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, September 4, 2013

The past week at school provided many mild surprises. However, there was one that stood out more than all the rest. It isn't every day you have a student go completely AWOL on you. But, that is exactly what happened to me in my 5th block on Thursday. A student stated they were finished with their task and asked to go to the restroom. Innocent enough request, I thought, so I gave approval. The student then grabbed the hall pass and out the door they went. After a short time had passed I noticed the student had not returned so I made a mental note of the actual time on the clock. Seven minutes later the student was still not back from their jaunt to the potty. Concern began to set in. Luckily, the class I have during this block is all upperclassmen so I knew they would stay on task if I stepped into the hall. Positioning myself just outside my room I surveyed the hallway. No students belonging to my class where present there. After a few more minutes of hallway loitering my concern turned to angst. What will my administration think of me? I have lost a child! Swallowing all remaining pride, I meekly walked to the door of the classroom next to mine to ask for assistance. Thankfully, this teacher had 5th block planning so I was able to have her step into my classroom as I made my way to the nearest administrator's office. Once there I explained the situation to the admin's assistant. She too was concerned for the student because by this time nearly 20 minutes had passed since I had last seen them. Just before the assistant was able to put out the all-points bulletin via the school walkie-talkie system, the student casually strolled by the office; merrily swinging the hall pass as if not a care in the world burdened their mind. I was both dumbfounded and miffed. Did this student really not know how long they were gone? I told the assistant thank you for her help and quickly walked out to the hall to catch up with the student. Once I had the opportunity to talk to the student and explain the seriousness of what had transpired the rest of the story became clear. It seemed the student had stopped by the classroom of another teacher who was a valued mentor. During this visit the conversation had turned to college plans and the need for recommendation letters and other important topics and the student had lost track of time. Only when the other teacher asked if the student's current instructor knew of their present whereabouts did the student realize perhaps they should return to class. At this point I knew I had a great opportunity to teach the student about the importance of thorough communication. I was able to explain to them in a situation such as that all they needed to do was communicate the change in plans. I was also able to explain to the student I would have had no problem with them seeking council with a valued mentor as long as everyone involved was okay with this. The student realized their lack of communication had nearly gotten them into a lot of trouble and was understanding of the concern. Going forward, the student has committed to better communication and planning with anyone and everyone which may be involved.


TSS said...

I must say I laughed while reading this post. However I do understand the seriousness. I’m glad the teacher asked the student if you were aware of their whereabouts and I agree that was a valuable teaching moment. Communication is an important tool in all relational aspects of our lives.
One thing I have noticed is our students’ lack of understanding of the importance of safety and the reason why many rules are in place. As you did, I believe consistent communication with them provides a better understanding. It’s a good thing you did notice their absence Coach.

Dr. J said...

Hi Terry,
Okay, I have to admit I laughed too, even though it isn't funny. You are such a good writer that I could picture this situation. Perhaps you need to give a time limit with the hall pass. Did this student even use the bathroom? At least the student had a pass and you were aware he was gone. Much better than the example I shared with you all this summer. Dr. J