methods/ideas.

Teachers should grab the bull by the horn - the bull being fear - and try new teaching methods. I have been using so many new tools I aquired from NTI such as cross word puzzles, ask 3 then me, flip chart, role play, graphic organizers, student led lectures/presentations, and most important the I stick to 10 minute lecture periods so students are not bored.

So teachers please do not fall in to the compost pile and become "rut"...... > : > ()

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Open Mic 1

I have done a lot of thinking about teaching during the break (but not working!). I keep thinking about my students and how they are great young individuals that need much more than students had decades ago. It seems that students at my school rely on objects (ipods, money, food, brands...) to feel good about themselves and identify them amongst others. I'm only 30, but in HS, there was one student with a pager that I knew of. Maybe I'm just frustrated that students would rather listen to songs they've heard a million times than learn something new. I think these students need to have involvement in organizations so that they could have more identity away from what they wear in the halls. I see that parent involvement is diminishing due to time of parents working, but schools should encourage or even demand that students participate in clubs. I think this will create school unity and pride that my school needs. I coach, and see athletes giving up way too easily when times get tough. When some students have no encouragement from home, I think schools should require students to participate in at least 1 extracurricular activity to teach the youth to stay involved.

Staying out of the RUT!

I hate to admit it, but I have been in several "ruts" in my first semester. The first rut seemed to be that I couldn't keep up with my emails that I had no idea would be so numerous. I had no sit down time during class and still find it hard to do things while the students are at work. I then learned how important the warmup is at the beginning of class and I use the board to post the daily assignment so the students can start on their own while I mainly handle tardies and emails and attendance. Another rut I get into is not planning ahead, and things pile up leaving me to make decisions on the fly. The variety of actions I've used to help me so far have been to realize that the first year offers no or little free-time and just suck it up. Also, I've learned that my lessons don't last as long as I planned, so I now think of multiple lessons for students who complete their work early, like bonus points. Even when I plan ahead, things don't go as planned due to materials, student behavior, time to get materials. I just keep finding ways to keep students busy and keep my job. I know there will be more ruts in the future, but the ones I've gotten into, I've somehow managed to get out...

Open Mic

I teach in a small rural town and resources are not very plentiful for my students. Before I became the Health Care Science Instructor, my students were not exposed to a lot of different health care settings or opportunities in health care. There is one nursing home located in the area and because the school has not had a strong presence there, the acceptance of students has not gone over very well. I have worked hard this semester to change this perception but there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome. I understand that it will take some time to establish my program and get the community support we need for the students to be successful. I am hopeful that this year will set the tone for years to come, but if anyone has any suggestions or past successes I would love to draw from your experiences.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Open Mic - Thankful

Since we are celebrating Thanksgiving, I want to thank you all for being supportive and our instructors for direction. It is easy to focus on the negative, but in the end I find myself drained if that is all I see. Tracy said earlier this year, that he decided to focus on the positive. He made a conscious decision to stay constructive. His words have been motivating to me. I have tried, instead of complaining, as much, to focus is on the positive. There are still some days when one person can do or say something and my cup, that is already full, will completely run over. But, by deciding even before walking into the classroom that this is a great day no matter what, has been refreshing.

So, I am thankful for this opportunity to teach about health care, which I love. The students have pushed me completely out of my comfort zone, causing me to really think about how I approach the material to deliver it to them. Finally, to do this job you must have support. It can be very overwhelming at times,that's why this program has been a key to me staying in the classroom. Again, thanks to everyone.

Open Mic

Well I would like to talk about expectations. As a teacher there are so many expectations. I f someone can give me pointers on staying grounded and not becoming overwhelmed I welcome it. It is getting down to the last three-four weeks of school and I am finding myself getting behind with checking papers, calling parents and other assignments I need to complete. I have gone through this for two years and do I know I will get through it. Also, what keeps me hopeful is the students. I really believe I am getting through to some of the students. When they stream into my room daily to just get a hug or tell me what happened to them the night before, I know I am making some difference. As for being overwhelmed I know I will get "through it" as I have done over the past two years.

Open mic.... check one, check two, check...check....

Hey guys, I do not know about you but I am ready for Thanksgiving!! This week my topic needed to be discussed is: I find it hard to get the needed supplies for my class!! With budget cuts and everything under lock and key, you have to ration out supplies. Not having construction paper, glue, poster board or butcher paper is REALLY bad when doing hands on activities!! I am already out of everything and I still have another semester to go!!! I usually only let my students use a couple of sheets of construction paper and if they mess up then oh well, BUT it is hard when they want to print and I'm out of ink. They have to go to the media center and pay to print OR print at home (ink is expensive). I try to give them more points for hand drawings and writing on the projects but does anyone have any other ideas!! THANKS ;)

Don't let the rut become a ditch!!

I am in my third year of teaching and I am here to tell you that it is VERY easy to do the same thing day in and day out. It is easier for me to take items out of my folder that I have already done or to work out of the workbooks than to try and find something "new" for the students to complete. It is especially hard for those of us without a lab!! I have had to try and be creative or work around other's schedules to do something more hands on. I also have had a hard time finding something new for the students to do that are third level and need to be challenged more or need a new worksheet that they haven't seen before. So far, this is what has worked for me: GOOGLE!!! You can google anything, and if you have time, look through pages of ideas and activities. We have heard Dr. B say it before: "Why recreate the wheel!!" Borrow, change, and make it your own. So far, this has worked for me. I have several activities now in my "folders" to choose from. It depends on your class.... some classes learn better with hands on materials and some may do just fine with the 'book way'. Don't let your wheels turn in the same little rut and make it into a ditch!! ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Open disscussion

We are having special learning days this week 2 to be exact. These 2 days before we leave for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The students are suppose to be with advisory teacher and are to make up any work that may be behind on including retake tests that they may have missed. My deli ma is if the students want even come to school on these days giving them the chance to make up and be back on track. Are we suppose to give them another shot when we come back from the Holiday. I don't think we should considering they had two days before hand to do it and they did not take advantage of the opportunity. We try so hard to help the students succeed but when do they realize they should take the help that we are so desperately to give them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 8 “In a Rut”

I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut with most anything you do. Things usually run pretty smoothly when you become comfortable with a particular procedure and schedule. It easy to use the same old lesson plans instead of venturing out and trying something new. It is very important to use diversified teaching methods. Using different methods will help captivate and keep your students attention. Each student has his or her own individual way of learning. There are many different levels of learning that need to be addressed in the classroom. I differentiate my student’s lesson plans and activities in order to meet their own personalized needs. I show my students interactive video clips that teach them how to perform certain hair techniques. They also get to perform hands-on labs and group activities. Lately, I have been preparing my students for their midterm exam by dividing them into teams and they play an enjoyable game of Jeopardy while learning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Plainly put, I feel overwhelmed and exhausted most days just from trying to get everything "covered" for class and "done" for administration. My brain is "burned out" and my mind laughs at me when I ask it to be creative!
I think being a new teacher is a blessing and a curse both. Most of the time I am not burnt out on teaching my students and wanting them to learn, I am burnt out on all the "other" responsibilities that are required of teachers.
I keep hearing that 3rd year will be so much better. My hopes are that this is true. Maybe I will have a good foundation for each of my classes and the "newness" will be worn off and my sanity hopefully in tact, that I can take some time to be more creative.
My plan for adding variety is to ask the students after each semester to write down something that they think would help them ie) this can be anything that they want. Of course, I probably won't implement each suggestion but maybe by having them honestly give their input (without having to reveal their name) I may find pattern to something that I am missing in my teaching skills. It also lets them know that I value and appreciate their opinions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The same "ole" thing!!

The "rut" is simple and easy. It's hard to explain, teach, re-teach, and explain again. The complaints sometimes become overwhelming. Let's not mention, other school responsibilities, or limited space to create labs. In my case, sometimes falling back is easier and less of a headache than moving forward.

I will try different strategies such as constitutional rap, ABC book of Ga Law, visual vocab word association, etc.

I will try different strategies, but there is nothing wrong with reading out the textbook and having a good "ole" discussion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Teaching Rut"

As a new teacher, It is easy to get comfortable and repeat the same procedures over and over again. Sometimes, it is due to the overwhelming work loads and then other times it is just easier to stick with what you know. For me, I have found myself on both ends of the spectrum. It has been better this year as opposed to my first year because I have learned better ways to present and teach new information to my students. Now I understand why classroom management is such a valuable tool for teachers and how it allows for you to incorporate a variety of new ideas. When I find myself in those "rut" moments, I quickly attempt to change my pattern of teaching because I know that after a while it becomes counterproductive for both me and my students. I try to incorporate as many forms of technology as possible to get the students more engaged and active in the learning process. I have found that great set inductions are key to getting my students quickly engaged and ready for the lesson of the day and summarizing key points help to bring the lesson to a closure to assess student learning. Teaching is a challenge and a very hard job to master, but I feel that if I can continue to learn new ways of doing old things then I will not fall into those "ruts" as much.

In a rut

The first month of school I used various activities. A few of the activities that I used are role playing, research projects, student teaching, technology based games, songs and poetry. All of the students were productive and excited about the majority of the learning activities. Students were also interested in being apart of FCCLA. I was excited to see how well the lessons were being received by my students. By the second week of September I was struggling to find time to prep for the more interesting lessons. Between teaching, committees, FCCLA and all the administrative responsibilities, I was in the weeds. I think every teacher who is in the course would love to teach every lesson the we have learned. Unfortunately, all the other responsibilities tend to trump our lesson plans. Especially since at my school planning is used for subbing for absent teachers, having faculty meetings or PLU related training. I don't believe that the administration truly understands the work that goes into CTAE courses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

As of late I've been giving my students as much lab time as I can as they are always eager for hands on activities. The ones that arent really interested I find that I am able to keep their attention longer and the others who are interested are really focused on what they are doing. Typically, I put them in teams for recipe creation and plate presentations which are critiqued for taste, texture, flavor etc. The real world simulation is good for them and they look for it daily, so with the semester ending in a few weeks I've been trying to give them as much exposure to the labs as I may not have the same student in the spring and I don't want them to be cheated out of what should be a great CTAE experience.

Stuck in a rut

I think that it is easy to get stuck in a rut especially when you feel inundated or their is a lack of creativity. There are a variety of strategies that can be used to keep the lesson interactive and fun for the students and teacher but it certainly takes some effort. Before NTI I didn't understand the signifigance of lesson plans and how essential it is in delivering an orderly lesson and efficient pedagogy. Just like anything else it takes practice and its something that has to be continuosly worked on when its not being done then here comes the rut.

Ruts are easier to follow

I feel it is so easy for teachers to "get in a rut" rather than using variety because creativity can be draining. It's easier to fall back into what you've done before instead of doing something new. Attempting to make a dull lesson like plain old "facts and figures" exciting takes a lot out of me; at least, when I trying to keep my head above water. When I try new things as I learn them and they flop sometimes I'm so tempted to just go back to the assignment sheets I used last year...that rut keeps trying to draw me back in; because, it is easier to do things the same way. You don't have to think about it. NTI has helped me with the concept of having the students engaged in their learning and when I've had those golden moments of success, I feel rewarded so I keep trying.

During the last several weeks,I've incorporated more Internet activities into my class. In addition, I've used student presentations, poster boards as well as PowerPoint. I've also used a few new skills with my active board by allowing the students to complete their math equations on the board directly on the PowerPoint. I've also introduced the dice as a future activity to select groups. My first attempt didn't work as well as I thought it would, so I will re-think the use of the dice. I want to use them because the students thought they were "cool". Finally I changed the direction of the student desks, it may seem strange; but it helps when I need to change the flavor of the class. I use it when I'm changing an activity or introducing something new. The students seem to accept changes better.

The Rut Trap

When you get busy and tired it is easy to find yourself in a rut. You go back to more comfortable and familiar ground. I have noticed that many teachers are not just multi- tasker's, they are multi-multi tasker's. It seem that everything needs to be done now. In the end, students get remnants of the rut. At this point more discipline problems creep in.

Talking to the students and other innovative teachers is a great way to bust a rut. The students have great ideas. This week, instead of the students bringing current events, I brought in the article. After reading an article about the high school drop out rate in Georgia, the students worked in groups to discuss the article. They had three questions to discuss as a group. They wrote their answers on the tables with dry erase markers. They had great ideas and really liked the fact that I listened to what they had to say. Of course, writing on the table was the highlight for them. In the end. many students stated that they believe some students drop out because it is the same thing every day. Even though it seems easier to do things the more comfortable way, in the end trying new ideas not only help teachers out the rut, but the students are more interested and ready to learn.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stuck in a Rut

I agree that it is very easy for teachers to get stuck in a rut. I think it stems from everyone wanting to have a routine. Adults and children alike love and need structure. Students today need differentiation of instruction. Society, school, and life has become non-traditional. We, as teachers, must change with the times to accomodate today's learners.

I have been incorporating more project-based learning into my lesson plans. Students seem to love producing things. Also, I try to shake things up by designing more hands-on activities in the lab. Instead of using a video to demonstrate performing a procedure, I demonstrate it with a student. The students love music and whenever possible, I try to use some familiar songs as set inductions to get their attention.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Using a Variety

I think it is easy for all of use to get use to our old methods of teaching ,because we are comfortable with them we know them backward and forward. When we continue to do this though the students get bored and start to become disinterested. then the behavior problems will usually follow. When we learn to incorporate new teaching skills we can pass this along to our students they become even more interested and sometimes even get more out of it. I know this year I Incorporated using sheets of foam that the students can cut out and create 3-D models for hair and skin structure. The students loved doing this and in doing so I think they retained more information than they would have. While they built their models they all kept saying how much fun they were having and they would like to more activities like this one. I did it on a slim shot that the students would think it was a kindergarten activity but, I did one to show them that it was possible and so they would have an example of what I expected. I will try to my best to use more of these types of activites when teaching stuctures.

Monday, November 8, 2010

differentiated instruction

Differentiated instruction is vitally important to the success of each and every student that we teach. By providing objectives for each learning style we insure that every student is given a fair opportunity to learn. Fortunately, the majority of CTE teachers have both a classroom and a lab space. This is great because the teacher can share information in the classroom setting. Then use the lab to continue the lesson with hands on instruction. The lesson and the assessment can be carried out in various ways. I have several lower level learners who are in special education for the majority of the day. I also have advanced placement students in the same block. I have to provide instruction for each student. I often assign an AP student to work closely with students who may need additional help. This way the AP students feel useful and the lower level learners receive assistance as the lesson is being taught. Once the bulk of the class understands the lesson I can begin to work one on one or in small groups. This allows every one who needs help to get help on there learning level. The thing I love most about providing objectives and instruction at various levels is that the students know what to expect from me. They all know that they're going to learn, understand and retain information everyday in spite of their learning level.


In my first year of being a teacher I made a poor assumption about one student. This young man slept in my class daily. I didn't think very highly of him. I thought he didn't care about his grade or his performance. It wasn't until I pulled him aside and had a talk with him that I realized just how wrong I was. He informed me that he had a job. He also added that his father was an alcoholic. It wasn't the job the made him so tired. His father would drink too much and my student would have to care for his younger siblings and his father. I later found out that he was able to keep up with the class even when he put his head down.
I could ask this young man a question and he would always know the right answer. I learned the every student has a unique set of circumstances. Furthermore, I learned that fair isn't always equal. I was grateful for having learned this lesson early in my career.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I learned about myself as a Teacher

This week, I learned something about myself. I'm always learning, no matter what. As a Teacher, I have to stay open to new things and creative and challenging new ideas. I've learned to be more flexible with my lessons and activities.

I planned a Unit Lesson this past week. Some of the lessons was a success and worked with the students. Atleast 20% of the Unit was more complex for the student. I had to adjust the way I taught the lesson, I had to cut out some of my lecture time and create an activity, such as a drama skit, to make the lesson more relatable to the students. The lecture was not as engaging as I planned.

I learned that flexibility is key to engaging and accomplishing goals as a Teacher. If I stayed with the original plan, my lesson for the week, would not have been a success. Their could have been a possibility of me having to reteach the entire lesson.


I have made assumptions about a few students before, regarding their learning abilities. Their is one student in particular, I remember making this assumption about 2 weeks ago. One of my 2nd level students had to work on a PSA for a class assignment. I have a student, who loves attention and is somewhat of a class clown. He embraced the assignment and took ownership for the activity.

My assumption was wrong, I learned that he is a stronger student when it comes to team work. He likes to work with people and he is more of a leader when he is allowed to lead. His usual behavior was channeled through his creativity. I learned to not assume but challenge each area of learning, before I draw my conclusion.

Preparation of instructional materials for all levels

The preparation of instructional materials for all levels is very important. Each class consists of various levels of students. The more Advanced,Intermediate,Beginner,and students with special IEP's or special needs. If my lessons are only geared for an intermediate level for instance, my students will lack or not be well-suited for what they are supposed to learn.

I've noticed that compensating for students strengths and weaknesses gives students more confidence to learn indepently and with groups. This is why I believe it is important to structure my lesson and activities based off of various levels of students and not one particular group.