Author: Russell

Comprehensive Classroom Management Plan

This is a work in Progress check back often to see the new and improved plan.  Thanks for the feedback and thanks for a great semester.


Blog 6

Creating a learning environment that is productive and healthy for students should be at the front of every teachers philosophy.  I believe that this learning environment is even more important than the content matter that any of us teach.  Teaching students to be responsible for their actions leads to students being productive members of society that own their own mistakes and cherish their own victories in a heathy manner.  My philosophy starts with the rules of the classroom and the number one rule in my classroom is respect.  Students need to respect all opinions and listen to students and myself whether they agree or disagree with the statements being made.  It is important that students learn how to differentiate from opinions and facts and it is our job as educators to give them the tools to accomplish these decisions on a day to day basis.  Some great ways to teach students how to take responsibility and how to respect each other is to own our own mistakes and humanize yourself in front of the class.  Recently I finished my teacher work sample and without a doubt I came on a little too strong with the lessons.  I combined two labs and this created a lot of confusion for the students.  At the end of the lesson I stood in front of each class and explained what my desired outcome was and how, due to my own mistakes, they were not reached.  Owning our mistakes is a valuable moment in the classroom because the students see us as role models and if we are able to own our shortcomings they will be more likely to do the same.  The biggest thing I have noticed through my time in the classroom is to never expect more from your students then you are willing to give.  You will consistently be disappointed and the students will be consistently frustrated with you.

Blog 3 Alaska Natives and Their Future

The future of Alaska Natives is on the precipice of a major change, at least we can all hope.  There have been many cultures that have gone down this road before and Alaska Natives should follow in their footsteps yet down their own path.  In Anchorage it is apparent that some Native Alaskans struggle with adapting to social norms and this article sheds light on that fact with excellent reasons.  The native people are lashing out against the a dominant culture that has forced them to suppress their own views.  The indigenous people in other countries have gone down the same road struggling to find their place within the dominant culture and eventually creating a place with like minded people who are upset and a-cultural or without culture.  This article made me think about the future of rural education and see it under a new light.  I have always been for a more proactive Alaskan Native education system that uses their way of life to teach the younger generations, in fact I believe all Alaska residence would benefit from this type of education.  Who to better teach the ways of Alaska then the people who originally settled it and thrived without modern technology.  Unfortunately an education that exclusive to survival and tribal knowledge does not prepare young adults to leave their village and find work or prosper outside within the dominant culture.  There needs to be a fine line to walk so that the culture of Alaska is not lost into the melting pot that is American society yet the young Alaskan Natives are not weaponless if they choose to move into urban environments and seek employment within the dominant culture.  People are always talking about how great and important that Place Based Education is and I agree it should be a part in every subject but elementary and secondary education’s job is to prepare young people for their future whether that be college, career, or child raising in whatever environment they choose to inhabit.  I understand the importance of cultural curriculum and not only the protection of but the proliferation of all cultures.  If we as educators and more importantly as human beings will learn to accept others and appreciate what they have to bring to the conversation then I think we will be pleasantly surprised by the future.

Classroom rules

My top four (4) rules for a classroom will be

1. Respect- with out this rule a classroom fails students will be given respect and will be expected to give respect to all their peers and myself.  I think with this one balloon or blanket rule in place a classroom will run efficiently.

2. Late work will receive a 25% mark down for the first day after the due date and 50% credit for up to a week after that. After one week the assignment can be turned in for 1 pt until the end of the quarter.   This rule may seem harsh but it teaches students valuable life skills about completing tasks in a timely manner. This also prevents the end of the quarter drowning in past assignments and grade entering for me.

3. Clean up after yourself!  This rule is self explanatory we are professional teachers not maids and should not spend valuable planning time cleaning up after students. It is also not the janitors job to spend hours in each  classroom cleaning up. It’s a life lesson that is best learned early.

4. No Cheating or copying unless you are copying notes because you were gone.


Technology use and management

Hey All,

i just read a great article on edutopia about management of a classroom while using technology. You can read the whole article here. “”. It’s a quick short read but there is a lot of helpful tips in there. The author describes his travels through a few classes and discusses how to use technology successfully. The author stresses to always have an analog (paper and pencil) version of your tech lesson he calls this your Plan B.  Plan B prevents a classroom spiral into chaos when the tech fails and it eventually will despite your best efforts. He also speaks about using technology you are comfortable with already and works for you. There is no reason to try and “keep up with the jonse’s” but it’s also important to try new technology to stay current and it is up to us as teachers to walk that fine line (as is almost always true for educators).  The statement I really took to heart is when the author says to always make sure your lessons and technology are always relevant and interesting to your students. After all it’s all about the students that’s why we do what we do.




Hi Everyone

I am Russell Shurtleff, I’m getting my masters in education here at UAF using their distance education like most of you, I’m sure. I am a biology guy and love being outside hunting and fishing all seasons!!   I am also a bit of a jock having played college football at Mesa State College which has recently become a University.  Go Mavs! Anyways I’m looking forward to year student teaching with my mentor teacher, him and I get along great and the students seem to really enjoy having the both of us in class.  As Renee said Eagle River High School is awesome great student and great staff it’s been a lot of fun so far. Nice meeting everyone and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and hearing about yours!  Oh and I couldn’t figure out how to turn this photo while blogging on my phone so… I’m sorry!  image