Author: Jack

Graduated from high school in Virginia in 2002. Army from 2002-present (currently National Guard). Graduated with a degree in Military History from West Point in 2006. Currently pursuing my masters in education in 2016.

Blog 6: The Uncool Kids Came Out On Top

The first thing that I thought was pure relation when I read the titles of these two articles. I was one of the ‘nerds’ or ‘band geeks’ in high school and I, while never bullied, was not one of the popular kids though I was part of a large group of friends (band geeks) that were never really the in-crowd. Fittingly, the kids I knew now have masters degrees, high paying jobs, are military officers, and other pillars of society. The jocks, the ‘cool kids’ in high school haven’t even left the county and are stuck in minimum wage jobs or are unwed mothers with no prospects. In a way, it is sweet revenge for all the high school taunts, in another it is sad what happened to the football stars and cheerleaders. Needless to say, I related well to both articles as it was the very message my peers and I tried to explain back in high school that is now being learned permanently and the hard way. It was good to see studies and statistics proving what had before only been my own life experiences and experiences with other people.

CM Technique Reflection

My mentor teacher uses a good technique to open most lessons. He passes back old papers, tests, homeworks, etc and always begins with a recap of the night’s reading or the previous day’s lesson. He closes lessons with a brief recap and passes out new homeworks if applicable. Most notably, and I have started adopting some of these practices, during lessons he deals with interruptions/transitions very well. (These interruptions include kids needing passes to the bathroom, late arriving students, and transitioning to different segments of the lecture/discussion.) He takes the passes and without missing a beat signs them and says “zoom’ to the kids to reinforce the need to return quickly to class. Similarly, he takes tardy slips without reaction and the student simply takes a seat and enters the class at that point in the discussion. My favorite classroom management technique is simply walking around and keeping the room fluid and engaging with the students.

Blog #4: Positive Teacher/Student Relationships

The first link is an article on teacher/student relationships from the American Psychological association. It goes over the hows and whys of developing a positive relationship and the damage that can be done by a negative one. It includes a list of good dos and don’ts and goes over the long term positive effects (hence psychological) of a good relationship.

The second link is a blog from Panorama Education. The blog is written by Dr. and goes over good introductory activities and how teachers can reflect on students to build additional rapport over time. Most of these traits involve finding common ground with as many students as possible.

The final link is a video provided by The Teaching Channel. The short (1:30) film goes over how teachers need to change for the 21st Century student mindset and engage and emphasize with the students to build positive relationships. Bottom line: passionate teachers engage students more than boring ones!

Suicide on Campus

I can definitely relate to the issue presented in this article. As a person who suffers from clinical depression myself, I can see how the pressures of undergraduate or graduate studies can drive some people to suicide.

The numbers are particularly troubling. With 1,100 students committing suicide per year, that amounts to about 3 per day. As a war veteran (a group sustaining 22 suicides per day) I can relate to those stresses as well. It amounts to a lot of issues that often go unaddressed by teachers or administrators.

All in all, teachers have the best ability to curb issues by working with students on deadlines, major assignment progress checks, and all aound caring for them and their lives watcher than just a number or letter on a page. So far, I have been very pleased with the UAF Dept. of Education in this regard. Thank you.

Classroom Rules


I would create a foundation of basic rules before asking the students for input. I believe that when it comes to rules, if the students themselves have buy-in, they will be more apt to follow and police themselves. This is a far better system than creating a list too long to remember of teacher-imposed rules that students will resent.

A few of my foundational rules would be:

Respect others and their right to be heard and learn.

Come to class prepared and on time.

No use of smartphones except when designated for research.

Learning is everyone’s responsibility.

Here are a couple of useful classroom rule websites:

Introduction – Jack DeFabio

Good day everyone!   My name is Jack DeFabio. I was born in Port Republic, VA and spent my entire childhood there.   I graduated from high school in 2002 when i was 17 and shipped off to basic training at West Point two weeks later.   I graduated from the Academy with a degree in Military History in 2006 and commissioned as an army lieutenant of armor and cavalry.   I deployed twice (South Pacific and Iraq) while stationed at Fort Wainwright, later moved to Fort Lewis, WA, and discharged from active duty in 2014.   I am currently still in as a captain in the Alaska National Guard for the last year and am staying in the army until retirement.   I decided to pursue my Masters in Secondary Education after everyone in my life unanimously agreed that I’d be a superb high school history teacher.