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?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The proudest moments

Two months ago, our school was challenged by a rival school to produce a safety video. The project was sponsored by Alpharetta and Milton police, both mayors of each city and some really great parents.

Well, my level one student won the competition! He is a senior who took my class because he'd heard it was fun and creative. He was not sure of what he wanted to do after high school.

This week he was accepted to college to major in communications and video production! I am soooo proud of this moment!

Damn it feels good to be a teacher!


I think most, if not all of us have made assumptions or judgments about students. I had one student who joined my class last year. He came from a really rough side of Jacksonville, Florida. looking at his discipline record, many of us teachers wrote him off as another kid who would spend his days in In School included.

One day he got caught in a huge lie skipping from my was the last straw for this kid and he was going to get kicked out. I sat with him and his mom...she was yelling at him and he just sat there..and there was just something that hit me...he was hurting inside and his mom was the first person who showed any care(he was living with his father for the past few years).

At any rate, I just connected at that moment and gave him a chance...we worked together and suddenly he just "got it!" I was amazed at his grasp of concepts...

And one year later, I truly enjoy having him in my class


Well, I had my second observation from Ms. Chillis this week. I was not expecting her and while I was about 10 minutes into my lesson, she sat down in the back right next to my desk.

Today my students were discussing that day because they could hear my voice go up an octave in pitch! I got really nervous, but then suddenly realized that i needed to concentrate on my students' success, not MY performance.

My lesson "killed" that day (that is an old expression from stand up comedians who achieve success with their audience). We went right into the lab activity smoothly...and then i took a deep breath because it all just seemed to flow together.

After the class was finished, Ms. Chillis looked for my objectives....I raised the pull down screen (I often pull down the screen after I state our course of action and use the lcd with my computer)..and lo and behold, all my objectives were there on the white board.

I did not mention that I had no white board in my class at the start, but found one under one of the sets of steps in our building. I have a small collection of white boards now. I have two affixed to the wall, one huge one that I lean against the wall and one on an aisle.

At any rate, I cannot believe how much I learned at NTI..I mean REALLY learned...and use EVERY day!

The observations are merely a formality to see if we actually learned during class.....and I think i can speak for the entire class...yes, we've learned it!

It's getting easier!

I look back to this time last year....what a huge difference a year makes....last year I made my lesson plans on the way from my car in the parking lot to the school...and this year I have a gameplan...a way to get my classes moving forward.

I think some of the biggest changes in my students from last year to this year is that they SEE a gameplan and they are buying into it. because of the objectives, I have far less discipline issues than I did last year.

The minimization of discipline issues has enabled me to get more done in less students are now VERY engaged...and I am very pleased with the quality of the work my students are producing...

i can only imagine it is going to get even better.

Valuable Objectives

I think it is very valuable. The fact that all students are not on the same level is evident in the classroom today. Preparing instructional objectives in each domain of learning at the various levels lets you know as a teacher that the students are learning and progressing. Preparing objectives is also valuable because the students know exactly what is expected of them from simple recall to breaking down material, even as far as making judgments and decisions. I did not know about writing objective on different levels prior to attending NTI. As I continue to learn I continue to grow and so does my students. The objectives are valuable in our NTI class as well. I look for them in each session so that I know what is expected out of me for the day. If I am a good student, I expect my students to be good students. We must practice what we preach.

Year 2 in Review

Well, I must say this year has gone far better than my first year. The techniques I learned from NTI have been a true blessing.

There have been a lot of changes within my school this year. My school is going in the direction of Smaller Learning Communities, and Law and Justice is one of the communities. I have been requested to do a lot, which isn't a bad thing because I have had some great opportunities to attend some excellent training. My school leaders are very impressed with some of my accomplishments.Now, this is not to say I am an excellent teacher; I have to far to "grow" before I can accept that title, but I am "growing." I am not as lost most days, but I do have my days.

The lesson plans are good when I can figure out a time to sit down and actually create a weeks worth.
The concept of teaching is almost unrealistic to achieve. If I continue to give all that I got then I neglect what is most important to me, my son. I spend countless hours between learning my job and school. It got to a point where I started to resent the whole thing. Thank you Dr. M for steering my focus.
Things have gotten better.I guess the best advise I can give you all is God, Family, You, and then all other things. This is the correct order of things. Happy holidays to you all and wishing you a successful New Year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Open Mic - Truly Feeling Helpless

These past 6 months have truly been an adventure for me.  I feel like I am on one leg and someone is hitting that one repeatedly with a 2 x 4!  Most of you are aware that I lost a student that I was very close to on the Fourth of July due to ignorance.  Fast forward 4 months later and I have now lost 2 close family members and another former student to the same senseless violence.  Along with that, my school has had a very nasty and very public change in leadership, and things couldn't be more out of control or unstable for me right now. 

In October, my 8 year old cousin was hit by an impatient driver as he crossed the street to get on the bus.  Yes, the bus had comploetely stopped and the sign was out to the side, but the driver didnt want to sit behind the bus and ran the sign.  My cousin fought valiantly for his life, but passed four days later.  Then, I had another to cousin to pass of a violent nature as he killed for mistaken identity, he was only 16.  Then finally, a former student of mine was killed after an argument broke out at teen party in which he and his friends walked away confrontation and left.  The guys they were arguing with left and later went to his neighborhood, started a fight, then one walked up to him point-blank and shot him in the head.  He was on 14.

I am reeling from these events and am trying to make it to the break, but that's not the only arena to be concerned about.  Our school had a major removal, where our Principal was removed and sent to the board office not abruptly.  The students and faculty heard about the removal on the morning radio show on the way to school and it has caused quite an uproar.  Even if there was going to be a change, they could have waited until the break, made a clean switch, and not been as dramatic or messy.  The moral of the kids, the focus of the staff, the buzz of the  "street committee" --- it all has been overwhelming!

Now, you have faculty running to the new Principal as if they were clueless to what the former Principal inforced and that they were on their own.  It is so not fair to the KIDS, but no one seems to understand that.
ALUMNI, that do not support the eh kids financially I might add, rule as if they want to stay in the dark ages.  Just Monday, the coaches of the boys basketball team were brought in because the Athletic Director is playing politics with the new Principal.  As an inencitvie for our players, our former Principal had ordered new black uniforms.  The school colors are red and grey, but white and black are legal alternates.  Our head coach decided to go ahead and give the boys the uniforms and they played OUTSTANDING!  The Athletic Director told the new Principal he had NO CLUE the uniforms had been ordered and she asked us "WHO IN THE HELL CHANGED THE COLORS"?  She claimed that she got calls from alumni all weekend and hoped they enjoyed because they will never wear those again!  She doesnt care how good they looked.

Now the kids are just devasted and wish that the Alumni would @ least take their feelings into consideration.  This all has just been one big set of craziness and I am about shut down!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"In a Rut"

I believe the reason it is so easy for teachers to get in a rut is because, initially we try to do everything our self. We are excited about our new found profession, and we're doing lesson plans, teaching, giving assignments, doing projects, and saying yes to things we're not sure we can do, and along with meetings, classes, CTSO'S, trips and programs of work, we have our family life.
I have used some varieties such as group projects,power point presentations. I've used a variety of assessments, like rubrics, chapter test, peer assessments like chalk talk, think-pair-share, group discussions,informal observations,and applications of skills to real life situations.I ask for help where I need it, and it all works for me.

OPEN MIC "Teachers Deserve a Break"

I am in my second year as a teacher and this year I realized how hard teachers work. I'm sure some work harder than others. Before I became a teacher I thought teachers didn't work that hard, "I mean how hard can it be" that they need all of this time off, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, Summer Break, and the various individual holidays given, was what I use to say, and now I find that to be the understatement of the the year and that everyday off is well deserved. As much as I really enjoy all that I do, and I work really hard to keep my students engaged and interested in my program and I love it, I mean everything, I love it, BUT!!!! I really look forward to my breaks and I apologize for all the times I thought negatively about teacher breaks. McDonald's used to have a jingle that said "You Deserve a Break Today" If you can imagine I am singing to each of you right now. Please enjoy your break, because "Teacher's Deserve a Break"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Preparing Instructional Objecitves

I think it is extremely important to prepare instructional objectives in each domain of learning and at various levels.  By preparing objectives, it helps in giving everyone a clear understanding in what is supposed to taken away from a lesson.  And because every classroom will have students that learn in different ways, it is important to be able to relay the in various forms.  By addressing the various levels in different ways, it allows students to learn across the board and provides a smaller degree of distance between your lowest level and and your highest level student.

Avoiding The Rut

Establishing yourself as a new teacher isn't the easiest thing to do.  Making sure that you do the little things to put yourself in a position to be successful is essential.  There's also the gaining of acceptance by both students and colleagues alike.  It's a mellow-drama and soap opera all rolled up into one!  But once an individual gains a certain comfort level, they tend to stick with what they are comfortable doing.   And it is because they tend to stick with those things that are comfortable, people seem to feel they are in a rut.

Being the new kid, at least for me, truly has not been a picnic.  And I have found myself "spinning wheels" at times.  However, I try to use a variety of tactics to break that monotany---- for me, and for them.  First of all, I try make things interesting.  I use current events, games, hypothetical situations and "what concerns do you have"  type days to ignite a change.  I also use groups and role-play to add a spark.  Unfortunately, these days it doesn't matter what you try to do, it seems that you always run into a kid in every class that just DON'T:  don't read, don't speak in front of others, don't act, don't try and most of all don't care!  To me that draws frustration and causes me to want to shut down as well.

Lesson that went well

My DNA lesson went well, because I had a great PowerPoint presentation. I then related DNA results to a crime scene. I then explained that DNA can put the suspect at the crime scene. I then had the students use the computers to research other DNA court cases. The students really enjoyed this lesson, because now they can see how hair, blood and fingerprints can lead the police to the suspect. I picked this lesson, because it is one of my standards.

What do I feel the proudest of about teaching this week?

This week has been great week. The activites this week were very interesting to the students. They took good notes. We used internet activies that made the lesson more informative. The great thing about my school is , I have lots of text books, 14 computers and a courtroom. I believe teaching will get better.

What I learned about myself as a teacher this week.

I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher. The first thing I learned is I have a lot to learn in regards to teaching high school students. I have to learn how to make learning fun. Sometime I believe the students are bored. I believe more group activities will make the lessons more interesting.

Student lack of ability to learn

I assumed that all exceptional students were slow learners. I have learned that most exceptional students have the ablility to learn. They need a teacher who understands their weak and strong points. They also need a teacher who know how to teach different type of learner, i.e audio and visual. It is very important that the teacher believes in the student and expect the student to try his or her best.

Open Mic 12/5

I am so ready for the two week break coming up. I will use some of it to catch up on some paperwork. I will also use the time to re-group for the remainder of the year. This is the first year our school system has went to a seven period day. Which means our classes are year round. The only issue I have is that we only have 55 minutes with our classes. That has been a challenge in many aspects. But, I will enjoy having the students all year round. So, the re-group will benefit us all!

Instructional Objectives

For several months I was not using objectives. I simple taught the standards. I have learned it is best to have objectives. Objectives are like a road map. They help you determine what direction you want the students to go. Objectives also helps the students. If they know the objective they will know what is expected of them. I am going to start using objectives.

A Break

I knew that I needed a break, however I really didn't know how much until Thanksgiving break. I really did enjoy myself. I made up in my mind that Friday before the break that I was going to enjoy myself, and that I wasn't going to let anybody stand in my way. I didn't realize how much of my personal life needed adjustment. It was all about work and school since August, so I also got some things straighten out in my personal life. A break, that's all we need sometimes to get back focus and start fresh again. We have two more weeks, then guess what? A break, again.

A Rut

I can't speak for everyone else, but for myself. I believe that it is so easy to get stuck in a rut, because we are over worked, and under paid. We are expected to do so much, and a lot of the things that we are expected to do, is so unrealistic. However, I know it is what it is. I am expected to be a teacher, an advisor for a after school club and for 28 homeroom students. A counselor, and a social worker, and a mentor. All of these positions come with it's own paperwork for documentation. Some days it becomes so overwhelming. I asked my mentor how can I juggle all these, she told me "I was asking the wrong person, because she don't know how she is going to do it either. With all of these hats that we have wear, I believe that's how it becomes so easy to get in a rut. I believe we are just trying to make it from day to day. The sad thing about it, I don't know when it is going to get better.
Hello everyone, well I had my last visit by Dr. Montrois on Friday. It was great. I have enjoyed having Dr. Montrois visit my class. The students love him and he makes my job seem easy. I have learned so much from this process. I look forward to having seeing him next year.
Why do you think it is so easy for teachers to "get in a rut" rather than use variety? What kinds of variety have you been using?
I think People get into a rut because they get so use to doing things there own way. Teachers like this don't know how to change with time or don't want too. Fashion and hair change everyday and in this field up MUST stay on top of it. So they get stuck in the past trying to catch up to the rest of the world. I stay up to date by attending hair shows and by purchasing the newest hair books and watching the trend setting videos that have all of the latest styles and fashion. I also try to stay trendy myself.

Open Mic

The semester is almost over and I feel that I am getting into the groove of things. This is my second year teaching, but my first at my current school. NTI has greatly helped me to improve my teaching skills. I'm more confident and much better prepared to tackle the day to day instructions. I do try to teach with rigor and relevant, but sometimes it's a struggle to keep students engaged in a subject matter that they are not interested in. Many are placed in my class because they need an elective to graduate or they are failing in another class. There is a situation at my school where a parent of a failing student went to the county office and complained because her child was failing in math and insisted that the student be placed in a business class twelve weeks into the semester because they think it is easier to get a better grade. Also, this moved placed the student in the middle of the pathway which they will not complete because, you guessed it, the student is a senior.

I wish that in some way the community can be educated to the importance of CTE. We have set up display tables during PTA night, but as usual only a few parents attend. However, if there is a school sponsored fashion show there is a large parental support. At my school it is very obvious due to various reasons why many of the students will not be able to attend a post secondary school. but who could benefit from the CTE courses that are offered. I have diligently attempt to stress the importance of all CTE class. I have disguise it with wording like: you can used this certification to get a job that will help you pay for college or work as a nursing assistant until you decide what it is you want to do after high school. Many of the students insist that want to become doctor's and nurses, but they are not willing to do want it takes.


I am most proudest when my Intro class get to do hands on activities for the first time. Their enthusiasm is classic. Each of them wants to be the first to repeat a demonstration. when I'm demonstrating they gather around like baby chicks around the mother hen. As you know Intro to Healthcare is more theory, anatomy & physiology and getting the basic of what to do and how to do it in the nursing pathway. In today's generation the students believe that they know everything and can do anything without proper instructions. So, when the time comes for hands on activities I take pleasure in teaching them because of their eagerness and enthusiasm.


At the beginning of the semester I judged one of my students inaccurately based on her constant use of profanity and her "dumb blond girl" persona although she is black. She would ask questions that verged on stupidity, but she works hard and makes very good grades. She is one of the first to raise her hand to answer questions although the other students may laugh at her answers, she preservers. She will continually ask a question until she can comprehend the answer although my answer is the same I have to deliver it in a different way each time. I was inaccurate because I based my opinion on her abilities to curse (cuss) like a sailor and someone who I thought was dumb. It is true that you cannot judge a book by it's cover. She wants to become a nurse and I think that she will someday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting in a rut

I am in a rut now and trying to work my way out of it.
I developed a habit of skipping lunch or planning time and responding to emails. I was spending so much time on emails that I got nothing done and took no downtime.
What I am finding out and what is now working for me is to take at least a short amount of downtime and answer no emails.
During the day, I now deal with each email almost as soon as it arrives. If it is critical, requires thought, and takes longer than a few seconds to answer, I print it off and handle at the end of the day.
My new method/variety has earned me a reputation as someone who deals with an issue immediately. But the drawback is that I am always in email.

Valuable to prepare

I teach 5 classes. In each class I have every grade and skill levels.
I have a choice to teach up to the younger students who are the least experienced or down to the older students who have the most experience.
Since I want to do neither I prepare a set of lessons in lessons. What I mean by this is that I may teach a section on vertical welding and show all the students. Younger students will take 2-3 days to master even the most simple concepts of this welding while the older students are frustrated at the assignment.
So what I do is teach levels of the same welding. Its all vertical up but the mastery levels are different.
This allows me to keep all the students busy and engaged on the same process but at a different operational levels.

Open Mic 12/1

Well here I am, still at school (two hours afer the last bell), trying to catch up on NTI homework, wrap today's events up, and prepare for tomorrow. I am very thankful to have this opportunity to do what I do. Even though it is crazy how much has to be done in the early stages of the teaching profession. I hear it will get easier the more years go by. If that is so, I think I will skip a few to get to that point. I really enjoy watching the students learn something new and thank me for that. Also, to be there to watch them win a competition. It makes all the hard work (and late nights) worth it!


The only time I feel like I am in a rut is when we are in the classroom for more than a day. That only happens at the begining of the year with the first year students. After that, we are in the lab more. There is one other time that I feel that way. I have some advanced (seniors) students that do not feel that they should put forth much effort. I get aggrevated time and time again at their lack of particapation. We are starting a small remodel project on campus that I hope will make them shine! I guess being so busy doesn't allow me to feel like I'm in a rut either.