Week 15: Group Project Reflection

April 26, 2014

I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed all of the videos and everyone have good plans for their schools. I think that we all included unique components to our schools. I like the idea of a student centered school that has an open feel to it. I think that the school offers a nice relaxing environment to encourage students to feel good about their school and have an open dialect with their teachers and the administration.

I also liked the green school, I think they had some amazing ideas and it kind of reminded me of a large home school group environment. I’m not sure if I like K-12 together, but hopefully somewhere it would work. I love the idea of students being more hands on, more creative, and involved in their education.  I think that is similar to the model we created for our vocational type school. I think students really need to have a school where they can enter the job force once they are out of high school. I know that in some areas this school model would be difficult to pull off, but in the larger more suburban areas (like we live in) where they have several large high schools you could certainly pull from the student population of several schools and have students in a more centrally located school where they are prepared for their future. I think we also have to understand that every student is not going to college, at least right away.

I think everyone did a great job on this project and brought unique perspectives that are desperately needed in education today.

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Week 9: Blog Reflection: Cuture, Socialization, and Education

March 16, 2014

I have had the pleasure of teaching an ESL class since November, 2013 and I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by my students and have enjoyed teaching this class. With that being said, I can also say that it has been an interesting excursion for me and I have encountered many elements along the way. Some good, some bad and some quite unexpected!

 

Culturally I think I have learned quite a bit from my students, I have students from eight different countries and they all have differences. I have some male students who find it difficult to take instruction from a female teacher. I have experienced them telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about because their male teachers didn’t tell them that (they later apologized and said they asked their teacher and I was right). I’m glad they were able to move past this incident and now we are able to discuss most topics without having problems of this nature.

I have students from gang-infested countries that find it difficult to be in school and are struggling with basic content. Several have had limited experience with school due to the violence of their countries and have a great deal of difficulty catching up and learning a new language and how to read.

 

I find it very unfortunate that several of these students do not socialize with other students in the school. I have found that ESL students who were in the US from an early age have socially made a better adjustment than students who have been here for only a few years. I also think that Asian students are able to adjust better than some Hispanic students (maybe because they have fewer people from their background to associate with). I think some of my students hide out and avoid socializing with other students, because they just don’t feel comfortable with them.

 

My students love technology, I a few students who don’t speak very good English that I allow to express themselves visually through apps on the iPad and they love and seem to excel. They are able to communicate visual and have started to communicate better verbally. I also use a lot of SmartBoard games, which they love. I like having the students work together to solve problems, not only are the communicating, they are collaborating and working through problems and barriers together.

I’m sure that other people have had varied experiences in their journey of teaching, but I must say that it has been an enjoyable experience and one that I hope to continue and build a better classroom off of.

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Teaching Philosophy EDCI 506

January 26, 2014

My teaching philosophy is not unique and has been evolving over the past year. As I evolve and learn more and experience more in the classroom, my philosophy is developing and morphing into what I feel is a progressive attitude in education. One of my first thoughts is that your students should know what to expect from you and by this I mean that you have to be honest and reliable. Students need to know that they can count on you, they need to know the boundaries of the classroom environment, and they need to know that they can trust you and believe in you. I have secondary level students and at this point I expect them to be reliable and honest and it is only fair that I return that expectation. This is expected of them in the real world, according to Dewey (1938/1997) the objective is to prepare students for the real world and their responsibilities (p.18). Building on this expectation I try and bring them real world information to enhance that of the SOL standards and bring the information together so they are tied together and have a practical application. Since “teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated” (p.18) it is our responsibility to develop and encourage a stronger and more developed learning environment for our students. I tend to treat my students as my children and I want the best for them and high expectations for them. I realize that they are not all on the same level and encourage them according to their abilities. I also encourage some of the higher functioning students to take the lower levels students under their wing and help them flourish.

While this is only a portion of my philosophy I want to focus on the reading from Experience and Education. You would think that after years and years of research, practice, and development; education is not any better off than it was fifty years ago. I think that we have developed some amazing practices, delivery methods that are interactive, great evidence based practices, and new methods and practices for dealing with behavioral issues. Why do we find it so difficult to pull all of the wonderful things that are developing in education and implement them in schools and turn around the declining trends? I think we should be able to put our personal interest aside and get together and build a strong solid foundation for implementing functional and effective educational practices and standards for our students and stop thinking that all students are meant to be scholars and provide students with the education that functions best for them and the many levels of students that are in our schools.

I will finish by saying that the main goal of my philosophy is to provide my students with a solid foundation of knowledge to help prepare them for their individual future and I feel that while not all students will attend college I think that we should provide them the opportunity to excel and prosper in their career choice.

 

Dewey, J. (1997). Experience & Education. New York, NY. Simon & Schuster. (Original work published 1938).

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Why Teaching?

January 19, 2014

I am in the process of getting my initial teaching license, and have done a lot of substitute teaching along the way. Can I just say it has been an interesting journey. I decided to go an alternative path and took classes that I felt would be beneficial to me and my students. It is important to first educate teachers if we want to offer students a better education. Education in the United States can be improved, but we must first start with the key element of education, teachers.

The Holmes Group published Tomorrow’s Teachers, which recommends these steps:

  1. To make the education of teachers intellectually more solid.
  2. To recognize differences is teachers’ knowledge, skill, and commitment, in their education, certification, and work.
  3. To create standards of entry to the profession examinations and educational requirements that are professionally relevant and intellectually defensible.
  4. To connect our own institutions to schools (members of this education panel).
  5. To make schools better places for teachers to work, and to learn.

While this list pre-dates NCLB, it still offers starting points or building blocks for a solid teaching foundation. I feel that this article puts a lot of emphases on teacher responsibility, while teachers are responsible for a tremendous amount these days I think responsibility should be equally distributed among all elements of education. Schools and administration also have a major responsibility to provide tools, proper learning environments, and offer support for teachers. I also feel that parents and students need to accept a certain amount of responsibility for their child’s education. That being said, I think that the Holmes Group were correct in saying that they had a responsibility in offering their students a better education, so students could become better educators.

I think that there are many areas of improvement in education, and you could spend countless hours debating the topic and making lists, suggestions, and brain storming. Until we come together and accept the challenge to actually improve education, things will continue to remain at a standstill. I know one thing to be true, one of the best things that happened to me in school were awesome teachers that made an impact on my life and influenced me to work harder and make something out of my life.

Soder, R. (1986). Tomorrow’s Teachers for Whom and for What? Missing Propositions in the Holmes Group Report. Journal of Teacher Education, 37(6), 2-5. doi: 10.1177/002248718603700601

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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