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.

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