Monday, June 24, 2013

Untangling the Web Tech Tools!:Via #iste13

Vicki Davis (coolcatteacher) is at #NotAtiste13. However, she created a list of tech tools shared by Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo! I took the links and put them on a Symbaloo. Just click the link, and there you are! I also added Vicki's page, and the Untangling the Web link. Thanks to Steve,Adam, and Vicki for these wonderful tools!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"That Teacher": A Blessing or a Curse?

In February I read an article by Angela Watson, "Should All the Toughest Kids Be Placed With the Best Teacher?" I clicked the box to notify me of follow-up comments because I thought it was such an interesting topic. A lot of discussion ensued, and even now, I still get a comment notification regarding the blog post.

As we approached the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Angela's question popped into my head. I don't know if you do this, but towards the end of the school year, I start looking at the students in the previous grade. Then I mentally choose  the kids who will be in my class. I just KNOW these kids will be in my class. And I am usually right!

And it's not so much that I consider myself the "best" teacher. But I have learned a thing or two about classroom management. I have managed to build a "no-nonsense, but will love you to death" rep that has followed me from year to year. Thus, I end up with the "tough" kids.

I enjoy taking that kid who has had a rough time of it and changing them using the strategies I employ. Do I always change a kid? No. There are school years that have ended with me having a lot more gray hairs than I started with, and the student hasn't changed one bit. But more times than not, something changes, attitudes, work ethic, something.

But should "that teacher" always have that struggle? Does a teacher always want to be the classroom where the "toughest" kids go ? Wouldn't it be nice to have a class where there is not a daily struggle to earn the respect you deserve? Employing strategies that will get a student to sit down and get to work? Getting this student(s) to not be a distraction or disruption to others?

I'm fortunate. I also end up with students who are not so "tough". This creates a good mix and sometimes one type of kid rubs off on the other. (More than likely, positive vs.negative).

On one hand, you're honored that your peers or principal think that you can "handle" that student. You meet the challenge year after year, and love the feeling when you know you have had a positive effect on that child.

But, on the other hand, you don't want to spend the rest of your years with a class loaded with students you feel have been put in your class so that you can keep them out of the Principal's office.So I ask, being "that teacher", is it a blessing or a curse?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Rewards of Teaching!:It's Not About the Money, Honey!

Don't get me wrong. I like getting paid to teach. Now if someone offered to cover the mortgage ...

On the last day of school, I walked this group of students out to the buses for the last time. I gave each of them a hug and my words of advice/ mini-motivational speech. The teachers stood and waved goodbye as the buses pulled off. Michael, one of my students, opened his window, and screamed, "Bye Mrs. M!" I laughed because Michael was never that boisterous.

As I  returned, teary-eyed, to my classroom, the writing on the board caught my eye. "See you later! You are the best teacher ever!" Man, oh, man they can get you,can't they? I didn't erase it. Even when I rolled the last box out of my room, (I have to change classrooms), I refused to erase it.

Then I got home, and read the cards the Art teacher always has the kids write at the end of the year. One of them was from a kid I wrote about it in one of my posts. The part that really got my eyes wet was when he said, "When I got on your neverse(sic), you stuck with me and did not give up."

Why do I love teaching? What's my reward? (And you better not even think it's high test scores!)

 I love it because when I see a message on the board, a thank you in a letter, or a former student's email, I know that somehow I made a difference. Who can ask for a better reward than that?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Teacher Song!

Today we had to share data creatively.
Any way, at the end of one of the presentations, this video was shown.
I thought it was cute and funny!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Where Does Data Come From? : Replacing "Teach"er with "Test"er!

Data can guide instruction. I get it. I have used data to guide instruction, and it works.
But just like anything else, too much of a good thing makes it... too much!
Collecting data has turned into what teaching is all about. We are no longer teachers,we are testers.
 What are they doing to our profession?

And so I bring you, "Where Does Data Come From?"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What is a Great Teacher?: From the Mouths of My Babes!

Their assignment: In two or three sentences, tell me what a great teacher looks like.  So, we shared a Google document, and they added their thoughts.

Of course I got "the teacher lets me go out for extra recess". I also got some the "teacher doesn't give a lot of tests or homework".  But below are a few that made me smile and/or touched my heart.

From my babies:

a teacher who takes their time to  teach and makes sure that each student understands the lesson.

a great teacher should listen to me.

I think a great teacher is someone who can teach by eye. Or someone who can recognize that you are at least trying. (Not really sure what "teaching by eye" is. )

is nice and never yells.

I think a great teacher should give no homework.Also if the students are looking out the window the teacher would say extra recess.

I think a great teacher is a teacher that can have fun and teach at the same time.

I think a great teacher is a teacher who lets us walk down the hallway by  ourselves  and lets us eat lunch outside !

I think a good teacher, is a teacher that is kind to others.

I think a great teacher is a teacher who always kind and friendly.  

And my favorite:
The kind of teacher I think a good teacher should be like is generous and not only think about themselves kind of teacher. I think that because I don’t want a teacher that does not care about me.