Reflective Teacher Day 16 – Teaching Superpower!

Day 16- @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching challenge 

If you could have one superpower to use in the classroom, what would it be and how would it help?

All highly effective teachers I have observed have super powers. From be ultra organized to managing a class full of energetic youth. This reflective challenge gives me unlimited possibilities from ending poverty and bullying to exposing students to all the wonders of the world! So what would be the ultimate SUPER power for a teacher?

The ability to clone or duplicate self to be available for ALL students all the time. With class sizes on the rise and students arriving in the classroom with broad ranges of abilities and skills it would be nice to take the time to work with each student individually. Imagine meeting every child where they are and helping them grow? It would help with relationships, allowing all those in need to get the specific help they deserve in the classroom in a timely manner. Students would not be able to slide through the cracks.

Imagine one to one teacher to student ratio! OH the places we could go! We would climb every mountain, reaching our goals together!

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Reflective Teaching Day 15- Strenghts

Day 15- @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

Name three strengths you have as an educator.

My 3 strengths:

1. Flexibility- You have to be flexible as a teacher. I am willing and able to go with the flow that is middle school. I know how to punt when the lesson plans aren’t flowing or we encounter an unforeseen change in our daily routine.

2. I listen and relate. I feel I do a good job listening and relating with my students. This helps me make the valuable relationships. Students know I care and I hear their thoughts and concerns.

3. Adaption of content: I feel I can adapt the content so my students can relate to it. So often texts make teachers jobs harder. They add in ideas and facts that confuse the students and inhibit learning. I feel I can take the content down to the bare bones and make students see the WHY in the need to learn. Without knowing the WHY students often fail to have the desire to learn ideas.

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Reflective Teacher Challenge Day 14- Feedback

Day 14- @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

What is feedback for learning, and how well do you give it to students?

Feedback on learning is giving each individual student specific and timely information about where they are in their learning in relation to the student learning objectives. Feedback is a vital part of the educational process. Teachers give students learning objectives, feedback allows students to know where they are on the path to reaching the their objectives.

How well do I give it to students?

I feel I give a variety of feedback to my students. I do okay here. Of course I could improve the timeliness of my feedback. I strive to give students feedback that they can use in their learning In teaching middle school students, I have to take the time to have individual conversations with students about where they are in reaching learning targets. This takes time. Grades don’t grades aren’t constructive to middle school students. Most students see them as an end point (fixed mindset.) I spend as much time as I possibly can to talk to my students about their learning and help mold a growth mindset. I am always looking for better ways to give students timely feedback. I can always get better with feedback!

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Reflective Teaching Challenge Day 13- Tech

Day 13 –  @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rank them in terms of their perceived (by you) effectiveness.

This is a hard challenge for me, as I have already stated Edtech tools are NOT a predominate feature in my classroom. Our district does not have the resources to have tons of tech tools at our hand. I do use a projector and computer daily, sadly they are not in the hands of my students as frequently. Here are the tools I use the most in the order of effectiveness and value to my instruction and student learning.

1. Class Blog: I use this daily. Post my learning target, assignments, and videos. This is the entry point to my instruction. It is designed to keep the students and parents informed of what is happening in my classroom. If a student is absent, everything they missed is explained on the blog. Key resource for my students.

2. Remind: I use remind to help bridge the home to school gap. I send home a Monday message with the weekly vocabulary list, and learning target for the week. Thursday, I send a study guide and quiz reminder. Study guides for test an other reminders are regularly sent. Great tool to use to help connect home to school.

3. YouTube:As I tell my students, YouTube is the single most powerful learning tool around today. I use videos to introduce concepts, provide examples and hook my students. I can find so many wonderful video for anything I need to engage my students. I wonder what I did without access to YouTube just a few year ago (it was blocked). I try to model that if you don’t understand anything you can find a video to explain it.

These are my top 3. I do use more tools just not regularly. I have my students blog using Kidsblog, but not as often as I would like. I use Quizlet to help my students review vocabulary. I love the PhET interactive simulations. It would be nice if I could use them regularly. Access for my students is a huge issue. We are trying some BYOD this year so it might improve.

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Reflective Teaching Challenge Day 12 – Vision

Day 12 – @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

How do you envision your teaching changing over the next five years?

Five years from now I envision three main changes in my teaching.

First: Move towards a student run classroom: I feel the students need to take ownership of learning. As a teacher I need to clear tell them where they need to go, offer example paths to take to get there and then get out of the way. I have been slowly but surely adding more student voice to my classroom so that they can direct the class the way they want it to run.

Second; A blended approach: As technology becomes more readily available for my students, I want to use it to allow students to work at their own pace. A blended approach allows for a teacher to spend more time addressing student needs and less time managing students who struggle to keep up or who are bored by a slower pace. Research says the blended approach is the best way for our students to learn.

Third: More cross-cutting ideas: The Next Gen Science Standards focus on cross cutting ideas that allow our students to make connections to the curriculum. I want my students to see the relevance of their education. They aren’t learning just to learn facts so they can win “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grade!” I hope the government respects the educational process reduces the number for standards and focuses on making standards connect to life. I hope my science class will become a STEAM class full of connections!

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Reflective Teaching Challenge Day 11- Favorite Part of Day

Day 11 @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

What is your favorite part of the school day and why?

My favorite part of the school day is first thing in the morning. I love the energy of the morning, the fresh, the new beginning. The start of the day has so much to offer a teacher. Greeting students at the door with a smile. Saying “Hello” and good morning. The smell of fresh coffee in my cup surely helps me gather the energy to have a great day!

I love to meet my middle school students with this song playing in my room as they walk in:


It makes for a great day. Random fact: Verve Pipe was a popular band in Western Michigan when I was in college, now it is great to take my kids to the zoo to hear them!

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Reflective Teacher Challenge Day 10 – Countdown

Day 10- @TeachThough 30 day reflective teaching blog challenge 

Share five random facts about yourself.

Share four things from your bucket list.

Share three things that you hope for this year, as a “person” or an educator.

Share two things that have made you laugh or cry as an educator.

Share one thing you wish more people knew about you.

5- Random facts:

1. I went to a boarding school in Connecticut.

2. I went to school with Seth MacFarlane.

3. I own 3% of a microbrewery some friends from college started.

4. I am a survivor of an airplane accident

5. I was always told I would make a great teacher but took two trips to college and 10 years to figure out my passion.

 

4- Bucket List Items

1. Go to Rose Bowl

2. Sail across an ocean.

3. See an elephant in the wild.

4. Explore the Galapagos Islands.

 

3- Hopes for the year

1. Peace in the world- Don’t we all hope for this?

2. Reach my students, make those connections, see success.

3. A mild winter: Last year was brutal!

2- Things that make me CRY

1- How society views education and educators. Needs to be valued MORE than entertainment.

2. Poverty and its effects on my students. Richest country in the world needs to be more compassionate and caring for others.

1- THING

1. I CARE about education, my profession, my kids!

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