Author: jmferguson3

Blog 5

1. I didn’t really observe specific strategies for opening and closing the lesson. The classroom was exceptionally well-behaved and didn’t really need to be herded into anything. The transition from work time to the lesson was seemingly very well-established and ingrained into the routine. I did notice that during the lesson the teacher had the students filling in their notes on pre-made sheets made to go along with the lesson on the smartboard. This ensured that the students could follow along easily and the teacher could cover a wider range of material.

2. Again, I didn’t really see any active implementation of “strategy’ – the management of the classroom was largely accomplished by the strong establishment of an existing routine that everyone knew to follow. From the ringing of the bell to study time, study time to lecture time, and lecture time to the end of class, students took to the orderly transitions as a given. Mostly I would just say the teacher managed her time well to be able to cover the material in the time allotted.

3. The closed notes sheets she used seemed really helpful, if a little time consuming to prepare. I don’t typically do a whole lot of lectures, being an art teacher, but I have found that my lectures are a lot more focused when I have something like that for everyone to follow along with.

Blog 4

– This is a quick video about a teacher named Brian Van Dyck, who talks a little bit about his strategy for relating to students by focusing on one positive element of their personality that interests him. By letting them know that this trait interests him and encouraging them to emphasize it, supposedly it discourages more negative behaviors.

– This is an entry on the Panorama Education Blog about a study regarding common interests between teachers and students. In several groups, the teacher and students were given surveys about their hobbies and goals and varying degrees of the commonalities between both parties were shared with each group: In one, the students knew what they had in common with the teacher and the teacher did not, the next group was the reverse, then both, then neither. Unsurprisingly, both of them knowing they had common ground helped, although it seems in the case where only the teacher knew, it resulting in certain students maybe scoring higher, which is a little sketchy.

– A page on the American Psychological Association about positive teacher-student relationships. The information is divided into several tabs that tackle one aspect at a time. There’s a rather interesting one about halfway through devoted to “Theoretical perspectives to explain student behavior’ – about different theories on what motivates certain students to behave in certain ways and how they perceive teachers and their peers.

Blog 3 – The Future of Alaska Native Education

Very enlightening article. Kind of wish I didn’t read it in case I end up teaching in a rural community after I get my initial license. I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m helping to perpetuate a practice of forcing natives to supplicate themselves before the white people who’ve taken it upon themselves to help them.  I can totally believe Dr. Alberts’ assertions that social service programs intended to help Natives might have adverse effects such  on their autonomy – it actually kind of reminds me of a Kenyan economist named James Shikwati who has spoken out against foreign aid to combat poverty in Africa on the grounds that it actually destroys their farming economy by making it impossible for local farmers to compete. White people can’t solve everything!

Hopefully the changes  planned for the Alaska Native’s education system can accommodate all these non-Natives whose careers depend on the current system staying the way it is, because otherwise I feel like it’d be hard to make those changes. People are going to fight for those jobs. Cutting them out of the loop completely might make it hard for them to empathize with the Natives’ situation and support their goals, and that’s if all of these Alaska Native organizations actually  can get politicians to go along with eliminating an entire industry in the first place.

Matt Ferguson – Rules

Four rules that I would post in my classroom:

1. Return materials to their appropriate place at the end of class

2. Start cleaning up 5-7 minutes before the bell

3. Be respectful during critique

4. Never attribute artistic ability to innate talent

The fourth rule is mostly a gentle reminder about how I want students think to about their ability to do classwork. A lot of kids tend to labor under the misapprehension that they’re either born with artistic talent or not and they limit themselves by deciding right away that they’re incapable of reaching a particular level of skill. I want to purge this notion from the class atmosphere as quickly as possible.


It’s an article on a website called Education World. It’s written by a clinical psychologist named Dr. Fred Jones who has done a lot of research on effective teaching methods and written a book called Tools for Teaching. He generally seems to promote the practice of laying a lot of groundwork in establishing rules early on to provide a foundation for an orderly classroom throughout the semester. The rest of the website offers articles on various topics and current events in the world of teaching.


Matt Ferguson – Intro


Hi! My name is Matt Ferguson! I’m originally from Tennessee, but I’ve lived in Kenai, Alaska off and on since about 2004. I went to college at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, where I received a BFA in animation in 2012. As a teacher, my goal is to develop an art class where students can learn fundamental skills in design and drawing that will help them in their ongoing artistic development, as well as to help them articulate the essential components of their personal aesthetic and learn respect for artwork and creators coming from cultural backgrounds wholly unlike their own.

My education program will focus heavily on technical drawing skills, drawing from life, basic design principles and compositional techniques, and articulating art criticism. My students will be exposed to the work of many famous historical artists, but they will also be encouraged to seek out artwork that inspires them, both so they can develop their aesthetic sensibilities and so I can learn a little about their interests. I also want to teach them to articulate criticism so they can better understand their thought process toward developing their own work.

I enjoy making comics, and I’m also an avid fan of Japanese monster movies. I’ve actually been watching every Godzilla movie in chronological order over the past couple of weeks (almost halfway through!)