Author: sann

I see your laying on the floor…but I really like how you got right to work today!

In the end, I guess my ideal classroom management style would be centered around positive reinforcement. The concept of ignoring attention starving behaviors and feeding the good ones with praise just seems like the right one for me. Of course, when problems arise it does not mean that I will ignore them. But I think that a big part of classroom management is to pick your battles wisely. I have seen teachers argue with students to the point that both are flustered, this is useless. In order to teach I must stay connected with my students, and in doing so I must maintain fairness in which battles I do choose.

So much of what I read in regards to my paper placed emphasis on the first day of school as a key determiner in the rest of the semester, this is something that I had never really though about before. The first day was always more social than anything else, and when I got to college it was awesome because it usually meant getting out early. But now I find myself thinking about what questions I want my students to answer, do I want to play a name game? Do I want to play any games? Should I ask if they like games? The one thing I do know though, is regardless of what method I use, I want to get to my students interests right off the bat so that I can plan my lessons accordingly so that I can include more relevance in the curriculum requirements.

In the end, I can really only hope that someday I practice what I preach. I hope that the first day I get to know about all my students and that we get along great and when I plan a lesson to entertain them they dont look at me and say, “What is this?” But until then, I just keep thinking about situations and how I will handle them.

Process vs. Product

One of the more recent debates that I have been reading a lot about is the process vs. product debate, and what way is more useful to students. The weird part about the debate is that the two cannot really be separated, you can’t suddenly have a product with absolutely no process. In a product-oriented approach, the teacher teaches to the curriculum which is usually heavily influenced by standardized teasing, AP testing, whatever testing. The english teacher who abides by this is the one who is constantly emphasizing form, grammar, content, the entire way. The problem they found though is that students become discouraged, they may not know grammar, they don’t think that they are good writers. So they hate writing. A process-oriented approach places emphasis on content first, then through revisions the rest becomes worked through. It’s main function is to build up confidence in the student, so that they can sit down and not hate to write. The problem with that though, is that they found these students had poor grammar skills since they were not stressed throughout their writing careers.

So for me, what it comes down, is this. The two cannot exist without each other, so a middle ground must be found. Standardized testing is also not going anywhere anytime soon, so its importance cannot be forgotten either. I believe that students and the younger generations LOVE to write, look at all this social networking, its TONS and TONS of writing. Granted it is about themselves a lot of the time, but they are writing and they want to be heard. What teachers need to do is build up the process, they need to give their students the pen badge of courage and get them writing, and then use what they are writing about to form into a more “acceptable” product. I think that students who can trust their teacher with such a personal act, and also believe that when they sit down to write an assignment that they have something to say, are less likely to cause you grief as a teacher. And that is the goal of classroom management.

This is a blog with some interesting in site on the whole deal

You may be good at classroom management, BUT…

I thought this site was a good reference for elementary teachers, though some of the blogs were about things that are not as prominent in the secondary setting. I liked this one though, because it was something I have noticed and done myself, but never really thought of in the teaching context. The use of “but” in compliments or comments can neutralize our intentions of praise. I can think of lots of times that teachers used “but” and how it made me feel depending on how it was used.

I think this is a partner site that the Cal State has for a handbook, but I thought it was really interesting. Lots of links and ideas, and advice about students and their behaviors as well as how to handle your own.

I thought this was interesting, reminding us as educators that we are responsible for so much more than just managing the students, we are teaching them.

Hey Jo, Let’s Go.

I enjoyed reading the article, but the comments made me nauseous. Whoever Jo McNamara is needs to change his picture from being jesus holding the lamb.
I think that Berg makes a good point, that more native teachers should be teaching in the villages. Or at least teachers who have been privy to native cultures for some amount of time prior. The yearly turnover rate in education in rural alaska is 40%, which I find sad. I feel that in many cases, NOT ALL by any means, teachers go to get a foot in the door for other opportunities. When I tell people that I want to go into education they tell me “Go teach in the villages for a few years” because it is “easy” to get a job out there. Then what, I go for two years, teach, then peace out for a job in a place I like better? I want to teach not exploit. If I thought that it would be something that I would like to do, then i would do it. However I cannot see myself enjoying that situation, not because I feel like I am superior in some way, but simply because I could not live that way, and I do not want to try. Perhaps I sound arrogant, fine, but I am not. I am being honest. I believe that there are non-native teachers who are MEANT to be out there and educate students, just like some people are MEANT to be special education teachers or history teachers, or stay at home parents.
In my teaching literacy in the schools class we are discussing a similar topic, but more focused on the teaching of writing and reading. We read two articles written by non-native teachers in the villages, one of three years and one of thirteen years. The difference between the two could seen in the language they used in describing their relationship with their community. The teacher of three years referred to the village as “we” assuming herself as part of it. The teacher of thirteen years did not consider herself as “we” but referred to herself a separate entity. Not a superior one, but as one who is still learning, a feeling that the younger teacher did not emanate. The teacher of thirteen years is the kind of educator that I believe the villages benefit from most, the kind that KNOW they are the minority in their situation, and they are outnumbered. I think that people forget that. We can bring in as much 21st century learning, but the fact is that their culture is THEIRS and we can only hope to assist them in creating a hybrid. The examples of the Sami and Maori sold me on the future of Alaska Native Education, and I hope that the changes Berg suggests begin to take motion. I don’t believe all non-native educators should be removed, but an increase in alaska native educators would be a positive change.

I got sunburned today while tanning…

and now I am in your class, and I am super cranky. Not simply because I got a sunburn, but because I had gym class before YOUR class and all the girls saw that I got burnt and were making fun of me. Now I am in pain and embarrassed, and have chosen your class to express my anger in. How will you keep your cool, and prevent my acting out? This is where your “Mental Set” will come in handy.

The Mental Set, for me, was more helpful in addressing teacher burnout. I can really relate to it mainly because I have student burnout, and the suggestions they gave are what I do all the time. I can rarely think back on occasions where I thought that my teachers were super stressed and it was affecting their lessons. One teacher I recall had been cheated on by her husband and was going through the divorce, and she let her classes know in advance that she was going through this. It sounds unprofessional, but in reality I thought it made the class feel important, like she trusted them with this piece of her life and they were going to respect that. Plus she was so cool, people always wondered who would cheat on her. For her, it must have been a bit of relief, because if she was having a rough day the class knew why.

The teachers who can keep a handle on their emotions and stress levels are easier to be around also. I have been in several classrooms where the aides were stressed and overwhelmed with certain students and they took it out on them. Those instances were some of the hardest ones that i have had to sit through and watch. I never want to be that teacher, and out of all the suggestions the book gives us I adopt humor as my weapon of choice. I love to watch the Cosby Show after a bad day, and my Dad and I like to watch Brian Regan youtube videos during lunch.

The “withitness” I understand and completely agree with, however the procedures do not really fit my image of myself as a teacher. I think that they were helpful in starting up thoughts about what I would actually do in those situations, though I am doubtful that I would go through them one by one. I enjoyed some of the research I read where it advised that teachers are with it in a more round sense, and go the extra mile to relate to their students culture

I thought this site was good because it talks about the mental set in not just terms of school:

“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” –Emerson

Needless to say, passion was my favorite, because in lieu of all the things that I doubt about myself, I always know I have passion. Being a teacher is really all that I have ever wanted to be, the only thing in my way of it is college, haha. Reading these twenty tid bits of info really made me think about the concepts she was introducing. The ideas of mentoring and building relationships are not new ideas to me, but they aren’t ones that are on the forefront of my mind either. It is a good list to look at as a reminder that those types of concepts need attention too.

However, I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by all these ideas revolving around the internet. I am NOT opposed to it, I LOVE the internet. I remember the first day we got internet installed in my house, it was such a thrill! But I feel like such a great deal of emphasis is placed on using it all the time for so many things is stressful. I have an iPhone and an iPad and I will never stray from my dearly beloved apple products, but sometimes their power is forgotten.

The suggestion of blogging is made, and then to blog with your students, and then to journal, and then to skype, and create a wiki, and a youtube channel, and then post the links onto twitter so I can tell the world what I am doing. Yes, networking, EXCELLENT! I am so looking forward to sharing ideas with fellow teachers. But when I think of all these things to do, I think of when my students will see my passion. And if I following these suggestions, they won’t ever see it because I will be on my computer all day. I don’t want to send them home every night to sit and stare at their computer, and I don’t necessarily want to stare at mine any more than I have to.

At least the backpacks will be lighter.

I too found this website to be rather confusing to navigate, so like Ben, I went into the blogs. I really liked the Young Educators Network, and reading their posts. One particular post brought up something I never even thought of, what do you do with students who are going above and beyond in their academics? I am waist deep in learning how to control the problem children, inclusion, and accommodations but I have yet to learn how to teach students who are in AP and Honors classes. I never even thought of it until now.

I also find value in hearing from a lot of students who are just starting out in the schools, doing their professional year in a classroom with a mentor. One of the bloggers is my age, which was exciting for me because I haven’t heard from anyone my age on their own personal teaching experiences. For me that is helpful and motivating to keep going and get to where they are, almost done haha.

The website as a whole was hard for me to navigate, but from what I read it is an advocate and resource for teachers and aspiring teachers to gather information and ideas on using technology in their classrooms. I think that with the e-readers instead of textbooks, students are going to be able to constantly access everything for reference which I believe is helpful. For instance, say you are working on The Adventures of Huck Finn, but all you have in front of you is the paper copy. With something like an iPad or a laptop, you can not only navigate the book based on a quote search, but also look up the historical context with ease. Not to say that I find no value in books, I only get them on my ipad if they are free because I LOVE having my books in my hands. But i believe that a student will be more motivated to research and navigate a text if they can google concepts, look up words, and find summaries all in one place.