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?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Former Students visit

What was the moment (or moments) this past week when you felt most connected, engaged, or affirmed as a teacher - the moment(s) when you said to yourself, "This is what being a teacher is really all about"?

I have had several former students return to visit with my class over the past week. One came back to apologize for not making the most of the class while he was in school. He graduated two years ago and the REAL WORLD has been cruel to him. Another student emailed me and thanked me for the time I spent just making sure he was ready for life outside of high school.He is now in school at SAM in Houston Texas.
Since teaching is my third career I am blessed daily with knowing I am in the right place. Of the former jobs , teaching has got to be one of the most stressful but fulfilling jobs that I have had.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Impact on students

Last year on the first day of school, I had a student that stood out in my class.  Her first comment to me after I introduced myself was that I look like a Basketball wife.  She was not a disrespectful student.  Very bright, hard work and eager to learn. Toward the end of the year, she started having difficultly focusing in class and her grade started to slip.  Her mother often called complaining that her daughter stayed up late doing group projects or failed a test. Needless to say, she passed my class and her mother thanked me for pushing her child.
When school started this year, I did not see her and asked some students if she was still enrolled in health are.  Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with this student and talk to her and her mother.  They told me that she had gotten ill over the summer and because of the things I taught her in class last year saved her life.  She had been diagnosed with cancer and the doctors didn't order the right diagnostic test or check her blood work.  Last year, I told my students that no one knows their bodies better than them.  If a doctor tell them nothing is wrong go and get another opinion. Also, she told me that the reason why she is back at school is because of me.  She admire my drive and perseverance. You never know what impression you leave on your students.   

Teaching future Leaders

Week of November 12

What was the moment (or moments) this past week when you felt most connected, engaged, or affirmed as a teacher - the moment(s) when you said to yourself, "This is what being a teacher is really all about"?

This past week I felt totally connected with my students as we prepared our 2nd annual Thanksgiving Faculty and Staff luncheon. My students were really engaged in preparing various dishes by following standardized recipes and working collaboratively as a team. It took us three days to prepare this delicious meal. As a teacher, the first thing I stress in the beginning of the semester is being able to communicate and get along with one another. Let's just say when rules are in place in the beginning of the semester the flow of your classroom will run smoothly.

I was very pleased of all of my students on the way  they conducted themselves during the luncheon.  Everyone thought they were entering a classy upscale restaurant. I have always taught my students the importance of first rate customer service in the hospitality industry.

So you see, when students perform at this level, I am proud to say I am a teacher.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Success is when...

This week, we toured Tanner Medical. They partner with our school and hire students as unpaid interns. Initially you would think only the medical students attend. However, HVAC, Graphic Arts, Marketing, Information Technology and Culinary were all able to attend. Once we had our tour of the kitchen and bistro, the kitchen manager talked to the kids about the intern opportunities that are available to them. It became real to them when they saw and heard the story of the 2 tour guides one of which is 18 who was currently working there full-time and running the Bistro. This was all possible because of the same exact program they are currently in. The manager discussed the importance of a strong work ethic and having the proper attire. With me coming in after their old chef, I believe they didn't think I knew what I was talking about or maybe just wasn't ready to hear from me yet. As I listened to them mumble as the tour ended, many of them said "Chef, he sounded just like you! The next day, the counselor stopped by to hand out sign up sheets for the Tanner opportunity. I have never heard them asking questions with such genuine interest in their future. I think, added together, everything made the light bulb turn on pretty bright. Some signed up for Tanner, others signed up for the Carrollton Club (an assisted living facility) and other pathway completers decided to take a 2nd pathway. THAT is what it is about....Success is when preparation meets opportunity (and the light bulb goes off) then I look back and say, I actually had a small part to play in all of that. This really is the life!
What was the moment (or moments) this past week when you felt most connected, engaged, or affirmed as a teacher - the moment(s) when you said to yourself, "This is what being a teacher is really all about"?

My "This is what being a teacher is really all about" moment came this past week during a HOSA meeting. My student officers were conducting the meeting and I was hanging out in the background monitoring things but busy with the list of things I was trying to mentally check off during the busy week of getting grades posted.  Suddenly I heard them mention my name, so of course I looked to the front of the room where they were standing and paid closer attention. They were discussing the Fall Leadership Conference we had just attended the previous Thursday and Friday. Now, I know that these three students had really enjoyed themselves but I did not realize just how much. They made sure that they mentioned the wonderful room they had, the other students they met as well as all the fun and new things they experienced.  What they really surprised me with was them telling the others how they should listen to me as their teacher and believe it when I say to them that they too “could make a difference in their lives” and to really think about signing up for the Spring Competition Conference. They mentioned how I got them all excited when we were at the conference reviewing the poster and triboard competitions and pulled them aside at one point and said  “Hey, we (NCCA HOSA) could “blow the competition out of the water!”. (We are a new chapter and none of the students have ever competed in anything like this.) This motivated them to sign up to compete. Well, this was a “Wow” moment for me.  I really never felt like the things I do and say for these students really is taken to heart. Who knew?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

 I had 2 really great moments this week that took me aback.  One was that one of my Hcs2 students wanted to come to my Hcs1 class during his lunch to discuss CTSO upcoming events.  I offered to make the announcements but he insisted he did not mind rushing his lunch and coming down if I'd give him a pass. So I said fine but come 1/2 way through period so I could get lecture done.  Sure enough he came and made the announcements.  The remainder of the class we were doing a reviw activity for an assessment the next day. The student asked to stay. My brain was cooking.  " You can stay if you run the review..."  I explained the review technique I used.  He had to reach back into his brain from last years work, but he did it. That was when I had " a moment". The student became the teacher.  I just sat and watched the interaction. The HCS1 students were impressed with him.  He was impressed with how much they knew.  And I was impressed with all of them.  The other one was just before I left work. I have a roommate. ( have to share a classroom) she had come in during the last 10 minutes of my class. ( she travels to other classrooms assisting students as sees a lot of other teacher 's classes in action). We were in the middle of an activity.  Students were really having fun. I was monitoring and guiding them but also really having fun.  The bell rang,  they left and I plopped in my chair exhausted.  She turned to me and said, " You know, you are a really really good teacher. "

The Power of the Written Word

It is progress report time in my county so I have spent the last several days putting in last minute grades and posting grades. As part of our grading program, I can type in comments, specific for an individual student, that will print on their progress report. It is designed to notify parents of what their student can do to bring-up a failing grade. For example, for one student I commented, "Jane could bring up her current grade of 47 if she would pick her lazy head up off the desk and stop texting under the table." (Just kidding....just wanted to see if someone actually reads this......)  What I actually wrote was, "Jane has had a failing grade on our last two unit tests. If she comes in for tutoring, offered several times each week, she may take a recovery test that will help to bring her grade up. But what I really found engaging this week, and what really helped me to feel like a teacher, were the comments that I put in that had nothing to do with failing grades. It was stuff like, "Joe has really turned a corner in class. I am so proud of him and the effort he is putting forth in class. He is a joy to teach," or "Sally is such an encourager in class. She is a great team leader and will make a real difference when she is part of a healthcare team one day." I got so excited knowing that my students would read these comments and feel encouraged and parents would read them and feel proud of their children. It was just a little way to plant a seed of pride in a student's heart with the hope that it will eventually lead them to know their value as a person. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Art of the Possible

What was the moment (or moments) this past week when you felt most connected, engaged, or affirmed as a teacher - the moment(s) when you said to yourself, "This is what being a teacher is really all about"?

I must say that because of my passion for teaching, I (always) feel connected and engaged with my students. In general, we as teachers face challenges on a daily basis to include (but not limited to) communicating effectively with our students, classroom management, creating ways to prevent misbehavior, developing good and positive working relationships with our students, and the list go on..... These are challenges that I welcome each day I teach a class. It is the Art of the Possible, how much can I get accomplished today with my students? How much can I teach them? I enjoy developing different ways to deliver my instruction to ensure that my students absorb and understand what I'm teaching. There's an ole saying: 

"A man who finds a job that he really likes - will never work a day in his life" 

Teaching is not a job to me, it is a passion, and to me - That is what being a teacher is really all about!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reply to November 12 post

First, I completely forgot about the blog. To answer the question, those moments hit me when my upper level students come into my class (when they are supposed to be in class themselves), to visit. While I tire of grading papers and leaving the school at 530pm almost everyday except Friday, I feel the most affirmed when my students interact with me. Its a rewarding and somewhat pestering feeling to know the kids want to be around you a lot. Nevertheless, I relish those times, and I think the students like the thought of "bothering a teacher".

Teachers can learn from students

This past week I have really been trying to work on studying for the math GACE exam.  I had the students going on a project and had a few minutes so I thought I would pull up the to study.  One of the students finished and brought me their work.  They noticed that I had the math on my computer and asked me about it.  I told them that math was not my strongest subject.  They offered to help.  The funny thing is....I had watched this same problem over and over again on the video and didn't get it.  She showed me her way and I got it.  Before I knew it I had almost the entire class working on math with me and I teach a Cosmetology class.  The way she translated the problem made me realize just how different we all learn.  I think I will try harder in my lesson plans to make them understandable by more types of learners. 


There are  4 1/2 week assessments, there are the mid-term assessments, quizzes, and so forth and I said to myself, wow, this is what being a teacher is all about! Teachers spend their lives grading papers, printing out deficiency notices, and calling parents to tell them all about their wonderful little darlings (yeah right).  I honestly wish that there was more time for instruction and learning, but I find myself giving handouts and homework during class (because I also know they wont complete the assignment at home) so that I can catch up with my administrative duties.  My husband is the school administrator and I have never had a desire to trade places with him, but I feel like I have.  I guess with any professions you have pros and cons and as long as you do all that you can to be the best at your job, you will have little time to sweat the small things, or those things that you can not control.
Happy Teaching and Learning....

A Word to the Wise

This week I had seniors. Some are getting ready for college and some are getting ready for the real world. We had a little down time right before the bell rang. One of the students asked, "Ms. Davis, what do you do besides subbing?" I replied, "I'm a hair salon owner." She then went on to ask, "What do you recommend for us Seniors that are about to go into the real world and achieving our goals?" I thought that was a great question from a student because you rarely find a younger person that is interested in what the teacher has to say. I let them know that they can do whatever they set their minds to. It's about believing in themselves and knowing that noone can take that belief from them. That short time frame kind of made my day to know that a student actually listened and care enough to hear my opinion.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Of everything I did this week in my teaching, what would I do differently if I had the chance to do it again? And, why?

As a teacher, I discover new teaching methods daily. There is always room for me to grow within my field with the newest technology that seemingly is a part of instruction. Sometimes my students are more familiar with the latest trends and keep me abreast of current events and news. Alot of times they have ideas on new foods and beverages and how they should be prepared.

On last week when I was teaching  standard CACA1-12, I realized that Garde Manger was pronounced differently from what I was pronouncing it. It took a french student and teacher to correctly pronounce it. I was slightly embarrassed, but realized that it is a continous learning process in any thing we do. Know that I have been schooled on the word Garde Manger.

Even as a Culinary Arts teacher, many people pronounce this word differently. So you see if I had to re-teach this unit all over again, I would be able to pronounce it.
Week of November 5

Of everything I did this week in my teaching, what would I do differently if I had the chance to do it again? And, why?

As a teacher, I discover new teaching methods daily. There is always room for me to grow within my field with the newest technology that seemingly is a part of instruction. Sometimes my students are more familiar with the latest trends and keep me abreast of current events and news. Alot of times they have ideas on new foods and beverages and how they should be prepared.

On last week when I was teaching  standard CACA1-12, I realized that Garde Manger was pronounced differently from what I was pronouncing it. It took a french student and teacher to correctly pronounce it. I was slightly embarrassed, but realized that it is a continous learning process in any thing we do. Know that I have been schooled on the word Garde Manger.

Even as a Culinary Arts teacher, many people pronounce this word differently. So you see if I had to re-teach this unit all over again, I would be able to pronounce it.

Week of November 5

Of everything I did this week in my teaching, what would I do differently if I had the chance to do it again? And, why?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Don't Assume Anything...

If I had to do it all over again, I would try to assess my students understanding of new information. This week we started using Adobe Illustrator. I warned my students that it was going to be tough, and to allow themselves room to make mistakes. I thought that they would keep an open mind, but the first few days it was like nails on a chalk board. Students were frustrated with the software and some wanted to quit all together. Later in the week I realized that every class is different and sometimes repetition is key. I stopped where we were and made everyone sit in the class portion of the room while I went step by step and re-capped the basics of the lesson on Adobe Illustrator. They watched as I did the demo on the projector screen. During the demo I would ask the class how to do certain tasks and let them guide the demo. I also used other students as instructors. Those who finished early, were given the task to make sure others understood the project. I think the fog was slowly lifting and my students were beginning to grasp the concept of the software.

I would make sure that students understood my directions.

Of everything I did this week in my teaching, what would I do differently if I had a chance to do it again? And why?  I would make sure that I give clear directions on all assignments and projects.  Many times, once we give directions their is always a student that doesn't understand them no matter what.  I am learning as a teacher that many times when we are giving instructions, are directions are not always clear.  I make sure that I have a student repeat my instructions.  Often times, we say things differently without even realizing it.  One of my class managers told me that sometimes my directions are not clear or easy to understand.  I video record my classes twice a month so that I can view them and adjust strategies of instructional delivery.  Upon review, I noticed that my instructions are not always clear and that sometimes you have to constantly repeat them because some students have a difficult time processing them. 

What was I thinking...?

Nothing really stands out from last week but the week before we launched our Culinary Club. I decided we would have stations to do the desserts. One station for purple and orange candy apples. Two stations would be needed for the Frankenstein cupcakes. I had everything pretty much ready to go. A few students stayed after 3rd block and helped me get set up. I don't know if it was a full moon or if they were just overly excited. We had a product at the end but it certainly didn't turn out to be 100 cupcakes as planned and only about 6 ended up being Frankenstein. The choice of sprinkles and different candies were too much for them. They giggled and seemingly forgot that these were being put together to sell. This taught me the lesson which I already knew, only do one thing at a time. I thought by having the cupcakes baked and everything ready to go it would be okay. I won't be able to give Frankenstein a do-over for another year, but in the mean time, we will focus on one thing at a time. Whew!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stand in

I was out for two classes Friday as I particpated in the Vetrans Day activities. I had fellow teachers cover my classroom while I was away. One followed the substitute lesson plans to the letter and the other one seemed to "wing" it.
I returned as the teacher was winging it and failing fast, it took the rest of the class to regain the momentum that was lost.
If I had a "Do Over" I would have the students write down what was expected and what goals they have set for the class. I will include this in my instructions to the students this week,
It was not lost time since I LEARNED from it.

A Do over...

I think as I continue to teach, I seem to find little things all the time that I would do over. One example from this past week that I would like to do over (or do differently next time) would be to first, keep the name and number of the substitute teachers that really keep my classes "in order" when I am out. Secondly, I will request them much further out for the day or days that I need one. I had to be out for a conference and had two different subs for the two days I was out. Upon my return I found that the first substitute was a "laissez-faire" type teacher and the second one was much strictor.  The productivity of the two different days was very obvious as well as the comments on the behavior of my students. I now have to figure out what to do with the students that completed their assignment and what to do with those that did not.  This is for all 6 of my classes!  I did not know and now do know that there is a way in which we can ask for a particular substitute teacher and I will ask for one much sooner than I have in the past in order to ensure that I get that good sub. Another lesson learned and something I will certainly handle differently!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Changing in the classroom

Well, this is a hard one.  I can answer for the last few weeks.  I changed the way I ran the schedule in my classroom. The students were so tired of doing classwork and I have to say so was I.  I would much rather be in the lab than in the classroom any day.  We spent 30 minutes in the classroom and then the rest of the time in the lab (1 hour).  The students work harder knowing that if they get done the next hour will be better.  This has been the best decision I could have made. It makes life a little easier.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Slow It Down

I teach a blended schedule, which means that I teach some classes year long and some for only a semester. One of the reasons that I do not like the block semester classes is that the content is complicated and I can't force feed it for an hour and forty-five minutes every day. It's too much and the students zone out and are easily overwhelmed. This is coupled with the need to teach all the standards in the 18 weeks alotted. The students feel overwhelmed with my pace and I feel like the end of the semester is fast approaching and I've got a lot more material to cover. This week, I wish I could have a do-over with the rate in which I covered one of our units. I'm pushing them along and they are not understanding it like they need to. Some of them will be able to memorize the material for a test but only a few are going to walk away with real comprehension.  If I could change something this week, I would slow down my instruction. Maybe I wouldn't get to every standard, but at least I would know that whatever standards they were exposed to they truly understood. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hands On

Of everything I did this week in my teaching, what would I do differently if I had the chance to do it again? And, why?

 If I had the chance to do it differently, I would have prepared more "hands on" training to go long with the academic portion of the class. Without practical hands-on training when teaching specific drills and maneuvers, the students lack the ability to fully grasp the instruction and learn the mechanics of the techniques involved in the drills and maneuvers being taught.  I believe that hands-on training and by-the-numbers instruction is key to the students overall comprehension and understanding of how the drill, technique or maneuver should be performed. In short, whenever teaching anything that requires physical movement, hands-on training and demonstrations should be used.

Review work

If I could have a "do over" from last week I would review a work sheet better that I gave out to be done in lab as a rotation when waiting to do skills check off with me.  The worksheet was a review of something done last year before I started there. I " assumed" that they covered this as it was fairly basic.  They had to turn it in as class work.  I looked it over today and saw that most did it incorrectly. Now we will need to go over this and  try it again.  Wish I had not assumed.

Where's the nail brushes????

The students have been asking me to please bring out the gel nail supplies so they could work on them.  We have not used the supplies for nail enhancements this year.  I was certain that every thing was put away at the end of last year.  Well after planning the lesson to review the nail service, I told the students to get ready for a day of nail care.  Everyone was so excited.  I go to bring the supply caddy out and there was only 5 nail brushes in the caddy.  They were so upset.  Next time, I will make sure that all the supplies are ready instead of trying to think they are. 

Preparation is Everything........

I like to use quizlet to introduce key terminology especially when we are starting a new unit. I decided to take a group of "lively" ninth graders to our new computer lab to work on the terms. Even though I had allotted the entire class period in my lesson plan for this activity, NTI teaches us to always have an alternate assignment for students to complete. I did not do that and when students figured out how to "cheat" the system and get done with the assignment quicker than I expected, the tweeting and face booking began. I finally had to pack up shop and return to class and assign a written assignment to finish out the period.  Let me just say, "Lesson Learned".  I will always make sure that I have an additional assignment or task ready for those students who finish early.  I will additionally make sure that the assignment is not busy work, so that students feel rewarded and not punished.

Change for the week

Of everything I did this week in my teaching I would change or do differently would to explain my lesson to students better. This week students were given notes, lecture, and videos about police operation. I felt that many of my student did not get all of the information that they need in a weeks time for the lesson. I would go back break each part of the lesson down and make it into a two week course.  I would also take the lesson and create more hands on activity so students can be more active in the classroom lesson. I seen that there are lessons that will need to take more time to explain or go into more detail.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week of October 22

As a new teacher I am constantly having to learn from others be it other teachers, students, administrators etc. Recently I took my students to a state TSA event, and I as a new advisor I try to take that time to learn from others that have been doing it longer. In talking to an advisor of a local chapter I learned of some great fundraising opportunities that I can do that involve my students using the materials, equipment, and knowledge that we use/learn in class in a very practical way. Not only does this help to make my class more practical, and teach me ways to help the students be more hands-on, but it also helps me learn how increase participation in membership in my club, as the cost of the events are very pricey and keeps some students away. 

Nice to have!!

     I did learn about a program that Douglas County has called Moodle. You can add assignments, quizzes, or send messages for the students to access. I have been adding the test and quizzes to Moodle. It really makes life a little easier. Once the students log on and take a test or quiz, it is graded for you. No sitting there grading while you can be working on other things. I was also told that there is other website that has the same idea and your school system does not have to be a part of it. You set up your own account and you are ready to go. It is free!! I have been typing the questions in, which takes time or let my teacher assistant type them. I just make sure I go back and check behind her. It takes a little time at first but once it is done it is wonderful.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Resource

This week I learned about a new website, I came across the site a while back when conducting a Google search. My initial impression was that it probably had a few tidbits of useful information, so I bookmarked it with plans to go back and explore it when I had more time. Since then, we have had our NTI lesson on how to evaluate a website, which proved in fact to be a great help when I actually took time to go through the entire site. There is a wealth of information that I can incorporate into my curriculum. There are lesson plans, outlines, student activities, and lots more! My only criticism is that you really have to "dig" to find things on there because of the way the information is organized. Although it sometimes took more than a couple clicks to get me to what I needed, it was definitely worth it. This site is going to help keep me from spending time trying to reinvent the wheel, which I have a bad habit of doing sometimes. I am definitely glad I took the time to explore, as it is a great new reference.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Keep Learning! Learning never ends!

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.

As a teacher we are constantly learning new things to challenge our students. Perhaps as we are teaching our lessons we discover something we may not have ever learned in our school days, or in college. As I do research to help me plan my lessons, I think about my students and what they can get from the information I am planning to disseminate in class. After all, we are educators that must find various ways to instruct all students.

Just last week I learned from a colleague that Youtube is allowed for instructional purposes. Many of my students often tell me about Youtube and how fascinating it is when it comes to Culinary Arts. After viewing the Youtube site, I was convienced it was definetly a great resource tool for lesson planning and current videos.

My advice to you is make sure your school system approves it first. Youtube can only be used for instructional purposes Only.