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 30, 2015

"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

I blogged quite a bit today while my students diligently worked on an independent assignment. I almost forgot! A student emailed me over the weekend asking if she could use me as a reference on a job application. Of course, I replied "I'd be honored for her to count me in". Today, when she came to class, she notified me she had to take an "employability test" as part of the interview process. She went on to tell me it was 65 questions and she PASSED! I asked her if she remembered to ask them when they would be making a final decision and she had.

I spent 4 weeks on "Employability" and a part of me felt like it was a little extreme BUT, I believe it's essential for our young people to know how to get a job and keep it. We performed mock interviews, proper handshaking, among many other tasks during this unit. My student seemed very confident about her interview and was elated to tell me she had passed the "employability" test. I hope she gets the job!! It would certainly prove more than one point!!

Either way, I had a GREAT time teaching them about not easily giving up. I employed many quotes and a video of a talented motivational speaker, Les Brown. He was labeled as "educationally challenged" at a young age yet has gone on to become an extremely successful, wise individual with an enormous amount of drive. I believe my students were encouraged by him and I hope his mentality will stick with them!!

I'll have to keep you all posted on how it all turns out!

Week 5

I hope everyone was able to catch up last week on the blog! Here is our new reflective question:
"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Well... I had hopped to have some good news to report on the Classroom search, but unfortunately for me, Lakeside High School choose another professional to fill in the role of Business HK instructor.  This is GREAT news for the students however, as they have been RACKED with loss this year and need some normalcy in their lives right now.  

But please folks, don't count me out.. as I am not giving up and I still have two more positions in Dekalb as well as two in other districts.  Wish me luck!!

Best egg drop design

"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

I finally received 100% participation in one of my largest and most stubborn class. The students really got involved in designing a container for the egg drop project. The students do not want to go through the design process which it is a process in every area of life. It may be called something different, yet it is a process.

Well, the other good news is that only 2 eggs out of 6 cracked or completely broke. 

The students were so excited. After the project, I complimented them on how all of them participated and how proud I was of their attitude. 

I rewarded the class and they really enjoyed their treats.

Wow!! I earned cool points but that was a great day

"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Reflecting on my teaching experiences from this past week, I am most proud of the growth I feel I have helped bring to our district's program. I was granted the opportunity to start Healthcare Science on the Middle School level in our district last year. Today I sit/stand among many of the students I taught last year. It's exciting to see the impact I apparently made on them and to continue that impact is a true honor.

Students are really pumped about a field trip I largely played a part in as well as a community service project our HOSA Club is hosting. On October 26th, 70 students (we had to place a "cap" on it; yet anticipate going back in the Spring) from our HOSA club (primarily Healthcare Science students) will embark on a journey to Chattanooga. There we will visit the Children's Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Life Force Helipad. The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals coordinator in Chattanooga has set-up numerous healthcare providers to speak to our students. 

The most rewarding part of ALL that's to come is our Chattanooga field trip, it FILLED within 30 minutes of opening it to "paying" students. Students have also collected a massive amount of "pop-tabs" as our Community Service Project. We will deliver over 60 POUNDS of pop-tabs...A BUNCH to the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH will in turn cash them in to provide families with injured or ill children to stay close by at $10 per night or a 20-minute chore each day. Funds from pop-tabs also keep their lights on and doors open. I LOVE the fact I have showed our young people how easy it is for them to help and impact others. Saving pop-tabs is EASY! 

I believe all of this and more has come from "my maker's" plan for me. When you live it and experience it first hand, it truly sheds light on the "little" things. This is also why I teach. For those who don't know (all of you except 2), you are welcome to google my 8-year-old daughters name. Giving God ALL the glory for All He has done and does for me!! Have a BLESSED day and I'll "hear" you SOON!
"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

I have had two students, both in my advanced classes, approach me in the last week or so and discuss with me their options as far as pursuing Audio & Video Technology as a career choice.

Both said something to the effect that they had never really considered video as a career until taking my class.  That tells me that even though there are days where my lessons or methods may not seem to work, an impact is still being made.

To me, that is huge and as teachers we can't ask for more than that, really.

Like some of you, I teach in a county where the kids face incredible obstacles when it comes to learning.  From poverty to parental issues, a lot of our students need a way out, a chance to just break the cycle.  Our classes can offer them that way out.  Our classes can result in lifelong careers.  

So, it makes me feel very proud when a student understands that there is something more to the class than showing up, working on some vocabulary words, making a video, and then going to math class.  There is a potential to make this a career, to make their lives better, or at the very least to use the knowledge they gain in my class to make whatever career path they choose more successful.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week Five

"In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

I try and implement different teaching strategies in my lessons each day.  However, I struggle with different activities to do most days, I have found some of the activities work where as some do not. Last week my school system was on Fall week so I am going back to an activity I did the week before. In my second level class we were learning about the integumentary system.  Instead of having my students draw and label parts of the integumentary system I had them actually make a 3-D model of the integumentary system. I thought I would get a lot of resistance from the students because the project required them to do more work than drawing or just labeling a worksheet . However, I was surprised that they actually enjoyed the project.  It seems like no matter what I do I always have students complaining about the assigned tasked! The best part is I even had some students tell me that they learned a lot more from this activity than other activities we have done in the class. When the students told me that I felt proud and felt as if I had accomplished something substantial. 
In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

As I sit and think back of this past week teaching activities I feel proud about my student totally grasping the hair growth cycle and the terminology of the properties of the hair and scalp. they were able to learn this information from the group activities and games that we played to make it fun and interesting. I test all of the student and every student passed with a's and b's some c's but no failing grades which was awesome! Why? am I so proud because I was able to reach all of my student and they all showed growth in the area of cosmetology as far as gaining the knowledge.
"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

It was a couple of events that took me by surprise and made me very proud and happy! I had a student that was doing extremely bad and just off track last year do a complete turn around he is making all a's and b's and won Mr. Cosmetology for home coming week. It shocked our principal and she said she was very proud of the student and the students grandmother came to me and said thanks for being a great roll model and pushing her grandson to do better. I drove my car in the homecoming parade while Mr.. and Miss cosmetology homecoming queen and king rode in car waiving and smiling. It may seem small to some but for that kid it was a big thing and was happy to be apart of the occasion.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Yes this makes me Happy....Renewed Strength and Renewed Confidence

"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

All in all, my week ended great. The start was shaky, but by the end of the week I felt a renewed strength to keep keeping on. Additionally, I realized that most of my third level students are actually very caring, mature, and understand the value of cognitive learning. As such, I am comfortable with most of them enrolling into the fourth level (internship). 
Since the start of school, I worried about their maturity level and determined that most would not be allowed to enroll into internship. Through observing their work and work ethic, I believed they could not make important connections without constant direction. Over the last few weeks, I've worked with them and worked with them and gave less and less direction yet asked more questions to get them thinking. 
After this week, I realized that they are actually mastering information and learning to analyze and make decisions based on information obtained. They are seeking less direction for an answer and are relying more and more on what they know. We are moving from a question-answer session to a dialogue session of great input and feedback. 
I am confidence that they can complete internship without my constant supervision or direction. 
It was also announced that I was nominated for Teacher of the Month. The nomination stated that I am caring and always go above and beyond for my students and colleagues. I do not look for recognition for anything that I do because all that I do, I do it from my heart. Nonetheless, the recognition was well received.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What took me by surprise is the lengths that some students will go get what they want at any cost. I understand that we are in an industry that is not only training but also socializing the next generations of adults. But the degree that some children are practicing the art of manipulation at such a young age is mind blowing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Well, I guess my week was happy!  In the same day I survived my  Administrative Assistant come into my class unannounced to observe me, then  a student had a fainting spell in my class and a “ SURPRISE” Fire Drill all right before  Dr. Montrois came to observe me!  I felt so off my “A” game it wasn’t even funny.  Dr. M and I had a GREAT talk afterwards and he gave me some great pointers and told me I was on track with things.  After that I was at school until 8:30 pm the Salon had a Fundraiser that night for students, staff and outside guests. Helped a Student color another student’s hair Blue…Can’t  have much more fun than that!   Long day….but I was HAPPY to have survived it!
Today, I had a student  tell me that I am the reason she comes to school, my class is her favorite and I had 3 students tell me today that they liked my hair, my eye shadow and that I looked very professional!  Again, made me feel HAPPY!
Next week I am on Fall Break.  I to will be attending the New Teacher Conference in Macon. So HAPPY!
Looking forward to it, just a small break to re-group and pick up some more tips, tricks and insights for the classroom.  HAPPY!

"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

What happened in my class this past week made me smile. One of my DES (special ed) students said something for the first time since school started. We had a fun class discussion on the topic of Careers in LPSCS. He walked up to me after class and said "Mr. Curry, I like you and your class!" It almost brought me to tears. I thought he would have never said anything. He doesn't even respond to the roll call. I have to make eye contact with him everyday. This just did something to me and I was glad to share it.

Blog Post September 24

"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

This week has been a great week for me. The reason being is that my school system is on fall break. This week has been a wonderful week to relax and take a break from work. This has been the first week since school has started that I have actually had free time that did not just revolve around school and school work. In regards to the blog question I did get good news before we were dismissed for fall break. I found out that I got approval to go to the New Teacher Conference in Macon Georgia. I am honestly excited about going and learning new techniques to try in the classroom. I really feel like I will benefit from this conference.  I hope to learn better classroom management skills. I feel like I really need help in this area. I also hope to learn how to better lesson plan. Lastly, I hope to find new resources to use. I have a really difficult time making engaging lesson plans for my third level class, so I hope to find some new resources. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

My event is a short story this week.

Being new to this teaching gig-Im constantly running around-feeling like I am playing catch up-and always feel like I am forgetting things. UGH! I am starting to get the hang of things slightly but just always go in with an open heart and mind and always do my best for the young people who look to me for guidance! Last week I got some affirmation that what I am doing is being received at my school very well!
It was Thursday and my last class of the day. I had an administrator pop-in for a quick observation or "walk-through". I was walking around the room and helping individual students here and there and looking over work. The bell rang shortly after and the students left for the day and my admin approached me and said "You really look like you are making good progress in the classroom! And the kids respond really well to you! I think we made a good decision bringing you in!" (And I probably shouldnt be repeating this!)
It made me incredibly happy to hear such praise! I am glad to be in a position where what I do on a daily basis makes a difference and positively effects my students and the school. I may not know everything yet but I am working hard and love what I am doing!

"What was the event this past week that most took me by surprise - an event where I saw or did something that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt or made me unexpectedly happy?"

I have a student in my class, a young man who always falls asleep in my first period class. I have and spoken to him about keeping good notes and all of the kitchen regulations he said he had them
After several taps on the shoulder I pulled him aside and spoke to him. He said he will try to get it together and make up any work missed. I told him we were catering for the teachers on Wednesday
(that would be today) & if he wants to show me that he still wanted to be in the program he would try to come and help. He came on time and was the best student there. I was so surprisingly happy. He used all of the sanitation and safety rules and regulations and even washed dishes.!!
I have experienced anxiety by trying to remember how to post this blog. I wrote a comment on Saturday and thought I published it but it obviously didn't work. But I will continue to catch up. School is pretty good. Most of the kids are where they are suppose to be in terms of their development. What separates them in my opinion is their maturity level. Based on their experience and family structure I deal with four to forty year old in a teenage status.
 A little knowledge can be just as dangerous as no knowledge at all. My principal has a good motto that helps. 90% of your success comes from how you respond to what comes to you. I add, don't' sweat the small stuff and its all small. Hope this goes through.

Pleasant Surprises

The event this past week that took me by surprise was actually a good event.

School pride is something they are really working on at our school this year.  They are doing a lot of things to try to get the students to buy into supporting the school.  One of those things was to have some of the students anonymously vote for 'Teacher of the Month."

As part of the nominating process, students fill out a short form about who they would nominate and why.  The teacher with the most nominations wins, I guess.  Now l
et's get this out of the way right off the bat... I didn't expect to win.  We have a lot of great teachers, in my opinion, and I simply don't stack up to them in my mind.

But, a cool thing that they are doing is that if a student nominates you, they give you those forms in your mailbox.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I received two nominations for the award.

One student wrote:

"I think he should be Teacher of the Month because he's a fun teacher and let's us have fun in class and gives fun assignments."  

And the other said:

"He's got me into video production and he's there for anyone no matter what."

It was really nice to see those things, especially after that confrontation with a student who wanted to punch me.  I am my own worst critic and I can be really hard on myself most of the time.  But those students could have voted for anyone and they picked me, so that made me feel good.

I wrote on the blog on saturday. Do you not see it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I think we have some excellent conversation going on, and I hope you will all read the final post and comment from last week. That post and comment leads me to this week's reflective question for you. "What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

The situation I had this week that caused me to replay it over in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep was I received 2 write ups in the pass 2 months and both of them was for not summiting lesson plans when we all know I have at least 50 lesson plans during the summer to last me for some months. well to come to find out I was summiting them in the wrong drop box folder in Google the folder from last year and didn't know that there was a new folder for this year. Instead of someone asking me or giving me a warning , I just received a write up .I am still new and I am not receiving a lot of help here. The administrator just thinks I should know. I was going to send her an email to schedule a meeting. OH the second write up was from I was recently sick and out of school on an emergency, I had summited an emergency lesson plan at the beginning of the school year, an emergency sub lesson plan which I thought they were suppose to be used in case of an emergency. When I returned back to school, I returned to a write for not submitting lesson plans again which I gave to my department chair. I was so distressed, I actually wanted to quit until I thought of why I was actually at the school. Its for the kids and that is my main purpose.

I also agree with Tee, I do this every morning before I go into school. Knowing that I have a purpose and I am at the school for the students makes my work so rewarding and I am always grateful to even have the opportunity so whether my day is stressful which leads me to having anxiety if I have reached just one kid that day and encouraged and taught one student something new all of other obstacles will be okay. After all I love what I do and I am going to continue to persevere.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anxiety and Distress

When reflecting, I could not point out just one moment this week or over the last few months that anxiety and distress has not consumed my mind. As such, I'll discuss what I do when I am there. I reflect. I pray. I remember that I have a purpose. We all do. We are here for a reason and we must live in it.

Anxiety and Distress

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

I would have to say that this week, the kind of stress I was under pertained to the interview process at Lakeside High School in Atlanta (although technically still in Dekalb county)  At any rate, preparing for a sit down interview with the Vice Principal of the school was far less stressful as it turns out than what I learned DURING the interview.  It revolves around the recent history of that school.  

As many of you may or may not have heard... Lakeside high recently lost a bright star in the CTAE Health Sciences department with the tragic loss of Leah O'Brien.  She was in a head on collision with one of the students at the school while trying to get there to chaperon the event.  To make matters worse... the student was charged with vehicular homicide.  Miss O'Brien was a beloved teacher at this school and right from the start, the vice Principal let me know it was that loss that lead to the staffing crunch at the school as the teacher from the Business science department left as well directly related to this tragedy. 

>>>>Read the story here<<<<

 Yes... what a way to begin an interview.  To make matters worse, the prepared questions and responses I had practiced for were COMPLETELY thrown out of the window, as we discussed the affect of that loss has meant to the students in that school... you can almost feel the somber "mood" coming through the door, as the Vice principal even teared up through the interview.  When the topic finally changed to my qualifications and my goals as a Career Technology Educator, I was only able to get out a few brief sentences of what my vision was for the class.    It made me leave feeling very reflective on the roles we play as educators and the affect we all would have on not just or immediate family and friends, but also the kids that depend on us and the relationships we forge with those students.


A Stressful Moment...

I have had many of those situations within the last few weeks. But mostly, it boils down to the situation I had last week when the student told me that he thought my class was unimportant and he was done listening to me. Then he walked away from me. That moment has been haunting me since and I have lost sleep. And it happened to another teacher with the same student. The student was finally punished and given 1 day of ISS, but the punishment doesn’t really make me feel much better (nor does it make the other teacher feel much better). I have since had another conversation with the same student and we talked about why he and I were butting heads so much and how we could fix the problem. We decided together that we thought the problem was a lack of communication between the two of us. We decided that we would attempt to communicate a bit more effectively with each other. We shall see if that actually works…

Friday, September 18, 2015

Greatest anxiety

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

I had a student that just snapped. She is a drama queen that likes attention and have a captive audience with the other students in the class.

When she ask a question, it's twofold, her objective is to draw you into a confrontation. I normally address her solo.

Anyway, this student took a simple problem and blew it into a Mount Everst. She proceeded to yell and scream at me "telling me off" I suppose.

I asked her to please leave the class and have a good day. It took her a few more minutes before she left out the class.

The class has not had a teacher in almost two years. The students that are in the class that are seniors will not receive a completion so they can care less about what I am saying or doing. It is a hard place to be in because they just need a babysitter for 90 minutes. The seniors use to have a intern at the school or be able to attend a nearby junior college for college credit. For whatever reason that has been stopped.

I just hope not to experience that again because I was extremely excited when she left...whew!!
I do not want another day like that.....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

Perhaps I'm in denial but, so far, my year has been pretty darn good! I'm enjoying the maturity level of the high schoolers in my district. The biggest issue I deal with is technology! We are pushing technology so students don't get behind in the world yet they're consistently "playing" on it. It's VERY frustrating. I've created a "Technology Time-Out" (shoe hanger with 2 numbers in each pocket; one for the student to retrieve their technology and the other labeling "their" pocket). Jama shared this idea with me and I LOVE it. Side Note: I enjoy taking up a cellphone and letting it face outward for others sitting close by to read their texts. My teachers used to hang notes on their bulletin boards for an entire week after they took them up! Ha!

I've employed extra-credit points for students who bring supplies from my "requested list" (on the syllabus); Lysol Spray/Wipes, Kleenex, Windex Spray, Baby Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Pop-tabs (for the Ronald McDonald House Charity)and a Bag of Candy. I use the candy to reward my students for hard work (100 on Quizzes or Tests, Class Involvement, etc). As for my supply cabinet, it gets fuller each day! One student brought in 10 lbs. (yes, POUNDS) of pop-tabs!! Our HOSA Club is looking forward to a trip to Chattanooga next month to deliver them in person. We will also tour the Life Force Helipad, and have several different healthcare providers speak to them. A small group of 18-year-olds (hospital requirement) will tour a few select areas of the Children's Hospital.

With all this being said, I'd say I wish I didn't have to deal with "playing/texting/social media" on technology during class. Everyday, every class I have to ask them to put their technology away or turn it over (out of sight, out of mind). However, I feel certain I will continue to deal with this issue. I'm hopeful the younger generation will realize "school is for learning".

Any suggestions are ALWAYS appreciated!! :0)

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

As teachers there are many situations that go on each day that we think to ourselves man I do not want to have to go through this again! I feel like I am always having one of these moments. My moment for this week was me getting emotional in front of my students in one of my more rowdy off task classes. During the whole period the students were off task, constantly on their phones, not listening, and being disrespectful. I tried to keep my composure through the entire 102 minute class period. However, at the end of the class I reached my breaking point and could fill my eyes starting to fill with tears. My breaking point was when a student said a rude comment to me. At that point my feelings were just hurt and I could not help but get emotional. I truly wish I let comments and attitudes that the students have roll off my back, however, I have not been able to conquer that as of yet. I do not like my students to see me in a weak moment. I am scared that if they see me when I am weak like that they will try and take advantage of me. After this situation happened I internally beat myself up for letting the kids see me weak. I just hope next time I can let the situation go without me taking it personally. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

My situation was actually last week.

I may have made an assumption about a student incorrectly but acted to what I felt was according to the indications of the situation.

I gave a test and toward the end of the session was walking around again and I came upon a desk with a student finishing a test. I looked on the floor and noticed that his study guide was laying on the floor visible but seemingly hidden. I felt my blood pressure skyrocket. I was furious but I walked away and contemplated what to do. Was he cheating? The indications were certainly there.
I felt as though I had no choice. I made a decision to give him a zero and a referral. I emailed his mom that afternoon explaining the situation. She was seemingly understanding but was insistent that he had just been careless and not put his study guide away well enough and that she had studied with him over the past few days. She ask if there was anything I would/could do and I agreed to give him a separate test the next day.
In my annoyed state I made a harder test. Probably not the best choice. I gave it to him sent him to my neighbors classroom with a pen and his test. He left and returned within 6 minutes. Curious about how he did I graded it-
And of course...He aced it. Missed one question out of 25.
Now I can't prove that he wasn't cheating-but given the short amount of time between tests-the changed difficulty of the test and the amount of time he completed it-He seemed to know the material very well.
Needless to say I felt like kind of a jerk. I told him that if I misread the situation that I apologize but that he put me in a very precarious situation and that he needed to be careful about appearances. He said he understood and has honestly been one of my more pleasant students since. His mother even thanked me and apologized again for the situation.
The outcome came out ok but for days afterward I felt pretty bad about it.
I think we have some excellent conversation going on, and I hope you will all read the final post and comment from last week. That post and comment leads me to this week's reflective question for you. "What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

My situation was that I caught a student straddling another student in an edit bay when they were supposed to be working on the broadcast for the week.  This happened while we were in our online class for NTI.  I immediately pulled them into my office separately and had a stern discussion with them both. The girl involved was an anchor who is a straight A student who I put on suspension from Eagle TV for a week but had to participate in the production aspect anyway.  The guy was an advanced student who i banned from my classroom for a week as well and I called their parents.  It seems to have worked because they both love the subject i teach so much.  But having to keep students from fornicating is a task I really dread having to deal with.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I don't want to go through this again ever!

The thought that a student can misinterpret anything we say.  I try my hardest to never belittle a student.  I have heard some teachers talking to their students in the past like they are five years old.  I don’t speak to them as if they are my equal, but I do use professional verbiage that is used in a my career field that I teach.  I had a student totally take my words and twist them last week.  This is a student who I feel was coming to me for guidance and direction in her life.   I almost feel like she was using me for her to seek out attention.   She was back in class on Monday and she acted as if nothing even happened.  I now have really distanced myself from her.  Which in some ways is sad, cause I feel like I could have really give her some sound principles to guide her in the my career pathway.  Now, I am keeping it just Hello and yes, you can take the pass to the bathroom. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

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

My ah ha moment was after 3 weeks of what seemed like torture teaching  food born illness and how you can catch one. All of my classes were crying "When are we going to eat!!" Finally I let my classes make 2 egg omelets, My classes took 1/2 hour cleaning the tables after the prepared the eggs. No one wanted Salmonella!!!
They really do listen!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My question to the group and Dr. J.

This isn't part of the question of the week, so I hope that is alright.

Friday was a long day for me.  My planning period is first block (100 minute blocks).  So, I am sitting there at my desk going through what I was planning to do in my classes for the day.  I was being extra sure to get my ducks in a row because an administrator was supposed to come to my room for a review that day.

I was working away when I heard a commotion in the hallway.  It was mainly just yelling, with a lot of cussing.  I stepped to my door to observe a young man berating a teacher from the room next to mine.

Now the way the doors are set up, I was a ways away from this situation, but I stood at my door to allow the teacher, who is a lady that has been there quite a while longer than I have, to get control of the situation.

The kid was being very aggressive and belligerent towards the teacher and cussing loudly.  So I stepped down about halfway between my door and her door to make my presence known, but not interfere as she attempted to handle the situation.

At some point, the kid sort of stepped towards me and I became involved as he said, "If you don't get out of my f'ing way, I'll hit you!"

I kinda laughed at the suggestion and told him he needed to come up with a different plan of action because there was no way hitting me ended well for him.  He balled his fists.  I told him that if he hit me, he better put everything he has into that one shot because that's all he's getting.  I then told him that he would most likely not remember the next week of his life,

The kid turned and punched at the wall, not connecting with anything.

The other teacher and I proceeded to take the kid to the office, where they dealt with him.

Now, I say all of that to say this.  I was pretty amped up, as most anyone would be when threatened by someone.  And I never touched the kid, nor did I say anything I was later embarrassed about.

I guess my question is, in that situation, do you think I handled it correctly?

Look, I would never straight up threaten a kid and I don't really think I threatened this kid, I was just letting him know that hitting me (or the other teacher, for that matter) was not going to end well for him.  And when he balled his fist up, I prepared myself for the worst, so I let him know that he needed to reconsider.  He was in a violent mood and I remained about as calm as could be expected, I think.  Again, there was a huge adrenalin rush when he said he'd hit me, but I kept myself in control the entire time.

Had he hit me, I don't really know what I would have done.  That's one of those things you just can't be sure of until it happens.  I was quite a bit larger than this kid and never really felt threatened by him, but since he was considering hitting me, I felt I needed to let him know, in his terms, that the consequences might not be to his liking.  

A student who happened to come across this altercation later came to my room and asked me if I had to deal with things like that on a regular basis.  I said that thankfully I did not.  He then told me that the behavior of the student was "ridiculous."

My principal, in a text he later sent to me, said I showed "poise and professionalism" in handling the situation.

I'm just glad it ended well with nobody getting hurt.

If I had to critique myself, I would say I should have just taken the kid to the office immediately when I came out of the room, separating him from the other teacher, instead of allowing it to play out as long as it went.  From the point the kid threatened me, though, I think I did okay, even if I was pretty harsh.  I believe it really did make the kid reconsider his thoughts, which is what kept things from getting uglier, I think.


Friday, September 11, 2015


Think it up!

Not since the days of the Jerry Lewis Telethon has there been a major network event that broadcast on all major broadcast networks... FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS are all live broadcasting THINKITUP.ORG.  The goal is to raise money and commit to bettering the educational landscape of America.  I have to say that I am glad to see at least an effort uplift and address the problems of education in the U.S.  But I am unhappy that my government is not doing more.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This is what being a teacher is really all about....

Last week my second level students were really engaged in the discussion. I allowed conversation to flow because we learn so much from each other when we are in true form. Multiple students commented on how much they enjoyed class that day and how much they actually understood. Needless to say, grades were awesome on the formative assessment. Great discussion. I wish they all could be that successful.

This is What it is All About

Honestly, I'm not certain I have experienced that "ah-ha" moment. I do believe I have received  confirmation on more than one occasion. A month after I left my "industry", the dental practice I had been with nearly ten years, sold the practice to a management firm. My husband and children have enjoyed having me around during school breaks, on snow days, and at extracurricular activities in the evening. In terms of my students, I have most recently had one student enthusiastically approach me and state she knew what she wanted to do. Her goal is to graduate as a CNA, go to college, and become a Nurse Practitioner. This particular student has really changed...she's much more involved and "serious" in my classroom now. Currently, I am in the final days of my employability unit and a student commented on how she attempted to put many things to use she had recently learned in my class during her student council interview. The thought of me impacting these young people in such a positive way fills me with gratitude.

Our HOSA Club has drastically grown this year! My career pathway program is HUGE. I have 31 or 32 students in each of my 6 classes. GREAT things are in the making!!! :o)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

This has been a very difficult week for me already. I have had to write up 2 students and I had to give a student a zero on an assignment because the student plagiarized Wikipedia. It was a very difficult situation for me and, obviously, the situation contained many firsts for me. When I talked to the student today, he told me that my class was an elective and wasn’t important. The student told me that he didn’t have to listen to me and walked away from me. It really took a lot out of me emotionally; hearing a student tell me that the subject matter about which I harbor a great passion is unimportant and the complete lack of respect I was just shown. I took a deep breath and walked back into my classroom. I had to work hard not to hang my head or let the students know how upset I was.  That really wasn’t what I signed up for when I decided to become a teacher. It was a really difficult class period to get through. I tried to hide my emotions and I hope I succeeded. I was relieved and still quite upset when the class was finally over. I was wondering how I was even going to face my next class.

Then the students from my next class began walking into the classroom. They each had smiles on their faces. As they walked into the classroom they said, “Hey Ms. Groover!” or “Hi Ms. Groover!” It began to turn my day around. For the past few days, we have been learning about how people in public safety manage crises and emergency situations. In order to see what they have learned, the students in the class were assigned groups and were required to create a Crisis and Emergency Plan for certain large events throughout Georgia. Today was the day that they were to present. I was worried that my emotions were going to distract me from giving my students my fullest attention. But when the first group walked up, I saw that they were all dressed in professional attire (something that I taught them during the beginning of the year and not a requirement for the presentations) and were excited to begin their presentation. I began glowing inside with pride. The group began presenting and I was immediately impressed. They had notecards and spoke professionally. It was clear that they had learned a lot from me already this year and had practiced their presentation thoroughly. They captured my fullest attention and made me forget about my negative experience from the period before.
My students made me realize that while there may be one student who thinks my class is unimportant, there are another 50 students who eagerly anticipate coming to my class and learning from me. They greet me with a smile and make me remember why I became a teacher in the first place.

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

Being a teacher is always an adventure-and being a new teacher sometimes feels like youve been dropped in a jungle with no map, food, water...just a semi sharp stick you sometimes wanna stick into your own eye!
But those moments...those Obama meme "not bad" moments are what I wake up for everyday! I love those moments and have had a fair share in the last 5 weeks!
I have several intro classes in Graphic Design. The past few weeks we have been learning the software and how to use the tools to create and manipulate graphics. There is a girl in my B block who we will call "H". H is a very enthusiastic student but is having a hard time learning and manipulating the software. But last week we had a break through. I was showing her one of the key tools in Illustrator-one I had shown her several times prior-and had the 'AH HA!" moment with her! She slowly began to realize what this particular tool could do and that manipulating it wasnt actually all that difficult at all! I let her be for several minutes and come back to check on her and already things were happening on the screen-things that days ago she was convinced she could NOT do!
Round 2-it gets better! Tuesday we come back from a long weekend and jump back into our project. While the students are working I notice that she is sitting next to her neighbor and that are quietly discussing something out of earshot. I naturally go to see whats happening-and the young man that she was helping was manipulating, very effectively, the same tool that she had begun to finally learn the week prior.
I spoke up- "Hey guys whats up?'
"Mr. Raney-H just taught me how to use the pathfinder tool in Illustrator!"
"Is that right?" I said
H- "Yea I remembered all the steps again! It was easy this time!"
Boom. I wanted to drop my mic and walk out of the room. I felt like a rockstar. Not only did she remember ALL of the steps but she was now passing it along to another student.
And THAT is what its all about.

Until next time...

Monday, September 7, 2015

This is what it is all about!!

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

The light bulb moment with me this past week that let me know this is what teaching is all about is when one of my classes was so excited about playing the Kahoot it game. 

Those students was extremely excited, I laughed out loud with joy because they were trying so hard to be competitive with each other, glad to see their name in the top five, and amazed at how much they remembered over the past few weeks.

For me, I realized that this struggle is truly paying off. They are retaining information and enjoying it along the way.

I had another moment, when the students were presenting their presentation and one group truly nailed it, the PowerPoint, the oral presentation, eye contact, volume and how the whole class participated in the discussion.

I could barely contain myself!! I had a great 2 days with that class...