Friday, December 12, 2008

Class Reflection

* A summary of what you have learned from the chapter readings.
WE were first introduced to reflective teaching towards the beginning of the class, and it only seems appropriate to revisit after we've learned so much. Reflective teaching to me is more than just a means to an end. It's more than just keeping yourself out of the rut so many teachers fall into. All of us have had that teacher that seems to either hate their job or kids in general, and my thought was always "why do you keep putting yourself through it?" It seems so simple from the outside looking in but I'm sure after years of toil and occasional disrespect it is easy to become bitter and disinterested, especially if you don't get the support and backing of the school. Reflective teaching allows us to constantly evaluate ourselves and see if we are making improvements to our style and not just turning the class into a hour long monolouge
* Describe how this class has changed you, looking at it from the perspective of becoming a teacher.
I Really don't know where to begin except to say that i was quite idealistic coming in, i realized in the beginning that not all kids were going to want to learn the same material i want to, but figured i could turn them because of my enthusiasm for the subject. That still may be the case for some, I certainly hope so it's my best trait, but I'm now constantly trying to come up with alternative avenues of thought for those to whom it is not invigorating and exciting. So I guess the best way to describe how this has changed me is to say, I find myself more open to new ideas.

* Comment on anything new and exciting you have learned from the discussion boards that you feel will help you in becoming a teacher.

I've got to say in trying to come up with something that hadn't already been said in the discussion this week I think i came up with an idea that i will actually use. The idea of the podcast just came out of the blue and while I realize now that I'm not the first person to ever think of it I'm kinda proud to come up with it on my own. Using technology kids are familiar with to help them can only help to show them I am with it and understand them on that level, as well as help them and myself in the classroom.
3. The question for this week is directed at you Ms. Graff. =)
I've looked into several avenues for career choices. I was accepted into the police academy last year and bailed out at the last minute because the Springfield police dept is a train wreck. Budget cuts and retirement cuts have forced so many out I was skeptical it would be stable at all. I always wanted to be a teacher so I choose to follow this path. With reflection being the ending theme I wonder if you would mind explaining your path and how you ended up teaching this and other classes that seem to be outside your area of study? My cousin told me the other day, he has a teaching certificate, that he would sell me his :). He is selling insurance because all of the teaching jobs he interviewed for offered him positions outside of his field of study. In other words he is also a history guy but was offered Algebra classes or P.E classes. I guess I want to know if this is a normal thing or what? I have alot of interests but I can't see myself teaching English or Accounting. Obviously you don't get a degree in Chemistry unless you enjoy it, so my question is not only curiosity but also a concern that this may be a sign of a larger issue I possibly need to be aware of. Thanks so much for your help in the class. Now If i can just keep from bombing the final we'll all be fine. BTW I've made it quite clear my competitive nature, I know my grade thus far. I don't guess you could give me my rank in the class as of now? I'm like this with everything, it's a blessing and a curse. I know I shouldn't even ask but I can't help it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chapter 15

* A summary of what you have learned from the chapter readings.
It seems standardized tests seem to get a bad name from the word go. I have never really had a problem with them.The problems arise when too much emphasis is place on
them and they are left to be the sole source of assessment and evaluation. I work as a Craftsman Welder/Grinder. I just received a promotion that will begin at the first of the year. I will then be in layout and design. The main reason I got the job was because of my experience. It's not because they have a lack of "Qualified" candidates. The truth is of the last 10 designers they've hired with degrees out of college are clueless. They know what the Auto Cad tells them they need to know. If it tells them they can build a wooden house underwater, they won't blink an eye.
So while I think Standardized tests and curriculum are fine, but they shouldn't be left on an island. Common sense practical ability and ability to use the knowledge you have is more important than the level of knowledge you have.
* Describe how this class has changed you, looking at it from the perspective of becoming a teacher.
This class has opened my eyes to new perspectives on teaching, many of which I would have never considered on the surface, or from just reading the book. I attribute the change more to the discussions and first hand accounts from classmates than from the information in the book.

* Would a blog like this one help you with your teaching?
I can definitely see some aspects of it that could be of use. Just the mention of Google Trends, which I didn't know existed, brings bright flashing lights and all kinds of ideas into my head.
* Would you be able to get ideas for teaching from this blog? How? Why? Explain.
Sure, it seems like a very open area for new ideas, while a lot of it deals with math, much of it can also be applied to other subjects. The trend spotting for one could be used to track any number of things that could affect our economy and hence our governmental practices.
* Did you learn something new from the blogger? What and why did it strike you as memorable?
Yes, what strikes me most is the attitude of "this is supposed to be fun" It seems most teachers miss the boat on that one. Many times it has to be serious and that's OK too, but some of her projects seem like more fun than work, and I just bet the students learn more from the fun stuff.
* Would you want to create a site like this for others? Why or why not?
Absolutely, I have some web design background, but I think I'd like to create something with the students of my class. Let them get involved and possibly even take turns doing posts, or coming up with projects.