Author: jmanchester

I Hope You Dance

Well it has been a really long journey for all of us.

We all have earned or about to earn our degree of higher education (and some more then others). And yet, we all have jumped back in to pursue even more degrees of higher learning.

And for what? For the glory and prestige that being a learned individual in our culture brings to us and our families? The riches and fortune that it brings? The fame it brings at being successful in that field? the vast breadth of knowledge so fulfilling to our own self interests?

Well this may be true for other fields of study, but we are getting certified to teach high school students how to write or the history of their country or culture. With that comes a lot of heart ache, pain, self awareness, self sacrifice, discipline, humility, and mind-numbingly boring paper work.

But, we will know that when that one student walks across that stage with their cap and gown to receive their piece of paper and gives a hug and thanks you for all the crap you put up with– that’s when we will know we made a difference. That’s when we will know that all the crap that we have done and put up with, was worth it.

So the question is how will I do it? Well, I am under the belief that an appropriate, positive and productive relationship outside the classroom is the key to positive learning environment; yet I am also forced to accept that interacting with every student on this level will be impossible. But as long as I can have enough of the culture building students to believe I am great– word will spread. Building those relationships will be crucial. I have known through experience and observation that when those relationships are built and the respect is  reciprocated  and maintained, learning and a positive learning environment follows. Students will be excited to come to class and will be eager to perform in your class. This is my basic premise for my teaching philosophy. In the Intro Spanish courses that I have helped teach as well as the pledge classes and leadership workshops I have presented, all of which I build a good rapport outside the lesson to make the lessons easier to stand for the students.

Always make sure that your relationships and attitude are positive. There are many ways to stay positive. Eat, Pray, Love? Sports, fitness? I agree with all of those and try to practice all of those as well; but above all, personally, I hope you dance.


Ensenar para las clases de governmento y espanol

Pensé que  sería más  divertido de escribir  este blog  en español.  Yo  simplemente no tienen  mucho que decir  con este blog, pero  he encontrado estos  sitios web  que le ayudarán  con el establecimiento de  curriculae  buena.

Este  sitio web de recursos  destaca la necesidad de  fuentes válidas  para educar  a.Fuentes válidas  pueden incluir:  todos los sitios web  gubernamentales como  el texto original, por ejemplo.

Este sitio web  será fantástico  como un recurso,  porque rompe  las lecciones  en los planes  apropiados  de iniciar la Lección  de nivel.  Definitivamente voy a  referir  a este sitio web  con frecuencia para ayudar  con los planes de  la lección.


Sé que este  blog es  corto y dulce, pero espero  que puedo obtener  puntos extra paraponerlo  en español.  Y  lo siento  si esto es  molesto para  aquellos que no pueden  leer esto.


Better Late Then Never

So I know that this blog was due to last week, but I thought I would still do it anyhow.

This website really emphasizes the nuts and bolts of putting together a really good curriculum. “Great teaching comes with great curriculum.”

An oldy but a goody, the edutopia website is a great resource for encouraging new educators in their first steps into their professional career.

this is a fun and interactive way to break down ten proven methods and tips for classroom management.


That’s my two cents, short and sweet.



My opinion about this subject is very simple to understand. Globalization is inevitable and it is apon us. Over the last hundred years we have seen the biggest division of super powers become political and economic allies; essentially closing the last great gaps there were in the world. Now we are simply dealing with economic disparities in the world and the last remaining threats to humanity– as a whole. Now we can argue what that looks like and who that directly concerns until the cows come home. But the basic truth is we are all in tied together whether you as a citizen are in agreement with that sentiment or not.

As Americans, the next generation MUST (with no exceptions) learn to speak Spanish; and if they were economically savvy, they will learn  Mandarin. Most of the population in the coming generation is projected to speak Spanish as a first language and the main economic drivers of the coming generation will speak Mandarin as a native language as well. We need to get on board or get left behind.

Now, learning a language or understanding how the world is moving or how it operates, in my opinion, is not a symptom of losing one’s self. Quite the contrary, I believe it is expanding one’s self; one’s breadth of knowledge, point of view and represents in no way a violation of one’s culture. I actually believe being closed to other’s culture is insulting to the my culture as an integrated and biracial American.

So when this article preaches about how native way and culture is being demolished by the Anglo-perspective, the Anglo-experts providing Anglo-services and living Anglo-standard lives in rural communities than demoralizes the native population they serve and forces them to grow more dependent on said services– is frankly irritating. This article does not provide any answers, any counter-cultural examples of productive native education. Berg, the author, just simply asserts at the very end of the article that we need to “step into the 21st century, and recognize the importance of preserving Alaska’s rich Native heritage.” It suggests we allow them to educate themselves with the Inupiaq Leaning Framework. What I do not understand is Hispanics still manage to keep their culture and also get educated as minorities without outrage of cultural  eradication  (barring an socioeconomic issues). Similarly, Asian-Americans so not toot that the Anglo-centric model is disproportionate.

Our model provides freedom in bounds of security and safe expression. However (two for you, Ben)  globalization is here and we as a global community must have a consensus; standards in education, in economic relationships and in cultural communications.  Whether I think its fair or not is irrelevant, the world is moving. Rise to meet it.

Insert Witty Title Ambiguous But Makes Sense After you Read This


[caption id="attachment_459" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Don't even worry."]Don't even worry[/caption]

The funny thing about my observations, and I explain this in both my protocols and our weekly check ins about our observations, but all of my observations feature teachers who have terrible classroom management skills– and they are the first to tell you that.

I have observed several of Mr. Cheney’s Spanish courses, most of which do not have spectacular classroom management. To give him the benefit of the doubt, I seem to always pop in at the least opportune times. When I arrive in his class, it has always been a preview lesson, a review lesson, a test or a spanish movie day. None of which have much teaching going on. Transitions are nonexistent and Mr. Cheney is either ignoring or correcting behavior in a casual manner, without any rhyme or reason. But, Mr. Cheney seems to be one of the most liked and respected faculty members in the school; it seems it is because of his respect for his students, his one-on-one rapport with the students, as well as the extra time and effort he puts into extracurricular activities (he sells soup to help raise money for the Spanish club).

I also have observed several of Mr. Grassi’s classes, most of which would be coined as exhibiting poor classroom management, according to our handbook. HOWEVER (just for you, Ben) Mr. Grassi shows and exuberant amount of respect for his student’s and his students respond in kind (of course, being SWAT trained, the fencing coach and make amazing Star Wars references AND having Star Trek posted everywhere would earn you respect real quick!)

In my opinion, you don’t need a book to tell you how to run your class. Granted, for a lot of people it helps. But in my experience, when there is a standard list of things, suggestions, and ideas that an organization is given (and make no mistake, the public school system is an organization down into the classroom level) you take what works for you, you modify what could work for you, and you throw the rest away. That is new organizational theory 101.

And the picture means nothing, its sort of school related; I just figured I never post pictures and everyone else does– so I thought I would start. . . .well I guess if I were to think about it, it expresses my feelings on the poor classroom management observed in my classrooms at Lathrop. : P


Be Mindful of the Living Force

When I think of the “mental set,” I can’t help but think of the first scene of Star Wars: Episode I (yes, if you haven’t noticed, I relish the idea of being able to use any and all Star Wars references possible). In this scene, Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Master Qui-gon Jinn briefly discuss the importance of “keeping your thoughts to the here and now” as Obi-wan argues that “Master Yoda says we should always be mindful of the future” to which Qui-gon responds “yes, but not at the expense of the moment.”

Now, in my reflection of what the module has to say about the mental set, I believe both jedi (who represent the two leading Jedi Order opinions of the Force) were both correct. It is important for a teacher to be in the “here and now” as the book describe “withitness.” A teacher must be . . . there with their students; physically, mentally in the moment with the students in the lesson and responding to them and encouraging their positive participation.

But at the same moment, a teacher must also be mindful of the future, as the book describes forecasting; being able to foresee trouble situations before they happen– investigating a disturbance in the Force.

Now being mindful of every facet of time (past, present and future) for an entire classroom at any given moment (and every given class set of students) can prove to be a daunting task. The book  answers  that, too. We, as educators should take some “me” time. How I would  blow off steam and renew myself, as it were? Well I wouldn’t rightly know. I have never truely taken a real vacation. But I have always found that just doing something senseless for awhile (a few hours or perhaps the principle part of a weekend) has always helped me regain the vigor that is needed to do what must be done. Finish the project, keep going through a hectic week. I also believe that I will do a pretty bang up job keeping a cool exterior and keeping the humor inside the classroom.

I found many reference websites that support the mental set. Like this one.

Walk the Talk

“Many people believe that the relationship between teacher and student is the starting place for good classroom management. This makes good intuitive sense. If the teacher has a good relationship with students, all other aspects of classroom management will run much more smoothly.” (Marzano 56)

This statement, though very true, gives a certain feeling of a  foreboding contradiction to this idea to come– but as the reader would have it, no contradiction comes. Nor should there be any. In the classroom, and in every relationship, it boils down to to respect and communication. With these two guiding principles prevalent in every classroom facet and activity, good student-teacher relationships and positive learning communities can be developed.

Now this is a fine and dandy concept to conceive in a eutopian environment wherein a teacher is completely adored by all of his/her students, and the teacher loves all of his/her students with a mentoring passion that simply radiates awesome from the physical  visage   of the ethereal educator at the head of the class. But there are true and tangible ways to gain thoughtful and meaningful relationships with students. One step to take is to collect interest polls from students in the firt couple of days of class, outlining their favorite interest and activities. Simple enough. But to take it a step further and make the communication a 2 way street, present your own favorite interests and  activities. Even though the book clearly outlines this in Module 12, my reason for this activity is to gain clear records for me to study and refer to for my students as well as show the students that I, too, and a person who can relate to their interests.

Also, we as educators herald students as individuals and not just members of a flock. With that in mind, because each unique individual student adds to the class, each class is as unique and individual of an entity as the students that constitutes as its body. From their, a teacher should come to the conclusion that a set of rules for every and all classes he/she teaches would be inadequate and should instead provide the class as a whole opportunity to provide input to the governing rules of their learning community. This helps provide leadership to students, personal accountability to the students who helped draft and agree to the rules, also fosters communication and trust between the students and the teacher. In this scenario, the teacher acts as a facilitator for discussion on the rules, as well as providing helpful and constructive suggestions to the rules; which in most every case, will become the rules or opinions of the classroom learning community.

Outside of these first initial steps, I intend to do several different things to help foster appropriate yet meaningful student-teacher relationships that I have already began to instill in my character. I intend to attend after school events that my students are involved in. I will serve my school community by volunteering as a club organization adviser, as well as being a participant in student lead pep rallies and other activities. And I will also  participate in (as well as provide) community service opportunities for students. I feel participating in these  activities  reciprocates buy-in and trust, as well as promote stronger relationships and well-rounded community citizens. Don’t just talk the talk with the students; but walk the walk with them on this journey as a mentor in this learning community.



Marzano, R. J., Gaddy, B. B., Foseid, M.C., Fosied, M.P.,& Marzano, J.S. (2009). A Handbook for
classroom management that works; Research-based strategies for every teacher. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
ISBN-10: 0135035813