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 8, 2011


I typically like surprises and what they represent. Surprises are usually fun and create variety and zeal in life. However, sometimes surprises can be troubling and this year I'm trying to figure out if my demeanor as a teacher is good or bad.

When I first came from the business field I was a bottom line oriented thinker and operated that way on a daily basis. I did so because the rigors of running a business required me to be that way. I took that approach with my students because I was asked to by administration after taking over for a previous teacher who could not control the students as it was explained to me by the principal. Well control over my "domain" isn't something I've had a lot issues with in the past so control them I did. So much so that it wasn't very fun for the students or me until we had an understanding on how they were to behave day in and day out. Behavior was easily my biggest challenge as teaching unfortunately became secondary to that since there wasn't going to be any learning going on until the behavior changed.

Being new to teaching I knew literally nothing about the fact that my class was an elective, and consequently reliant upon myself only for the recruitment of future students. The hard translation of that is that is was up to me to create the need to even have a construction program. That's tough to do when your class is filled with utter behavior misfits.

Since the construction program took a 1-year hiatus due to budget constraints, I was afforded the opportunity to recruit some new kids to my program this year. Not all but some mind you. Dr. Burns would be proud because I made a decision with the end in mind, in that I would attempt to teach this year with much less yelling and frustration aimed at constant behavior problems. I'd simply hand out discipline and remove kids if necessary but do it with a smile.

The problem is, at this point I don't know if surprisingly it's working or if it's not working. I have an ongoing internal debate if I should be much more demanding or continue to handle issues with a swift by "softer" exterior. It's really hard when you have only male students with some of them desperately in need of a male role model, since there is none at home.

I hope that at the end of the year, I'll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this approach. It's definitely the opposite of my instinct in regards to repeat offenders because I only operate in an orderly environment and not chaos, which is what my kids obviously prefer too often. There are good days and bad for both me and them, but surprisingly we're all still here, in tact, and still driving towards our academic goals. Color me surprised.

Surprised Student

Surprised Student which really doesn't surprize me.

Shop math class today we will be learning how to Measure a footing to figure out the cubic yards so we will know how much concrete to order from the supplier. ......... Student: Why do you need math in construction anyway? You just build stuff anyway. A linear yard, square yard, cubic yard who cares. Mr.G...... I want to go in the back and build something. Ok what do you want to build? A dog house. Ok get me a picture of what kind you want to build, the dimensions of the dog house, the type and slope of the roof, draw a set of plans to include a floor plan and two elevations one front elevation and one the side elevation, and put together a material list, do a cost estimate and a takeoff, get back to me with those items along with an invoice and purchase order for the materials needed and I will get you started now. That is as long as you can get it to me today and get it without using math. If you can do that I will even pay for the materials out of my pocket. OK I will.....
Surprised at Hardaway.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The thing that surprised me most was plan as we may, there is always one more thing to do. This week was long for me because I had a Dr's appt., Magnet Open House and class Tuesday then we worked yesterday. The surprise occurred Tuesday morning. Not only did our principal want to showcase the Magnet Program( of which I am not part ), he wanted a complete Curriculum Fair with table displays for each class. So rather than gathering material calmly for my classes. I was rushing around to set up a display. A display for which I would not be present to discuss. That really concerned me because I wanted to show items that really represented my classes. However, my main worry was that some of my displayed items might walk away. Luckily, they didn't and I was able to use several things I still had put together from the Perry Fair. I only wished after I read the email that I had Dr. Burns or Ms. Chillis asking one of us to explain back what it was I thought I was suppose to be doing! In the end it worked out fine for the 50 or so parents that came out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

what a surprise!

this week has been a crazy one! First of all I am constantly reminded of the challenges that you face as a teacher. Just to start, I have a couple students in a couple of classes that are just off the wall. Well they have been either out or suspended a couple days this week and it is amazing the difference in the attitude of the class when they are gone. My classes were great!! On a second and the worst part of my week happened today. I had a student(9th grader) to go to the office today for acting up in the hallway. Well I'm not sure how it came up but he ended up in the office for a completely different reason. Another student accused him of selling marijuana to another student at school. They didn't find anything so they let him go. He came during my lunch to get his books and I asked what happened and he said that he was accused and I said "well did you or did you not distribute marijuana at school" and he said no sir. Maybe I should have left it at that, but he gave the look to the left and right as if he were lying to me. I said tell me the truth! I have established a great relationship with my students to the point where they have grown to trust me and confide in me. I love this, but he actually admitted to me that he did it!!!!! Now I was obligated to tell administration. I realllllllllllly didn't want to because I felt like I was breaking a precious thing with him called TRUST. I told on him though. I knew I had the legal obligation to. This day has been really hard for me. He left the office when told not to and came straight to me. He was so upset that I thought he was going to have an anxiety attack! He was hurt that I told on him. I hope one day that he realizes that I just didn't want him to go down the road he was taking. He is only fifteen years old. This day really surprised me of how emotional this career is!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Surprise Surprise

The thing that surprised me is the lack of drive of most of my students. I feel like they are being given so much that they do not appreciate anything. For the most part, there are only a handful of hard workers or go getters, if you will. They curse like they are grown up sailors in a strip club and that the girls. The focus is on everything else but school work. The economy is such that you really need to be preparing for your career right now. My students do not get that. It's as if they thing we are lying to them. Maybe they are part of a group that I like to call lottery winners because that is the only way some of them will be able to make money. We talked about social skills in this class. This is the number one thing that these kids need. When and if they get a job, it may be difficult to keep a job. In this day and age jobs are few and far between. That is what surprised me this week which was the lack of drive of my current students.