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?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Together or Alone??? Which is better???

Hey there NTI gang… Well another week and it’s getting better and better for me. I hope the sane for you as well. Now to blog business. Hmmmmm… synchronous versus asynchronous – which do I like better, and why. I can say for me they are “equally” beneficial; however, if I had to choose one, it would definitely be synchronous. The reason I say that is because learning in a group setting (synchronous) allows me to get information and ideas from other professionals that I can take back and utilize for myself. It has also given me a chance to grow as an individual and become more confident because I realize that I may not be the only person experiencing trial and error when it comes to being a new teacher. I figure the more the merrier. I tend to learn better in a group setting because what I don’t know or may be too embarrassed to ask the teacher to explain, I can always ask three then the teacher. I feel a little more confident when I am in a group setting. Not sure why, I just do. I also enjoy the comradery with my classmates. Building positive and long-lasting relationships that is beneficial to my career. Don’t get me wrong, asynchronous is a great way to work; however, for me I feel like sometimes I second guess myself when I work by myself. I tend to be an over-thinker and that takes a lot of my time, especially when I have deadlines to meet. With my group setting, it helps me stay on task and get the job done effective and efficiently. I can say that our intelligent and awesome professor, Dr. Burns has definitely done a great job with implementing both learning styles.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Synchronous versus Asynchronous Learning

I have sincerely enjoyed both learning experiences this semester. Working alone definitely has it's perks. For example, my time frame for completing work is more flexible and I like that I can get right down to business and work at my own pace. It is easier to work this way with my busy schedule.

However, I have to be honest and say that I learn better in the collaborative environment of synchronous learning. I am en extrovert and so I enjoy that social and communicative elements of learning in groups. So for me, meeting and learning together is ultimately more effective and I prefer it.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

Over the past few weeks in NTI we have experimented with both synchronous and asynchronous learning. In my opinion, both have their pros and cons.

To start, I enjoy working asynchronous and being able to do the work on my own time. This allows me to have a more flexible schedule and to work at my own pace. Sometime in a synchronous classroom I find myself becoming disinterested if I understand the material and the class is not moving on yet. With asynchronous I am able to work at my own pace: either fly through it if the lesson comes easy to me or take the time to do more research if I have trouble understanding.

On the other hand, I also enjoy synchronous learning because the classroom environment is traditional. It gives me the opportunity to hear ideas from others which I may not have thought of on my own. It also give me access to the teacher. Another positive to the synchronous classroom is the accountability of getting work done on time. Sometimes working in an asynchronous environment I find myself (not necessarily procrastinating but instead) getting distracted by my teaching job and all the work it requires. When I don't have to be in class at a certain time, sometimes I forget about the assignments which needs to be done on my own time.

I know this is not what you are looking for, but my answer is: no answer. I like both methods, but I think too much of any one thing can be a bad thing. So, maybe a combination is a good way to reach the most students.

Thanks for reading!
Anna Miller

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What Caught Me Off Guard This Week

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?"

It took me a while to come up with something regarding this topic.  I used the open mic post to describe a situation that could 100% qualify for this post.  However, this week the students had career day on Monday, in which I lined up a microbiologist from the CDC and the Director of Volunteer Services from the VA to present to the students.  Both professionals are business partners as well as friends of mine so they were prepared for the student population they would be presenting to.  

What thoroughly surprised me, was when the microbiologist asked the students if they knew what microbiology was, a student raised his hand.  The young man stated, "the study of tiny living organisms."  I almost fell off of my chair with shock and excitement.  I had never actually taught the students this information but it appears as though the weekly medical terminology lessons on root words really sank in and this student was able to think critically and break the word down to figure out what it meant.

This may not be monumental for most teachers, but it meant everything on earth to me.  That one little statement made my whole day.  It just proves that I made the right decision to become a full-time teacher.  I am making a difference.

asynchronous online learning vs. synchronous online learning

     In looking back at the past couple of weeks and analyzing asynchronous online learning (doing online modules by yourself) and synchronous online learning (online learning via Collaborate), I feel that I am personally a fan of synchronous online learning.  I actually don't mind either method, I don't struggle with online modules that are done individually.  I prefer synchronous online learning because you still have the interaction with the instructor.  The instructor can provide a further depth of knowledge, answer any questions (or lead you in the right direction), and relate personal experiences to the content being discussed that could provide small details and insight that you might not get through asynchronous online learning.  I also know that asynchronous online learning proves to be harder to focus and absorb the lesson for some.  I learn better through discussion among instructor and peers than I do reading.  The asynchronous method allows you to manage time in your favor, but falls short of the synchronous method as far as results in my book.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Asynchronous or Synchronous

I think I benefit from asynchronous and synchronous learning. Asynchronous learning fits my busy schedule better. I am very busy in the evenings due to football season. Practice in the evenings and games on Thursday nights. I also use the evenings for reading and answering emails which keep me busy for a good while. Then there are the papers that I need to grade. I really do not need to explain this, as teachers we all need time for this time consuming task. This is why asynchronous learning fits me the best. Now as for synchronous learning, I do enjoy this. It gives me the chance to see different perspectives on the content area that we are learning. Sometimes I get tunnel vision and it hard for me to expand or see other ideas. Synchronous learning helps me to accomplish this by everyone sharing more than one idea about a particular subject.

                                                                                                                                  Kenny Johnson

I will say that I am an asynchronous learner. I understand work in a larger environment but I have to always review the information to get a full understanding of it. I prefer to work alone and read the information and complete the assignment during my own time. I will admit I really have to force myself to stay on task for the Collaborate meeting with it being in the afternoon and just getting off work. I enjoy the modules because I can get up on a Saturday morning and complete the assignment at my own pace. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Asyn. Vs Syn.

Having to decide which method of learning I prefer seems to be a more daunting task than I had previously imagined it to be. I was almost certain to prefer asynchronous over synchronous learning, but as it turns out, I enjoy, and find benefit in engaging in both methods of learning.

Asynchronous is helpful in that I am able to work at my own pace. I don’t have to rush to get home and try to log in to collaborate at a certain time. I enjoy being able to complete assignments a little bit at a time rather than being confined to a computer screen for two hours nonstop. I also like not having to wait until after 7pm to start making dinner for my family.

On the other hand, synchronous learning forces me to be disciplined while affording me the opportunity to complete assignments due while already online. I enjoy being able to “see” and work with my classmates from time to time. It also enables me to remain connected.

For me, there are both advantages, as well as disadvantages with both learning styles. However, if I had to make a choice, I prefer asynchronous.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

week 6 Which style of learning Do I prefer

Thinking about all we learned this week. I think I prefer a combination of both styles. Sometimes when learning I need to be on my own to focus so that I can get it. But then there are other times where the work may be so difficult that I need like minds to help me work through all of the issues that I may be having with the work that was given. I have learned this with teaching, there are some students that prefer not to work in groups hunker down and get the work done. On the other side of the coin there are students that cant take the pressure and want to work in groups so that can be more confident in their work because they have collaborated with like minds.

Friday, October 21, 2016


I prefer asynchronous buecasue of my bussy life style. If I am not doing something at school for my CTSO, I am either at the church or working in my side business. What little free time that I have I like to spend with my family, who also have a very busy schedule my father-in-law is a truck driver , my father still works construction and my mother is a college professor, on top of that I have a 5 year old . Asynchronous allows me the freedom to work in my spare time a little at a time, also it allows me to move on when i have grasped a concept. Coming from the construction industry we always worked self paced, so asynchronous is very familiar territory for me. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016


I like the variety of learning activities and opportunities offered by Dr. Burns.  Asynchronous Learning and Synchronous Learning, both appeal to me, depending on where I am on the 'sleep scale'!  As a chronic insomniac for years, I thought I knew exhaustion, for sure.  Full time teaching, however, has taught me about a whole new level of exhaustion...

A natural introvert, Asynchronous Learning might be my preference if I am especially sleep deprived.  I can choose my timing as to when I tackle the assignment.  The downside is the stress of yet another deadline. Asynchronous Learning becomes something to add to that lengthy list of things to do.

Synchronous Learning, on the flip side, can be 'checked-off' immediately.  It does, however, have its own stress; getting out of school on time, battling traffic, and settling in for class time.  I'm not a fan of headphones and worrying if technology will let me down.  I also miss the personal connection of seeing you all face-to-face.  

My mamma taught me that 'variety is the spice of life'!  Each of us will have our preferences regarding class activities, including our students.  Mixing things up keeps us all on our toes!  Thanks, Mom (and thank you, Dr. Burns)!



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Open Mic

I know that I may be a bit behind on creating this post but I feel that it is something that needs to be shared.  This week, I realized how as teachers, we are not just that to some of our students.  I have several students that call me "mom" and "aunt" because they see me as family.  The students in my class are, as most of you may know, special needs and many of them come from broken homes and disadvantaged situations.  This week, it really dawned on me how much this family away from home means to my students.  I had a student who had bottled up anger and instinctively punched a mirror and consequently, caused major lacerations to his hand.  Thankfully, as a healthcare worker first and foremost, I was able to tend to his injuries by cleaning, irrigating, and wrapping his wounds.  Due to the extensive injuries, I had to call the student's family.  However, no one was able to answer the phone and I had to call 911 to transport this student.  Since the student is underage, a teacher or staff member had to come with him.  The student, even in his disturbed state, requested that I go with him.  So, I became his legal guardian for the next 4 hours while he was tended to in the hospital ER.  When asked, on several occasions, if I was his mother, I attempted to state no, but the student would tell the healthcare workers that I was just like his mother and that he preferred to be there with me.  Throughout the stitches and many other procedures, the student held my hand and cried on my shoulder.  He thanked me when his family was able to pick me up.  

The fact that this student depends on me and trusts me in such a way, when it is evident that he has anger and control issues, lets me know that I have to do all I can for him (as well as my other students) to help him along this journey called life.  It is clear to me that this is what I am purposed to do.

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?

Laura Antonelli

I really enjoy both asynchronous and synchronous learning.  I know everyone probably says they like both, but I certainly have my reasons.  A couple weeks ago when we completed the individual module about adolescence, I preferred and enjoyed the asynchronous learning.  I was somewhat familiar with this topic, the reading material was easily understandable, and the assignment was not very rigorous.  These are the reasons that I did not mind working alone.  I felt that I got a nice grasp on the subject from the reading material and subsequent assignment.

Jump to the next week with the asynchronous module which consisted of 3 drop boxes and I feel the complete opposite.  I am not familiar with digital literacy, search engines, the world wide web, and programs!  The reading was way above my head! My students are my computer helpers in the classroom because I am far below average when it comes to this topic.  I struggled immensely with this assignment.  Eventually, I completed it though.  Due to the fact that this is a topic I struggle with, I would have preferred a classroom setting where I could hear Dr. Burns explain the various concepts to me.  I would also love to hear my class mate’s takes on the topics.  Also, in a synchronous learning environment, I could ask questions to clarify any points I was having trouble understanding.

All in all, I feel that this class has been a nice mixture of both asynchronous and synchronous learning.  I truly enjoy collaborating with my classmates and learning as a group.  On the other hand, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it is nice every once in a while to not have to rush home after school to log onto the computer J
Both methods of teaching and learning have their individual pros and cons and I think it really boils down to the individual student and their knowledge on the given topic and their learning style as to which environment is most beneficial for them.

I think Dr. Burns has a good mix going and I appreciate the variety she is giving us this semester!

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Online Learning

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?

Although previously this semester we have done mostly synchronous learning, I prefer asynchronous learning.  I find that I tend to work better on projects and assignments alone because I can do the work at my own pace, on my own time.  Another reason is because of the Blackboard Collaborate technical issues.  Especially during tonight's session, as my group was attempting to do the assignment that Dr. Burns gave us.  We had microphone issues, connection issues and more.  Had we been able to do the assignment on our own, the others in the group would not have been inconvenienced.  

An another hand, I find that the synchronous online learning tends to be more effective as a whole.  This is because, as one student stated during tonight's class, we are able to get detailed instructions and ask questions of the instructor while all together so that no one has any of the details misconstrued.  Also, it is helpful to bounce ideas off of your classmates.  Classmates tend to offer excellent insight and new ways to think of things that you may not have thought of before.

In conclusion, I prefer asynchronous learning but I find that synchronous learning is more effective.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pass the Mic

Hello everyone! I have been at a loss of what to talk about with the open floor for this week's blog post, but I think I've finally decided. I would like to talk to you guys about my current video project in AVTF I. Right now my students are learning lighting techniques to make their videos look professional. After doing our normal instruction, word wall creations, and presentations I gave the students a break down of what they would be working on for their video project. This year I did things a little differently; instead of just doing a video project, they are completing three assignments at one time: a video, a lighting foldable, and online modules about basic lighting techniques. I placed the students on a shooting rotation schedule to make their video and I gave them a deadline. All three assignments will be due on one day, but they have three weeks to work independently on these assignments. Before we started, I had students set timeline goals for themselves on what they wanted to finish and when. By doing this I am trying to teach them the time management skills necessary for a job in this field. They will not always have someone breathing down their neck to get a job done so they need to be able to plan and use their time wisely. So far, I am seeing some good and some not so good results from this experience. Some students are flying through some of the material and I am giving them some accelerated work to complement the lesson. At the same time I have others who are procrastinating and will have a lot of work left to do this week (our last week to work on the assignments). I am hoping this lesson doesn't crash and burn! I want my students to learn proper time management as well as the technical aspects they must know for making great videos.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Open Mic: A Balancing Act - Optimal Engagement versus Overwhelmed

One challenge I continue to face with my planning and management is finding the "sweet spot" in providing engaging and meaningful work that keeps all students plugged in while also avoiding overwhelming students who work at a slower pace or need more support. As I am sure is true for you all as well, my classes are an extremely diverse mix of abilities levels as a rule.

The way I structure my daily lessons and units provides opportunities where students are able to work at their own pace through various assignments and activities. Assignments are posted with resource links and instructions on Google classroom. We use "anchor" activities and lessons (such as think pair shares, hands on labs, and/or short lectures) to pull everyone together nearly everyday before allowing students to return to their individually paced work. My struggle is creating enough work opportunities available for my high performing students in a way that doesn't make my slower-paced students feel buried in work. I also really want to avoid the use of "busy" work with my high performers, lest they feel they are being punished for getting their work done quickly.

Some strategies I have used before are having fast workers write review questions for the study guide or create a Kahoot quiz to use as a class. However, I still have a hard time finding the happy medium I am looking for.

Do you all face this struggle, too? How do you handle it?



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Open Mic

     So I have been pondering lately if I have been too lenient on my grades.  Thinking back to NTI this Summer, how Dr. Burns constructed her rubrics, and thinking back to last year where I felt my expectations, when it came to grading, might have been a little too harsh.  If students miss the deadline, their grades take a hit of course (especially since it is one of my classroom expectations).  Now I don't just give them full credit for just doing an assignment, but the majority of the students who do the work generally receive a good grade.  When talking to other teachers, I sometimes feel like they take a much harsher approach to grades than I do.  After all, it is Culinary Arts (not to degrade my subject area by any means), but I feel the students will actually LEARN the content when it is not presented in the traditional grading format.  Maybe I am overthinking it, but every time grading periods come around I always wonder if I am going to be questioned because grades are "too high" overall in my classes.  I just feel that some schools/administrators/teachers are too concerned with certain grading procedures/protocols rather than being concerned that the knowledge leaving their mouths is being fully received on the other end.    
Open Mic!

I am in Youngsvill, NC in some AWESOME training this week! I am taking an advanced certification class in crime scene photography. One of my standards I have to teach my students is crime scene photography, but I lack depth of knowledge in this area.  I know the "basics", but I am certainly no expert.  This training is extremely over whelming.  I never dreamed there were so many aspects to crime scene photography.  It is completely different than any other type of photography because these photos can be used in court for critical comparison so it is essential you know what you are doing when you change the settings and snap that photo. As I sit in this class, I was reflecting on how I was going to bring all this knowledge back to my students and incorporate it into my classroom.  I then remembered that my job as a CTAE educator is to give my students a leg up for when they enter the workforce.  I thought about my 13 years law enforcement experience and realized I was never taught how to use anything but a point and shoot digital camera, which was always set in auto mode. This in turn helped me realize that even if I only bring my students back 10% of what I am learning all week...they will be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers when entering into the criminal justice work force.  Only 1% of law enforcement has any formal training on proper crime scene photography.  I am so over joyed that I get to bring this new knowledge to my students. 
Cool side note:  "The Coroner" from the ID channel is in my class!  I am an ID junkie and I sat down and chatted with him about one of his open cases right now.  I was in hog heaven!!! I also chatted with my instructor and learned he heads up a cold case forum every month in Philadelphia where experts from all over the country come together to discuss and attempt to solve one cold case submitted from agencies around the country.  He invited me to be his guest for an upcoming meeting.  Needless to say, this is a dream of mine!  I am obsessed with forensic behavioral sciences and serial cases. My instructor also told me that he will make the trip to Georgia next year just to speak to my criminal justice students! Again, thrilled!
Making these new connections and embracing this new knowledge is going to allow me to show my students my passion for law and justice and I hope that they absorb it and learn something in the process, as well!
This continuing education in my field of study is just what the doctor ordered.  I am rejuvenated and I can't wait to bring my new and improved attitude and knowledge to my students!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016



Many cycles and links in the chain
Fatherless father
Motherless mother
Homeless home
Uneducated minds leads to bodies without pride.

Lyrics to rap songs inspires making of syrup that gets the on the lean.
The dreams of being a rapper or ball player.
While the reading levels tells us that it's still elementary.
Reading levels to GPS the prison system.

Fatherless father leaving mothers to be fathers 
The youth flooding the trap without being trapped in a library.
Words on many pages of books that leads to baby souls being Took.

So much is breaking....

The chain is still being connected with the structure of the house.
Government funding households with the youth not knowing the truth being told. 

Red and blue bandannas that causes war within the walls of the schools
Education buildings feels like walls of a prison cell
Teachers are guards with bachelor, masters, and PHD.


Kids having babies
Boys left to turn themselves into a man.
No role models
And proper grammar means you're talking white. 

It just isn't right...

How the chains and mindsets are still together as one.
See wrong and doing wrong
48 hours become more of a pride system 
While we still have the concept of being chained 

I like to write as a stress reliever, so here is a little poem!!! 

GRADING......... My nightmare that I can't seem to wake up from!

As I gain more years of teaching experience under my belt, the more creative I become with lessons. My students, as well as the administrative staff, love them! And I in turn, love the fact that my students go crazy about them, and are able to learn necessary information on the content in the process. However, the issue I am finding is trying to keep up with grading it all! I value my "me time" which is during planning, on weekends, and all days we are off, so I find it difficult to grade during those times. I have created monsters in my students being that I normally deliver a same day grade turn around on any given assignment. So in the rare event when they don't see a grade in the grade book immediately, they go bananas. How can I appease the needs of my students wanting to know grades immediately, but also not put too much stress on myself, and still preserve my "me time?"


Last week was our annual homecoming week, witch I participated in when i was in high school here at MCHS. One thing that I have noticed over when  I was in school is that the kids are much rowdier than we were in school. Last year I was ready to quit feeling that I could not conduct class and the kids were out of hand. Upon speaking to veteran teachers it is across the board, this year was not as bad as last but still was not a productive week in the classroom. It feels that the front office gives the students a free pass to be crazy, and the academic teachers have given up. So if the kids are not doing anything in their academic they feel that they shouldn't have to do anything in CTAE either. ( Venting over). I feel better now ;)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Testing... Testing... Check one... Check two...

Well… I am a new (first year) teacher. I am enjoying it thus far; however, I have been struggling with my time management when it comes to my classroom and getting my students on track and encouraging them to do the classwork that requires reading and writing. When students come in the class, I do my transfer in, then my bell ringer. After my bell ringer, I start my lecture. My students murmur and complain about the lectures and taking notes. It’s like they hate to listen, read and write.  Well I started giving them guided notes so they can keep up with me. I give them fun work sheets to do that will help test their knowledge; however, they complain about doing work sheets. I think they think my class is supposed to be the talk and have fun class and I have to constantly remind them that it is not. I feel like they have no self-motivation when it comes to doing class work. I end up spending more classroom time on encouraging them and telling the how important it is to read and write because they will be doing that for the rest of their lives. I look up and it’s almost time to go and they haven’t completed the work sheet. I need some suggestions on how and what I can do different. Every day can’t be a lab or courtroom day. Please help me. I need suggestions.