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?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Perceived Roles

My impression of counselors before I really researched them were kind of well....dull. I really thought the primary jobs of counselors (even before I started teaching) were to assign students classes and schedules. When I was in high school the only time I spent with counselors was during advisement days and that was one day per month. Now that I teach, I see that counselors have a lot on their plates in terms of the issues that students have to deal with. I never knew that counselors dealt with so many kids during the school and so many different situations. When I talked to some of the counselors at my school, I know that they have to keep in mind that they have to account for the students IEP requirements, home situations, and most importantly, their mental well-being. I've actually thought about being a counselor because I've learned that you have to have a general love for kids because it's so time-consuming, and sometimes you will get attached to the kids. Sometimes you definitely have to take a closer look at someones daily life to understand what they have to go through and I'm definitely glad I did that. Counselors definitely have my respect because they have to deal with so many students with different situations, you have to be strong mentally and physically to be a counselor and only the one's who love the job will be good at it.

Rewards and Challenges

After reading about the school counselor’s role in not only guiding a student through the education process, but also guiding the student with emotional needs, I would have to say I think the most rewarding aspect of being a school counselor is seeing your hard work pay off. Whether it is helping a child overcome a bad situation at home, deciding on their next step after graduation, or just being a shoulder they can cry on, I think counselors would be most proud when they see their efforts with students pay off. I think the most challenging part about being a school counselor would have to be the sheer volume of work that has to be accomplished each day. It seems like they have several plates spinning at every moment of the day, and at the drop of a hat they could be called to a completely different task. I think that part of the job could be confusing and stressful.

Changed Impressions

I knew that our school counselors (not guidance counselors) took on a lot of responsibilities, but I think the part of the readings that stood out the most is the list of monthly requirements for them to meet in the schools. The timeline for activities almost acts as a series of standards for the counselors, like the state classroom standards relate to teachers. The other parts of the readings that stood out was about counselors helping with job readiness and assisting students in finding their future career options. I guess my initial thought was that counselors focus on colleges and universities, I never stopped to think about them helping students who aren’t going to pursue post-secondary education.

Rewards and Challenges

If I were to put on the shoes of a guidance counselor and walk a mile in them I would most likely feel the most rewarded by seeing a student make their graduation walk. Knowing I had a hand in the development and direction of this young adult at a level not many others did would be extremely gratifying. If the student overcame extra challenges then the enjoyment would likely be multiplied. As for the challenges I would see with those same “guidance counselor” shoes on I feel pretty strongly that containing my emotions would be my greatest struggle. I know kids today encounter many trials and tests as they navigate their high school years. I experienced many of those myself. However, there are also many challenges existing for students today that I never had to deal with and can’t really imagine trying to. Bearing witness to all of these challenges in a student’s life and keeping my emotions contained would be very trying. I would imagine many counselors feel similarly.

Changed Impressions

My impressions of the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors have changed little after the readings. I feel my assessment of their daily activities was pretty close to exact. The one aspect of their roles and responsibilities I have a better understanding of would be their role as communication piece between various people within the school. With their involvement in so much of students’ lives and planning I overlooked the most important feature; communication between all parties. Guidance counselors must constantly transfer information to the administration of the school, the parents of the students, the teachers and the students themselves. Whenever counseling takes place there are potentially involved parties that may not be present at the meeting but need to know the outcome of those discussions. This is where the guidance counselor’s roles and responsibility takes on an even more important aspect as communication is the most important piece of any group or team trying to accomplish stated goals.

Perceived Roles

I can really only write about the roles and responsibilities of the guidance counselors at my school as they are the only ones I have had the privilege to work with. My impression of their daily activities is one of a multi tasked, on the spot parenting, shoulder to cry on disaster fixer who occasionally gets to work with an upperclassman trying to get accepted into a college. This group does it all. They are versed on specific do and don’ts for easier entry into most colleges and universities. These individuals are also keenly aware of social indicators that can manifest if a child is having personal issues. Many times, they are the ones that get to speak to the student about either school or social issues BEFORE a parent even knows something may be going on. I hold these people in high regard as I watch them attack and defeat issue after issue. I know what they are supposed to do, but, what their actual roles and responsibilities are is much more.

Rewards and Challenges

After speaking with my counselor in casual conversation she has mentioned that it breaks her heart when students aren't motivated. We were sharing ideas about how we could reach a few students in particular. I know the feeling because no matter what you do there will be those students that you can't reach. I personally think there isn't a particular type of training or schooling that can give you strategies on reaching 100% of the students because motivation has to come from within. I would also imagine that dealing the students who are abused on any level would be difficult to deal with, especially if that occurs often at their particular school. I think the most rewarding experiences for school counselors are their success stories. We they know of students that they have motivated to become "better" students. Also those students who have become productive citizens after experiencing abuse on any level. My counselor is really proud of our students when they get scholarship offers. She even has brag bulletin board near her office. When we have Gates scholars, it's always a proud moment for her. Another proud moment is when students come back to visit her and tell her about how they are coping after high school.

Changed Impressions

My impressions of the roles and responsibilities have changed drastically in combination with observing my current counselor in action and after reading the selected information about guidance counseling in schools. I assumed that counseling in schools had been around just as long as schools have been, and that was completely incorrect. The Great Depression, as well as our country's world wars have shaped several regulations that were introduced and are required in schools to this day. Guidance counseling is definitely one of them. The previous title of vocational counseling is very clear to me because we were a very industrial country in those times. I had no idea a timeline existed for school counselors. I would imagine that the timeline is a very valuable resource for school counselors. From reading the timeline I notice that my counselor does follow it with alterations specifically geared to our school and our particular students. My counselor is very hands in the CTAE program at my school and it goes behind what is listed in the timeline.

Perceived Roles

In my limited work with guidance counselors (I am only in my second year of teaching) I can honestly say that even if I do not see our guidance counselors every day, I know they are working hard and doing a lot of things behind the scenes that many people may not recognize. At our school we have a guidance counselor assigned to each grade level: freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors. Obviously the senior counselors are working with students to apply to college, complete the graduation tests and make sure their EOCT’s and other scores are finalized. The junior counselor works with students to register for, study for, and take the SAT and ACT and also begin to look for scholarship opportunities for college. The sophomore counselor focuses on PSAT and getting the students on the right track for pathway completion and taking all the necessary credits. The freshman counselor works with introducing students to high school life, and explaining what they can expect for the next four years. I know that there are various others tasks that are taken care of including: college and career fairs, DFACS reports, transfers and drop outs, grades and credits, and communicating with parents about special requests.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Perceived Roles

My idea of what I thought the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors was distorted by my personal experiences as a student with my high school guidance counselor. I thought they were present to complete student schedules, make corrections to those schedules if necessary, give out vouchers for the SAT and ACT exams, and connect students with military recruiters. Once I became a teacher I was told by a previous principal that the most important position in a school is the guidance counselor's position. After seeing how the guidance counselor at my school connects with the students and how she handles what she perceives as her roles and responsibilities I was (and still am) pleasantly enlightened. Not only does she do the above responsibilities but she connects with the teachers with our schedules and classroom environment. If there is a student that would perform better in another class period then she moves them, she keeps the students and teachers aware of all scholarship and community involvement opportunities, and most importantly, she brags on the students, which I feel is important for the students in our school in particular. She actually listens to the teachers and students in our school. She performs countless other duties that would take me a long time to name but, to say the least, she is awesome. I feel as though she goes above and beyond with her roles and responsibilities as a guidance counselor.

Rewards and Challenges

I believe one of the most rewarding things counselors can go through is watching the students they have been working with become something of themselves and pursue their dreams. I know this could apply to all teachers but counselors talk and work with students that may have a lot of problems in their lives. Some of problems the students are going through the teachers may have no idea about and the counselors have this big responsibility to help these young kids get through life, in some cases. Now, the challenges the counselor may go through is not having the support from the faculty or administration. If the administration does not support the decisions the counseling department may make, then some of the students could get hurt by these decisions. Counselors need a lot of support, the many roles they have to play is incredible and I believe it takes a dedicated person to do these tasks.

Changed Impressions

My impressions of the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors has changed a little after reading the articles on the history, roles, and responsibilities. My hats comes off to the counselors. To me, counselors have a lot on their plates and are a very important part of the education team. What really changed or added to my impressions was the way the counselors implement their Counseling program by providing: Classroom Guidance, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support. I didn’t realize they did all these things and much, much more.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Theorem 3 - Vocational Education Should Provide...

We have spent a couple of weeks talking about the history of CTE and we are going to blog about some of Prosser's Theorems this semester. I have chosen one of the 16 for us to discuss this week. Do you agree or disagree with theorem 3 and why? You could cite examples from your experience if you like. Here is theorem 3, "Vocational education should provide students with thinking habits - technical knowledge and scientific problem solving skills - and the manipulative skills required in the occupation itself." I agree with Prosser's theorem number 3. I believe that vocational education should provide students with thinking habits, technical knowledge ans scientific problem solving skills. Certain career fields require you to think along a certain path to be able to understand and "fix" a presented problem. For instance, in the information technology (IT) field, depending upon the specialty, problems are presented and a certain way off thinking is required to fix that particular problem. Technical knowledge is a board category that can means knowledge involving hands on application. Most vocational fields require some sort of certificate to have a career in that field. In order to gain that particular certificate, technical knowledge must to obtained. All vocational education fields require scientific problem solving skills. A problem is presented, therefore that problem must be fixed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rewards and Challenges

The most rewarding part of being a counselor is that personal connection I feel that they would have with each individual student. The chance to be able to give advice and counsel to an open mind is something I always have coveted. To know that the role you play in a young person’s life could mold the adult they will be for decades to come is something I would feel is more rewarding than anything else in the role as a counselor.
The most challenging part I feel would be getting the students to open up to you and allow you to connect on a level most people never would. Whether it was a student with emotional or social issues, or home issues. These things I know would press me to continue to face these challenges and try my best to overcome them as a counselor and be there for my students in every way I was able to. Not only to help them with the strength they needed to succeed as students but to be productive citizens of society for the rest of their lives. Big shoes to fill for sure!
Mr. H.

Changed Impressions

I must honestly say I had NO idea our counselors had to go through such a rigorous process of training and learning just to be a part of the roles they work in. To see all of the different processes these people have to go through just to be given the title of counselor amazes me to say the least. This is not even to mention the fact that these counselors, once in place, have a myriad of responsibilities they must accomplish. Even in regards to CTAE programs, to see what our counselors must ensure for each and every student is mind boggling. From roadmaps for success starting in ninth grade for both STUDENTS AND PARENTS to ensuring teachers and counselors are mapping out an INDIVIDUAL process for certain students’ dual enrolled and other programs, it’s mind-boggling to think that they would accept such tasks. And to think I was complaining about being a teacher!
Mr. H.

Perceived Rolls

My thoughts on guidance counselors are only taken from what I know and perceive. I feel like a guidance counselor should first and foremost be an anchor for our students. Giving them guidance and wisdom on our students pathway choices throughout their high school career. This is my thoughts first and foremost. Once they have accomplished this task, knowing what their assigned students want and need during their high school tenure is of utmost importance. Making sure students don’t take  redundant classes and also not taking subjects they are not interested in is one of the biggest parts I feel our counselors should keep in mind. (Though I feel my thoughts on this may change over the course of this module!)
Secondly , I feel our counselors should be “counselors” for those students that need this service. Most students in high school, from what I have seen, are pretty much on their own course and don’t open up too often when ASKED to do so. The idea of a counselor being there for kids with emotional and mental issues is a secondary point I feel is very important. Observing our students and helping them cope emotionally along their journey is the second most important thing in my humble opinion.
Finally, I feel our counselors should use all of their resources to help our kids at MOST risk. Whether we have counselors, like at my school, who try to find certain students with little to no income and they send them home with groceries at the end of the day on Fridays. It amazes me at the programs that my own PHS counselors take part in to make sure certain “at risk” kids are given a good amount of support at least with food and goods. I know this is only a capability given to opportunity but I still feel this is important.
Mr. H.

"Rewards and Challenges"

To me, I think it would be most rewarding as a guidance counselor to be able to see a student come full circle and go on to be successful. I think if you can help a student get from where they are to where they want to be in life or at least one step closer, that you have accomplished something great! Again, this comes in as part of the guidance role. I think it would be rewarding as well to help someone in the counseling role—where you are able to truly help a child. I think time management would be the biggest challenge as a guidance counselor. Trying to wear so many hats would be very difficult to manage. I would have a hard time being successful at one thing, let along many--being spread so thin.

"Changed Impressions"

My perceived roles of guidance counselors revolved mainly around the responsibilities of guidance. However, after conducting this research my impressions of school counselors has completely changed. Although I do feel their primary role should be to guide students, I am curious to know how they have time to do that when they have so many other responsibilities. It almost seems as if they are filling an administrative role, more so than a counseling role. They collect data, administer testing, complete scheduling, handle IEP’s and SST’s, and try to counsel students at the same time. I would think this is primarily the reason they prefer their titles to be School Counselors rather than Guidance Counselors—they do so much more than just guidance, if they have time to get to that at all.  

Rewards and Challenges

As I prepared for this post, I created a rewards/challenges list. I would say that they were equal in length. If I had to choose the most rewarding experience a school counselor has it would be watching a high risk student develop academically and socially over the course of their high school years. I think the reason behind my choice is I am a "mama" first and that influences my professional life. On the flip side, I believe the biggest challenge a counselor faces would be meeting the need of ALL students. My high school has an enrollment of 1400. While the number of students are equally divided between 4 counselors, it would still be a major feat to meet ALL the needs of ALL the students. There are many students that fall between the cracks. Counselors have a very long list of responsibilities. If there were a way to add more members to their team, the challenge might be more easily obtained.

Changed Impressions

Following our reading assignment, I would say that my views of today's guidance counselor have not really changed so much as they have been broadened. The roles I have witnessed on a middle and high school level are pretty much inline with the definition or standard for the current school counselor. The thing that surprised me the most was the massive amount of responsibility that falls on their shoulders. Their scope of practice spans from individualized evaluations to system support that includes but is not limited to community activities. I would surmise that counselors do not have a lot of free time on their hand. In times past, I have overheard teachers complain that counselors are useless and don't have anything important to contribute to their place of employment. My suspicions are if they read today's lesson, their opinion may dramatically change. In the classroom we wear a lot of hats. I would need a much larger rack to store those on if I were a guidance counselor.

perceived roles

I think I know what a guidance counselor's role is, but it seems that their new role is to make more work for me. I have two really good friends that are my co-workers, I won't mention their names because they are going through N.T.I with us(Trent/Cabrera). These two great teachers, some how do not have the pleasure of having a homeroom. I on the other hand, have a freshman homeroom. This year my homeroom has 28 freshmen, 20 of these 28 sweet little children are girls. Yes, 20 girls. I have learned that at our school, it is the homeroom teacher's job to make schedules, not the grade level counselor's. I also have the job of teaching all the guidance lesson, making sure they do their Gacollege411, and all the real homeroom teacher stuff. You know, stuff like handing out every piece paper that has to go home and get signed. Then having to get all of the papers back(signed of course), and turn them in by a certain date. I am so looking forward learning what a guidance counselor's role is this semester, because I'm not sure.

Perceived Roles

Just as the teachers, the Guidance Counseling Dept. hang many different hats in their offices. The first role, in my eyes, for a guidance counselor would be to guide and counsel the students. To aid them in making difficult social and school related choices. The G.C. also help build the schedules for the students, to prepare them for their chosen direction. The counselors also aid the students in financial aid for college and applications.

Perceived Roles

My personal impressions of what the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors are pretty simple. My first thought of guidance counselors is they are there for the students to have someone to vent to and they are supposed to guide them with their choices. My second thought is they are to help them decide on what colleges the students are planning to enroll in and also help them with filling out applications for scholarships.

"Perceived Roles"

When I think of a guidance counselor, I think of just that--guidance. A person that's job is to guide students on their journey to higher education, technical college, apprenticeships, the military, etc. based on the student's interests, goals and abilities. Throughout a student's four years of high school, this individual would provide personality assessments, career interest inventories, and work aptitude testing, along with group and personal guidance on the various options available after graduation. A guidance counselor essentially becomes an advisor to help each student answer the questions: Who am I? Where am I going? and How am I going to get there? To me, this is what I perceive to be the role of a guidance counselor. However, I do live in the real word and realize that my perception is not reality. 


Do you agree or disagree with theorem 3 and why?

I completely agree. I think as a CTE instructor it is vital to increase the students awareness of the world around them and expose them to ideas that make them view problems in multiple lights and from different perspectives. As a manufacturing instructor, I have the ability incorporate environmental and economical processes and problems into my class discussions and projects. In my Production Enterprises class, just recently, we discussed some of the sources of the depletion of the American manufacturing and work force. I had the students write out their opinion for the prevalence of the "made in China" tag on so many US sold products, then they were to come up with a way to revitalize the industry to produce more products with the label "Made in the USA". The students did this as a warm-up and we then had a long class discussion afterwards. I was very surprised at the responses, it ranged from very informed to very uninformed. We talked about international trade, tariffs, corporate and political responsibilities, China's lack in labor and environmental control, and even the difference in cost of goods and money manipulation. I love these topics, it helps broaden the students thoughts, and exercise their opinion.

The "why"

I agree, a career tech class should teach problem solving skills and thinking habits. Since I teach construction, I am always trying to get the students to think about the "why" not just to get the project or task completed. On a job site almost nothing goes as it should, you are constantly working around material that doesn't show up on time, things don't go together as shown on plans, and usually if it can go wrong it will. Working around problems and knowing what can be done and what should wait is a daily challenge. Stopping students to see their thought process and reasoning is not only necessary, but most of the time very entertaining. The normal response is "thats what you did". I try to get them at least think of why we are doing something the way we are doing it. Most student just do exactly what they have been shown, but never really stop and think about the "why".

To agree or not to agree.

Why would you not want to provide your students with these habits or skills? The world out there is pretty rough and being prepared to face it is very important. Getting my students ready to be successful in the automotive career is something I work on very hard. Like I tell my students, anyone can remove nuts and bolts form anything. Knowing what you’re working on, how to fix it, why you’re removing it, and how to put it back together are very important things to know in this career to be successful. So do I agree with Theorem 3? Why yes I do!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Perceived Roles...

When I think of the term guidance counselor I think back to the days of my youth. When I was in school, you went to the guidance counselor if you had a problem. They were there to help you sort out your feelings, deal with a conflict between you and a friend, or guide you in personal matters like hygiene. I think my outlook is dated due to the ever changing times. Today, when I think of a guidance counselor I think of CRCT or High school graduation test coordinators. You could possibly add to that description a college advocate to encourage students in continuing their education beyond high school.

Teaching Real World Lessons

Overall I can say I agree with Prosser’s Theorem 3 because it touches on the main points we try to stress to our students in the classroom. He first mentions providing students with thinking habits. As a teacher, I not only discuss the curriculum, making sure to meet the standards, but I also attempt to tech my students what I call “real life lessons”. It is simple for me to demonstrate how to properly save a document or a video file, but I take it a step further in making that simple task more relevant to bigger tasks they may face in the future. I explain that if you trust the computer to save your items wherever it wants, then you will be disappointed when the document it missing the next time you go and look for it. I try and teach them those critical thinking skills, stressing the importance of being smarter than the computer and you (the student) telling it (the computer) what to do. Prosser expounds on thinking habits by pointing out technical knowledge and scientific problem solving skills. As CTE teachers, it is our obligation to teach these kids how to properly use the equipment, and we take that a step further by ensuring they know how to do so safely. When it comes to problem solving skills, the best example I have seen in my classroom is letting the kids make a mistake so they will then learn how to correct it in the future. I don’t let the students fail, but sometimes I will know they are completing a task slightly incorrectly, and I will allow the mistake to be made. After it is said and done, I go back with the student and ask them to describe what they did wrong and how they can fix it. Sometimes the most effective learning takes place when they teach themselves. Finally, the theorem points out the students need to learn the manipulative skills required in the workplace. I feel this is the most important thing we teach them. From filling out a resume, and having a firm handshake, to setting up three-point lighting, and speaking clearly while reading a teleprompter, I make sure that the students coming through the BVP program know what will be expected of them if they choose to pursue a career in this field.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Theorem 3 Opinion

I do agree with Prosser’s Theorem 3, especially the end of the statement. “Vocational education should provide the manipulative skills required in the occupation itself” is a specific part of my job as a teacher that I particularly believe in. I interpret this as meaning giving the students “hands on” experience to prepare them for the specific pathway they have chosen. Doing particular aspects of a job yourself is the best way to learn any skill. Some students will learn parts of a skill by watching and others by listening, but, the actual doing is the most beneficial.

One way I introduce hands on skill building is through an assignment which teaches students how to incorporate budgeting into a professional project. In order to prepare them for this project, I have them prepare a personal budget first. This budget is based on yearly salaries with all expenditures assigned specific percentages that cannot be exceeded. The students learn how to break up their income into smaller outgoing pieces and are shown how this corresponds to budgeting for a business project. By the time they are doing the professional project, they have already done one budget and have a better understanding of the process. I believe this type learning is what Prosser is referring to in his Theorem 3 statement.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Thoughts on Theorem 3 (A little deep)

I looked up information on this subject just so I could be familiar with this discussion. I find it unique that as I first thought of what theorem 3 meant had to do with the idea of critical thinking or thinking outside the box. The idea that in our modern day and age you can find EFFECTIVE and RELEVANT answers just by knowing what you are looking for and how to look for it is something that I feel has been put to the forefront of our standards and teaching areas.
I also find it amazing that all of our “Vocational”/CTE areas of concentrated study, no matter what they may be, (Health, Business, Video and broadcasting, culinary, etc.)all teach Standard 1. As you well know, Standard 1 is employability skills. This entails not only soft skills but specifically skills such as communication, teamwork, being on time, and especially problem solving skills.
I know what I have seen at various training workshops and breakout sessions is the ideal of helping our students to either be prepared for post-secondary education or a career right out of high school. Helping our students prepare while still in high school puts them that far ahead of the game.

However, after researching this theorem I realized that Prosser had an even DEEPER message he was trying to convey. In the statement I think two things are evident… One is thinking habits of our students is constantly evolving or improving. The second thing I think I learned was that repetition in anything is the basis for success. No good football player becomes a success by non-practice. The same is true in all walks of life. And of course the final part of this second point is about students having specific knowledge and facts about what they are doing in a job or occupation is an important foundation of success as well.

Mr. H.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Theorem 3

Theorem 3 stipulates that vocational education should provide students with thinking habits- technical knowledge and scientific and manipulative skills required in the occupation itself. I tend to agree with that definition. As an educator in the CTE classroom, it is my desire to prepare students for the workforce in my field of expertise. If I want to produce students that will be successful in the beauty industry, it is my job to engage students in learning activities that require them to think for themselves and cultivate a skill set that is marketable. My purpose is to take the state standards for my course, digest them and create activities that foster critical thinking skills that relate to on the job training scenarios while advancing hands on skills needed in cosmetology. An example would be the unit I am teaching now...Color Theory. In order for my students to be successful in the salon, they have to identify the natural level of haircolr, the desired level of haircolor, the percentage of gray hair a client may have,and underlying pigments involved. That is serious critical thinking. It is also what seperates the bathroom beauty disasters from the color expert at the salon. In addition to head knowledge, students must be confident in their application skills as well. This is where the manipulative skills comes into play. I tell my kids all of the time that practice makes perfect. I do not allow "I can't" in my classroom. Instead, I offer, "while this may be hard or fustrating, I WILL eventually master it". I think that sums up what Theorem 3 means to me. It is definitely applicaple in vocational education today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hang in there!

If a new CTE Teacher moved across the hall from me prior to taking any CTE courses, I would advise him to flow with the knowledge they currently obtain and be patient with the students. As we all should have high expectations when instructing our students, in most cases, not all students are receptive to what we have to offer. I would help the CTE teacher realize that it takes some time to build trust and confidence in students. Teaching is a whole new world versus working at a job each day. Not to mention the additional paper work that never ends, parent conferences and all other accountabilities. Nevertheless, I would consistently assure the CTE teacher to not be hard on themselves and with due diligence and time, things would begin to flow a little easier. In most cases, some teachers would not make it long enough to even consider taking CTE classes but in the long run it would all be worth it to hang in there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Use whatever means necessary to source your stuff

One very important fact I have learned as a new CTE teacher is you must source almost all of your material. Whether it is acquired from another more experienced teacher or lessons you have put together from scratch, you are your best bet at putting together teaching material. This is the very first piece of advice I would give to another new(er) CTE teacher. After they have taught these lessons once or twice they can tweak them to make them work for the goals they are trying to accomplish.

I would do this to help them understand a simple fact that was not explained to me any time in my first two years of teaching. That simple fact is this: As long as you are teaching the standards to the students, how you introduce, reinforce and evaluate them is almost completely up to you. This simplistic explanation should save them some time by expanding the areas they can source the information needing to be taught.

Just a piece of advice....

If I had a new teacher moving in across the hall from me, my first instinct would be I hope he or she knows what he/she is getting him or herself into :) Then once that feeling passed, I would welcome him or her and offer this piece of advice--find at least one hour a day that you can set aside to work in your office/classroom away from distractions. I would give this advice because if there is one thing that I have realized is there is just not enough time in the day to get it all done. Yes, we get a planning period, but do any of us really actually get to plan? My time is spent watching other classes, covering for IEP's, advisement, and oh yeah once I get my bathroom break--it is time to start again. Setting aside at least one hour a day allows for uninterrupted time to read your emails, make a to-do list, get your copies or lesson organized, etc. To me, often it is getting to school early when the kids aren't in the building yet that I can get a lot done. I can't stress how important I think this is to teachers so that they don't get overwhelmed and burnt out so quickly. This is definitely one of the hardest jobs I have ever done, so take the time to breath and enjoy the ride!


Just one piece of advise?

Wow. Just one piece of advice? That’s pretty hard. Well one advice that I would give the teacher is a piece from classroom management, develop a plan. Have a good lesson plan and follow it, do not skip any parts. If you have a plan and stick with it you could accomplish a lot, and you will hopefully not have as much misbehaving. Also I would create a seating chart for the students. It will show the students you are in charge and it will be easier for you to remember their names. I think these advices would be a good starting point for the new CTAE teacher, and of course if they needed any other advice I would let them borrow my NTI binder.

New Teacher advice

It is really hard to just give one piece of advice. I have heard all the "don't smile", "don't joke around" advice too. That is not me. I want to know who each student is, what they think, how they think, and know them as a person not just a name on the roll. The school I am at most of the kids need more than to just learn the curriculum and standard of my class. I am always saddened to learn that so many of these kids have nobody to listen to them, or care about their daily lives. The advice I would give is get ready to be more than a teacher. Sometimes it gets hard to be a teacher, mentor, advisor, counselor, and yes even a friend. I know your not supposed to be friends with your students, but when you spend 3 or 4 semesters with these kids they know the "real you" and you know them. You see them everyday, you spend time working in the shop with them, working one on one and hopefully listening to them. Even the ones that are "hard" and act like they don't care still need attention and I'm just going to say it LOVE. My advice listen, love, and teach them everything you can, curriculum and beyond.

Don't Believe the Hype!!!

One piece of advice I would tell a new CTAE teacher is don't believe everything that you hear about teaching. One thing that honestly disgusts me is when experienced teachers (Teaching 5 more) say things like, "Don't smile before Christmas or whenever (As said as the example)......WHY??? Smiling is my personality and I smiled from my very first day of teaching until my most recent day of teaching, and I have had no major problems in terms of discipline. Definitely I would say to a new teacher, let your personality reign and adjust accordingly. Those same teachers who I've encountered who say, "Don't smile or don't take your job too seriously," have other life issues, so don't let them rain on your parade!!! Be happy, students love to see happy teachers! I know I did when I was a student, so just return the happiness to them. Another piece of advice that I am still working on is being organized. That is still something I am constantly working on and I've gotten better with it with different methods. The one thing that you don't want to do give too many assignments that back you up grading wise. I make it a point tell new teachers to pace yourself, with assignments and grading because eventually, you will have to grade them papers. The last thing I would tell a new CTAE teacher is to relate every assignment to your job experience. I know students in this generation want to know why they are doing something. The more you show that that whatever assignment they are doing relates to real world CTAE experience, the more enjoyable the activity will become. I can't tell you how much this little tip does for me as well as the students. Remember, students want credibility and they want to know whatever they are doing is worth their time and will help them. Remember, being a new teacher is trial and error and a new teacher is not going to get everything perfect during their first year. That's why I say you can't always listen to some experienced teachers because a lot don't like their job and they always see the glass as half-empty. Be yourself, be organized, and laugh with your students SOMETIMES, it takes the pressure off and you will love your job even more.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week of January 13

Imagine that a new CTE teacher has taken over the program across the hall from you. This teacher came straight out of his/her occupation into teaching and won't be able to begin NTI until the summer. What is one piece of advice (just one) that you would give this person to survive the semester? Why would you choose this piece of advice?

Being as I am a new teacher this school year I am actually a perfect example of this post. I know the first week of pre-planning several of my fellow teachers had much advice to give...

“Don’t smile until the week before Christmas…”

“Be as hard and unrelenting as you can be…”

“Don’t joke with them or anything until the first two months of school are over…”

Needless to say I broke those rules because I have a totally different teaching philosophy when it comes to my students. I believe that most kids will not connect with you if you do not share at least some of the “real” you. So in being my true self I gained the respect and honor of my students. Not all of them of course. I did have some who tried to test me in many ways, but by the end of the first semester I had connected with these kids in ways I cannot even put into words.

Someone once asked me how do we change the world? Their response was one student at a time and I, to this day, believe that answer. I believe if you meet each child at their level, on their grounds, and are REAL and TANGIABLE you WILL change the world. You may not see it in this decade or the next, but one thing is for sure, before you breathe your last you will see the fruits of your labors.

I know this probably seems farfetched for many out there but this is the basic premise on my belief in this public school system. These are the words I echo even now to my veteran teachers who watch me ever so closely. I know they want to believe what I say is true and my hope and dream in all of this is to revisit this same thought five or ten years from now and it still ring true. I believe we all have a voice in this life, no matter how soft or loud. And it is up to us to share that voice with the world.

These words are what I would share with a new teacher like myself. And in five years and ten years when I am tempered like strong steel and have seen the works of my efforts move students in ways I hope they will, I can look back on these words and still share them with the same zeal that I do now.

Mr. H


Advice for a new CTE Teacher!!

Giving them just one piece of Advice is a task in itself but I will do my best. First and for most I would make sure they knew that I was right across the hall if they needed support for anything. A true sense of welcome and having a support system are probably the two most important things when starting ANY new career. But for my one piece of advice I would strongly suggest that classroom management is the most important piece of this puzzle. Once you've established a sense of control of your own classroom the rest will follow. If you fail to establish control, your year will be tough and it's hard to maintain without it. The students have to know you mean business, that your class is not the class they take a break from the rest of their classes. It's not ok to sleep in class or slack on classwork. Your class is just as important as any other classes they are taking. Don't tolerate disrespect, it only gets worse if you do. This was a problem for me in my first year, I wanted to be the "cool teacher" the one they could come to about anything but I began to realize that was my first and hardest mistake to over come. The students ran all over me my first year teaching and it was a mess. But after my WONDERFUL summer in NTI, I learned so much and I have made a huge turn around. It's ok and still "cool" to be in control of your class. My students respect me more and my days are so much smoother knowing i'm in control. The rest will come, it really will. Having classroom management is truly the most important thing in my opinion.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Don't forget to breath and take time for you.

I know as a new teacher, I wanted things to be perfect and run as smoothly as possible. What a fantasy world to awaken from! I spent, and still spend, more hours at this job than a full and part time career put together. Coming from being self employed, I was used to putting in long hours, but even that was not as stressful. The fact I was only accountable for myself and 2-4 other people made life a bit easier. In this job there are so many variables of possibilities and avenues of variance, planning alone can eat up all of your time if you allow it. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught in the self inflicted spiders trap of work. Having so many things to think about and tasks to manage that you forget you are a human that needs food, rest, and deflation time. Every step reminds you of another thing you wanted to try, a project you could do, an area that needed to be organized, a layout you wanted to try, a promise you had made, an email to send, and on, and on, and on. It piles up. But we must remember that we cannot help others without first taking care of our selves. You have to have at least one day to ourselves, away from the needs of non-family members, and free from the stresses of work.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help!

Imagine that a new CTE teacher has taken over the program across the hall from you. This teacher came straight out of his/her occupation into teaching and won't be able to begin NTI until the summer. What is one piece of advice (just one) that you would give this person to survive the semester? Why would you choose this piece of advice? Advice I would give a new teacher across the hall is to stay strong and not be afraid to reach out to their colleagues for even the smallest amount of information. I joined a group that had 3 other CTAE teachers and they were very helpful to me. They assisted with lesson plans all the way to making copies. My transition to teaching high school was a bit of a culture shock because although I had taught college courses, high school students are a completely different set of rules. If the new teacher has as many outside of work responsibilities as me I would definitely advise them on a few different time management tactics that I've developed since becoming a CTAE teacher. K-12 instruction includes a lot more paperwork so setting a particular planning period on a specific day to complete it all is helpful. They won't have a pool of lesson plans to pull from so completing 2 weeks at a time would really help them. And definitely add important dates to a wall calendar and cellphone with reminders. Being "new" anywhere can add extra amount of stress to a situation so asking for help can smooth the transition.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One day at a time...sweet Jesus!

If I had a new coworker that came straight out of the workforce into the classroom, I would share a lesson on classroom management. What I mean by that is teaching strategies that help keep the "temperature" of the room comfortable for the teacher and students alike. Things such as proximal control, the "eye", or wait for it..."it may be important to you, but to me". These strategies allow a new teacher to feel in control of their very new environment and in turn that enables them to share what they know most effectively. When you feel like you are effective, each day gets a little easier and as each day passes, confidence grows. As confidence grows, the "temperature" maintains like a bright, sunny, spring day busting forth with new flowers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Teach What You Know!

If a co-worker in CTE moved across the hall from me, the piece of advice I would offer them is: teach what you know, and worry about the rest later. I don’t mean for this advice to come across as a type of “ignore what people tell you”, but I would encourage them to teach the class the way they were taught how to do their job in the industry. One of the benefits of teaching a class with this idea in mind is as a teacher they have the opportunity to focus on the facts: the curriculum, the safety procedures, the basics, the overall goal for the students. Sometimes as teachers we get bogged down, and overwhelmed, with the “extras”: test scores, standards, assessments, TKES, SLO’s. By changing your curriculum to focus on the basic information surrounding your career field, you cut out the garbage and get to show your students what you love about your job. The other reason I would use this as my piece of advice is because there will be plenty of time for others to help perfect the way you teach. You will learn tips and tricks along the way, you will get a better grip on classroom management as time passes, and you will certainly learn some invaluable techniques after going through the NTI program. As an added bonus, I would also show them where the teacher lounge is, since nobody ever showed me. ;)