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 29, 2012

Apprehensive observation

Dr M. Came to visit on Thursday and as always I was a little nervous about the visit. I have been observed more than 50 times counting the times I was observed as a military instructor, so I started wondering why am I apprehensive about observations now. I realized that with high schoolers you never know what to expect. So, I decided to test the students will. I told them that I already knew how good they are, I just wanted to show others how GREAT they are. They did very well. I realized that they will give you what you expect from them. I learned to keep the bar high and constantly challenge them and they will rise to the occasion. Thanks Dr. M for the visit.

Time Management

I learned how important time management is. It is extremely important when planning an activity for school. It's also important with everyday life. Without time management skills, you won't be able to take care of everything on your agenda. This creates time flaws, inconsistency, and you also become disorganized. Not only does this help me when substituting, I use this skill in my personal life as well. When i have a goal that im trying to accomplish, everything is written down and given a time frame. This helps in the planning as well as the execution process. Good job teachers, if I don't say so myself.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last year, being a part-time teacher I really didn't get a chance to become active in various organizations after school.  During our Healthcare PLC, we were discussing ways to get students more involved in HOSA.  I was familiar with HOSA, but never looked into it because of my schedule.  Needless to say, our school as a Chapter in place but the student participation is not so great.  I learned that HOSA has a competition section for Sports Medicine.  After discussing the competition with my students, I was able to get 15 of my Physical Medicine students to sign up for HOSA.  We are looking forward to competing at State this year for the first time.  I have learned that lack of knowledge can not only handicap me but also my students.  If I would have put more of an effort into the HOSA chapter at school, we could have competed last year.

PSAT. What is this.......?????

A little over a week ago, our school participated in the statewide practice SAT examination. I started late in the school year last year, so this was a new experience for me. I was stunned at the lack of interest and the outright disdain the students showed for the testing process. As I began the administration, I thought back to when I first took the SAT, and how nervous I was that I would not get a high enough score to attend college. I did every study prep I could think of and I checked the mailbox every day for weeks until I got my scores. I administered the test in my advisory class that consists of about 22 children. When the students arrived and "found out" that they would be testing even though several announcements had been made previously, the complaining started almost immediately. Students refused to take the test because they had not been provided with a free breakfast by the school, others complained (the majority) that they didn't need the SAT because they were not going to college. Others wanted to know what in the world an PSAT was. I looked around the room during the testing an many of the children were asleep.  I practiced classroom protocol and attempted to wake them, and was subsequently told by administration to allow them to sleep as long as they were not disrupting class.  I learned through this experience, that times have changed.  Education is no longer important, and does not provide what it did for me which was a dream of doing better in my life than my parents had.  I get discouraged, but I continue to hope that the light bulb will come on for our youth.

What teaching is all about

What did you learn this week either formally or informally that will help you grow as a teacher? You may have learned this from another teacher, through an experience, from a student, in class, etc. Please keep in mind our blog "rules." Thanks, Dr. J

The things that I learned this week from both students and teachers was that most students that I teach now are lower middle class or poor. I learned this week during advisory student filled out a survey that ask about there annual house hold income, the average was 25,000 across the board. It also asked how many students stay in a 2 parent house hold it was less than 20% that had 2 parents in a household. The survey also asked how many students have tried drugs or beeen around people during drugs 70% answered they had or been around it or done drugs. As i was looking at the numbers from the surevy a co-worker made a comment "students main focus is not with use 60% of the time but the 40% we do have there attention we need to  capture there minds and teach life lesson" I learned this week that teaching is bigger than your class its about the success of your students in life.

Learning never stops...and I am grateful!

What I noticed this week that I believe has helped me grow is to see the other side of a student. I had a behavioral episode in class the week before that caused a meeting to be scheduled about this student this week. Listening in that meeting about the struggles this child has faced and why the behavior manifests the way it does is an amazing psychological feat for me.My mind tries to rationalize it but I cannot make sense of it all. I know why I am where I am but it hurts (even if it only happens from time to time) when there is one that cannot be set back on the right path. Although our paths may never cross again, an impact has been made on me if one has never been made on this particular student.

I appreciate when seasoned, respected teachers give advice. A wise one told me before I even realized all that I would be dealing with that no matter how long we teach, there will come a time here and there that these things will happen. I don't think I have taken situation personally at all. I just feel for the student and that there was nothing I could say or do to help their future look a little brighter.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lessons Learned!
I don't have to tell you how busy we are as teachers and how overwhelmed we get trying to fit in everything we have to do for our students, fellow teachers, administrators, etc. Even in all this daily commotion however, I find I learn something new almost everyday.  I learned one such lesson (or lessons) just last Thursday.  It was the end of the period of the last class of a very long day.  The students were busy in their groups with their usual loudness working together to complete a packet due that day. One student however was sitting off on his own after several attempts by me to get him into his group. As I turned to him to again to encourage him to get into his group, he raised his hand and asked me if he could ask me something. Now, I can hear you say: "What is so extraordinary about that?" Well, this student had hardly ever said a word in my class and had never raised his hand. I sat down next to him and he asked me: "Is it normal for a teenager to be depressed all the time?"  Well, from the look on his face I knew he was talking about himself and the red flags went up. The other students were busy doing their "thing" so I sat down next to him and let him talk. Thanks to the classes at NTI and for the nursing experiences I have had, I was able to connect with him.(Now even though I had learned these lessons already- I never had to put them into practice.)
I was able to dismiss the class as it was the end of the period from where I was sitting; not from the my usual place at the door!  I continued to talk with him some more and convince him to go with me to the counselor.  He shared a lot with me that day and I was not about to let him go home without some immediate intervention. I have not seen him since as I only have him every other day but I think about him every day.  I pray he has the same support at home as he has here. I learned (again) how important trust is especially for a teen.  I learned that they look for not only someone to trust but for someone that truly cares about them. I learned that they are full of emotions that are up and down all the time; making bad decisions at times. I have learned that if we tune out as teachers, we can lose students that need us the most, and finally, that to be a teacher can be the most rewarding job despite the low pay and long hours! Yes, it was lessons learned!

State visit

We also had a visit from the State DOE this past week. The preparations were intense. At the end of last year I had to compile specific information. (mind you I had taken over this job in January) My knowledge of the program was primary and it was mostly survival mode last year. The good news was the HCS program was just started so there was not much information to gather or be prepared with, so I thought.  We had meetings and everyone was staying late to prepare (it was nice to have company as I stay late anyway and the crickets). The day came for the visit and all was going smoothly until.....I was on my planning period with a stack of copies to make, one foot out the door, when my AP and a DOE representative stepped in. Introductions were made, my AP left and there I, this person ......and the crickets. GULP. What I learned during  that hour of questioning is that more than anything, my program is ever evolving and I am part of that evolution. My opinions mattered to him, as did his adgenda. I also learned that being a good listener was key.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Teacher Becomes The Student

As a teacher, instructor or educator (we) sometimes get so caught up in teaching and educating others that we can sometimes overlook lessons that our students are teaching us. You must be in-tune with your students, who they are and what they are saying; but most importantly you must listen to them. The classroom is a "bubble of knowledge and learning" for everyone inside, not only for the students, but for the teacher as well. If you listen to and observe your students closely, you will find that you can learn a great deal from them. As an instructor for over 30 years, I have learned as much from my students as I have given to them; which I believe has made me not only a better instructor, but a better person as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thank you

Well the State compliance review people came out. I learned that they are normal people. There was a man and a lady that came in my room. I did get a chance to talk to them and was scared to death. I hate when I think I might be put on the spot but, that did not happen. I of coarse let them know up front I was new, hoping they would go easy on me. They are there to help not stab us in the back. I had run ideas by them that I was thinking about. They made suggestion to make them better or let me know it was good and had worked. The man was from the school I graduated from. I ask him about my cosmetology teacher and how I wish I would have listen to her and not waited to become a teacher. He is suppose to try and find out where she is, if she is still alive, and let me know. My students get upset with me because I will not let them loose in the lab. I tell them “one day you will thank me”. Their response is that is what you keep telling us. How I hope I get the opportunity to tell my teacher thank you!!

I did have a student come in on Tuesday, which was in my class last year. One of the students that hated the class last year. Well, she said, “I cannot believe I dropped this class. I was told that you are teaching them and making them learn. I wish I would have stayed now”. My student may complain that they have to do it my way but it sounds like they really deep down appreciate it. For now that is close enough to thank you J

My review with Dr. M

Dr. Montrois came to visit me for my second review Tuesday.  I didn't dread him coming but like that he shows me things that I haven't thought about doing in my class.  He made great suggestions about the arrangement of my equipment that really gave me more room.  Who knew that he was such a great interior decorator.  During his last visit and during our summer class we discussed the use of classroom helpers.  I didn't really believe that it would make such a big difference.  I was way wrong.  The students love the new responsibility of a Staff position.  I thought I would have to make them do the positions but they are begging to be next.  I am not killing myself trying to clean up after everyone at the end of the day.  It has also cut down on the "misplacing" of things.  I was also having a problem with ventilation when we do acrylic nails and the odor.  He made a great suggestion about using an unoccupied room downstairs that had an outside door.  I think that is going to work great as well.  If you have not had a review with one of the Dr.'s yet, don't wait.  They have a lot of great tips.


The Hook Before the Hook

Several things have happened this week that confirms, to me anyway, the importance of how I am viewed by my students. I came in with the mentality that I was there to teach - not to coddle, mother, cure, or befriend. My primary job was to IMPART KNOWLEDGE and whether they eagerly consumed it or if I was going to have to force feed it down their resistant throats, by golly those kids were going to LEARN SOMETHING.  Fortunately, for both myself and my students, I have found that no force feeding is required if my students feel accepted by me.  They crave my acceptance. In fact, I can have the most creative set induction Dr. Montrois has ever seen, and deliver the standards in such a way that even Dr. Barge would be impressed and it will fall on closed ears and distracted minds if they don't trust me with who they are. Rich, poor, black, white, sinner, saint, male, or doesn't matter. My students need to KNOW that whatever is in their past I completely accept them for who they are in the present moment.  Then they will begin to trust me enough to learn what I have to offer.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It All Rolls Down...

I have found it a little challenging to manage things this year. A great portion is due to the roll out of Common Core and how my school has decided to tackle this and other important agendas. It almost feels as if I barely have time to give instruction. I sometimes feel as if I haven't given my students the time attention needed due to my planning periods taken away, constant requests for design work, and various other administrative responsibilities handed out to the faculty. At the beginning of the year I was more concerned about managing my classroom and student behavior. I now feel comfortable in that area, because I have an expectation of what students will or will not do based on the fact that they are young people. It has become apparent that the challenge is keeping up with requirements doled out by the administration and not being penalized for missing the mark. I remain resilient, because I understand that ultimately I am only one person and all I can give is my best. I hope that ultimately the work we as a faculty are putting in can result in rewards like, improved test scores, higher graduation rates and improved attendance.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Well the State is coming in this week. I understand that it is for the students’ best interest; well that is what they say. All it is really doing is putting a little more stress on the teachers. They will come in the middle of the day and interrupt my class. I just hope it is one of my better classes so the students do not embarrass me. I hate the fact that they will be asking questions. I would much rather they miss my class. I guess I am not the only one that feels this way, I hope. I wish  it was over J

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Parental Involvement!!!!!

I must say since this is my first full year teaching, I did not reach out to parents as much last year. This year I find myself making a lot of calls for behavior related issues, attendance, and so forth. I am increasingly shocked by the responses (or lack thereof) that I receive. Many of the parents, if I do get them on the phone are indifferent, short, and almost ticked off that I am calling. I have heard things like, "do you and her have a personal problem", "You have called me three times, if she is failing that's on her", and I could go on.  As a parent, I call teachers back quicker than I call my own husband. I feel that not only is my sons education my duty and responsibility, but my involvement is imperative to his success.  I am fully aware that there are outside factors that may influence student behavior, participation, attendance, but I expect that the parents would take a lot more interest in their children's education, if even to give them a better opportunity then they themselves have had. Wishful thinking!!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This past Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend the hosa fall rally with 8 of my students. My students and I were greatly anticipating this trip since the beginning of the year, as we did not go last year. Planning this trip got to be a bit of a pain initially because this was my first time going, and I really wasn't familiar the planning process. There's information on the website, but you have to do a scavenger hunt, or play web detective to find answers to simple questions. Quite frankly, I didn't have time for that, and I ended up growing frustrated with the process before the planning was all over with. On top of that, it was one of those "Murphy's Law Weeks," and I just wanted to get the trip over with. I woke up the morning of the rally feeling drained and no longer excited about the trip. I got myself ready and arrived at our meeting place at the exact time we were scheduled to meet. There were already 5 students there, with smiling faces, ready to go! As soon as I saw my students something changed. I could feel that excitement that I once had starting to return. Fall Rally indeed proved to be way more than I anticipated for the students as well as for myself! They all had a great time, and created memories that hopefully they will never forget. I had the opportunity to strengthen the bond that I have with my students, and I am grateful for it. It energized both myself and my students. We came back with lots of ideas and a whole new level of excitement about the future!

The life of an Educator...

Question of the Week Oct. 8

This week we will have "open mic." You may post about any issue you would like related to teaching. Please keep in mind our blog "rules."
I started my humble beginnings several years ago working with the special needs population. In this assignment I was afforded an opportunity to explore the various challenges the schools and the district encounter. Many educators and parapro's were frustrated because of their workload and the amount of paper work that are required in the field of education.
In my current teaching assignment, I sometimes become irritable of the amount of paperwork we must submit in which sometimes it is less than a day's notice. Another issue that I have relating to teaching is the meetings during your planning period. This is why it is called planning!
My last issue relating to teaching is Administrator's with no backbones. If a student constantly acts out in class and the teacher has documentation of that,I feel the administrators should tak the necessary steps to correct this behavior and stop sending the students back to class without punishment.
However, besides all of that Teaching is a passion!! It must be in your heart to help others succeed.


I have officially become a REAL teacher.  Last year, I was a part-time teacher.  My schedule was heaven.  I worked every other day.  Running both of my offices was a breeze as a part-time teacher.  I never got burnt out or did not concern myself when vacation was approaching.  Well, I must say it finally hit me.  The past week, I had the opportunity to enjoy my FALL break.  I officially took an entire week of vacation with the exception to answering a few emails from students.    Don't get me wrong.  Teaching part-time doesn't compare to full-time.  Although I'm teaching everyday, it is way easier than part-time.  I'm better prepared. We are on 90 minute block schedules.  That works for me. I have found that teaching the same lesson the next day, just perfects it.  Teaching full-time has taught me how to manage my time better.  My day usually starts at 4:30 am. Yes, I still workout in the mornings prior to school.  I usually check into my offices between 3-3:30 pm.  I work there until about 8-9 pm.  Unfortunately, my evening unwinds with reviewing my lesson plans for the next day.  I enjoy teaching Physical Medicine.  The impact that I have on my students keep me very humble and grateful that God has chosen me to influence their lives.

Frog / Toad Licker

After reading Chris's post, I realized many things affect teaching and the students' learning process.  I was shocked to find out that someone would actually lick a frog to get high, the first time heard it.  I looked it up on the internet and found that a couple of sites included 'how-to' instructions.  I believe we had a drug culture while I was in High School but it was not as bad as it is now.  The students have tons of informational resources that they can use positively or negatively.

After the economic downturn, I started seeing more sleepy students. When I questioned them, they said they were tired.  At first I thought it was from poor time management. But as I questioned them more, they told me they did not have food at home and only ate while at school. The counselors worked with me and we provided snacks for students through the guidance office. The students became more attentive and thanked me for caring about them.

Sometimes I find I attempt to lead the students to forget everything else and simply escape into a learning environment while they are in my class.   As teachers, I think we all desire to make education the 'drug of choice' for our students.

alphabet soup...

I have had a very eye open experience about what I like to call "alphabet soup". If any teacher decided to become an RN and jumped into a healthcare facility they would not be confronted with this "alphabet soup" that teachers deal with.  It's appropriate to have a planning period during the day to grade tests, prepare lesson plans, scout a working copy machine and stand in line to make copies.  But are must give up that planning period to become part of the ...."alphabet soup".  I had no idea what this was or what was required. So I made some quick texts/phone calls to adjust my plans after school since now I'd be staying late to make copies etc.....So off I went to the appropriate room and join the "alphabet soup" club.  You know what I'm talking about .....IEP, RTI, 504,  TKE, OAS, etc.....
It seems that in addition to teaching, monitoring, CTSOing, I am now in the "alphabet soup" club.  There is always a meeting to go to, something to record on a system that is so cumbersome it takes hours to complete. It takes so much time away from the job I am hired to do and with so little experience, how valuable is my input at this point. I am curious if anyone else is in the "alphabet soup" club?


This month has been very productive with the launch of a few ideas I have had for fundraising for the culinary program. One is the CCA Culinary Cafe. Every 1st Thursday we serve pre-ordered lunch to our staff, the board of education staff, the alternative school staff and students. This was our inaugural lunch which consisted of Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, grilled chicken, garlic bread, white/milk chocolate chip cookies from scratch and Sweeeeeeet Tea for $6. Our gross sales were a little over $320.

There are several things I love about this (besides the money). I pull a few students from my intro classes to help package everything and a few advanced students to help prepare. The students I tend to choose to help first are those who seem to have a problem with authority, who may be the class clown or who generally seem like they don't want to be there. So far, no one has turned down the opportunity. They get to come to my class shortly after I arrive and spend the day or 2 depending on what needs to done. This may be against a seasoned teacher's recommendation, however, my strategy was (and I have found) that spending time with me in this "different" type of setting gives them a bridge or better understanding of what our end result is - Foodservice Operations. They get to see me interact with other students from other classes, they spend my planning and lunch with me and even after school if needed. I believe being chosen makes them feel special and the perspective they have gained has given them a better attitude in class. They pay attention better and are more comfortable around me and in the kitchen even if they had not prepared anything yet. Knowing where the items are in the pantry has been a great help to their groups.

I am putting on the final touches but, coming up on October 29th, we will have our 1st meeting for our Culinary Club called The Upper Crust. This will provide time after school in a relaxed setting to work on baking and decorating skills as well as specialty items we don't have time to do in class. We have Frankenstein cupcakes, Spider bites and Candy Apples on the agenda for 17 participants. I'm excited!

We also have 5 Skills USA advisors (including myself) who came up with Fun Food Fridays and Muffin Mondays. Last week I did Nacho Tacos. You cut the side out of a small Dorito bag and fill it with taco meat, salsa, cheese, lettuce, jalapeno and sour cream to order. I find that the once the students see something different, they began to think outside of the box when putting together their plates. Between that, sweet tea and pickles, we made $200. The students really get excited about it and they like that we are doing it to make their costs cheaper when we go on trips or do events. Besides, they have bottomless pits for stomachs and never miss an opportunity to eat.

October has proven to be a busy month!

HOSA and Honey Boo-Boo

I survived my first field trip this week. I took 21 students to the HOSA Fall Rally in Perry, GA. It was a 3 hour school bus ride (one way!!). We left at 6:30 a.m., and got back to the school with all students picked-up at 7:30 p.m. To say the least it was a long day. I was nervous about my first solo adventure and the preparation required to pull it all off was considerable, so the question is.....was it worth it? And the answer is, yes. Thankfully, the students were positive, excited and well-behaved. I have a few student leaders who were extremely helpful and I think over-all it was time well spent. The students had a short competitive event and then an enjoyable motivational speaker with several thousand other HOSA students. The HOSA group who sat directly in front of us had the quasi-famous reality star "Chubs" in attendance. For those who don't follow the wildly popular reality show, that's Honey Boo-Boo's sister. My students had a ball getting their picture taken with her. However, what I think was the most redeeming quality of the day, besides the funnel cake, the snake-skin woman, and the hurley whirl, was the somewhat illusive gift of relationship. There is something about stepping out of the confines of the classroom with your students. I was still the teacher and they were still my students but a unique bond forms when the goal, at least for a little while,  is to just have fun together. Alas, no standards were met or literacy leaps were achieved. Yet I dare to say that seeds were planted that day that will probably yield a more gererous harvest.     

Week 8: Professional Community

Although I have only been teaching for a short time, I find that I really enjoy the students in the my classroom and enjoy the time I spend teaching.  What I have not found enjoyable this year is working with other teachers. Even though I have limited experience I have unofficially been dubbed the head of the county department as well as the head of TSA.  It has been frustrating to get the other teachers to get involved and to get their students involved. The teachers come on the trips, and attend the meetings but don't really take responsibility to get their students involved.  I do not work in the same school with these teachers, and while I know it is my responsibility as the "leader" to get them involved and to fulfill the commitments, I feel like they should be taking more responsibility (I can't hold their hands all year, and next year they will have to have a TSA club on their own).  These teachers are older than me (some by more than 10 years), and I feel they have more experience than me.  I can see that teaching is so much more than just teaching in a classroom. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Well this week I had a Criminal Justice advisory meeting with local, state and federal law enforcement officer on Monday last week. We talked about some very imporatant issues that have to deal with teachers and students. The first issue that we disccused was about drug and alcohol abuse of teens. I learned about many of the new trends of teens that use drugs (how and what they hind the drugs in). There many new trends that have hit high schools across the south such as huffing Freon Gas from air conditioners units,Nutmeg and Bath Salts. Freon Gas-Freon is the trade name for a class of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, used primarily in refrigeration and air conditioning. (Reference 5) Freon and other refrigerants are toxic and can cause poisoning and even death. Refrigeration service workers are at risk due to occupational exposure, but exposure most often occurs during intentionally sniffing the gas, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. (Reference 4) Freon and other refrigerants are used by inhalant abusers to get high, an extremely. Nutmeg-There are many unpleasant, even dangerous, side effects. Overconsumption of nutmeg can often result in nausea, vomiting, dizziness and possibly convulsions. Their heartbeat starts moving up the ladder, and if somebody has an underlying heart condition, that is undiagnosed or unrecognized, you may have a tragedy on your hands. Bath Salt-READ THIS ARTICAL
SALEM, N.H. — Less than 48 hours after federal agents and local police raided a store for synthetic drugs, a local teenager apparently had a bad reaction after using them.

Police were called to a home on S. Policy Street late Thursday night after a caller reported a 17-year-old male was “flipping out.”

When police arrived, the teenager was “shirtless, lethargic and sweating heavily,” according to police reports.

“He appeared to be heavily impaired,” the report said.

Both the teen and his mother told police he had been smoking K2 and Crazy Monkey bath salts, according to police documents.

K2 is a brand name for synthetic marijuana. Those products were targets of a nationwide Drug Enforcement Administration effort Wednesday to shut down retail stores and manufacturing sites, and significantly cut down the availability of synthetic designer drugs.

Can You Dig It at 101 Main St. was one of four sites raided in New England, one of three in New Hampshire.

The pawn shop/tattoo parlor, which also sells “decorative” swords, pepper spray, adult novelties and clothing, pipes, rolling papers, DVDs and more, was swarmed by DEA agents, Salem and North Andover police Wednesday morning.

Some 76 cardboard boxes, marked as DEA evidence, were removed from the store Wednesday, filling two pickup trucks and a large SUV. No arrests have been made locally in connection with the sweep, dubbed Operation Log Jam, but local officials have said they expect that to happen at some point.

It’s the DEA’s show and, short of a press conference and news release Thursday, there hasn’t been a lot of specific information released. Repeated phone calls to the Boston DEA office have not been returned.

No one has said what kind of material was taken from the store during the execution of a federal search warrant. While local police were helping at the scene, it is in federal hands.

But Salem police will continue to monitor and investigate any activity around synthetic drugs, Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said yesterday.

“Frankly, after the raids and working with the DEA, the officers found it ironic we would have an overdose of this type right after we had conducted that raid in close proximity,” he said yesterday.

The teen has not been charged and police can’t be sure he had taken K2 or bath salts, Patten said, but it seemed feasible.

“It’s consistent with use of those types of synthetic drugs,” he said.

The teenager was evaluated by Salem fire personnel and transported to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen.

He wouldn’t tell police where he got the drugs and said he was smoking alone, according to police reports.

Salem detectives spent some time Thursday visiting other stores in town that were suspected of or known to sell synthetic drugs, Patten said.

“Our detectives went around to all the other stores and advised them the stuff on the shelves was illegal and they looking for voluntary compliance before taking action,” he said. “All the stores we visited had already removed it from their shelves prior to our arrival.”

While Patten said police are happy with the level of voluntary compliance, they will continue to monitor activity and urge anyone who sees the products for sale to notify police.

He said police had been monitoring all the stores where they knew synthetic marijuana or bath salts were being sold, but the volume of activity and the inventory at Can You Dig It was much greater than at any other local business.

The store owner, Judith Tridenti of North Andover, has denied any illegal activity, according to her lawyer.

“There were several specific overdoses and issues that came out of that specific store,” Patten said. “We have had all the stores selling this merchandise under investigation. Can You Dig It was a larger supplier and was brought to the attention of federal investigators. They chose to include that store as part of the federal raid.”

If any store that has removed the items from its shelves starts selling them again, he said, charges would be forthcoming.

“One store owner told us the markup is enormous,” Patten said.

“He would buy it for $2 a pack and sell it for $20.” Several store owners told detectives they were unaware the products were illegal.

“I really believe the goal of the DEA was to shut off supply lines coming into the country, making it unavailable for sale in the U.S.,” Patten said.

“For us in Salem specifically, hopefully, it makes it more difficult for people to get, and easier for us to monitor and enforce.”
I was at a lost of words when I heard the new trends that are affecting our student that we teach. Teacher we need to be on the look out for these things that are happing they are hinding these things in lip stick, birth control packs, and they are even hiding drugs in bottom less cups.

From The Outside Looking In

I recently completed my "Observation" requirement as part of the NTI program, since I do not yet have a school. My mission was to observe a career tech class in my field (Law & Justice) over a 10 hour period. I conducted my observations at McEachern High School in Powder Springs. This was a very enlightening and exciting experience to say the least. I not only got the opportunity to observe teacher/student interactions and overall teaching environment, but I also had the opportunity to speak to each class as well. A total of six classes, each with over 30 students! The last class had 39! It was interesting to see "Classroom Management" in full effect! The primary teacher for this class was also a former graduate of Dr. Burns NTI Class, so that made the experience that much more special, to see NTI principles and techniques put into play!

Grouping Students not so Scary!

I guess what I want to share with my fellow teacher "classmates" is that I have really worked hard on the group assignments issue I had.  I had terrible experiences with it last year and nearly "swore them off!".  I have had to constantly remind myself that I inherited these classes half-way through the last school year with all of its problems and my bad experiences grouping students together for learning projects.   I have learned a lot from our lessons on grouping students and have listened and learned from everyone's stories and experiences as well.  Many of them I have put to practice over the last couple of weeks on smaller projects and my students have pleasantly surprised me.  I now realize that the core of my problem last year was letting the students choose their own groups and boy, what a mistake that was! (And how naive of me!) The nuturing side of me has taken a step down and the more commanding side of me as a more knowledgable teacher of teens has stepped up.  I now have more hetergeneous groups and it is working so much better. The other lesson I have put into practice is teaching these students the rules for working in groups and the expectations they should have from each other as well as meeting my expectations. Teaching social skills is not easy but they really do not come with many!  This will be an ongoing process but I am up to the challenge.  I have a cultural diversity project planned for them in the very near future. Let's hope these students continue to surprise me - in good way! :)
Oh, I have one last thought.  I love the idea of the pencil activity for group work!  I heard many of you did too.  Think I better go run out and invest in pencil stock asap!    ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 4 and 5

No, I do not believe that all information from the media or any other outlet are completely accurate or worthy of attention.  A lot of it can be the product of the producer's opinion or perspective but not necessarily grounded in truth/facts. As with choosing food service vendors, you must always get your information (or product) from reputable sources. All of them are known to be biased in some way, based on how they report or how they present a topic and the type of light they want to shed on it. I typically trust the web for research more than any other source due to the fact that I have millions of sites from which to choose as a comparison.

Information literacy is the need for information and the ability to find the information that is needed (ie being resourceful).With my students, I will share with them that it is best to go with a site that is not a forum of opinions but preferably one that is an .edu, .org or .gov for fact comparisons.I think it is important to let them know that they cannot take one thing they find for gospel but to utilize all that is available to insure accurate information.

Classroom Observation

Today I did the first part of my classroom observation. My task today was to complete my field assignment.  Cudos to all of the employed teachers.  That was a ton of information that I had to locate today.  The work was actually interesting.  I especially liked, as I observe the lesson for the day, Ms McDonald(Roswell High School, Cosmetology Department) asked me to include my little two cents in on the classroom discussion.  My, I actually felt like a real teacher :-).  I had to stop myself from talking because I really started to get into educator mode as I do when I'm teaching a color class or offering product knowledge.  My thought process would seem a bit difficult for the students, so I do have to break things down in simpler terms.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit today.  The class wasn't difficult and it moved along smoothly.  Ms McDonald was extremely nice and very helpful. 

Jury Duty

Hello Everyone,

I had jury duty today and I couldn't  help but reflect upon who a "jury of our peers" is. I looked around and wondered what careers potential jurors have, what level of education they have, and most important if they have problem solving skills and can evaluate the quality of evidence.  I hope their teachers were thoughtful and took them to the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy with objectives and questions.  I didn't get selected to serve on a jury . . . I never do!  Dr. J.

The Essence of Education

Teaching is the essence of Learning and learning is the essence of Education. For our young people to take their places as productive citizens and public-service leaders of tomorrow, they must be inspired to learn today. Today’s technology has advanced education to levels only dreamed of in past times. Educators today are equipped with a vast array of tools, techniques and technologies to meet the challenge of preparing students for the road ahead; it is up to the student to receive from the teacher, apply and prosper.

“The Teacher Opens the Door, It Is Up To The Student To Walk Through”