I just taught my first lesson. It was a student centered lesson that answered the main question of "Why do we study history?" It was great to finally lead the class and it was a great learning experience. I feel the lesson was received very well by the students and participation in activities was high. My main learning was for the need to be aware of and prepare slight modifications to the lesson to suite each classes unique make-up better. Rather than give the exact same lesson over and over I will need to script specific questions and alter the pacing to account for the differences in learning abilities between the classes. All classes are not constructed with the same abilities. I look forward to using this new knowledge when I do my next lesson before the break.
After a long hiatus I am back blogging about my school experiences. I am currently starting the second year of my program and it promises to be extremely rigorous and rewarding. I am in the second week of observation at Monroe HS and am starting to become accustomed to the rhythm of the school day. Each day is a great learning opportunity that I am enjoying taking full advantage of. Learning the faculty and the students has been a challenge. 150 students in a day is a lot to get to know but I am making progress. It is nice to not be in charge an act strictly in support. Focus more on creating a relationship with the students that will benefit us all when I am leading the class.
A wonderful day indeed. Soaking in the inauguration of our new president Barack Obama today gave me a great opportunity for reflection. How much different is every one's perception of our society today compared to two months ago. Has the reality of our society and culture really changed. I am sure for many it is life as usual. The greater achievement is that this perceived cultural shift is more an opening of minds. Now that the minds of the dominant culture in the US are finally open to change, there can actually be movement in the realities of day to day life for the subjugated cultures that exist in our country. Embrace and share the feelings for today, then repeat everyday.
As I move through my class schedule I have been doing some reflection on my experiences and how they are impacting me. One of the things that really strikes me is that I leave every class viewing the world around me differently. On one hand I am gaining insight into new realms of thought and feel the rush of acquiring this new knowledge. I know that currently I do not have a firm enough grasp on these new realities to be able to teach them but believe that confidence will come with time and effort. On the other hand, I feel that all these years I believed I was a fairly smart, open minded, and articulate person. I now look back at myself from a few short months ago and wonder about all of the things that I was missing because I was blinded by my own belief in my intelligent s. I did not have the ability to recognize or decode the meaning of so many things that I am now aware of. How different a person I would now be if I could have been armed with this knowledge at an earlier age. I am very grateful and they always say: Better late than never!
I wonder if any of my cohort are felling the same way. Saddened by the opportunities for personnel growth that were missed and how that could have changed our lives if we were able to grasp them at an earlier age.
Happy New Year everyone!! I hope all of you thoroughly enjoyed the holidays. The break was definitely needed but I am ready to start the new semester. In our first class for BEDUC 502 tonight Dr. Banks went into the increased multiculturalism of our student population and the impact that it has on the teaching professional. I believe that diversity is one of our greatest assets along with being one of our greatest challenges. Diversity gives us a richness and texture to our lives that would be surely missed if we were all the same. With a great variation of people the challenge comes in how to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed in the educational process.
One of my goals this semester is become self-aware enough to realize when I might be imprinting my own biases into my interactions with my classmates. Am I subconsciously treating people differently based on: gender, age, nationality, looks, etc.
Has anyone else dealt with this issue in the classroom or at work? What might be some ques for me to be aware of and recognize?
Furthering my previous post on using technology in the classroom. I wanted to find out about the use of technology for managing the class: syllabus, handouts, lesson plans, project rubrics etc. Are teachers using a platform that gives the students and parents access to the requirements and schedule for the class. I visited two local high school websites and went through each of the social studies departments. What was found was quite surprising. Either the schools do not utilize technology at all or there is another off-cite place that the teachers are using. Of the fourteen teachers websites that I visited only two were being utilized at even a minimal level. Most were one paragraph introductions to the teacher and class with the rest of the site blank. There were links for blogs, paperwork, discussions, etc. but all were blank.
This left me to wonder. Is the Classroom 2.0 technology that we are learning not thought of as being useful by established educators? Or, am I actually ahead of the learning curve?
I am currently taking a technology in education course and finding the tools available for teacher is immense. With the ease of access to information and the ability to collaborate on projects teachers are creating new and challenging ways to engage their students. I begin to envision how I would like to utilize technology in MY first classroom. What is causing me some hesitation is that I do not know where I will be teaching. I have been doing some initial research into different school districts and finding that access to technology is varied pretty widely. Even within the same department at the same schools teachers are using technology at different levels. Some do not utilize it at all while others are just scratching the surface. If/when I get my first classroom. Will I be looked down upon by the other teachers with 20 years of classroom experience that do not use technology? With being the "new" teacher in the social studies department should I start my classes more traditionally and ease into the technology as to not upset the apple cart? Keeping myself politically/professionally safe. Or, should I come in and utlized technology to it's fullest? Risking upsetting my new associates but energizing my students and establishing my rep within the student body.