What I Hope to Learn

This help me with a lot of my assignments

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In these coming months, find myself more eager than ever to get into the classroom. It’s been an amazing journey thus far, and I can only imagine what the classroom, the students, the entire experiences of student teaching have in store. With the help of my amazing teachers, the friends I’ve made, and all of my amazing experiences thus far I feel I’m more than prepared to get to work as an educator.

In my years here I’ve learned far more than the fundamentals of teaching, with an emphasis, of course, on history. If I had to say the most important lesson I’ve learned along my journey, it’s that time management is everything. Keeping a sharp eye on deadlines, I’ve come to know, is crucial to reducing stress and providing the best possible results. Stressing over a due date or a long list of tasks leads to sloppy work. By managing my time effectively, I’m able to give myself time to double-check my works to be sure I’ve given my best.

Looking forward, I can’t wait to see what the hands-on activities in the classroom will teach me. What will my students be like? Will I be able to execute my accumulated knowledge effectively? Will I be able to make a difference in these children’s lives? Only time will tell. However, I am confident that these years of preparation, everything I’ve been through so far, have prepared me for the road ahead.  0.

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Technology in the Classroom

This helps with understanding technology

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Having to grown up in a time where keyboarding class was the closest thing to technological education, it amazes me to see how far we’ve come.

In recent years, students in Alief’s Reese elementary school have been provided with Ipads not only to assist with their schoolwork, but also to introduce all children to modern technology. In doing so, students who may not have the means to experience these tools now have the chance to.

These modernizations are becoming more and more common in schools throughout the country. Programs such as these are making an important impact on our students, ensuring that they are well versed in and ready to use these newer devices. As we become more and more reliant on smartphones, computers, and touchscreen tablets, it becomes all the more important to make sure our future generations are well-versed in the use and operation of these devices.

With these new developments in technology education programs, we provide all students with the now essential skills to tackle the modern workforce. I can’t wait to see where this new tech will take our future generations.

Interview w/ Teacher

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The other day I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with a thirty-year veteran educator Mrs. Trisha Jones-McGreevy. This former math specialist turned elementary math teacher and now special education pedagogue provided a first-hand insight to her field.

As we chatted about her day-to-day operations, including the seemingly unending string of paperwork, meetings. We discussed the particularly daunting task of working with special needs children, which can prove taxing even for experienced professionals, she remarked, “I love my job, and I love my students, that’s what keeps me going.”

Although we specialize in two very different fields, our discussions on understanding and guiding student behavior resonated with me. “My relationships with my students are based on a mutual respect,” she said, “I refuse to belittle or disrespect my students. They know what my standards for their behavior are and that I’ll make sure to hold them to it.” The importance of consequence was clear; students have to be held accountable for their actions, both positive and negative.

Nearing the end of our conversation, she offered a stirring piece of advice; “Some days may be difficult, and certainly there will be situations that truly try your patience. Just remember your love for your work and the amazing students you’ll meet and you’ll be fine.”

Texas Universities Warn Faculty to ‘Avoid Sensitive Topics’ Due to Insane Gun Laws

link to article

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As of August 1st of this year, Texas’ public university students will be able to concealed carry on campus. Robin Scher writes for AlterNet, an off-beat online magazine the odd consequence of this new legislature. In a meeting held at the University of Houston regarding this new policy, faculty members were advised to:

  • Be careful discussing sensitive topics.
  • Drop certain topics from curriculum.
  • Not ‘go there’ if [they] sense anger.
  • Avoid provocative statements.

The author goes on to write that the new concealed carry policy will, in his opinion, be, “like the start of a new sort of police state.” He warns against the violent, vigilante students usurping freedom of speech in favor of their second amendment right to bear arms.

Personally, I do not agree with Scher’s radicalized outlook, or his lack of professionalism in his inflammatory speech. Texans are often put into the mold of irrational, gun-toting, conservative maniacs, ready to shoot first and ask questions later, but this stereotype is nothing more than such– a stereotype. Concealed carry laws will not mean an increase in school shootings.

Instead of cowering in fear, worried about every little thing they say, educators should be trained in violence prevention, such as self-defense, defense against an armed intruder, disarming techniques, etc.  Barring general inappropriateness, teachers should not be forced to censor themselves or their lessons for fear of violence.

The Dangers of Using a Sticker-Chart to Teach Children Behavior

Link to the article

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Family psychologist Erica Reischer writes for online/offline magazine The Altlantic an article warning against the dangers of the common behavior-modification system; sticker charts.

She warns that the reward of stickers for good behavior can have lifelong negative effects on the children writing, “… not that [these systems] don’t work. Rather, they can work too well.” The children, instead of learning the value of hard work and satisfaction of doing a good deed for goodness’ sake is lost. Alternatively, they learn to expect to be rewarded for their actions, trading their good deeds for treats.   She calls these reactions a “reward economy,” which turn good behavior into a transaction.

I agree that this sort of transaction relationship can be nothing but harmful to youngsters who are just beginning to learn the importance of sociable and empathetic behaviors. These sort of reward systems are, as professor Dan Ariely says, “[Reward systems] provide a short-term satisfactory solution, but at what cost?” If kids begin to see their goodwill as a job they may very well begin treat it as such, “optimizing” their humanistic efforts to do as little as possible while gaining the most possible “points.”

Overall, I believe that we have to consider more constructive ways of teaching our children the importance and necessity of good behavior and humanitarianism. I remember seeing such charts in my own schooling, and shudder to think how many students are still subject to such systems. Rewards for good deeds are not inherently wrong, but being a good person shouldn’t be made into a chore or a job. Breeding these sort of “transactional relationships” can be nothing but harmful, and we must find a better, more responsible way of encouraging good behavior.

 

The Interview

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A great article to help when asking questions

I interview an adviser at the YMCA. Her name was Miss Brittany Green. She told me about the history and how it started as a Boys club, but then grew as a family club for Christian based families. The goals she stated were youth development, healthy living, and social responsibilities. The role of the teacher question was answer that during the summer she is a 3-5 mentor and also works with after school programs. She stated also that Club IDK meaning Incredible Dynamic Kids. She helps students with their homework. The strategies used in the program question she gave a statement on that a daily routines schedule everyday once they get off the bus to keeping them in line.

My Experience in the Classroom

This is a helpful way to observe a classroom

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The students in the six grade classes at Hempstead Middle School were engaging in the studies for the lessons. I notice that in Ms. Pachaco six grade Math class there are students walking to the board to do daily assignments as so as I walk into the class room. The students actually were quiet in her class where I see respect of authority. The teacher could not handle those students. My experience I notice that with the students doing the talking was not learning what she was lecturing. The classroom environment was structured, pictures, math definitions, signs of equations, and formula all around the classroom on the wall to show the different things used in in the Math class. The desk were setup in straight lines facing the white board which created space in the classroom. The warm-up the students was doing was writing the equation from the smart board which was a question from the review for the STAAR test. The lesson was on the problems when solving the integers. The TEKS were shown on the board which correlated with assignment or review. The objective was clearly communicated to the students in the class before starting the lecture. The teacher explain to the students on how these notes would help for the test. She told the students if they write the notes and study, then they will pass the test. She wanted to make sure every student is ready to for the test at the end of the year. The technology used in the event was that of the smart board. There was evidence of learning because the students and teacher had interaction of communication over the test they took in class. In this event I know on teaching I would want to make sure that my classroom management skills is implemented before the semester starts like Ms. Pachaco class. The students were paying attention to the teacher while the Ms. Pachoca was giving the lecture on the assignment of the day. The teacher have the curriculum going toward the TEKS in the lesson that was being taught. The students did know the objective of the lesson when being shown on the board. The lessons was taught on problem solving which the students had to learn. The classroom environment was a positive place with the poster and signs on the wall. The teacher did show the student on the smart board where the breakdown of the problem and the answer so they would know the outcome.