Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Assignment #14

Teach logo

Mr. Joel Klein, who wrote the article Self-Discipline and High Standards Can Secure the Future of Public Schools, has been the front runner of the New York City school system for eight years. When asked the question, "If you could change one thing, what would it be?" He responds with how he believes there are many things needing change within schools, such as:
  • Allowing more school choices for families
  • Using more technology within the classroom
  • Adopting a knowledge-based curriculum 
  • Letting children begin school before age five.
Although he states some of those problems, he chooses an obvious problem he would change, which is to professionalize teaching. Some of the problems teachers face hinder the career from becoming a professional workplace.  These problems are:
  • States not providing enough academic training for teachers
  • School systems allow anyone with a degree (of any kind) to become teachers
  • School systems award teachers incorrectly, valuing seniority over quality.
To solve these problems Klein suggest that:
  • States require teachers to undergo national teaching exams that will test the mastery of pedagogy and content knowledge
  • Schools recruit teachers from the top third of graduates, and require a one to three year supervised internship to evaluate their in classroom performance
  • Removal of incompetent teachers by having teachers establish their own board to "police" the colleagues in their profession.  Along with that, teachers who master in the field of teaching should have aids that are college graduates as teaching assistants.
My thoughts....
I agree that these are some pivotal problems we face in the teaching profession.

First, having more opportunities to train and learn new techniques will only enhance our abilities to teach, and influence the way our students learn.  Teachers should continue to become highly qualified through continued academic training throughout the span of their career.

Next, not just anyone with a degree should become a teacher, no more than a graduate with an education degree should become a doctor, lawyer, or other professional.  Whatever degree a student is working toward prepares them for that specific field of study.  Throughout the course of earning a degree we are taught very different practices for our future careers.  When working toward an education degree, we study the behaviors of children and methods of teaching for helping students learn. Through internships and students teaching tiers, we have field experiences that allow us to observe these behaviors and teaching techniques.

Lastly, just because a teacher has been in a school longer does not mean he or she will be more technically qualified than a first year teacher.  In our ever-changing times the techniques continue to change and our students' behaviors also change.  An older teacher may have "set in ways" of doing things while a new teacher may be open to learning new styles of teaching.  Do not misunderstand what I write, experienced older teachers are at times the best at the job and can be excellent mentors for us new and upcoming teachers.  However, I believe that tenure should not be the rule, teacher quality should prevail.  Also, when older, qualified teachers retire the school is at a major loss.  Along with that thought, at times new teachers have no business being in the classroom and it is great to find a balance and work together to eliminate the teachers who are not meant to be in this profession.

Blog Assignment #5 Final Part

Summary of My PLN (Personal Learning Network)

Personal Leanring Network Words
When beginning this class, I had never heard of a PLN or in general anything else we studied over the summer semester. I was a little apprehensive to use most of the tools and honestly felt that some of it was a waste of time. As we near the end of the semester, I am excited that I have developed a new perspective and begun to use these tools and am working on continuing to grow my PLN.

Although I can honestly say twitter isn't my favorite, as I have had a bad experience in the past with social media, I definitely now see how it is relevant to learning and can be used in an effective way. I am hoping to continue the use several of the social media tools like TwitterSkypeand Symbaloo to chat and conference with the people I meet as I continue my journey to becoming a teacher and to bookmark all the important things I find interesting to aid in my teaching.  I am the type of person that likes to have face-to-face interaction with people, so I look forward to working more with teachers like Anthony Capps, Mrs. Bennett and others throughout Baldwin County, as well as educators from South Alabama. While there are many blog writers we have followed over the course of the semester, I particularly would like to continue following and learning from teachers like Mrs. Cassidy and Mr. Shareski, whom are educators and writers of blogs. As Dr. Strange would say, "we are just scratching the surface." Well, I am just scratching the surface of my PLN, and hope that as time passes I will have built a large amount of resources that provide me with more helpful and effective teaching ideas.

C4Ta #4 Post #1 & Post #2

Post #1
Summary of:
The Dr. Will Show - EdTech Check With Celine NG-O'Hara

In this blog post, Dr. Will chats with teacher and "Ed Techie" Celine NG-O'Hara. In the first paragraph, he provides us with some information about Ms. NG-O'Hara and he list some of her qualifications, which are:
Celine NG-O'Hara
  • Bachelor of Arts (History & Sociology)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Special Education)
  • Two Masters (Teaching & Special Education)
  • 24 years of experience in education
Ms. NG-O'Hara has worked all over and he states,"she has a broad global perspective on education." He speaks about her interest in using educational technology in the classroom, and explains her creation of a discussion Facebook page called, "Ed Techie." This page is used to promote the use of technology in the classroom, and help other educators effectively use technology. Ms. NG-O'Hara also holds monthly EdCamp meetings in her district to share ideas and tips with local educators about the use of technology in the classroom.  Dr. Will has included an 18 minute video chat he held with Ms. NG-O'Hara to discuss the trends and progress of her ongoing work with Ed Tech.

Dr. Will,
Ms. NG-O'Hara has many accomplishments and I think it is great to have educators who have experience from all over the world who also have a good knowledge about the use of technology. I am on my way to becoming a teacher and have recently learned about PLN's (Personal Learning Networks). I think her Facebook page idea and EdCamp meetings are a great way to share ideas with teachers that may not have the knowledge of using some of these cool technology tools. She is definitely an educator I would personally like to add to my PLN. Thanks for your post.

Post #2
Summary of #BEYOUEDU - Finding Your Swagger With Kerry Gallagher

swagger quoteIn this blog post, Dr. Will explains how he strives to bring a certain type of swagger everywhere he goes and in everything he does. He wants all of his students and colleagues to perceive him as friendly, warm, and inviting. He also wants others to know he is there to fulfill a purpose. He hopes that others do not judge him based on what they see in his writing or what they see on other social media, but they will see his true swagger when they meet him in person. Dr. Will also thinks that other teachers can benefit from reflecting on the impact of their swagger. 

The impact of your swagger can make or break the behavior of students in your classroom. He then describes three types of swagger (personalities?) that teachers often bring with them.  These three are:
  • The confident and smart teacher that explains her high expectations of her class.
  • The quiet teacher who doesn't have much to say, but has students read along as she reads the class rules and guidelines.
  • The teacher who smiles and greets students, who also values the students and their opinions.
The impact of swagger on colleagues is just as important. You should always be yourself and celebrate the successes of your colleagues. You should listen and value others, and help other colleagues to find and maintain their swagger. We should also know why we are there, to help guide our students.

Dr. Will,
This is a very interesting post, and a very unique concept. It truly makes a difference what type of swagger a person brings to the table. Being an optimistic and inviting person at your job and in all aspects of life will most definitely make things go smooth throughout the course of the day. People will learn to trust you and know they can depend on you. You will also have people value what you think and have to say. To answer your question, I am not yet a teacher, but I hope I will be the teacher that will wear a smile and greet my students daily. I hope to always value their thoughts and opinions and listen to what they have to say. Most of all, I hope to help my students achieve all of their goals. Thanks for another great post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blog Assignment #13

 Assignment for Blog Post #13

What can you learn from these articles/videos? 
The Leader In Me
Would you use the "The Leader in Me" program in your classroom? Why?

Read the articles and watch the videos about "The Leader in Me" program.
1. The Leader in Me Program

2. Students describe the 7 Habits

3. Sutton School Students Sing

My Blog Post

The Leader in Me program can be used school wide or in our own personal classroom. Staff and students can use this program. All students, even "college kids" can be greatly affected by applying these habits into our individual lifestyles. The Leader in Me program has many themes, seek out talents within all people, seeing and using strengths of all people, and to develop the whole person - in mind, body, heart and spirit.
The Leader in Me program shows us that every child is capable and can become leaders. Five paradigms of the program can help all children understand that:
  • They can all be leaders
  • They all have genius
  • They can start the change
  • Educators can help empower students to lead their own learning
  • They can develop the whole person.
The Seven Habits within the program consists of:

Habit #1 Be Proactive - take charge of your own life
Habit #2 Begin with the End in Mind - Have a plan
Habit #3 Put First Things First - Work first, then play
Habit #4 Think Win-Win - Think of ways everyone can win
Habit #5 Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood - Listen before you speak
Habit #6 Synergize - Collaborate with others
Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw - Take care of yourself and find the balance.

I have witnessed this program being used in a school and it greatly affects the attitudes of students. The students learn to believe in themselves and they learn to believe in each other. This type of program teaches the students to be respectful of themselves and others. If I take a teaching job at a school that doesn't adopt these habits I would still like to teach them in my classroom. I think using the 7 habits will teach students to value each other and their education, thus offering a safe and effective learning environment.
The Leader in Me book
I highly recommend buying the books associated with this program.
The Seven Habits BookThese books are: The Leader in Me and The Seven Habits of Happy Kids.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015