Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Post #12

First off, Ms. Copleland loves her job as a P.E teacher and it shows. She even tells the interviewer about how you must love your job to be any good at it or have any staying power in the field. She loves coaching, teaching, and students; which are the same reasons that I want to become a P.E teacher. I am personally thrilled to be around young people, they get my motor running. I also love sports and have no desire to get away from them if possible. My love for the students is why I want to become a teacher, my love for sports is why I want to teach them through P.E. Ms. Copleand talk about how most of the teachers at her school who have quit, have done so because of the students attitudes. That is an important factor to realize. No matter how much we try, we will become frustrated by students that we cant reach, but have to truly accept the fact that all we can do is try our hardest. I have tried to get through to people in my life that I just cannot, and it's frustrating as all get out, but i'm not going to quit. We all need to try and be as vigilant as Ms. Copeland in our teaching careers and love what we do. In the end all we can do is try and love the opportunity of being able to try.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy has done an excellent job of putting into practicing many of the ideas and teaching methods that we have discussed throughout out this class. Ms. Cassidy’s students were enjoying learning, which makes for the best kind of students, attentive ones. Her use of Nintendo’s, class room webpages, blogs, wikis, and skype has created a melting pot of technologically relevant learning resources for her students. I will definitely try to incorporate each and every one of those things into my own teaching plan. The class room web page was most impressive to me as these very young students actually enjoyed looking at it. We all know that a class room webpage is great for parents, teachers, and staff. To make a class room web page where the students actually enjoy checking it out is a wonderful accomplishment. From the interview with Dr. Strange, we see her total commitment to bringing technology to her students. Ms. Cassidy has a fantastic attitude in regards to her commitment to continue learning about and teaching technology to students no matter what road blocks may ever stand in her way. The actual application of using these resources was very nice to see as well. So often we hear ideas about things that we should do, but actually seeing children smiling because an idea has actually been put into action was a very nice thing to see. I wish Ms. Cassidy the best, and to just keep doing what she has been doing.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog #10

Do you teach or do you educate?
This video was not only very artistic in its delivery, but brings up an interesting paradigm concerning todays educators. An educator can choose to teach or educate their students. We are given the definition of “teaching,” and it consists of many concrete responses. We GIVE information, we CAUSE someone to learn, we INDUCE by example or punishment, and we encourage someone to ACCEPT as a fact or principle. Then we are shown that an “educator” is a kindler of a flame, an illuminator, a motivator, a mentor, and many other positive examples of what the idea of an educator is when compare to a teacher. While I completely agree with the examples given for the two words, I must somewhat disagree with the perceived point in the video that the two ideologies must exist completely apart form each other. I actually believe that it is our job to do both, educate, and teach. While we must do everything to nurture, motivate and all the good things associated with an educator, I think we must also accept that there is a time and place for a teacher as well. The coexistence of these two ideologies would create a much more balanced and helpful approach to the grooming of our future adults. We cannot only motivate, but we must teach facts as well. Also we cannot only teach facts, but we must nurture and motivate our students as much as we can. It is clear to me that we must both teach and educate to truly succeed at our chosen profession.
As far as what I plan to do in order to educate, that is a rather difficult yet simple answer at the same time. The answer is simple that I will just do whatever I can to get through to my students and be the nurturing, motivating, illuminating, mentor that they need. I will reassess what it takes to accomplish this goal, but the goal itself is very simple and defined. The question is also difficult to answer in that each student is different. What may get through to one student may not work on another. So to say what I will do in a concrete sense is almost impossible as it will depend on the student and the situation. I can guarantee that whatever it takes though, will be done.

Dont Let Them Take the Pencils Home
The point of this blog in my opinion is the growing problem of putting more emphasis on test scores than actual education in this country. Ever since the No Child Left Behind initiative was enacted, there is a growing sense of testing being the only measure of learning. I'm not saying that I don't like educational initiatives such as NCLB, but they do sometimes have side effects that are hurtful to our students. The comment about the children playing hangman as a waste of time is a prime example of not seeing the value in something as simple as this game. When playing Hangman, you must derive an answer from the blanks, use your turns wisely, and you must also know how to spell properly. This is a wonderful game for a child to play; they will learn much more playing hangman than say a video game about shooting aliens. Also, Gertrude is clearly marginalizing the students based on their socio-economic standing, basically giving up on the kids because of where they live and who their parents are. This is a gross form of educational negligence. I applaud Tom for standing up for his students and risking “his” lower test scores for the betterment of his students. I can only hope that I will have the courage to stand up for my own in this manner.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

          While I know the assignment required us to read 2 of these blogs and write about them, I have decided to do my blog post on all 3 of Mr. McClung’s yearly review blogs. As with other assignments, I have learned from actual teachers on a variety of topics, but this is the first time that we have actually been able to get a real sense of what to possibly expect from our first three years of teaching. We spend all of this time preparing to become teachers, and its nice to be able to experience what it was like for someone else once they became one. I definitely enjoyed this assignment and I hope that my summaries of Mr. McClung’s work will do it justice.
Mr. McClung starts his first year blog by stating that you have to “be flexible”, this is of the utmost importance in my opinion for a first year teacher to understand. It is so important because we cannot begin our careers by thinking that we know everything, or are perfectly prepared, or that everything is going to go as planned. These students are human beings each with different challenges as it pertains to reaching them in the right way to be taught. We are also, FIRST YEAR teachers, and that being said, we have a whole lot more to learn. So flexibility is something that I personally will go into my career planned to be ready for. The next topic that really caught my eye was when he said “don’t be afraid of technology”. This statement obviously pertains to what we are learning in this class, but also shows that other teachers are starting to acknowledge this important change in our society. We cant be afraid to push our student, parents, and ourselves further when it comes to the communication and learning of technologies benefits. As I have learned all semester, technology is going no where, and we either need to get on board, or get left behind. The last topic that I wanted to touch on is the “never stop learning” statement. This statement goes hand in hand with being flexible in my opinion. We truly can never shut ourselves out from continuing our education as well. Whether we need to learn more about technology, dealing with parents, communicating with students, or anything else. We can never stop learning.
Mr. McClung starts his second year blog talking about the need to be able to “adapt”. Adaptation is something that a lot of people struggle with. We get comfortable with ourselves and what we know and are used to doing, and we find it very hard to change that. We all need to be more open to adaptation with our students or surroundings. Our students need to be able to relate to us, and for that to happen, we will most likely have to some what adapt to them. The next topic I really enjoyed reading was about “check you ego at the door”, this follows along the same lines as other points Mr. McClung has made. We cannot go into a teaching situation thinking that we know everything and that our way is the right way. We need to keep an open mind to new ideas and new ways of doing things. People don’t respond well to someone who is egotistical, and a primary goal of a teacher is communication. So if we are to communicate the best we can, we must leave our ego at the door. The last topic I wanted to mention is how we are not to lose sight of whats important. Now that statement can mean different things to different people, but to all educators it should at least mean that we are never to lose focus on our students and their goals. These students are our responsibility, we have been entrusted with shaping them for the future. We can never lose sight of the student above all else.
The final blog that Mr. McClung wrote is probably the most profound. We can really see his evolution as an educator. He has gone from mostly extrinsic qualities and situation to much more intrinsic things that he now acknowledges. His first topic is “know who your boss is.” he then goes on to write about how the student is the focus and it should not be the parents, or faculty. This statement is wonderful, and truly shows what a wonderfully enlightened teacher Mr. McClung truly is. We can never forget who we are there for, and the day we do, is the same day we should possibly consider a different profession. While the principal, or administrator may have superiority over us, the student should be king in all teachers eyes. The student is who we are there for. “Don’t get comfortable” is another profound topic that Mr. McClung touches on. We should always be pushing ourselves to become better educators. We should always take a look at what we are doing to see if it can be done better or more efficiently. While some of us get comfortable after a while, the great teachers never do, they are always adapting, learning, listening, and working. This driving force is a key component to becoming a great educator.
Mr. McClung has possibly been able to articulate more about the first three years of teaching and learning to be a teacher, than anyone else could have. I am so very happy for the students that will be able to experience this man in their own class rooms for years to come. I can only keep these words close in hopes that they don't fade and I can one day too have the potential of this great teacher. I hope to read more of his work in the future, and I can only hope that maybe someone someday is as impressed by my teaching and insight as I am by his. Thank you.