Author: jmanchester

No, Ten is Enough.

Although this blog site is exponentially better then the most recent one before, this one I felt was a bit overly excessive with its advise. I might agree that 20 “little tid bits” is a nice, low and round number, but I feel the bottom 10 can just simply be cut out of the list all together.

With that being said, the blogger did a great job organizing his thoughts into the level of importance to the reader; I really feel the first 10 tid bits his lists are the most important things for a first-year educator to know about handling his/her experience at that first school. But the bottom 10 aren’t as crucial, in my opinion, to surviving and thriving the first-year experience.

The first 10 tid bits describe the fundamentals of beginning to integrate into the school and faculty community and how to best communicate and collaborate with the  various  facets of the institution. I agree with every inch of these tid bits. It is absolutely crucial for a first-year teacher to reach our, branch out, and collaborate with his colleagues, peers and administrators– and not just for his/her own betterment, but for the betterment of the students’ education. I know I would feel terrible if I allowed my own vanity and pride get in the way of a student’s learning and school experience just because I could not bring myself to ask for help. It might be embarrassing to ask another educator because you might feel incompetent or insecure about your position inside the institution, but if it ensures that the students are getting a proper education– you do what you need to! This is the sole reason for our profession.

Now, the bottom ten, albeit fun and at times informative, are exponentially less important to accomplish as a first-year educator. I am not entirely convinced if a typical educator EVER needs to start his/her own Youtube channel, or blog AND journal about his/her experience. Furthemore, why would an educator ever need to start their own wiki page? If this educator is pioneering a brand new field of study on a particular subject– then by all means. But if one is a typical educator teacher Government, History, high school Biology, Literature or the like– then they never need to make a wiki page of their very own on their teaching subject. Join a community? Great, but wasn’t that mentioned in a few other transformations while forming relationships, collaborating or participating in blogs?

Now I am not trying to hate the advice, its sound advice. But to take them all in one large lump, it puts a lot of pressure to try and accomplish all these tid bits. I would say just focus on the top 10  first to survive and if you feel like you want to excel more in the first year, then seek the other means. But ten is enough for a struggling educators. 10 is enough.


Help is on the way!

So it took me quite awhile for me to figure out what this website was all about. I am still a little confused, seems like a an online educators . . . education academy? Well anyway, I found a link that I found really intriguing and interesting:

This was really excited prospect for all of us prospective teachers who will be starting their careers (hopefully) really soon. This link is an informational link for the membership into the Young Educators Network (YEN). YEN is a network of educators usually in their twenties or low  thirties that are linked in together to help each other through the first years of teaching. Just knowing that other people are going through the same hardships and have similar weaknesses that you may have, is always a welcomed feeling. They enter  into YEN to participate in year round discussions and they can even attend the annual  ISTE’s Conference and Exposition to collaborate with colleagues live. I don’t know if I am just overly exposed with fraternity and leadership development conferences, but the thought of synergistic energy and the melting pot of diverse perspectives and ideas is just down right exciting!

However, the link doesn’t give too much more information about the network, but the link below is the ACTUAL network that is through ISTE:

When I took the time to browse the topics these young educators were talking about, I got even more intrigued. First topic on the list was how a young educator can gain confidence in teaching AP and honors students; which is an interesting topic for me because I am excited to teach the same students and I am concerned. I am sold. I may be worried about how my teaching style will work out, but no worries– Help is on the way!


You Can Thank Star Trek

This week’s blog is both interesting but very  ambiguous. How do I envision my M.Ed program? The answer to that is simple. I see it going exactly how the program dictates I do it: I finish my observations this semester, student teach next semester, take my praxis exams in between and the essentials of life in between.

This week’s article was a blog visiting the ever progressing role of technology in the classroom while also presenting the opposition to those resistant to the change. I do not like those who resist change for the simple reasons of uncertainty or discomfort. I am usually all for positive change, technology in the classroom is no different.

This week I had the opportunity to observe Mr. Grassi’s Alaska Studies class. I was fortunate enough to catch the class where Mr. Grassi was just introducing a new technology to the curriculum. The school district funded several, SEVERAL, new carts full of iPads. A few for each department that was pertinent to receive them (Social Studies, English, film production, etc.). Mr. Grassi used the iPad’s to convert his relatively tradition style classroom (with rows on each side of the room facing each other, ideal for encouraging discussion) into a mini-computer lab. Mr. Grassi had his students research rural communities that were  predominantly Alaska native and create a graphic presentation (a poster) of the pertinent information of the communities they researched. It was actually really fun,  not just for me, but also for the students and Mr. Grassi. It was a learning experience for everyone.

As much as I despise Apple Inc., these new tablets will open so many doors and opportunities for learning where all lessons will soon convert to standardized formats of workbooks, research and assignments on these tablets. Every student will eventually be required to have one, or every classroom will have it built into the desks with each student signing onto their personal profile to work and save drafts and turn in their assignments to the teacher.

I only make this prediction because it has been predicted in pop culture and when that happens, our inventors instantly gravitate towards those predictions. Here, Star Trek: The Next Generation showed us tablets for working in the Starfleet Academy. And Starship Troopers depicted a classroom with digital stylus and flat computers built into the desks. If it wasn’t for Captain Kirk’s Star Trek, we would not have such technological advances as the cell phone, motion sensitive doors and hands free communicators. These educational advances are  an eventual certainty, because Star Trek says so.

Rules Rulez!!

Rules are  especially important for the make up of a good learning environment. I feel as if I do not want to beat a dead horse about this subject because Jesse Bynum and I wrote an entire presentation on the first section of our book that dealt with this subject. Rules are essential  because  they help teachers seamlessly flow through subject matter and learning. Without established  guidelines  and rules, a teacher can get lost with disciplinary actions and discussions and not enough time for learning.

[Wordle pending]

Some general rules or guidelines that I would establish are:

1. Be prepared with materials and assignments

2. Be respectful of yourself and others

3. Be an active participant

4. Wait to be dismissed.


I feel these are effective yet general rules that are both firm and flexible for my classroom setting; and, of course, their intent will be explained at the beginning of course and reviewed as needed. Also, these general rules will be important for me in my target  subjects. I will be  predominantly  teaching  high school government and/or Spanish. In both cases these rules will be extremely prevalent.

When discussing government and politics, the need to be prepared and respectful is of the utmost importance; discussing sensitive opinions on current issues, both domestic and abroad, can get extremely heated at times. As well, the necessity for oral participation in a Spanish class will require students to get out of their comfort zone– so both the need to be respectful and an active participate is crucial to a second language course. If a student does not receive their proper encouragement in a language course, a student can forever be jaded in pursuing ANY language in the future.

The rules listed are just my preference of general rules and I am sure more prevalent rules will be established via schoolwide policy and I will adhere to all major and visible guidelines. But things like no hats of other rules of that nature, I won’t really have too much preference for and will only enforce on an as-needed basis (like, perhaps, when administration specifically asks me too).

Did that just happen?

Being one of the last people to post about this particular article, gives me the advantage of  hindsight when in comes to interpreting the perspectives of the author as well as the impact of the article.

I will begin by agreeing with some of the sentiments given by my peers in previous posts. The cultural perspectives outlined by Kleinfield in this author is both insensitive and blunt. I feel the opinions and language used are both archaic to today’s interpretations of cultural contexts. I became confused when Kleinfield opened the article by  referring to the native population as Indian, then going to specifying the particular tribal Eskimos he would describe– and then jumping in between the two. After I initially read the article, I went back to the publishing date and found that this article was published in 1975. I would imagine at this time, it was socially acceptable to be less culturally sensitive to the labeling of indigenous peoples. However, this being an article professing that Anglo-Saxon American educators should be more culturally aware of Alaskan native students’ needs– it falls short of expectations and shoots high beyond hypocrisy.

But to directly respond to the prompt question at hand, their is always a cultural context when considering effective classroom management. If we teach with given nonverbal and verbal expression in, we can’t assume all students will understand the target cultural reference. But for most of us, the cultural context will be that of the white majority; unless we end up teaching in an inner city or large metropolitan area. Unless we elect to teach in rural communities in Alaska.

Because the cultural and the differences in social interactions, there is a clear and present need for Anglo-American educators to adjust their classroom management from the traditional American classroom, to perhaps something closer to The traditional native Alaskan ways of learning.

But in the same breath, in the twenty-first century, rural educators have a responsibility to prepare their students for the ever expanding world society and  globalization. The white way may not always be best, but a proper preparation of the students’ to emerge into a multicultural world is a educational imperative.


First Blog Post

Hola clase! My name is Jesse Manchester, and I am just starting my Master’s work in education. I hold two BA’s from UAF: Political Science and Foreign Language (Cultures and Literature of Spanish).

When I am not studying, I am usually doing service work with Alpha Phi Omega Coed Service Fraternity; I also enjoy performing in anything I have time for, attending Radiant Church, and trying to help raise my beautiful daughter, Payton.