Author: sjohnson32

Suicide and Prevention

There are three major takeaways for me in this article. First the danger of over-bearing parents and misunderstanding failure, sexuality, and false images of perfection.

The article very heavily addresses helicopter parenting in the second half. Many parents think that they show their love by being over-involved in their child’s life, but the article says this can be very harmful as it places a lot of pressure on students and leads to them taking every disappointment as a major failure. As a teacher it is important that we can help students understand how failure is an important part of the learning process and that getting an A on every exam is not the most important thing in life. Many students lack the tools to be successful in college because of parents being to controlling of their future, it is important that our students know what they want to do rather than their parent. This also plays heavily into another big portion of the article, sexuality.

Obviously sexuality is in heated debate in the US and nontraditional identities are still faced with misunderstanding and anger. Especially in high school being a homosexual can be difficult as there is a negative stereotype for homosexuals. When I was younger the primary adjective for anything we thought was stupid was gay, “oh we have a quiz today? That’s so gay.” Or “I can’t believe you got in trouble for that, that’s so gay.” It isn’t something kids say out of hate for gay people, but it is harmful for students who are. Teachers need to be sure that identity is not something a student should be ashamed of. They never should have to worry about being bullied because they’re a girl but also like girls. Not only is it important that homosexual students know it’s okay to be attracted to whatever gender they like, it is also crucial that all students know that it is okay and are accepting of this.

The last one is about social media, something that the article argues contributes heavily to depression. It makes sense, when you fell down and go on Instagram and see smiling seemingly happy people it brings you lower. Your students need to know that everyone has issues, that behind every expression is a lifetime with many problems. Some of your students may seem to have less severe circumstances, but it is vital for you and your students to recognize there is many different pitfalls in life and that everything effects people differently. It would probably be helpful to explain to students that people present their best image on social media and that there is sometimes more going on behind the scenes.

Reflection on Observations

Common methods for management I’ve observed for the start of the day is with articles related to the content for the day. The social studies teachers at West Valley will sometimes open with an article on the board to engage the students with the material for the day. Tying the material to current events injects the idea that the topic is relevant and that it is something students should be paying attention to. This is something I have seen before in my observations for EDSC 110 as well, which means that this could be a fairly common strategy for teachers in general. Once the material is introduced teachers can quickly move on to the lesson for the day, one teacher I’ve observed will generally move about the classroom and keep lecturing while keeping an eye on every corner of the room. I think the students behave better when they feel like the teacher is watching closely. Lastly I see teachers usually wait to hand back homework until after class, I don’t know if this is better or more distracting for students. I also often see teachers wait until the end of class for questions, I assume so they can stay on topic during the lesson.

Transitions teachers use depends on whats going on in class that day. If it is a work day the teacher generally wants to avoid students from finishing work early and having nothing to do. At WVHS I have seen teachers offer students a chance to start the next homework assignment, or have an extra credit assignment ready for students to pick up. This ensures that the students are occupied the whole class. Another thing I’ve seen teachers do is at the end of class, around three minutes before the bell, offer students the chance to clean up so that when the bell rings the students are ready to go, that way the they can get out before other students start arriving. Other teachers I’ve observed ensure they are using their class time right up to the bell. I’ve seen some teachers make sure students who say they are done with the in-class assignment have actually completed it. Generally check their work and give advice on how to improve their grade. This is another good way a teacher can be sure to keep the classroom on task until the end and improve performance in the classroom.

Personally my favorite method for transition is the introduction of material through related material. Like I mentioned before, using an article to spark interest. I will hopefully be a history teacher and I think that using an aide to make the subject seem more relevant to students is very important. Making sure they understand the connection between content is  an important aspect of being an educator. I want to avoid the “when will we ever use this in real life” mindset in my future classroom. I think bringing things closer to home can really help prevent that.


How to Care for Yourself and Your Students

These two articles are very heavily linked to our modules from section 4. The first article “What I Wish My Professor Had Told Me” has ideas similar to a strategy mentioned in module 16, as teachers we need to recognize that we are emotional and imperfect beings. I really enjoyed this article because it changes my expectations for the classroom. I have to be ready to recognize that teaching is hard work, that being excited to educate kids isn’t enough, that there will be challenges involved, even if I love my job. We should be ready to accept that we can make a perfect lesson and that our students have to come before the content. It is evident that most educators in the US recognize that the best way to teach kids is to know them. Your students want you to be genuine, the harder you work for them the harder they will want to work for you. The last idea that I like is to keep class pictures. When you’re feeling down, stressed, insufficient, you just need to look back and remember how great it has all been, appreciate all the great students you’ve had. This whole article is acknowledging that the classroom has   a very human element to it.

The second article “Let Care Shine Through” is all about how to build these relationships with students, and how to understand different children. The main idea that draws me in this article is the quote “care is in the eye of the receiver.” You have to be able to show you care to each student, caring for your students is about understanding how to act when faced with different circumstances. Sometimes a teacher needs to show a student that failure in the classroom is important, but that it’s a safe place to fail. Other times you may need to let a student know that you believe that they can do something when they have given up. The last important element of this article is to be sure a student knows that you’re willing to make a risk for their education because you’re invested in their learning. The paper gives an example where a student says he doesn’t have a clean uniform, the teacher allows him to come to class regardless, because students need to know their learning has that kind of support.

I may idealize these concepts a bit much, but I really hope when I am in charge of my own classroom that I will be able to employ some of these strategies. I hope I can make my classroom a safe environment for kids by showing that I support and trust them, and that they feel comfortable enough to take on new challenges. I need to ready myself to work hard and be able to show my students how hard I am working for them.

This article expands on teacher-student relationship and explains methods on how to build them with individual kids.

Personalized Learning, Get Your Students Engaged!

Personalized learning can be accompanied with benefits and challenges. To start off I’d like to discuss the difficulties teachers face when using personalized learning. The first major problem is that personalized learning isn’t used in every classroom and it can be hard for students to adapt to different learning environments. The other issue that comes with this is that if personalized learning becomes the expectation how will teachers react? Some may have trouble molding to the new method since they lack the rigid guidelines they once had. Also a teacher would have to be prepared to make sure their curriculum can be fit with their method of personalized teaching. Once you have a clear idea of how and what you will teach your class you have to implement it. The challenge with this may be that the school itself could have pre-existing conditions that make your style difficult to employ. Be prepared to navigate carefully.

Some benefits to this is that you can cover different content with different students. A more personal approach can enable you to ensure that students won’t get left behind. Being more able to deal with individual needs can go a long way for students who struggle in the traditional classroom. The other advantage of this style is it gives your advanced students to work on material their speed, and students who are having issues to work with other material they are ready to tackle.

This idea of personalization is very interesting, there are many aspects that I like and a few I dislike. The problem I see the most with this method is that it would take a lot of your time. Trying to meet the needs of an entire classroom on a individual level poses a huge challenge when you only see students for an hour a day. It can be really hard to get the meaningful interactions you need to employ personalized learning. That being said I don’t think it is impossible.

I think that if people could really hammer out a definition of “Personalized Learning” then it could be implemented in steps. The important part is that some people need structure to be successful. Teachers won’t be able to make this change overnight and we have to have a clear goal of what everyone wants in their classroom.

I think a personalized classroom would be an excellent environment and something that I could work with if given the opportunity. Discussion among students and allowing them to participate at their own level of learning sounds fantastic!

The best example I can think of for personalized learning is not from my observations but from my high school experience. I took an IB Early American history course and the teacher assigned projects with a wide range of topics for us to choose. It gave people the chance to explore and learn on their own without the guidance of teacher, a lot of times the research would spark excellent in-class discussion. These projects were assigned every other week and were by far the best part of the class because every student moved at their pace.

This link covers the aspect of homework and I think is a really important thing to consider that the other article left out. I think the discussion of personalizing your teaching in the classroom and at home is very important.

The American Dream and the DACA

One would say that the american dream should be protected by our government by preserving the rights of the people who want to live in and serve the United States. 800,000 immigrants can keep on dreaming as Trump attempts to rescind the program.

The DACA is an immigration act signed in by president Obama in 2012 and expanded in 2014. The act allowed illegal immigrants avoid deportation for 2 years and give them an opportunity for work permit or citizenship. The DACA helped improve the lives of immigrants and could even be helpful for the US economy.

Trump and the Republican Party claim that these young immigrants take jobs from hardworking Americans and contribute to “lawlessness” in the US.

Personally the repeal of this act makes very little sense. If people want to stay in the US to work and live here they should be allowed to. These immigrants were forced to come here by their parents before they were adults. By no fault of their own they broke the laws of the US. For their entire adult life they have only known the US as home and that makes them Americans in my eyes. They don’t steal jobs, more people grows the economy, more required services for new people means more jobs. I’m not advocating for completely open borders, I’m just saying that they’re here because they had to be, now ethically we are responsible to help them and not to throw them back from where they came.

Many of the negatives pointed out by the Republicans are unsubstantiated. People affected by the DACA show no higher tendency toward crime, it did not impact the amount of illegal minors entering the country, and showed no negative changes on the economy. There seems to be very little negative effect of the act and it seems the only reason it has been rescinded is because Obama did it. I welcome the chance to help people in need and to educate as many people as possible.

Introduction: Stefan Johnson


My name is Stefan Johnson, I was born and raised in Palmer Alaska. I have been in love with history since I was young but I decided I wanted to teach after one of my high school teachers demonstrated how important teachers are and how they change their students lives.My majors are Secondary Education and History. I am taking this class so that I hopefully can have a well organized classroom that has more learning than distractions. I’ve already had a lot of fun with this course and I am excited to see what this class has in store. Some of my hobbies include drawing, hiking, boxing and history.

As for the last question, if you’re asking how I plan to run my classroom I hope It will be safe learning environment. I want strong teacher student relationships and mutual respect. I hope that all the students in my classroom will enjoy my lessons so that they can focus more. I think that teachers are role models for their students and that we can impact peoples lives positively if we work hard.