Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"What happened to Sarge?"

My kids have asked this several times this year. They have told me; "This is like an actual class now, not like it was last year..." Each time I tell them; " I was at Georgia State all summer and I got Edumicated!" After finishing the summer session, I realized that about 75% of the things I did my first year was at least a partial failure. My year would have been so much easier if I had gone through NTI first. Basically everything in my classes has changed.

The first major change was the classroom layout. With having a small room and 34-36 kids, it was very hard to have a usable layout that would provide seating for all of the kids. This year I have arranged the room into a large horse shoe with a center isle like we had in class during the summer. Now I have access to all of the kids quickly and I can move around the class. They are much more focused. The second change I have made was to post my class rules on my wall by the door. It is 24"x 36" so you can't miss it. For the first 2 weeks when someone was breaking a rule I would say; "number 3" and the issue would be fixed. Now it is to the point where there are VERY few issues and when there is an issue the kids are saying; "number 3" before I even notice there is something is happening. The third change I have made is using notebooks for the assignments and handouts. I also have a notebook for each level at the front of the class that I keep updated. It seems to be working well. Next I changed the way I conduct my lectures. No more than 10 minutes and then we do something else. Last year I would try to include too many parts to an assignment and it would overwhelm them. Now I have been chunking the assignments up and I can see a difference. Also, in Dr. Burns fashion, I have one kid repeat what we are doing before we start working on an assignment. It works great too. One of the last major changes was having class officers that pertain to Law Enforcement, Courts and Forensics. I have 5 different jobs for the kids and now the class seems to run on auto pilot sometimes. The kids are doing their job in class without me having to remind them.

Last year I was hired 13 days before school started, handed a set of keys, given a map of the school and was told to go teach the kids............ Now I feel much more prepared and confident. Like I said earlier, I wish I had NTI before I started teaching at Kell.


Dr. J said...

It is good to hear that your year is off to a better start for you (and also your students). Don't get discouraged if you have to re-teach any of your new strategies. Stay the course and I think things will continue to go well for you. Dr. J.

Dr. J said...

It is good to hear that your year is off to a better start for you (and also your students). Don't get discouraged if you have to re-teach any of your new strategies. Stay the course and I think things will continue to go well for you. Dr. J.

Jennifer W said...

You sound a lot like me. I realize how many things I was doing wrong. I find I am much stricter this year and have much higher expectations. I give kudos to Dr. Burns for that! I am giving the students a lot more ownership and responsibility over their learning.

Adam Gravitt said...

Chris, I find that I would be the same way if I did not go through NTI. Coming from our back ground where you get "certified" to teach in two weeks, You know as well as I do that is not enough. I feel like we would follow in the foot steps of our brothers with Death by power point. I can't wait to get the opportunity to teach at the academy. Good luck!