Author: John Hill



My reflection on this is that with the requirements of the assignment, it ended up being a summary of the class. I wish it had been a more open assignment to define the specifics of classroom procedures, organization, and rules. …Or maybe I just missed the mark on this.

Your thoughts?

6: CR MGMT Philosophy

(Gastineau Channel, Juneau, AK. My view on the walk to the school everyday (minus the rain ;).

The classroom is the environment where learning takes place. My classroom will be more than the room where my class meets. It will include the forests, fields, streams, lakes, and whatever else is logistically possible. Biology is a science of observation, exploration, and inquiry of life. My classroom environment will necessarily include all living things we can practically study and learn from. Management of the classroom will be adaptable to these alternative venues. The pillar of my classroom management philosophy is creating a productive learning community and culture. Unity and vested interest in the success of all is the ideal I strive to promote in my classroom and in each my students. Management techniques will be based on the principles of respect, responsibility, diligence, integrity, and good judgment. I will explicitly teach my expectations regarding each of these. I will be a constant, intentional model of these principles. Clear consequences and rewards will be consistently provided to help incentivize those students who are still developing their internal motivations.

The day to day structure of my classroom will create accountability in education. Students will take ownership for their own progress. Once again, the goal is to develop integrity as a holistic character trait. Einstein said: “The discovery of the laws of nature — the science — makes the erudite man, but does not make a man good. A good man is one who holds the values that are within your consciousness.’ Thus: “The instructed man is erudite. The educated man is good.’ I seek to educate my students. Organization, communication, and collaboration will allow me to clearly deliver instruction and place the responsibility on the students to create knowledge by producing evidences of their understanding. I will reach students on higher cognitive levels through challenging, adaptive, differentiated instruction.

5: A Reflection of Observations


For opening a lesson:

– If there is to be a quiz, get it done first. Students who care as they should can’t think beyond that hurdle.

– Get students involved immediately. Get there head out of the hallway shenanigans and into learning mode. A think-pair-share question about what they learned the last class seems to work well.

– Don’t waste too much time with “business.” One of my mentors repeats the same announcements at the beginning of class so they never listen. It is a bad tone to start class with.

Applied during a lesson:

-Proximity is a powerful tool.

-Control note taking. It depends on the subject and students. In honors biology students get so caught up taking notes that they do not listen. “No Parrots!” Notes can be written at home when they read or pause and have them summarize what they just learned. That is the moment you get the best questions from students.

-Don’t commit to answering every question. You know where you are going with the lesson, don’t get derailed. Handle questions with wisdom. Let them know that sometimes you will not be answering them but always give a chance for them after.

For lesson closure:

– “Class ends when I release you, not the bell.” And mean it. No one likes students who quit 5 or 10 minutes before class is over. Make every minute worth their time.

-Don’t allow them to line up at the door when they think class should be over…they will do it sooner and sooner.

-Make the end of the class exciting and engaging so they want to come back.
3 common transitions:

Bathroom – students just get up and go. They know they will be missing important things and hurry or they plan ahead.

Changing activities in class – teacher gives warning, states expectations, then holds students accountable.

Beginning of class – if they are tardy they get a detention.
A strategy for my classroom from my observations:

Detentions – they are given for not coming to class on time, any unsafe behavior, any inappropriate behavior.

Students write their own name on the clip board hanging on the wall. They do not do their own work nor sit and do nothing. Detentions are a benefit not a burden on the teacher. They do work for the class (organizing, cleaning ect.) during the detention. If they do not come they receive a second one. If they still do not come they are referred to the office.

Blog 4: Website/Video/Blog Share

Although you get some sketchy stuff when you Google “teacher student relationship,” I did find some useful sources to share with you that do not have to do with breaking the code of ethics.


TED talk – Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

In this 8 min. video Rita talks from the wisdom of a lifetime of educator experience. She talks about how important it is to get over the hype of reform and focus on the the value and importance of human connection, relationships. She convincingly describes why, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” I really like how she lays it out with stories about simple goodness like being willing to apologize. This is a message worth your time. TED talks usually are!


Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems

by Mark Boynton and Christine Boynton


This is a web-based textbook with another take on the relationship we should strive to create and maintain with our students. There is significant overlap with what we read but towards the end of the chapter or bottom of the page, there are some good tables that summarize the ideas presented. So, if you just want to take a quick look, scroll to the bottom for some concentrated classroom management wisdom!

This is one of many blogs connected through the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ). It is a reflection on classroom management as a misnomer. It is not so much management as it is leadership because we have problems when the leader in the classroom is not the teacher. Learning classroom management is no more than learning how to be the leader of the students in your class. We have to be great leaders, that inspire, guide, motivate, and yes, teach. There are many more short and sweet links off of this page, so tumble through them and see what you find. It might just be the answer to the question you did know you have!



Response to AK Native Ed. Article


This article took me straight back to the Alaskan Resources Peoples and Perspectives class (687). There is no doubt that indigenous peoples have always been debt a harsh hand, especially in centuries past.   However, the issue that the article seeks to address is not solely one about education. It is broader and multifaceted issue dealing with many events and peoples across time and space. It is not as easy as Berg makes it seem. The patterns of dependency created by altering the cultural core of Alaska’s native peoples is not something that can be so easily unraveled. This is why there are still unresolved issues on many fronts where the two cultures have clashed in the struggle for common ground. Natural resource use, language, healthcare, and yes, education, are reoccurring themes in this dialog between what Berg called the “majority culture” and the native peoples of Alaska. The examples of the Maori and Sami peoples are instructive and worth consideration as case studies in a search for resolution. However, there are equally as many differences in the details as there are similarities, and so the patterns of positive progress observed in these cases must be adapted effectively to the situation of Native Alaskans. The educational issues and program will not be able to change until we find a way to turn ownership and responsibility back to the people themselves, as Berg points out. It is a noble, but complex goal. Until the socioeconomic and cultural issues of dependency are resolved, turning the education system over to be run by these communities will be premature.

Response to:


Rules and procedures are needed because students need structure. They need to know what is expected of them and how to meet classroom expectations and their own needs in the classroom. They need to know how to safely perform academic tasks even when they require using potentially hazardous tools, chemicals, or objects.

In my high school biology classroom I will likely decide on the rules ahead of time. I know it can be valuable for students to create the rules but I believe a discussion on what the rules are will be equally valuable for them. This is possible because the rules will be 4 or 5 simple character traits that sum up the expectations for the class. The class discipline plan or contract will be more explicit to exclude behaviors which disrupt, distract, endanger, offend, destroy, disengage, disrespect, themselves, a classmate, school property or me, their instructor.


There are many valuable websites and certainly more interactive ones than this but this more academic source contains research-based strategies that I found valuable. The article the link goes to is only one of many resources written for leaders in education. I appreciated this article because it didn’t list things to do but used language that recognized that there are dynamic levels to applying these concepts. Situations call for differing degrees of dominance. Levels of cooperation recognizes that the relationship between teacher and student is dynamic and depends on the maturity of the student as much as that of the teacher. Tying it into Section 1: Rules and Procedures is the need to set rules and procedures that establish clear expectations and consequences.

My four simple rules would be:







Introducing John.

profile UAF


Hello Cohort! My name is John Hill. I am hoping to use the techniques I learn here in my biology and Spanish classrooms.  Anchorage is my hometown, but I am currently student teaching in Juneau because southeast AK is gorgeous. My background is in wildlife biology and fisheries. I look forward to learning with you all this semester!