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?

Monday, October 24, 2011

blog topic

Just wanted to make sure I have not missed any recent or new blog topic. The topic shows up as week of Sept 18 and 25...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tough week to be weak

Our community and students lost a young man this week to a terrible accident. That student was Conner Weeks and he was in my class at Hardaway and in Jessie’s class at Shaw during the last 2 years. Below is the announcement to teachers about the incident.
“ I regret to inform you that a terrible accident occurred off campus that involved current and former Hardaway students. Conner Weeks attended Hardaway for nearly three years. He was attending Shaw this school year as a Senior. He was accidentally shot last night. He did not survive. He died at the Medical Center early Sunday morning.
The shooting was ruled an accident by the Columbus Police Department. As of this evening, no crime has been committed. The incident occurred at the home of one of our students. The young men were handling a gun that was believed to be unloaded when it fired. There may have been more students at the residence when the incident occurred.
Conner had many friends that are current Hardaway students. He was very popular with his classmates. I am requesting help from the MCSD Crisis Management Team (Guidance Staff). Counselors will be available to speak with students on Monday.
This incident will be on the minds of many of our students. On Monday, it's important to get back to our normal routine. If a student needs to talk with a counselor, send them to Guidance. There is no need to discuss the incident in the classroom setting.”
My surprise this week is the way we must as teachers handle situations like this. We must put aside our emotions and ties to the situation and be understanding but not have an opinion and stay completely neutral. If we have a tie to the situation then that must stay private even to the students and faculty that know of our ties. We must be compassionate to the students but not council them. We must leave the counseling up to the professionals. Don’t get me wrong I understand this position and why we must comply. It was just a shock at the way teachers have to handle this type of situation and something I was ill prepared for. It was an awareness of the liability issues that allow teachers say only certain things that surprised me also. Tough day seeing these students grieve about the loss their friend and not be able to console them other than to say this was a tragic accident, I’m sorry for your loss, and if you need to talk with a counselor you may go to the guidance office. I was able to do this most of the day until the last class in which most of his friends and the friends of the other boys were in. Still didn’t talk about it much other than to say sorry and give the grieving nod to the kids so they knew it was a loss for me also and i could feel their pain.
The surprising good that came out of this is that three rival schools and a community have come together to support each other during this tragic time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

David letterman

Im sorry but I couldn't find the Top Ten you were referring to. I missed it and they haven't posted it on the computer yet. I'll check again in a couple of days.

One Thing Surprising

One thing surprising this week was that I didn't realize how well children can pull together in times of crisis. Our school had a student die from an accidental gunshot wound. The kids in my school have really shown how much they care for eachother by grieving together, sharing stories together, and great memories about him. Not only are the kids at my school doing this, but they are also communicating and participating in activities with the kids at Hardaway High also. I have been surprised at how bad some children take this situation in comparison to others. These kind of situations also opened up my eyes because I now hope I treat each student great each day no matter how much they may get on your nerves because you never know what tomorrow may bring. This student was the second student of mine to pass in two years. One thing that has been bothering me is that the student that was murdered last year didn't get nowhere near the recognition. It kind of saddens me to know this. Im not sure why people didn't really make a big deal about it and have made a huge deal about it this year?! I am surprised at my mixed emotions I guess. What do ya'll think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

David Letterman

I enjoyed listening to the top ten things you don't learn about teaching in college. I copied them because I can definitely relate (my comment follows each). 10. Why are the bad kids never sick? I wonder the same thing.
9. No matter how sick you are, it is easier to come into school than to write sub plans. I used to feel like this, but now, thanks to NTI this summer, sub plans is a piece of cake!!!!
8. When students tell you they really have to go to the bathroom, always believe them. This is true, I have a story to tell.
7. Forget your college friends and loved ones, who’s your best friend? Wipes!!!! Good point!
6. How to disarm the school alarm system on the weekend! I have a story to tell…!
5. You’ll get so sick and tires of hearing your last name, you’ll want to change it. Oh, I can relate!!!
4. Your fitness program will consist of carrying your bags to and from school. So true, weight lost is a possibility.
3. Two words, ‘Differentiated Instruction” So true…
2. The principal’s office is still scary…Yes, it is!!!
1. Always be good to your superintendent. Always!!!


What surprise me about students is how obedient they are when someone comes in the classroom (such as a principal, assistant principal or evaluator). Suddenly, students become angels and you can hear a pin drop. It seems as though they have planned their reactions and will not deviate from that demeanor. It’s amazing how students can set such positive examples. However, it doesn’t last. Students know how and when to act in a professional manner. I am working on ways students can maintain that positive attitude without any restraints. They can and will maintain high standards for themselves, it just takes time. I am glad to know, they can make discipline decisions without my assistance. I will continue to encourage positive behavior, because it works!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


For the last few weeks we have been working on shop math. I have been trying to teach it in different ways to keep the interest of the students, which is not too easy.
This week while teaching surface area and volume, I gave the students a piece of isometric graft paper and demonstrated how to use the paper to draw some three dimensional cubes. I then had the students try drawing some cubes to be sure that they could grasp the concept. I used my doc. cam with some real cubes to give them a good visual of what they would look like. I stacked some cubes after that and had them draw the stacked cubes. When they mastered that which didn't take too long, I had them write their initials in cubes. This took a little longer because some of the letters can be difficult to draw. When they were finished with that, I had them figure the surface area and volume of their initials.
I really wasn't sure how the lesson would go over, but I was surprised that the students liked it and put some really good effort into it. I was also surprised that I actually had some veteran teachers that are planning on using that lesson in the future.
In the lessons that followed, I built upon that and had them drawing more complicated isometric drawings, which I think is important for teaching spacial relationships and visualization. I think this will help me in the future when we start designing and creating duct work.

Friday, October 14, 2011


"What one thing this week surprised you most about your teaching, and why?"

One thing that I am constantly surprised by, more so this week, is how the students constantly "beat the system" when it comes to discipline and consequences.

Students in my school know exactly what to do when they are called in for discipline. They know to hand off any illegal objects to their friends when they get called to the administration office. They know how to point blame onto someone else when they get accused of doing something wrong. The even know that they can get away with straight up refusal to follow policy or procedures. When they do get to the administration office, they know that they can refuse to answer questions if they choose to, and refuse to cooperate. Students also know the "consequences" of each infraction, and brag about each one...

The administration turns a blind eye to what is going on, despite it being widely known by the teaching staff. Administration refuses to change their policy on discipline, and denies that the system is flawed and failing. Administration also "cannot come up with any way to stop students from potentially handing off items" when students are called to the office - even though we teachers have suggested sending an escort to retrieve students. And the list goes on...

How does this relate to me? I have written referrals for several students over the past 3 weeks, and only one student has been disciplined in any way. I am surprised at the apparent apathy by the administration regarding student conduct. I am also surprised at the fact that the administration places the blame back on the teachers...

However, the more it happens, the less surprised I am.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't break the routine

The thing that surprised me most last week was how much kids want structure and routine. Last Friday I was called to an unannounced parent conference right at the beginning of my 4th block. The timing could not have been worst, because I think the first few minutes of class really sets the tone for the day. On a normal day my opening is a literacy activity from a quote. However, this day would be different because of the conference. Well when I returned, nearly 40 minutes later from the conference I wanted to pick up where my covering teacher had ended. But Nooo... imagine my amazement when one of the most disruptive kids in the class raised his hand and asked aren't we gonna do the opening cause I have something to say about it. Well the biggest smile rushed over my face and I said by all means, I will do the opening so you can make your comment. I said all of that, to say this. Even though kids sometime fight us tooth and nail on structure and routine they need it, expect it and deep down probably want it. It was a good day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good and Bad

After the last several Tuesday sessions, I decided to step out on the limb and actually try some of the different activities discussed. One of the new activities I tried was Reading Groups, as I attempted to implement this into my strategy for introducing new material.

Reading Groups is an activity where you assign students to small size groups so they can read, cover, and hopefully learn new material. I was circling back to finish my safety unit and was introducing fire safety to my Intro class. I broke the students into groups of 3 and assigned roles of Reader (audibly), note taker, and timekeeper.

My first surprise came when the first time we tried this as a class it actually went well. The assignment was to complete their own group notes, complete a short research project, and each do 5 review questions at the end of the section. 90% of the class completed the assignment in it's entirity. I did have to prompt several times with us doing this for the first time, but I expected that.

My second surprise came when I did a verbal formative summative assessment with the class to determine what they actually learned. I was surprised because despite the fact that most completed the review questions, participated in the active reading of the short section, and had a hand in their group notes along with a short research project that some still had a difficult time applying critical thinking skills to some more complicated questions.

The good is that they completed the new assignment. The bad is that upon completion they were only able to regurgitate simple information and few could assess or evaluate situations based on what they had covered.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Doing differently......

This week I placed my students in small groups. I actually gave students numbers and placed them in groups by those numbers. It worked out perfectly. It cut down on excessive talking in MOST of my classes. My students are completing group assignments and I am holding them more accountable as a group and individual. We completed a Gallery Walk this week that was very successful ! I felt like we were really in an art gallery. Students were very quiet, stayed on task and were very excited about reviewing the answers.
Now, that was the good, my bad is that its hard to keep two students motivated in my second period class. I teach them the same lessons as my other classes. They have portfolios and present their work during class but its boring to them (of course no audience) All of my other classes are pretty nice sizes. Its a hard transition for me to teach my first period class of 28 students and then 2 students. The flow of this class is very fast and both of these students are very focused. I am looking for a way to keep these two students just as excited as my other classes. Does anyone have any suggestions for this situation?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jessie's week!

In the last five days I have taught about 40 new students how to measure without having alot of confusion. I was very, very pleased when I tested them on it and they did so well. I taught it a little different than I did last year and really quizzed them on it. After I knew they were doing well enough with their new found knowledge of measuring, I had an estimating and measuring exercise in the full sized house we have out in the back of the constructrion area. The students responded to this assignment really well. The students were placed, by me, in groups of four to estimate materials needed to finish the interior of the home. This assignment has been really teaching them some very useful information. The students even see the use in the assignment. My advanced classes have actually been jealous because they didnt get to do it last year!! I guess what I am saying is that I was pleasantly surprised at how much these students were learning and how great this is knowing that this group of children will have me for a few more years!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Something surprising

I was very surprised that my students did such a WONDERFUL job on their jigsaw work. We broke each class up into 5 sections, because their are 5 sections in our current chapter, over Shampoo, Conditioner, and Scalp Treatment. They are now presenting what they have planned for their lessons, and it is going very well.
Of course, there were some students who lacked enthusiasm to TEACH the course. But, they all really seemed to plan well and their lesson plans look wonderful. I had them come up with the lp's, their eq's, and each assignment for the entire day of our hour and 45 class. This had to include a quiz as well. Most of them also included some sort of lab with their work. It turned out great from all aspects.
I actually am using a lot of their quiz questoins to come up with this units test. I am very surprised at how well the students took to this assignment, and how much time and effort they actually put into it. I can honestly say....I am a proud teacher this week. :)


"What one thing would I do differently this past week with my teaching activities and why?"

There is one major thing that I would have done differently this week if given the opportunity - be more strict.

We started out the week working in the lab/shop, and clean up was the goal, as the shop was in disarray from a rough week prior. The groups each had their tasks and jobs to perform. I left it up to them to make sure these duties were completed in the time allowed.

It turns out that leaving groups to work on their own pace is a bad idea. Of the 5 groups in each class, maybe 2 groups actually completed their tasks. Of these completed groups, only 1-2 members completed the tasks - the others simply watched or looked busy until the job was done.

Upon completion of the clean up time, I spoke with the groups and got various excuses and reasons that the groups could not get done. This was very troublesome. I tried to be lenient on the groups and allow them to work at their own pace, and they failed. I should have been much more strict and enforced the "no work no grade" policy that I take when working in the lab... Silly me, it will not happen again...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

What I would do differently as it relate to a teaching activity this week is change how I responded to the inappropriate classroom behavior of my 4th block.   My response to their behavior was reactive and not proactive.   Which was completely opposite of what I learned in NTI and know as on so many other levels.    On Thursday I planned a small group activity that we never got to because of students' excessive talking, laughing and playing around.  Knowing that this block is my most challenging class I should have planned better how I would address my habitual behavior issues.   With this class its seems that when I address one behavior issue another is developing during that moment.   To me it seems as though I am spending more time addressing behavior that teaching.   All I can say is I was completely and totally perplexed by the total disregard for the lack basic respect.   As a result I was completely off my game and modified the lesson to reading aloud, lecture and note taking :(   I have tried the usual consequences; warnings, parent phone calls  even referrals to AP but nothing has deterred the inappropriate behavior.  So I plan to spend a good part of my Saturday calling parents and planning what to do with about 7 individual students.