Author: kmlarson4

Suicide on Campus

Suicide in our country is on the rise. Between the ages 14 to 25 there are different kinds pressure from parents and peers. With social media students constantly compare themselves to others and their happiness to others. I even find myself comparing my life to others. Am I where I should be at this age? Others are getting married and friends are on their second child  while I am going to school.  Parents put a different kind of pressure, to be perfect. Of course parents want their children to have good grades, but a B is also a good grade. I have noticed recently students do not know how to fail or be wrong and learn something from it. They are discouraged and stress over being perfect. I think as teachers we need to be aware of these pressures and emphasize growth mindset. Just this year I have heard of two suicides in the Fairbanks area. Increasing awareness, looking for the signs, and teaching parents as well might help with this issue.

Classroom Management Observed

Each day when the students come into class there is a activity or warm up displayed for the students to do. By starting out with a sponge activity students are switching gears mentally and are preparing for class. This eliminates distractions and sets the tone at the beginning. Students understand their expectations and this becomes a routine for the class. During the lesson when students are distracted my teacher simply says the students name or uses a pregnant pause. The pausing makes the student feel uncomfortable and draws unwanted attention. Usually, after one pause the student will stop the misbehavior. At the end of class the teacher reads the assignment on the board and passes the assignment to the students.   Once students are given the assignment, they pack up for the bell. If there is time, the teacher ends with a math joke or a student volunteers to share a joke.

Common transitions in my class are warm ups, homework review, notes/activity. For the warm ups, they are displayed and ready for the students when they come into class. By the time the bell rings students should be started and some even finished. While students are working on the warm up the teacher passes back quizzes or takes attendance. To transition into homework review the teacher asks the students to put away the warm up and take out the homework to compare with a neighbor. While students are comparing she is constantly roaming around the room. To transition into the notes or activity she says “my voice” and then gives clear instruction to the students.

I like the closure activity of having a joke or student say a joke. This has students   leaving the class with a positive attitude and gets them thinking about how the joke applies to math. From what I have observed, students enjoy the closure.


What I wish my professors had told me/ Care Shine Through

I enjoyed both of these articles! My personal teaching style aligns towards the caring approach and reaching students this way. It was interesting to read about different kinds of caring and the cultural differences. When I show someone I care, I don’t realize that to that student or person if it is interpreted as a caring act. So in the future I will need to be more aware of how to care for students.
In the article “What I Wish My Professor Had Told Me” I was laughing frequently because some of the reverences that were made, I already go through. While student teaching some days I question why I am here or if it is worth it, definitely wore the wrong type of shoes, and eaten a vending machine lunch while working on homework/prepping for the next class. Teaching is hard, but you do not realize how hard and the tasks done outside of the classroom. It is a good reminder to think of the bigger picture and how your work impacts lives.
Another good article just on classroom management:

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning has its challenges as well as rewards. The article brought up questions such as “why now?” At the school I am doing my internship at, we had members from the school district talk to us about the trends in education. A few years ago with the rise of technology and the internet was known as the information age. Students today are needed to be more creative thinkers to solve problems and be successful in the work force. Personalized learning is suppose to help the new generation of students be succeed outside of the class. We cannot just shift to personalized learning all at once, this takes time. Students have to learn how to behave in these environment and become more independent learners/responsible for their learning. Some downfalls of personalize learning is funding and resources. Many programs require laptops or IPads which many schools do not ave enough for each student. Secondly, it is difficult on the teachers because personalized learning requires more time and planning than traditional lecture.


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act or DACA is a policy that was established so that families, and children of families of immigrants can work and go to school in the U.S by the Obama Administration. Students who are “protected” by this policy are called Dreamers, and there are approximately 800,000 children enrolled.  According the the Washington post, the number of applicants who were denied have almost doubled since Trump has come into office. This article states that the numbers have decreased based on stricter qualifications and more in depth background checks. Families who apply may not have any felony history and immigration history is traced. Authors state that poverty has gone down for the students and their families who are under the DACA. Several states have sued over this policy.

This is a difficult topic. I feel that the U.S. lacks the appropriate funds and resources at many schools for U.S. citizens, let alone students from other countries. This act allows students to become educated and work, but does it provide extra funding for the schools and the schools they are enrolled in? I believe having a stricter background check is good, but taking the program away completely is not sending a good message to the Hispanic community in America. There are already racial tensions in all directions. We should be embracing differences, especially in the classroom.The biggest problem to me, is the funding and not the students.  If the school system had the resources they needed, including more teachers, this would not be an issue.