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?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I have been reading many sources of information on the World Wide Web. It has changed the way I will teach my students and present infomation from the internet. Teaching my student on the subject of informational literacy they need to know the history. I will teach the three waves of Western History agriculture, pre-industrial, and pre-modern a good site that I found was written by Donna Gilton. This will give student the information and media litercy that it takes to make them successful in the work force/society.

media, newspapers, magazines, radio and the Web

            My personal belief as to the media, newspapers, magazines, radio and the World Wide Web being equal is simply NO.  Throughout the opportunities given to us to learn one becomes aware that quite often a writer’s personal opinions are interwoven within the text being reported. Within personal experience of learning, I believe online learning is a key to learn with a more open mind on most subjects.  This opportunity is due to there being ready access to digital literacy, thus having access to information literacy.  To be successful with this style of learning, one must develop new skills.  It certainly is necessary to see, read, find, and these are just a few abilities one must develop to be successful with online learning. Information literacy must be evaluated by the user, which many times can only be done by extensive or sometimes a little research.  This is definitely some of the skills along with the ability to decide what is current and what material is not up-to-date.  When my students do research for a project, report, essay I require their websites (sources) to be listed.  Then if there is a question to what is being reported, we can go back to the referenced website.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 4/5: Information Literacy

According to ( Information Literacy is the ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and share that information. It is the knowledge of commonly used research techniques.  Information Literacy is critically important because we are surrounded by a growing ocean of information in all formats. Not all information is created equal: some is authoritative, current, reliable, but some is biased, out of date, misleading, false. The amount of information available is going to keep increasing. The types of technology used to access, manipulate, and create information will likewise expand.

Since there are so many avenues to obtain information, I believe there isn't one main way to present it.  You have to use various resources, because as stated in our CTAE course this past summer, a student's attention span is only good for about 10-15min and then they're lost.  They need various ways to receive relevant material.  Information literacy can be presented in classroom skits, powerpoint presentations, networking events specifically for students, or one on one interviews for a particular assignment. Of course, use of the internet, books,and periodicals are the norm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 4 and 5: Information Literacy

We are bombarded daily with information from the media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and the World Wide Web. Is all information equal? Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? What is information literacy? How will you teach your students about information literacy? Use the following Link on Information Literacy (written by a vocational education teacher in Australia) to help guide your response:

As defined by Blackall (2005), digital literacy (synonymous with information literacy) is related to a persons ability "to access the internet; find, manage and edit digital information; join in communications; and otherwise engage with an online information and communications network".  In a CTAE program digital literacy is very important as technology is constantly changing and everything in a textbook is not always the most updated information.  As a teacher I decide what is relevant (what to keep and discard) based on the source that the information comes from.  One thing about the internet is that good information is typically going to be available on multiple web pages, therefore cross checking sources is a possible option. Looking at dates is also key.  Information needs to be accurate and up to date. 

Every day my students use the internet to research a new technology and then write about it, to later share with the class.  This has been a very valuable experience not only in that we learn about a lot of new technology, but also that I can spend this time discussing and building digital literacy skills.  At the beginning of the year I provide them with credible sources that they can choose from, but they also are able to find sources on their own.  When presenting the students are required to provide the source. If information seems far fetched or not accurate we could use this time to check the source, and its credibility. 

Week 3: Surprise

What surprised you the most this week at school and why? (This could be something about your own reactions to what went on, or something that someone did, or anything else that occurs to you.)

Beyond just my regular teaching duties, I also play a big role in the Technology Student Association.  When I was hired it was made very clear to me that this would be a part of my job description and that I needed to be prepared to spend a lot of time working with it. I did it last year and it is a lot of work,  that the Career Academy has opened I have been put in charge of training the other three engineering teachers in the county about how to run a TSA program.  This week I was surprised that despite my email reminders, and  face to face discussions that no other teachers in the county signed up any kids for the association nor did they encourage any of them to attend the upcoming field trip. I confided in my assistant principal and previous mentor and it seems that it will be my place to talk to these teachers and find ways to not only get the kids involved but also these teachers. 


Information Literacy is defined as the ability to define problems in terms of there information needs, and apply a systematic approch to search, locate, apply, and synthesize the information and evaluate the entire process in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The information that we recive from radio,T.V., magazines, and the web are not equal. Some of the information that we recive are biased,misleading, and out of date. Due to the increasing technology it's very ease to access and munipulate information this will be a growing concern in the next few years. We as teachers need to teach our students that information literacy can be used for academic purposes such as research and group presentation. We also need to let them know that it is used in the work force the ability to find, evaluate, use and share information is an essential skill. A good example on how we can teach this to our students would be consumer decisions, such as which car or home  to purchase, are critical.

Information Literacy

Information Literacy is skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze or use information.  Everyone needs Information Literacy.   Information Literacy allows students and adults to create creativity when researching various topics.  Students cannot learn everything that they need to equip for college.  Information literacy helps them to develop critical skills.  This is an important skill needed for students and teachers.  These skills extend beyond the classroom into the workplace and personal lives.  It has pretty much become a survival skill.  If you don’t know how to use it then you won’t survive technology changes.  I will teach my students about information literacy by first exposing them to websites that give important information about Resources & Ideas.  These sites provided information about on a wide variety of subjects.  Once students learn how to use Information Literacy, they can think and analyze outside of the box when presenting projects or writing research papers.

All information is not equal

 All information is not created equal.  I prefer to get my information from the World Wide Web.  Using the World Wide Web is very inconvenient and easier to access for me.  Due to growing technology demands I have multiple ways to access it. The most convenient way is my cellphone.  Unfortunately, you have to still be careful on the accuracy of information obtained.  A lot of the information that is reported may or may not be worthy of our attention. It depends on whose reporting the information.  The only other source that I may pay attention to is the news.  The news is a source that is usually accurate. The only problem with the news is that I rarely get a chance to listen to it unless I am using the World Wide Web to access it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Is all information equal?
Absolutely not! As many of  us have discovered for ourselves as adult learners and as many of us have heard in the news from time to time, there are very unreliable resources on the world-wide web (WWW).  I remind my students (as young learners) every time we do a project that requires them to do research that they must use reliable and accurate resources.  This historically has only included the traditional library-type media informational research from magazines, books, newspapers, microfiche etc.  In today's educational arena information now comes to us from more sources and we have to realize that information literacy now includes computer literacy, visual literacy and media literacy. All these resources have room for inaccuracy and inequality. As a teacher, I have to responsibility to teach my students this and to "do due diligence" in checking on their resources listed on their assignment submissions. This job is made easier if I give them several reliable resources to choose from as they learn this concept of information accuracy.

Is it accurate, worthy of our attention?
It is worthy of our attention if it is accurate. Some information will be accurate and some not again, depending on the source. Accurate information comes more from the bigger sites like NBC, CBC, CNN, Fox News, AJC, etc. These companies are more careful about what they put out to the public because they have a lot at stake if they are not accurate. Smaller more local websites from local news companies are accurate as well and all of these companies are quick to publicly apologize for any errors or misinformation they make.
How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard?
This takes some work on the part of the researcher. Cross-checking with several sites usually helps one find little discrepancies that can lead to either accepting or discarding information. I find having a student list their resources makes them think twice before just throwing something together. Having to have facts like that instead of their opinion on a subject helps point them in the direction of accuracy. Also, having them list the date of their found information helps keep it current.
What is information literacy?
There are many definitions "out there" on the WWW.  I liked the one by the American Library Association:
Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association . 2006. (Accessed 27 May 2009).
I interpret this as meaning that it is the ability to identify the need for information, the ability to find it , then evaluate it for worthiness and usefulness and then to then be able to apply this information in a useful way.I really liked how information literacy was described by:
Parkins, G. 2004, 'E-Learning Adventures Beyond the LMS', Parkin's Lot, Retrieved September 2005.
Parkins uses the example of music CD's to help explain information literacy. Once upon a time  the only music format available was on CD's and thus, the music industry dictated what was on that CD which was very limiting. The internet revolutionized how we collect music. We are no longer limited on what music we listen to nor are we limited on how we save our music. We have Ipods, blog postings and more! There are thousands of possibilities now and not limited by the music industry.

How will you teach your students about information literacy?
I will have to repetitively teach them about the process of  locating, evaluating and utilizing accurate information/data. I am responsible for guiding them to appropriate websites by making them part of my lesson plans. At the same time, I must be careful as to not limit them to a small number of websites. I need to encourage those students that do not have the digital literacy of some of their peers. Finally, I must recognize and stay updated on the changes in technology as they occur in order to keep my students engaged.  Students come much more savvy in many literacies (visual, aural, digital, etc.) that go beyond what we grew up with. This will continue to change even more in the generations to come!


Friday, September 21, 2012

All Information is NOT Equal.....

I love the word wide web, in fact not a day goes by when I do not find myself searching the web about one thing or the other. Whether it be searching for a handout for a class or the cheapest hotel rates for Christmas break, I look to the web for EVERYTHING!! And I must say that all information is not created equal. It is also hard to discern what information is factual simply because there are so many people looking to scam someone else or trigger happy reporters who do not check their sources before going to print.   I have a simple philosophy, and that is to rely on what I know.

I often search sites like CNN, Fox News, and the Huffington Post for my latest political fix, and I utilize sites like the, and for my local news and weather.  I prefer sites like Expedia for travel resources, but I have learned that is it less expensive and even a little less troublesome to actually go to the  company website for services because all of your questions will be answered there. With the exception of EBAY, I do not really make risky purchases, and even with EBAY because of the insurance I feel comfortable when buying used goods.  Just like with anything else, my advice is always follow your instinct, there are schemers sitting behind a keyboard waiting on their next victim, so I try to stick to my tried and true. Companies with great feedback from consumers and local business bureaus, and of course the ones with exceptional customer service are who I keep in my Favorites column.

What is Information Literacy?

According to the National Forum of International Literacy, "information literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand".  In addition to defining the term, this organization promotes the need for literacy as the key competency needed to enhance K-16 academic performance, engage patient personal responsibility,  improve workplace performance and productivity, and compete effectively in a dynamically evolving world marketplace.

As a district, Atlanta Public Schools, in its efforts to introduce the common core standards are asking each teacher, including CTAE teachers to make literacy and reading a focus of our daily planning and instruction. I think this is an important step in providing a broader message, not just in core classes, but in elective and pathway classes as well.

As a health care provider, literacy is just as integral as performing hands on patient care, and as a result, I began integrating literacy into my lesson planning and instruction prior to incorporating the actual ELA standards.  In particular, this week both my second and third year classes are working on units entailing Communication in which they are being taught verbal vs. non verbal ways of communication. I have utilized several case studies in which studies have had to read and actually formulate a response to the level of care that the patient received. Students were asked to provided feedback in the form of a letter to a patient, and in other cases asked to analyze the level of communication or lack thereof between the patient and the provider.  I even had my second year students to see if they could recognize spelling and grammar errors in one study.  I must say that I was surprised at the lower levels of thinking and analysis of some of the students, but it gives me a starting point, and reinforces the need to include literacy into my dally lessons.

Information Literacy and the Worldwide Web

Question of the Week - Weeks 4 & 5

Discussion Topic for Two Weeks: We are bombarded daily with information from the media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and the World Wide Web. Is all information equal? Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? What is information literacy? How will you teach your students about information literacy?

Is all information equal? No, not at all. The student researching information must ensure that the information is complete, accurate and not simply bits and pieces of watered down information from someones personal opinion, but instead solid information that can be backed up by facts and experts in that field.

Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? Some information on the WWW is very accurate, for example if the student is researching international affairs, CNN would be a good source of accurate information, as CNN is usually very careful about what news they release to ensure accuracy of the report before it is released to the general public.

How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? Whenever I have my students do research on the web, I have them search for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the given subject. I encourage them to seek information that is backed up by facts, research and respected subject matter experts (SME) in the field or subject they are researching. Lots of information out there is not factual and at most, someones personal opinion. One should be careful and do the research to ensure that the information they seek is in fact - factual.

What is information literacy? Information Literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.  It can also be defined in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and actively in that society.

How will you teach your students about information literacy? By explaining to them the importance of identifying and gathering accurate information and effectively using that information for the project at hand. I would also provide them a listing of what I feel to be reliable sources of information to assist them in their research. Today's technology has provided students a way to access information that was unheard of in years past. I would encourage my students to use this technology to its fullest.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Helping students find websites

Most of the time in HCS when we utilize the web for research,  it is medical related.  Trying to help students be discerning about what sites they use is not easy. They are quick to  "Google" or "bing" something and pick the first website on the search. In general I advise students to use non-profit, government sponsored sites to start. Typically there is no agenda on these sites.  It is important that There is no advertising on the site,or links to merchandise.  This can mean the website/article has bias and leads the reader to a product. 

Information Literacy

Question of the Week - Weeks 4 & 5

Discussion Topic for Two Weeks: We are bombarded daily with information from the media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and the World Wide Web. Is all information equal? Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? What is information literacy? How will you teach your students about information literacy? Use the following Link on Information Literacy (written by a vocational education teacher in Australia) to help guide your response:
Information Literacy is the ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and share that information. It is the knowledge of commonly used research techniques.

Career and Technical Education teachers can use information literacy   for academic purposes, such as research papers and group presentations.

Information literacy is critically important because we are surrounded by information in all formats. Not all information is created equal: some is authoritative, current, reliable, but some is biased, out of date, misleading, false. The amount of information available is going to keep increasing. The types of technology used to access, manipulate, and create information will likewise expand.

Information literacy can be engaging and a positive way to introduce students to real world experiences.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WOW Week!

          My surprise for the week was a big one, (to me anyway).  I had scheduled a guess speaker this week. I just knew that the “horrible none caring class” causes me many anxious moments. I was wishing half of that particular class would not show up because my greatest fear was them causing me overwhelming embarrassment. Surprise to me, they did not embarrass me at all! They were so into what the guest speaker had to say. The class was raising their hands, asking questions and participating in the activity that was being presented. They are coming out of their shells enabling me to see the person on the inside of each student.

          Being at NTI this summer has enabled me to believe I can manage my students regardless of the situation.  The students ask what has happen to you.  You act differently. They did not like the “New Me”.  On the outside many students appear to dislike structure and strict teachers.  But I know on the inside they will learn in a structured environment. It may be something they do not get at home and when they have rules and structure, I believe they will recognize and understand that there are people who care.

          I had another surprising moment this week. With the writing curriculum, I had the students write an autobiography about themselves. One of the students in this same class, their autobiography made me say WOW! She has had a rough life and is always trying to be the smart mouth tough one but is afraid of being left alone! Does this come from being left alone because her mom is in jail? There are some teachers that are afraid of this student. I have never been afraid or uneasy of this same student. I have always felt a special “something” for this one. I believe that God puts us in places for a reason and she very well may be my reason.


For the most part, last week went pretty smoothly-- I successfully got my Intro class working on My Big Campus, completing assignments online. My Applications class has started anatomy, and we all were excited about that. I even had a student tell me that she was able to help her mother, who is in college, study anatomy because of some of the things she had learned in my class. The students in my General Med class were doing great as well. Then came Friday, or more accurately, "Cryday, the unusual part of my week." At the beginning of first block on Friday, I noticed that one of my students had failed to begin the work that had been assigned, which is not typical for her. I instructed her to meet me at the back door so we could talk. As soon as she stood up, she burst into tears. I managed to comfort her and get her to work, but she never would speak on what had her upset. Then, during second block, less than two hours later, while I was taking attendance, one of my students started sobbing rather loudly. Her best friend, who's also in my 2nd block, asked if she could take her to the hallway and talk to her. These two young ladies are two of my more responsible students, and I figured that she would be more inclined to talk to her best friend, so I allowed them to go out to talk. They went out in the hallway to talk. I went out after a few minutes to check on them. By the time I got out, they were on their way back in, and all was well again. Now, I realize that nursing and teaching are the same in that you have to be prepared for anything, but I honestly wasn't expecting lightening to strike twice, so to speak.

Judging a Book by it's Cover

I was at a week long assignment.  The teacher was actually transitioning to another position.  Of course the work was already provided and I was given a headsup that a new teacher had been hired and she would be starting soon.  As the students were being informed, they were already having pre conceived notions about this person.  They were asking how did she look, whether she was old or young, and how did she dress.  All of this, I thought were irrelevant to her teaching the material.  Then the students went so far to say that they didn't like her.  That was pretty surprising to me, being that they didn't even know this woman.  When they were told what school she came from, there were negative comments as well, about her going to be mean to them and give them too much work.  A comment be a student was made that they have a passing grade and they didn't want another teacher because they had the feeling that they were going to fail.  It's just a shame how what you wear and how you look depends on if the students are going to give you their undivided attention.  I feel like I'm back in Corporate America.  The only difference is, its' Corporate Education where the students are the hiring managers and they determine whether or not you climb that corporate ladder. Simply Ridiculous!!

What surprised me the most this week at school was how the students reacted to the incorporation of our EMS room  and a Atlanta Firefighter into my lesson.  My introduction to Healthcare Science class has been studying safety.  On Friday, I decided to have our class in the EMS room.  Our EMS room has a ambulance inside of the classroom.  My set induction consisted upon a lieutenant from the Atlanta Fire Department walking into our classroom with all of his gear on.  He walks into our class smelling like smoke,coughing heavily holding his hand that was wrapped up in a soiled towel. After taking about five steps, he drops to the floor.  He tripped on a hanging chord.  The students were stunned and really didn't know what was going on.  After being on the floor for about a minute, he stands up and introduces himself.  His lesson on safety really reinforced what I had taught the students.  I was surprised because the students were really excited to see the ambulance inside of the classroom.  They were so engaged in the safety lesson that they did not want to leave the room.  Next year, I will continue to utilize the EMS classroom.

Whats Really in The Water Bottles

What surprised you the most this week at school and why? (This could be something about your own reactions to what went on, or something that someone did, or anything else that occurs to you.)

What suprised me this week at school was what students are really drinking in water and Gatorade/Powerade bottles. We as teacher think nothing of a water or Gatorade/Powerade bottle, but whats really in the bottles? Well let me give you the heads up teachers students are putting  tranparent alcoholic drinks in clear water bottles (Grey Goose Vodka, Belvedere Vodka and  Smirnoff Vodka) . To kill the strong smell of the Vodka students are putting water flavor packs such as (Propel Zero, Crystal Light, and Mio) in the bottle along with the alchole. They are also using Gatorade/Powerade to mix with alcohol this is very dangerious. As we know Gatorade/Powerade goes straight to your boold strem to rehydrate your body. When you mix the two it causes you to reach the legal alcohol limit 10x faster, cause alcohol posion, or death. This has been a issue in schools for the pass 2 years I am banning all drinks in my class.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Surprise, surprise - Another job!
I think I might have known this was coming but it was wishful thinking on my part. The first few weeks of school I thought I had dodged the issue.  Not so! I have been designated the school nurse as well as the healthcare trainer!  I have the same arguments or rather complaints that Coy has facing all the things we are expected to do as teachers and now you add in the interruptions from students sent from the front office for miscellaneous complaints. I hinted several times to the front office staff that they really need a school nurse and he/she could actually use the empty office right off the front office lobby area.  I thought I had made some progress as there were comments how we really could use one and what a great idea it was...but surprise, surprise! 

The interruptions have been from temperature checks to: "Please evaluate this student's ankle"on a hand-written note and "Is it broken?" to which I want to reply - Sorry I don't have X-ray vision!". Interruptions also include whispered requests like "Do you have any feminine supplies"!?!?!  I have to simply smile at the student and triage them between lesson plan points of instruction as it really is not their fault.  Then I have to ask my students (smuggly as I pretent to remember where I left off) "Who can  repeat to me the last point I made?"  I am thinking that this technique will only work for so long before my students catch on! 

Oh, one last note: I sent a baggie full of bandaids down to the front office. :0)

Reality Check

One thing that surprised me this week was realizing how much your administration can pile things on. Every week I have to look forward to losing a portion of my planning period due to some sort of training, test proctoring or production of school materials. It becomes very overwhelming at times because all of these activities are mandatory and deadline driven. I would love to have one week without interruption, so that I can focus on instruction and preparation. In addition a lot of things come up that become the instructor's responsibility and carry huge accountability. For example, teachers, at my school, are now responsible for sending out correspondence and contacting parents about attendance. This should take place after 3 and 5 consecutive absences. Now if this is the case, why do we have an attendance office? I hate to sound as if I'm complaining, but little things like this make me question the purpose of other functions of the school's departments, especially if teachers are left to do these things. I now understand what a lot of my tenured colleagues have been talking about. In contrast, I hope to make the best of it and roll with the punches.

Lack of Reponsibility

I have been trying to keep my students organized. This school year I put in their syllabus that they needed to have a 1inch binder, 5 tab dividers, index cards, red pen and highlighters. This specifically went on my Intro to Healthcare Syllabus. I wanted to make sure my first year students were on the right track. We set the binders up the second week of school I had my binder set up in the front of the classroom as a guide for them and Just like NTI, they were more than welcome to look at the binder and set theirs up accordingly.  The third week of school I started checking to make sure students had their binders.  Fourth week of school I gave a quiz, the last 5 minutes I allowed the students to use their notes.  Some had their notes and some didn't.  Every five weeks we have a five weeks assessment, after the five week exam, I put up the unit and standards for the next five weeks.  After the exam, everyone is given the instructions to write down the unit standards for the next five weeks and  asked to put them in their  tab labeled syllabus and standards.  I got a verbal confirmation that everyone understood what to do after their exam, I had a few volunteers who verbally expressed what they were to do after the exam..  Before class ended I let everyone know that there will be a notebook check next week.  The sixth week of school on a Friday, the students were working on their opening and I start to go around and check their notebooks.  This is the sixth week of school, notebooks are supposed to be in order. Out of a class of 28 students, only 3 students had their standards in their binders in the correct location.  and 3 just had the standards somewhere in the binders. So the 3 students that had their standards in the correct location of course received a 100.  The students that did not have the standards at all received a  0.  So the students that had the standards not in the correct position when I came around to do notebook checks,but  found them in a book bag or in another section of the binder  want to know if they can get full credit for having the  standards.  I tell them no, because you did not have them when I did the  initial check, you may receive a 50. One student gets all huffy and says we will see, I will just tell my mother and she will clear this up. I tell the student, you didn't have your work in the appropriate position when I asked you for it, you were almost sure you didn't do it until you kept looking in your binder, but you would like full credit? I was just shocked at the lack of responsibility on the students part and for her to have a parent that would condone this type of behaviour.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I have a student who has Asbergers and Autism. Every time this student raises their hand, we all know it will be interestingly odd but usually off topic. You have to appreciate the way this student says what they think without reserve. This is a little different than what I am used to as I have worked with an Autistic child in the dual enrollment program at WGTC. There, the child was very quiet and secluded, so this is quite a change of pace (Not saying that any are alike, but I thought I'd find a few similar characteristics).

We were doing our transfer in related to MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and along the way this student raises his hand to share with me that they went to a local Mexican restaurant and how the buffet looked horrible. The explanation continued with how the cheese was dry and black and how the staff were adding food to the buffet and not taking it back to the back. Then, the student explained how they decided to order from the menu because of how awful it looked (very dramatic) and that the family decided to eat the buffet anyway. When the food came out, this student exclaimed with both hands in the air, "OH MY BLACK JESUS, THIS LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER  THAN THE BUFFET"! My class went hysterical! I had to slowly turn around and compose myself. He is Caucasian so I'm not sure if it was that, that we thought he said it to the waitstaff, how it was said or a combination of the whole incidence that took us all off guard.

After a short biblical geography lesson we got back on track (Just that where He lived was in the Middle East and that He is probably not black or white for that matter but that He is Jewish, but that whatever the preferred view was absolutely fine - and I left that alone) . In the end, I had to defend the student in saying to the others that the real world application of the Flow of Foods "holding" step was being shared and that if they looked for opportunities they could also identify things when they are out and about in the industry that they are learning and that they should all bring their experiences to share. I thanked that student for sharing.

That was very surprising....there will be nothing dull about this school year, that is for sure! My husband said one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the movie Red Tails said that over and over in the movie so maybe that is where he got it from. I may ask him has he ever seen the movie...then again, I'm scared to ask. I'll leave that alone too.

A Purpose Driven Life

Question: What surprised you the most this week at school and why? (This could be something about your own reactions to what went on, or something that someone did, or anything else that occurs to you.)

I have a senior class homeroom this year. What surprised me the most this week was the lack of students that are interested in their future. I explained to them the importance of applying to college early will be a benefit for them in the future.

These young people believe in waiting the very last minute to do everything. They do not realize that in the spring semester is when all the senior activities begins, prom, college fairs, various competitions and field trips, etc..

Hopefully, having my senior homerooms students to write in their journal daily about  A Purpose Driven Life will change some of their attitudes about life. Let's help these young people!!

Visitors and wake up calls

This week I have had several visitors, everyone of them former students. As with any group of people each one of them tell a different story of personal success.
One of my visitors is in the Army and is preparing for his first deployment. I feel sad knowing that his age of innocence is going away, as I am aware of some of the things he will experience. He simply wanted to talk about what impact people had on his life.

Another visitor decided to drop-out of school knowing he had all the answers, he explained how shocked he was to find out no one owed him a job and he is now struggling, he wished he had stayed in school. Immediate feeling (honestly) was TOLD YOU SO. But then it went to focus on the future. What are you going to do NOW?

Today is Friday and I feel I am where God wants me to be. Living the Dream.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lesson Learned

Since I am not formally teaching in the school system yet, I will relate an experience that I had with a former student that I took through security (Executive Protection) training at the beginning of the year at my training academy. I had just completed a class on Emergency Tactical First Aid, that afternoon which included, CPR, applying Splints, Pressure Dressings, Tourniquets, etc... That same evening, one of my students witnessed and emergency situation involving a middle aged man who had  passed out at a gas station from an apparent heart attack. My student responded immediately and performed CPR on the gentleman until paramedics arrived and was told by the paramedic that, had he not done what he did, the gentleman would have surely died. He was credited with saving the man's life that night. As an instructor, you can't help but be proud of your student, and I certainly was. On another note,  it's almost as though, I was there administering CPR through the knowledge I gave to my student, who actually performed the lifesaving skill. Deep!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A visit from a past student

I have taught now for 1 year. Time enough to reflect back over that first year with some regret for what I would call "the guinea pig class". You know what I mean....first time in the classroom and the teacher is not the seasoned professional that every parent and administrator hopes for.  With more blunders than success, I found myself often thinking, "That was an epic fail....I won't do THAT again..." I mean who knew that a hot glue gun could get THAT hot, or that students would sneak out of your classroom when you weren't looking, and not come back! So it was a really nice surprise to have a student from my first class come by to visit me this week. She is still a student at my school but could not fit the next class of the pathway into her schedule this year. She came by to tell me how much she appreciated what she learned in my class last year. She's smiling and speaking and in my head I'm thinking, "You learned! and remember it!" She went on to explain that in her AP Psychology class there is a large amount of nervous system anatomy and how overwhelmed many of her classmates have been with the subject matter. She however, was sailing through because she remembered it from last year. I don't know if I was more surprised that in all my shortcomings last year, some actually learning was accomplished, or that a student would have the kindness to come by to express her gratitude. Either way, it was a nice surprise.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Copy Machine Broke Down....Again

In our school one of the things that the Principal has implemented is the 4 1/2 week assessment. This process requires teachers to provide students with a detailed assessment to include but not limited to (multiple choice, short answer, completion) after each 4 1/2 weeks of instruction. Last week, I waited until the last minute (which is something I never do because I am uber OCD), the morning of testing to make copies, and low and behold, the copier was not working.  Again, because I am OCD, I would have normally gone into a panic.  To add more insult to injury, the back up copier which happens to be 12 years older than this once was also on vacation. Luckily, thanks to NTI, I had developed lesson plans for the current unit that I am teaching, so I was already prepared to go on to another lesson without a hitch. The students didn't even notice, and if they did they were not going to tell me because they had not studied like they should have. I surprised myself, in that I did NOT panic, instead I transitioned smoothly to another lesson, and was able to keep my students engaged the entire day with detailed instruction. NTI saves the day!

Surprised .....sit back and watch the higher level learning.

Something happened that surprised me this week and was  related to Bloom's Taxonomy.  In one of my Intro classes we were finishing up our unit on healthcare insurances. It is a very current topic in light of the elections.  When I opened up the class and started with some review questions (in the basic knowledge area)from the day prior,my questions led the students in a direction I had not intended.  The students started into a spontaneous debate on healthcare insurance and what issues effect families financially and emotionally.  I basically sat back and let the higher level learning roll.  When they noticed me listening and nodding they said ," Are you mad Mrs.A.?".  My thought was that I was watching Bloom's Taxonomy at its best.   "No, I'm enjoying your ideas", I said.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"This is what teaching is all about."

Last week, a student that was in In School Suspension stopped by my class to speak with me.  This student was enrolled in a pathway that he really wasn't interested in.  His dream was to be come a Chiropractor.  He was involved in a bad car accident in 10th grade.  After his accident, doctors told him that playing sports was out of the question.  With Chiropractic care, he was able to participate in sports again.  I told the student that I was a Chiropractor.  He was very excited to talk to me.  I explained to him what steps he needed to take to become a Chiropractor. This student really made my day.  It was a blessing that our paths crossed. He validated my decision to teach and practice.  "This is what teaching is all about."  Being able to reach students in ways that others cannot.  The next day, he withdrew from his current pathway and enrolled in my class.  Also, I put him in contact with a recruiter at Life University so that he can make sure hes prepared when he graduates.


Something that I learned over the summer at NTI and used was "proximity control". During the first few weeks (days) of school I applied this technique.  When I was just a few days in and I spotted some one not following our assignment, I went and stood near them (proximity control).  It was then that the students realized why I have the rule of clear pathways around the room.   Mrs. A likes to "walk around a lot",  I heard one student remark.  Most of the time it's works well.  One time it didn't work and I had to think about why that student was causing a discipline issue.

PowerPoint Perfection

I use Power-Point presentations regularly and thought I had it down to a science, but during NTI class this past Summer, I learned new techniques to take my PP presentations to a new level. I implemented what I learned into my Power-Point presentation ie: Proper Text Size, Slide Colors, Animations (I've used animations before, but learned a few new techniques), etc., and I can see the difference in the effectiveness of my "new" PP presentations through my students. It is amazing what a few minor changes can do to enhance the overall learning experience. I plan to continue to use these techniques in future Power-Point presentations!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Success with Something New!

Question: What is something new you tried during the first couple of weeks of school that you learned at NTI this past summer. Did it work? Why or Why not\

The greeting at the door continues to be a great success! I have not had to remind students of the classroom rules since the first week. (Woo hoo!)  It has also helped my develop a better relationship with even my really shy students. I have worked hard on the set inductions and am still finding neat things that excite even me! 
Another wonderful thing happened just yesterday when one of my students that constantly tries to talk during class has settled down as I have successfully used the proximity technique (after moving her right to the front near me)and name dropping too. She actually has been paying attention lately and only interrupted me once yesterday when I was wrapping up my topic to tell me: "Please don't stop!"  She went on to say that she wanted me to tell them another (topic related) story stating "this is the best class ever- I love how you make it real".  Well, that 's all it took for me to say I made a difference! 
I have already had a health care career guest speaker in to change up the classroom lessons and then had the students produce a  healthcare career PPT presentation. We used our new computers for research and with the use of a rubric they all produced outstanding presentations. I was so proud of each of them! (I will get this technology "thing" yet!)
Another new thing I used this year was assigning a classroom manager. What a difference this has made in my classroom!  Thank you Dr. Burns and Dr. Montrois for all your wonderful wisdom!!
The only down-side to the start of the new year so far is the size of my classes. It is still fluctuating and makes it a little difficult to keep everyone "on the same page".  Hopefully that will improve with the new week.

What made the IMPACT

Let us never forget that we teach people and not JUST a subject.

Good Morning,

This is New to Ellijay, Students mother.
I just want to extend a great big Thank You!

He is NOT interested in school at all, but he continues to push on day after day b/c of you and your class. He is very fond of you and talks about you daily. You are an Angel from God in my eyes.
He's had a pretty rough life, but things are looking up for us since we moved to Ellijay. This is a great town and I am very pleased with the community. 
I am having some troubles with him here at home. I was wondering if you might be able to assist with this by communicating with him on some of the issues.. You are the only one he looks up to (male figure) and I guess it doesn't hurt to ask right?
In any event, thank you so much for being such an awesome teacher and role model. We are blessed to have you in the school.

Have a great weekend!
New to Ellijay


After class on Tuesday night I decided I would log on to the blog and get my homework completed. Our IT staff decided to update the computers and shut everything down as I was logging out. At this moment I also realized I had misplaced my G-mail account information, throughout the week everytime I attempted to log on something else came up.I am normally much better prepared and this left me wondering why.

This week I realized I was getting caught up in the day to day stuff around teaching and getting overwhelmed with a ton of meetings and stuff. By Friday I felt I was losing sight of my students.

On Friday I received a e-mail from a parent that really answer the question of the week, NOW I know why.

The e-mail was about a new student who has moved in from Florida and joined my class on the third day of school. The mom said that his step dad is in jail and she decided to move to the mountains to start a better life for her family. She said that after the first day of school she could not get her son up for school and had to call her pastor and get him to come to the house and take her son to school. This week she noted a change in him and said when he got home he would not stop talking about my class.He said he could not wait to come to school because of my class.The e-mail had a very big impact, because, I thought I was not getting through to him.

I started my weekend humbled but excited that I have made a difference.

Friday, September 7, 2012


 I have a student who I have been teaching for three semesters now. In the past two classes, she had been the student who I almost constantly had to stay on to remain on task, often distracting other students, and quite honestly, not really "with it." I remember how she behaved during a class discussion on ethics during the first semester that I taught her. She was apathetic regarding the topic, and needless to say, she did not do well. However, I have tried to provide guidance as best I could. 

Last week, I held a review discussion on ethics. This student in particular stood out to me. She was fully engaged and provided great feedback regarding the questions that I asked! She was also inquisitive, asking very earnest and thoughtful questions. She assumed a leadership role, advising some of her classmates on ethical decision-making and also let them know when they were not behaving professionally. It was during this discussion that I really noticed how much she has grown. These days, she often takes a leadership role during many activities, and she's a good leader. She has gone from not doing well in previous classes to being one of my top students! She is now a conscientious worker, and I am so proud of her! I had a talk with her the other day after school (she even volunteered to stay after school in order to talk to me) and let her know that I had noticed her growth, and I was very proud of her. I also encouraged her to keep moving forward with her progression. I don't know which one of us was beaming more! I pray that she keeps moving in the right direction!...This is what teaching is all about!

Inspired By the Young!

One thing that happened for me last week was a visit from a student who completed the Graphic Design Pathway. She is still very active in the Graphic Arts Club and is currently the president. The first thing she asked me about was getting busy with live graphics work, for the school, and raising money for the club. When I told her that we had a few inquiries from the administration about producing various items, she turned to me and said, "I'll take them!" Even though this student is no longer in my class, she still has an interest in design and improving her skills. When I look at her drive and ability, there is no doubt in my mind that seeing this child's proactive attitude makes me see that this is what teaching is all about. Watching young people go from learners to leaders is an exhilarating experience. Knowing that I was a part of molding her professionalism and job ethic gives me hope about the workforce that we are preparing for the future. It's also comforting to know that young people can see their potential in, these types of events, and it becomes infectious.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaching Experience

Please write about something that happened last week in your "teaching life" that made you happy and think to yourself, "this is what teaching is all about!"

On last week, I had the opportunity to assist 3 young people complete college applications to Johnson and Wales University who I have had the pleasure of teaching Culinary Arts. I assisted these young people with the process that are required to enter school for Fall 2013 semester. Teaching is indeed a passion that one must have to be successful.

This opportunity  to assist this young people made me very proud of what I do each and everyday. Not only did I serve as their teacher, but as a Counselor as well. These young people looked up to me for guidance and directions as their prepare to compete in the world.

I Live To Teach!

Even-though I am new to the NTI program and I have not started teaching formally in the school system, I have been teaching students through my security and martial art training academies for many years. Because I am so passionate about teaching,  I would like to share my philosophy on the relationship between the instructor and the student. The relationship between the instructor and the student is sometimes difficult to define, as it encompasses many varying aspects of life. The instructor must flow through the student in many levels of communication and reach to the far corners of his/her mind and life. The instructor is a father and at times a mother; an advisor and a chastiser. The instructor though different, is the same as everyone else. He/She is human and deserves respect, for he has traveled long upon the way. Note: (He) will also represent (She) giving credit to both genders.
The instructor is an excellent teacher. By this, it is meant that he/she can convey the appropriate information to his students a the correct time and in the best manner, as to maximize his students understanding. He must be able to see them and their problems as they seldom can. The instructor shows no favor. As progression is reached, he becomes harder on those who progress. He's kind, but firm on the beginners on the path. He advises in an appropriate manner on the inner spiritual aspects of his art. He always has a friendly ear to listen and an open mind to understand, but is not outwardly moved. Many people are unable to see the instructor properly. They tend to see him as a teacher or a friend. He is neither, He is both, He is more. He sees a student in a free way, unmoved by facial expression or appearance, and helps in the best way. If he has to be hard, he is so. If he has to be soft, he is so. His attitudes are always in the best interest of his students.
Often the instructor will test his students by taking views diametrically opposed to theirs and watch their reaction. He may knowingly place his student in a particular situation to see how he handles that situation. He will seldom openly praise. In the martial arts, silence is sometimes the best praise. He will note what affects the student in and out of the school, how he acts and reacts towards his friends, family, fellow students and act accordingly.
He will say nothing when he should speak. He is kind and understanding. He can be strict, he can be compassionate.Through all these externals, his heart is forever with them. He listens when they speak and understands their feelings. He is unmoved, but can be sympathetic if necessary.
He is active in a subdued way, he gives while others take, and ask no rewards. He is sad, he is happy. He is let down, he is uplifted. He is human. He holds to the way, for that way is him. Though outsides may change, the instructor does not. but he thanks in return. He may be blamed, but he persist. He persist when there is no reason to, that is why he is an Instructor. And that to me is what teaching is all about.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Student Rush to Class

Please write about something that happened last week in your "teaching life" that made you happy and think to yourself, "this is was teaching is all about!"
Something that happen to me last week that made me happy was that students where excited to be apart of my Criminal Justice Program. It was exciting to have new students along with returning students come in my class and conform to the structure. It was great to have classes that had good flow and organization that made teaching easier than last year. I seen students correcting other students as well as take responsiablitity for their work. It was exciting to see students take pride in the subject area of Public safety and teach other students about what they learned by doing research projects. I am so happy I attened NTI this summer and learned the correct way to run a classroom I can finally say "This is what teaching is all about!!!!".

Donna Blankenship's post

Here is my blog.

Can't wait until Tuesday.......

School has not started yet but we had open house last Thursday. Students were coming in with their parents and were so excited to get started. I placed a manikin on each desk along with the paperwork parents needed to fill out while in my room. My bulletin board was another thing students were excited to see. I added all the ideas from NTI to the board such as the current wages for cosmetologist in our area and "Look Who Made the News" section. It contains photos of students from last year and their newspaper articles. One section of the board has the Salon Staff badges and some of the students were telling their parents that they could not wait to "work in the salon." Several said they thought something was different about me from last year.

Hearing the Heart Beat

Last year, in my second level class, I held most of the lab time for the end of the semester. This was due partly to my own reservations about how the class should be structured and how I would handle 30 students in a less formal setting. This year, I knew to break-up the monotony of academics with hand-on exercises and how that would help the students to persevere through the more academically challenging material. So starting the second week of school, the students were in the lab using scales and stethoscopes. This week, a few lab groups have progressed to the point of attempting to take blood pressures. This is a fairly complicated skill and one that takes a good amount of practice. It can easily be discouraging for a student to observe me doing it and even after multiple repetitions themselves not be able to hear the pulse sound that determines blood pressure. It's that point, when they are teetering on the edge of giving-up, that I stepped-in this week and said, "Let's do it together".  The student and I used a training stethoscope so that we both could hear, and I took the volunteer's blood pressure. I gave a hand signal to signify when I heard the pulse sound beginning and ending. When the students could hear along with me, and then tried again, they could more often hear the sound for themselves. It's that moment, when their eyes light-up, saying in a facial expression so much more fluently than words, "I heard it, I can do this." that makes me say to myself, "Today, I was a teacher." 

Set Induction

Last week I showed a set induction that was played on CBS News ( 5p-6p) showing.  The topic of discussion was Genetically modified foods and it's affect on the local farmer, the economy and what the government's stance is on biotechnology and biotechnology companies.  This episode brought real world insight on things we have been discussing in class from the unit vocabulary to the economic impact biotechnology companies have on society.  My students were able to write down their thoughts on the video and relate it to previous class discussions.  I think this was the first time they realized that what they learn in class does have some relevance and an impact on their lives.


Last week the students were extremely confused because they hadn't had a permanent teacher for their Spanish class.  Not sure if the position had been filled yet, but the students were worried that their grades were not going to be documented in the grade book.  This is to make sure so that they would have something to show to their parents.  With me coming in on the tail end of things and not knowing exactly what was going on, I contacted the administrative staff to see if it was possible that someone could come and speak with the students and explain to them exactly how their grades were going to be recored and when.  I also contacted to departmental chair to verify when their papers were going to be graded and on what grading scale.  After being there a few days with the students and trying to solve all of thier questions and concerns, the students thanked me for clairfying the information that they weren't receiving.  To them, it was a like a load lifted off of their shoulders, becasue now, they have a sense of direction.  Even though it wasn't much, I was glad I could be of help to those kids to make sure they were on the right track.  Very rewarding!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First of School

The first couple of weeks have not been bad. Thank you, Dr. B. and Dr. M. I believe that going through the NTI class has really helped me. Even though there was a lot of stuff crammed in my head and sometimes I felt overwhelmed, it was worth it. When I stand up or put my foot down I feel my strength coming from you twoJ

Makes me sad but happy

As most of you are aware, I have an advanced class which last year was not respective and would not perform any task I assigned them.  Now, I know why!  They had been allowed to do as they wanted, which apparently was goofing off in the cosmetology class.  This year they told me that they did not know the material.  I have explained to them that we will be going back in order to review the material, starting with Salon Services 1 curriculum.  I expected them to start fussing, but to my surprise, they did not.  We went back, all the way to Chapter 1 and with a quick review, we went through the entire chapter.  The majority were very cooperative and responded well to the review.  They just needed to know that someone cares about them and their education.  I cannot help but remain being concerned that this will last.

Homework status report form

This week I started using the "homework status report" form.  I explained the form at the beginning of school but had not had to use it.  I explained the form and when it was to be used.  I keep the forms clipped to the side of the inbox.  An assignment was due and I had 3students who didn't turn it in. I gave them each a "HSR" form and asked them to fill it out. Immediately they wanted to justify the missing assignment.  As they were filling out the form, begrudgingly,  I made a general announcement about the forms rationale.  When they came to put the forms in the inbox, I gave them each a private moment to chat with me.

Change in the Lesson Plan....

Every now and again, I will deviate from my lesson plan by adding or deleting a particular item depending upon the time or it may be that whatever I had planned didn't flow into the lesson as I had thought. Well, last week, I decided to deviate, and everyone in the class noticed.  I had planned to show an episode of HawthoRNe which is a television show that highlights the career of Nurse Hawthorne who is the Director of Nursing in an Emergency Room. The episode involved HIPAA violations in the workplace which happened to be what we were talking about in class last week.   I decided at the last minute to postpone showing the episode and the bulbs came on for every student. Each student, even the ones that sleep every time we show a video wanted to watch the episode so that we could discuss HIPAA and the sanctions that may occur if they are violated. I was not only surprised by happily pleased that ALL of my students were interested in our discussion and even had opinions that they wanted to share. Ahhhh, the small things in life some sometimes appear to be very large..

Student Creativity Showing...Makes Me Happy!

My advanced class is not in the kitchen yet as we have a few more things to go over. I decided to have them do a project recreating The Flow of Food (some of you may remember it from my 10 minute lecture this Summer). I gave them a rubric that included creativity and limited them to art and scrap book supplies, 1/2 sheet of poster board and magazines. Of course they wanted to go online and print, using all my ink. This time though, I wanted them to think of another way of putting it together. When I tell you they got into it, they really did. Let me give you an idea of what they were to do. Using the supplies, they were to show Purchasing, Receiving, Storing, Preparing, Cooking, Cooling, Reheating, Holding, Serving and how it rotates to start back at Purchasing. They are to use pictures (either drawn or from magazines) to show each step ensuring everything is labeled. One student used several pieces of scrapbook paper to create her background and she cut out and created 3-D pictures of a dollar sign for Purchasing, a box truck with wheels and headlights for Receiving. At the end of class she was working on a reach-in refrigerator for Storing. As they watched each other work, they would get more ideas to build on what they had. It was so nice to see them trying to figure out how they would put it together. It was due at the end of class but there were so diligent and creative I had to allow the long weekend.  I am so excited to see their outcomes Tuesday. Maybe it helps that the best one will get a $5 Starbucks gift card. Hey, we all like extra motivation don't we?

Teaching Life

Please write about something that happened last week in your "teaching life" that made you happy and think to yourself, "this is what teaching is all about!"

Last week, my K5 students made me happy by learning how to use the mouse.  In my class I request for my students to demonstrated what they learned to the class first before they are left alone on the computer. As each student would demonstrate, they would cheer for each other. With the cheers, it boost each other confidence. Their little smiles and cheers brighten my day.