Author: Heidi J

Blog #6: Philosophy of Classroom Management

I believe that Classroom Management is very important for the students and the teacher. If a classroom is managed well then there is sure to be a positive learning environment. In my opinion creating a positive learning environment should be one of the teacher’s main priorities to accomplish at the very beginning of the school year. It sets up the students in a positive learning mindset and they can keep that mindset the whole year. Students who have a positive experience in school not only learn more but create happy memories. There is nothing more that a teacher should want than their students having happy memories of learning and loving the joy of learning new and exciting things.

As a teacher it is our responsibility to teach positivity to the students whether it’s by showing that we care about the students by getting to know their personal interests or teaching positive student responsibility. When there is a positive learning environment the students are more comfortable learning, more trusting, they can build better relationships and show more respect for not only themselves but other students.

One teacher that I observed for my Observation Protocol consistently told her students how much she cared about them and how much she cared that they learned and grew as people. I watched the students faces as she told them this and I was able to tell from their reactions that they knew she meant exactly what she was saying and that it affected them. Sometimes, as teachers we are the only positive people in a child’s life and if the student comes to school and is in a negative environment and then goes home to a negative environment the child might not make it far in life because they would begin to give up on trying anything new or learning. So, I believe that classroom management is a great foundation for creating a positive environment for the students.

Observation Reflection Blog #5

I did my first set of observation hours in a few different classrooms. I was going to only do my observations in the English classroom at first but after talking with the English teacher she advised that I spent some time in other classrooms as well. But, for this blog I’m only going to write about the observations I did while in the English classroom.

1)Effective Management Strategies

Opening a Lesson: For opening a lesson the English teacher waited for everyone to be in their assigned seats and went to the front of the classroom. She addressed the class and she told everyone what the day’s plan was. She had them split into groups and do group work.

Applied During a Lesson:  The teacher constantly made sure that everyone was staying on track. Since it was a group discussion assignment she also reminded a few students that they had to talk to each other to find the answers. She also had students individually come to her table for no more than a minute or two and discuss how their out-of-class homework was and how their in-class group was doing.

Lesson Closure: The teacher had the groups take turns answering the questions that they were assigned. She also reminded them on their way out the door about class meetings, homework, readings, and other important reminders.

2)Three Transitions: The first transition was having the students quietly come up to the classroom to have their short discussion with her. The students handled this transition very well. They went to the front of the classroom to talk to her then went directly back to work and all of the groups finished the questions in a timely manner. There were only two real “transitions” that happened so for the second one I’m going to talk about how she handled an interruption. A student forgot their journal that they needed for the class and asked if he could go to his locker to get it. He asked in a rude tone the first time so she had him ask her again in a more appropriate way and then she allowed him to go to his locker to get his journal. When he came back to the classroom she reminded him that he needed to be more prepared the next time there was class. The third transition was the end of class when the bell rang. She did assignment reminders and before everyone left, she made sure they put everything away where it was supposed to be.

3) A strategy that you observed and may apply to your classroom:  I really liked her having the students come individually to the front of the classroom for a minute or two to discuss how they felt their out-of-class assignments were going and how their in-class group work was going. The students were really open with her and she communicated very well with them. She reassured them that if they needed any help that it was perfectly okay for them to stay after school and get help.

Blog #4: 3 Links

The first link is the website link:

It isn’t a very exciting website, as it is just an article titled “The Key to Classroom Management”. But it is a very informative article that goes over the importance of good teacher-student relationships. It has a lot of information on the Awareness of High-Needs Students. It think it had a lot of helpful information.

The second link is a blog link:

It is a blog written by Michael Linsin titled What Building Relationships with Students Really Means. It is an interesting take on the reasons why teachers build relationships with their students. The author also made an interesting point that you shouldn’t have to  try  to build relationships with you students, that they should just happen.

The third link is the video link:

It is a 9 1/2 minute long video titled “Building Relationships Within the Classroom (PBIS)”  that shows examples of teachers building relationships with their students and examples of how to build teacher-student relationships. It gives a few good examples that weren’t in the book. It was a fairly good video.  

Blog #3: The Future of Alaska Native Education

This is the article we were supposed to read for this week:

It was a very in depth article about the problem that Alaska is facing with Alaska Native Education and future of Alaska Native Education. Paul Berg starts the article off with an interesting comparison. He gives an example of what happened to the Sami, the indigenous people of Norway, and what happened to their language and culture because of other culture overpowering them. He then compares this to Alaska Native children saying, “Sami children were systematically stripped of their culture and made to feel ashamed of their way of life, and experience similar to that of Alaska Native children from rural villages”. I would not  necessarily agree with that statement. Coming from a rural village I know first hand that our culture may not be what it was but the people of our town were not and are not stripped of our culture and made to feel ashamed of their way of life. We have a time of year where we celebrate our culture and many other villages do as well. Not many people of our culture can still speak our language but that is not because they were suppressed from doing so, it is because we had to adapt to current times and be able to communicate with the people who moved to our village. The Sami parents were lucky in a way, as they were able to chose which school their children attended by legal protection of the law. That doesn’t really happen here, we do not really have the option to chose where we attend school without having to move great distances. It is either the public school or homeschooling. However, we do have Alaska Native courses available through universities.

Paul Berg does make an very important point about the future of Alaska Native Education. He recognized that, “The North Slope School District recently adopted an Inupiaq Leaning Framework, a move which Jana Harcharek, the Director of Inupiaq Education, describes as ‘a historic turning point for our district.'” The school district hopes that in the future they would be able to create their own curriculum to incorporate Alaska Native Education. Paul Berg also points out that there are a few foundations that help villages teach their culture to their children such as The Goldbelt Heritage Foundation and The Alaska Humanities Forum.

I think that more villages need help like this because although we have a celebration of culture period and a mandatory Alaska History class in high school, most of our language is gone and some of the culture has been lost because of the advances in technology. As long as we keep having our Culture Camp celebration period of the year our village will continue getting some Alaska Native Education. However, within the next 50 years or less I see most of the culture disappearing unless we have more than just one class offered for students to learn about not just our culture but other cultures of the Alaskan Natives. Paul Bergs last paragraph of the article states it beautifully, those of the non-Native communities  “need to reject the archaic theories of cultural superiority, step into the 21st century, and recognize the importance of preserving Alaska’s rich Native heritage. Let us embrace the conviction that Alaska Native cultures have the right to exist, the right to perpetuate themselves, and the right to control their own educational destiny.”

This article was beautifully written and points out very important problems and improvements with Alaska Native Education.

Blog #2: Classroom Rules

Here are four classroom rules that I would have in my classroom:

1)Respect each other, belongings, the teacher.

2)Be Responsible for your actions, behavior, work and belongings.

3)Stay On Task/Be Prepared

4)Have fun!

Here is the link:

I like this link because it is a helpful reminder that some rules are more like routines that your students should already know to follow and that as a teacher you have to be able to follow the rules that you make in your class if you expect your students to follow them. The link emphasizes four important things to remember when making classroom rules. The first one is to follow through.  Once you make a rule, you have to stick with it. If a rule is that you cannot be late for class then you have to give a warning and consequences for if they break the rule. The second one is choosing routines to emphasize. One really good point she makes is about borderline rules like when students get out of their seats.  She would tell her students that  “If you’re up, you are on a mission,” that way if you see a student wandering the classroom or stopping at a classmate’s desk for an off-topic chat you ask, “What’s your mission?”. A third important thing for you to remember is transparency. Students have to know the difference between rules and routines from Day One. She said that it is also helpful if you have the students help brainstorm rules or examples of the rules so that they better understand what they need to follow in class. The fourth important reminder she gives is to think about the ultimate goal. She says that as teachers we talk about effective teaching and that when we are effective, students  are learning and getting what they need, goals and objectives are achieved, and we teachers feel a sense of accomplishment. I felt like this was exactly on point and had some good tips about deciding what classroom rules you should have. Rules are important for a class because without them your students could decide that anything is fair game and chaos would not be far from happening.

*I tried to make a wordle but for some reason it said that Java wouldn’t allow it.

Introduction: Heidi Jacobsen


Hi, my name is Heidi Jacobsen. I’m from Sand Point, Alaska. It’s a very small town with about 800 or so people. I recently graduated from UAF with a Bachelors in English and a minor in Sociology and I am now working towards getting my teaching certificate. I hope to teach high school English in rural areas. I am excited to further my education this semester!