Author: hjdesmond

Suicide on Campus

The first thing that comes to mind when reading about stories such as these which have societal pressures at the root is the issue of mass media and social media. When comparing yourself, who you know everything about, to someone on Instagram or Facebook where you only get to see what they want you to see, can be impossible. It should be obvious, but comparing your whole self to the perfect moments of someone else can be disastrous.

It is extremely important that universities, where this can be an issue, are working towards solutions for the problems at hand, but it is not all on the university. It must come from within society, and from within oneself. In a capitalistic  world, there will always be competition, there will always (almost) be someone superior to yourself but that does not mean you are worth any less because for everything they are better than you at, you are likely better than them at something else. This means that although internal pressure is important and a great driving force, it should not be such a driving force that one is considering suicide as the only way out. Luckily for myself, although I do hold myself to a higher standard I will never beat myself up over a failure, as long as I gave it my all, and that is something I think is very important.

Another thing that I believe could help students who feel lost is to find something to get involved with, the feeling of a lack of importance or purpose can be damning to a student in their first year or two away from their home as well as family and friends who make up their support structure. To find another group of people or thing they can delve into can definitely improve their feelings towards their time at school as well as give them that purpose they desire.

Classroom Observation Blog

1- In my observation, I was in the setting of a 7th-grade geography class which was also dabbling into world religion during my time in class. Since many of these topics were more foreign to the 7th-graders often times class would begin by having a brief discussion about the topic where the students can share their background knowledge as well as other things that they have learned so far in the unit. This allows for students to help each other  get onto the same page.

Once the ‘brief’ had taken place it was commonplace for the main section to be notes of some sort, usually, document camera-assisted lecture. Although this was supplemented by a slideshow of pictures as well as anecdotal but topical interjections from the teacher.

Another handy tactic employed by my assigned teacher was to use a video or slideshow or more fun activity as a figurative carrot in front of the horse which would be the class. She would tease them with a video and use it as an incentive to pay attention during notetaking, take down the notes as well as contribute to the discussion. This seemed to be quite effective as the students really responded to the idea of watching a film. At the end, an exit ticket was often used, although not for every class. The high achieving period who had a beautiful discussion which included practically the whole class did not get assigned an exit ticket, likely at the teachers discretion.

2-  The most common transition would have to be the beginning of class, which depending on the activity involved a friendly greeting to many of the individual students as they trickle in and then a minute or two of small talk (especially for first class of the day which I often observed) to allow for students to get into the swing of school, and then it was right into the lesson via the graphic organizer they had for their note-taking.

Another transition would be the way that students requested to use the restroom, the classroom policy was relatively lax and as long as the student was not interrupting all they had to do was bring their passbook up and silently get it signed. Simple as that.

Finally, the transition to leave for the period was one that often included an exit ticket or at the very least note taking up until the last minute. My teacher seemed to specifically try to keep a tidbit of information that would be on the upcoming quiz/test until the end to ensure that students kept paying attention to the material and did not pack up and tune out  early.

3-  My teacher used a token system that was used to monitor and reward good behavior while eliminating poor choices. It is a jar for each class and for good behavior they gain a certain amount of gems, once reaching a full jar a free day is rewarded. The activities for that day are up to the students, do they want a work day or a fun activity related to the class, up to them. The gems can also be lost for poor behavior. The biggest impact here was with the substitute teacher, using the gems as an incentive to do what they should be doing while the subtitute is around would definitely be a great incentive for the students and something I very will may bring into my own classroom someday.

What I Wish my Professors..

The short passage on What I Wish my Professors Told Me  seems to hammer home a lot of the same messages I have already been getting from my professors. I suppose my professors must be a step above the author of said passage. Of course, it is always nice to get additional guidance as well as reminders. The many points of the article were poignant but I believe that there are two that stick out most to me. One of these is the fact we are not just teaching students, we are educating them, preparing them for the outside world, more or less transforming their lives. Said transformation can be one that will set the student up for success for years to come, but with the wrong guidance that transformation may not become complete, or even worse it could lead to the wrong skill set for the everyday world. The other thing is the lack of finding a ‘perfect lesson’. As someone who is a borderline perfectionist in many of the things I do, I can definitely see myself falling into this trap. With a variety of different students, I could never create a perfect lesson for all of them, let alone myself. The mantra, “The kids will learn despite my mistakes” may be something I keep with me for quite a while.

Personalized Learning

The need for personalized learning can almost be legitimized through the quote, “learning has to happen  in  students, not  to  them” which means that almost each and every student will go about learning in their own way. I would have to say I am almost split down the middle, for one I am someone who believes that the individual needs to be preserved as well as acted upon. By that I mean that students should have the ability to do research papers about an applicable topic for themselves but I also feel that the shared experience of schooling is an important aspect of school and if there is too much personalization it may not seem like such a social experience that I feel students truly take a lot away from. The match between curriculum  and personalization will be (in my opinion) the crutch of this debate and unless it is handled near flawlessly it will be very difficult to balance the two very important aspects. Finally, the biggest concern I have is what will happen for those students whose schooling does not get much personalization, what kind of negative effects will this have on them? Could those effects possibly outweigh the positives of the whole undertaking


DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program was a program implemented by Barrack Obama in 2012. The program aims to help those who were brought to America under the power of someone else as these children should not be punished for the actions of others. For myself, the DACA program is almost a no-brainer. As a country who imagines itself to be the land of the free where anything is possible it would surely reflect our inherent cultural values to help those who just need help helping themselves. The DACA program surely becomes a no-brainer when it is coupled with the restrictions on membership that involve the lack of a criminal history as well as a lack of threat to national security and/or public safety.


In my opinion just about the only way a member of DACA should lose their right to the program is if they become a dangerous criminal (felony or misdemeanor) which would make them a problem as far as public safety is concerned. It also seems to be another one of those bureaucratic government processes that is just one arbitrary document after document which itself deters  people from the benefits.


Hello everyone, I am Hunter Desmond. I am obviously taking the course as it is required to progress in the program but more so because I have next to no experience managing a classroom, or kids of any sort. I cannot even say I helped my parents take care of my younger siblings as I am an only child. Gaining the knowledge and experience required to be a successful educator is my main goal with this class. I am from Fairbanks, Alaska, born and raised. My plan is to graduate with a double major in Secondary  Education as well as History. Most of my life revolves around sports so I am quite excited for it to be football season with basketball season quickly approaching. My plan as an educator would be to get students excited about History and any other Social Studies subject I may be teaching by providing a unique experience in my classroom that one would not normally expect. How I plan to do this I am not entirely sure but luckily I have a few years of education to further figure that out.