For this assignment, I would like for you to create a blog post summarizing the following videos and list the main points of the videos along with the benefits of special education for students in need:
For the past 2 weeks I was assigned to the iLearn Technology blog. Here is a summary of the comments I left on the past 2 posts:
October 26:Wow! Can’t wait to see these convention plans unfold. This sounds quite informative and exciting. I definitely plan to visit the convention website. Glad to have learned about this exciting event thanks to my class EDM310 at the University of South Alabama!
November 9: Wow! Great article. I enjoyed watching the episodes of How We Got to Now. I think this was a great way to push students to pursue higher education, and I love the fact that it leads students to ask questions, be creative, and think outside of the box.
In this video, Mr. Brian Crosby from Agnes Risley Elementary School taught me about raising student involvement to increase knowledge on subject matter. In his classroom, students utilize computers, digital cameras, and many other technologies. The students even had their own blogs that allow them to think out of the box. In a class assignment about balloons, he found a way to incorporate many approaches to subject matter into his lesson plan. The students were very involved throughout the entire research assignment about balloons. They even were able to light tissue paper on fire and watch it float! I have not even done anything that cool in my elementary years. Mr. Crosby also explains how the students are very excited from blogging. They enjoy seeing how people take the time to read their blogs. The students even knew how to embed codes, cut and paste pictures, and use technology like Skype to their advantage. One of my favorite things from the video was the idea of asking students to list their high hopes for things in the lives, their communities, and in the world. Overall, I feel that this video taught me to encourage students to use technology to their advantage and try to make their "high hopes" come true.
In the video Blended Learning Cycle, Paul Anderson talks about his teaching style. He introduces the Blended Learning Cycle by explaining that it is a blend of Mobile, Classroom, and Online. One one of thinking of how to incorporate these ideas together is through the 5 E's: Evaluate, Explore, Engage, Expand and Explain. Another one of the main points that Anderson focuses on is the acronym "Quivers": QUestion, Investigation, Videos, Elaboration, Review, and Summary quiz. I really like this concept because it seems very thorough and seems to give students a better understanding. One thing that Mr. Anderson taught me is that I should always remember that each individual student is different and they all learn at a different pace.
In Mark Church's video Headlines from the book Making Thinking Visible, he suggests that we ask students their opinion about a topic that they don't know much about then once you have finished the lesson, ask them again what they think and see how their ideas have changed. The headlines that students make with their ideas allows them to also see how their ideas have changed as well. From this video I learned how vulnerable the minds of students are. I knew that children's minds are very delicate prior to watching this video; however, this video made me more aware. It is important that we are filling the brains of our students with positivity, encouragement, and accuracy which they can build from.
In this video, I learned about teaching digital citizenship. This basically means being able to go to a website and knowing what kind of information it offers or requires. The video was an in depth discussion of how to use the internet safely. For an assignment, the students were asked to create a comic of a superhero that saves the day and helps with keeping citizens safe on the internet.
Project Based Learning was very similar to many videos we have watched in the past about PBL. This just added to our understanding of the difficulties that come with learning how to incorporate PBL into your classroom. This is especially true for veteran teachers who have become adjusted to their teaching styles without it and are now trying to change all of their tactics. I do however think it's rather important to try and include different subjects under a single project. This way the students isn't just learning a subject but instead how it ties into to everything else as well.
Roosevelt's Elementary PBL was mostly about a small community and the group of kids in this Elementary school and just how project based learning affects them as a whole and individually. It focused less on the actual process of PBL but the outcome of it. Students are becoming more engaged in their community and in their classroom. They're becoming excited about learning and proud to show what they have learned to their community. The best part about PBL in my opinion is how it relates to real world problems. It gets kids active in places like their community, the classroom, and sometimes they even have an affect on students in other parts of the world. Students are taught how to work collaborate together, how to speak in public, and how to research a subject to learn about it on their own. Project Based Learning gives the students self motivation and a sense of ownership in their learning environment. It is empowering for them and I believe this is the best environment we can provide for our students.
In this video, students explained how they loved using technology in the classroom, especially through blogging. It was interesting to hear the students excitement from receiving comments from family and friends on their blogs. This feedback gives them the motivation to keep writing and bettering themselves. Other interesting tools that students mentioned using are Skype and the Nitendo DS. While on Skype, students are able to chat with other reading buddies in different classes, as well as different schools. One of the most rewarding things was hearing the students describe the students from Alabama (EDM310) who commented on their blogs. This let me know that our comments do not go in vain after all!
Three Part Interview Series with Kathy Cassidy
In the 3 part interview series with Mrs. Kathy Cassidy, we learn how Mrs. Cassidy got started in the field of technology, how it has helped her in her classroom, and listen to her advice on blogging and using technology. The main thing that I got from all three videos is that although you may not be the most technology savvy person, you can still use technology to your advantage an it can work wonders in the classroom. Mrs. Cassidy admits that she is not the most advanced in technology, in fact she had just gotten a Facebook page a short time before her interview with Dr. Strange. This reassured me that although I am not very technologically advanced, I can still use technology to benefit my students.
A great point that Mrs. Cassidy makes is that the world is changing and constantly evolving, and so is technology; therefore, we would be handicapping ourselves and our students by not allowing them to explore technology.
For the month of October, I had the pleasure of viewing 4 great blogs by 4 excellent students! Below, I have included a link to the blogs that I was assigned for this month for EDM310's Comments4Kids assignment. I will also include my comment that I wrote on each of the student's posts, in the event that the comment has not been moderated. To view their blog posts, simply click the name of the student. I hope you all enjoy reading these great posts!
Heaven: Hi Heaven! I love long hair on myself as well! I cut my hair in December of 2012, and I have let it grow out since then and have been taking great care of it. It has gotten so long, but I cannot wait until it gets really long so I can do all types of styles with it! Good post, just make sure to capitalize and punctuate correctly with each post. Can't wait to see your next post!
Sofia: Hello Sofia, it sounds like you have an exciting year in store for you! I think it is wonderful that you have a good teacher, and I hope this year is your best! Hopefully, you will leave elementary feeling very prepared for middle school. Good luck!
Sami:Yes! You are completely right Sami! Giving away your password is definitely not a good idea. This can give strangers access to your account, and the things in it. Great post!
Zack: Hi Zack! My name is Candace Harris, and I am from the United States of America! I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama, and this week, my professor assigned me to view your awesome blog! I loved your story and I think it was very exciting to see what adventure Adam and Sky were going to get into! You did a great job, and I can't wait to read Chapter 3. Good luck with the rest of your school year!
After reading this publication, I feel like I have an even better understanding of the purpose of project based learning. Of course, this may sound crazy because we have talked about, viewed, and have submerged ourselves in project based learning. However, after reading the detailed explanations about meaning and purpose of PBL, the reason behind the process seems so much more simple.
In my opinion, the most important essential of the seven was the Student's Voice and Choice. I can distinctly remember my own experiences in school with projects, and my favorite projects were always the ones that gave me the most opportunity to showcase my personality and individuality. Sometimes, all it takes is something simple like PBL to show the students that they are just as important as the topic they are studying.
This video was a very quick and simple way of breaking down project based learning. It was very short and to the point, so it makes it easy for those teachers that may or may not understand PBL to get a fast overview. In the video, it covered the standards of PBL and discussed important topics such as the driving question, common core standards, and the overall purpose of PBL.
According to the video, while meeting standards and creating an authentic product, students should learn collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, career & life skills, and so much more. I enjoyed this video very much, and it was my favorite resource for this week.
Project Based Learning in PE
I found the idea of a project creating a fitness plan for students to be very effective. Although there is not a huge age difference between high school students and middle school students, the maturity levels are quite different. When creating the plan, I am sure this project would allow students to reflect on their own middle school years and create a plan that is healthy and effective since they were not too long in the middle school students shoes. I found this article to be very interesting because it also gives students the opportunity to Skype with professionals.
In this video, students discuss what motivates them in school and what drives them towards success. One of the main points that I found from the video was the idea of compliments. In our EDM310 class, one of the parts of our peer editing is compliments. Compliments can play a large part in boosting the moral of students and encouraging learning. When I become a teacher, I plan to be very motivational and encouraging because I can remember those educators in my own past as a student who did not TRULY motivate me, and I feel like that played a huge part in how much I gained from their class that year.
In a few short years, smart phones have quickly become the norm for people around the world. Of course, smartphones, just like any other invention have pro's and cons. According to Zogby Analytics, smart phones are meant to make life easier, but the real question is are they really making life easier or are they more trouble than help?
This week on our EDM310 Class Blog, we were given various percentages of data from smartphone users that range from the ages of 18 to 24. In most of the percentages, the answers are quite clear given that the percentages are quite high in number, meaning that a large number of users face the same issues. Also, from what I see from the data, it seems that our generation has become very dependent on smart phones, and it could be viewed in a positive or negative light.
In example of the negative point of view on smartphones, one might say that young people are TOO dependent on their phones and do not know how to function without them. I, personally, have received a few negative comments from people from older generations about my own technology usage. A prime example of this came from an usher in church who told me to put my phone away, yet did not know that I was not texting, but rather, I was looking at my Bible application. On the other hand, in example from the positive point of view, one might say that my generation has become technology savvy, and we use our technology to our advantage. I am sure there are few complaints about those young people that do a great job of providing a leading example of making great use of technology.
If you think about it, as teachers, technology could even make our jobs a bit easier. A new trend in education is paperless classrooms; so in a classroom filled with students with smartphones, laptops, tablets, and many more devices with internet capabilities, the possibilities are endless. Everything could be online or used by smart phone instead of worrying about papers. I really like the new trends in technology and their role in education.
As a teacher in a classroom full of students with smartphones and/or tablets, I feel that a huge weight would be lifted off of my shoulders in the area of instruction. Of course, as an educator, instruction plays a huge role in the students education process. However, with so much technology available, there can a much bigger role placed on independent research by students and project based learning opportunities are drastically increased. I feel that all of the same resources that my classmates in EDM310 and I have used, can be used at a lighter scales in an elementary classroom.
For the past two weeks, I was assigned the Peopleology blog by Dr. Will. In the first post I read, Dr. Will posted a video conversation about Personal Learning Networks. In the conversation, Dr. Will talked about the benefits of personal learning networks and how social networks such as Twitter can be used to expand your PLN. This was my comment:
Hello Dr. Will! My name is Candace Harris, and I am currently a junior majoring in Elementary Education at the University of South Alabama. What a pleasure it has been to view your interview on using Twitter to build PLNs! As a student, building a personal learning network is vital. I recently have been introduced to twitter as a means to expand my knowledge and to interact with my peers, but my biggest problem was accepting that it does not happen overnight! However, your video gave me a bit more motivation to keep tweeting and keep trying to expand. Thank you for your insight! I definitely plan to share this video on my twitter page and on my blog for class this week! If you would like, you may follow me on twitter at candacesharris1 or my blog at harriscandaceedm310.blogspot.com
For the second comment, Dr. Will posted about paperless classrooms. In this post, he explained the benefits of paperless learning, which is the same "No Paper In, No Paper Out" quality that our EDM310 video thrives off. This was my comment:
Great post Dr. Will! In my EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama, we actually are completely paperless, and we utilize tools such as Google Drive all the time. Despite having mixed feelings initially, I, personally, love the paperless movement!
What I Learned About Teaching and Learning from Randy Pausch
For this week's blog assignment, I feel very inspired by the message given by Randy Pausch. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, it surprises me how resilient and strong Mr. Pausch was before his death. Instead of choosing a negative outlook on his diagnosis, he was positive.
"We can't change it. We cannot change the cards we are dealt—just how we play the hand."
In his last lecture, Mr. Pausch tells about his childhood dreams and how he accomplished them, helping others reach their dreams, and even how to accomplish things you dream about. The main point that I got out of the video is that one should always follow their dreams no matter how difficult they seem and exude confidence in their decisions while taking risks. I personally found Mr. Pausch's story to be quite interesting, and it makes me even more excited to enter my dream career of teaching. It has always been a goal of mine to encourage my students, but after hearing the Last Lecture, I feel now that it is even more urgent to motivate my students as much as possible. Not only did this story motivate me to motivate my students, but it motivates me to explore the other aspects of my life that I may not have been paying as much attention to. It made me think of my childhood dreams and if I really wanted those things, or if I just thought I did.
How to Make An Audio QR Code In the video How to Make An Audio QR Code, students recorded their voices and created codes that others can scan and listen to. Despite seeming like a difficult task, it is fairly easy to do. This was a surprise to me because I thought that it might be technical things to do as far as making a code, but apparently not. All you have to do is record the audio, create a URL, go to the QR code website, create the code, and share with everyone. After receiving the access code, anyone can scan the code and listen to the file. If there is not already a scanner on your smart device, all one would have to do is download a QR scanner on their smart phone or device, and the file will be available to them. This is a great tool to use because just like in the video, students will be engaged and they love the recognition they get when their parents, family, and friends are able to listen to what their files. Guests can also leave notes and comments on the file.
In the video Ipad Centers, kindergarden students record themselves reading, and it is awesome. What was amazing to me is how great of a tool the iPads were for the reading. All the students did was hey sit the iPad up and record themselves reading a page in their books. Then they could go back and listen to the recordings and correct themselves if they made a mistake. This is a great tool for the learning process because it immediately corrects errors. As a young adult, it is just like when we record our videos for EDM310. Sometimes, we will mess up, but it is all about recognizing where we messed up and going back and correcting it. The kindergardeners are the same.
In the video Poplet as a Center, the teacher, Mrs. Tuck, shows us how her kindergarden class uses the free app Poplet on their iPads to take pictures and create virtual webs. On the app, students take pictures of the pictures in their books and write descriptions for each picture. This tool comes in handy with writing sentences, learning grammar, becoming more detailed and descriptive. An example used in the video was from a book about veterinarians. The student took a picture of the veterinarian helping a bird, then wrote a description for her caption. Mrs. Tuck reviews the students work and screenshots it. This allows the student to have the ability to go back to over the work later or show their work to others.
In the Alabama Virtual Library as a Kindergarden Center video, it shows you how the students use this tool to search words and choose different options to explore the topic. An example used in the video is the word transportation. After searching for the word transportation, "bicycle" comes up. The student can then watch a video or hear audio about the bicycle. The only thing that the student will have to do after that is write a sentence or two about what they learned about transportation from their research. I personally think this tool is amazing because it not only allows the student to put forth the research, but to actually get engaged in the assignment through watching videos and/or listening to audio.
In the videos about the Discovery Board Builder (Part 1 and Part 2), students describe how they uploaded images and information to create boards on specific topics. The board builder tool can be found on the Discovery Education website, and it is fairly easy to use. All the students have to do is do research on their topic, create their board, and upload information and pictures on to their boards. They are also able to watch videos, view images, and learn key facts about the topics from the sites. They are able to be extremely creative with these projects by changing backgrounds, adding titles and subtitles, and adding details and examples. They are also able to share what they have learned with their teachers, classmates, and even family and friends.
In the video Using iMovie and Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarden, Michelle Bennett and Elizabeth Davis, both media specialists at elementary schools, explain how they use technology to promote learning. Mrs. Bennett explains how kindergardeners have even used iMovie to make book trailers, just like our EDM310 class have done. At the ages of 5 and 6, I could barely color inside the lines, so I can understand why Mrs. Bennett says that it is unbelievable that they have been so effective with the technology. “You get the students started on the mechanics of the program, and once that is established, you do one or two examples as a group. The students take off and make it a project of their own," (Bennett). She goes on to say that when student's work is displayed, as soon as they see it they want to edit it! The students become very detailed and engaged in the work because they want to make sure the product is to their own and their classmates liking.
Next, Mrs. Davis talks about the Alabama Virtual Library. Apparently, this resource is free to anyone in the state of Alabama. It is easy to use, and a great example of this from the video is going to the site and typing in a word like "dog”, and the site immediately pulls up images, encyclopedia texts, books, and whatever resources about a dog that is available. This is very engaging for the students and a great tool for research!
In the video We All Become Learners, Dr. Strange is conducting an interview with Elizabeth Davis,a teacher at Daphne Elementary, and Michelle Bennett, a teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. In the conversation, they explain how using devices change the dynamic of teaching. Instead of traditional roles of student and teacher, EVERYONE is a student and everyone is a teacher. So, EVERYONE learns. "Teachers teach students, students teach students, and students teach teachers." An example used in the video came from the free app Padlet which was discussed. In class, a student was able to assist Mrs. Bennett, who was trying to figure out how to take a picture on her Macbook. So in this example, the student was able to show the teacher that learning had occurred. After hearing this example, my mind drifted to my seven year old cousin that has taught me more about computers than I probably have known in my life. There is always an opportunity for growth, and always a chance to learn. If you think about it, when my generation is old and grey, the generation that I will have taught, will be the ones that are taking care of us!
For this week's blog assignment, we were given several sources to watch that involved Dr. Strange's Skype conversations with a former EDM310 student and friend of the class, Anthony Capps. Mr. Capps is now a 3rd grade teacher in Baldwin County, and he is a primarily project based teacher. This means he bases his teaching style from projects in which students are creating something while they are learning. In EDM310, we, as future 21st Century teachers, are learning to become well-rounded, project based teachers and life long learners. EDM310 is PROJECT based, so everything we do in the class requires us to leave our comfort zones, and actually branch out in order to learn. Mr. Capps uses a similar technique in his classroom.
In both Part 1 and Part 2 of his conversations on Project Based Learning with Dr. Strange, Mr. Capps makes many valid points about the effectiveness of the teaching style. Capps states that project based learning is not only effective because it is relevant to kids lives, but that the projects are driven by content. This means that they are active participants in their learning experience. A project that he mentions is one in which students wrote letters to Congressman Jo Bonner. Not only did this project allow Reading, Social Studies, and Writing standards to be fulfilled, but it also was effective in the community because it was written to a local official.
Mr. Capps goes into further detail about how students used many resources to find female/minority figures that overcame obstacles in order to press current headlining issues. This project kept students interested because they had family and friends that they were able to use as resources for their projects, and when the project was done the student critiqued each others letters and chose 8 of their favorite letters to be sent off to Jo Bonner's office.
Another project that engaged students interest was the assignment to write a script as if they were a student in Afghanistan and this script was, in turn, made into a movie. This project allowed students to be creative. Some students focused on fashion and hair, while others focused on other topics like war and religion. In one case, the father of a student wanted to keep the child sheltered from Afghan culture, however, student still did an alternate science project. When asked his opinion on the work of his 3rd graders versus that of juniors in EDM310, Capps states that when compared side by side, the best looks like the best and the worst looks like the worst; the only difference being, his product was made by 9 year olds and Dr. Strange’s were by adults.
Here is my favorite quote from Capps in Part 2:
“With project based learning, you’re going to get more than what you expect. never limit your students by giving them exactly what you want them to do, create an opportunity for them to go beyond what you want them to do and they will”
After watching this video of Dr. Strange and Mr. Capp's conversation about Icurio, I can honestly say that I want to know more and will definitely research more about this search engine! I might even use it for my students. I love the fact that it is kid friendly and has filtered content. This is extremely important since I am planning on teaching in an elementary. On an organizational level, I feel that it is extremely useful for not only students, but for teachers as well. I also love the fact that Icurio has read aloud text available for students with disabilities, and that students can store information in folders and come back to it. It seems easily accessible! I cannot wait to give it a try
Discovery Ed KEEPS STUDENTS ENGAGED. Basically, what it does is find visuals to a topic. Discovery Ed is a great tool because it is nothing like the black and white pages of a book; it gives students something to relate to and look at! In addition to providing visual aid, Discovery Ed allows students of different learning styles to be actively involved. Of course, this tool would be heaven for a visual learner, but it keeps other students engaged by providing more information than just from their teacher or a textbook. This gives students options and multiple resources. I would've loved to have had this growing up!
After watching this video, the main thing that I learned was that its okay if things do not always go as planned as a new teacher, but we need to have a plan. We also must learn to critique our plans around our students. As a teacher, our jobs will never be over. The opportunities to learn are endless, and we can't put a cap on a year and say that this is all the information that we can possibly squeeze in. However, we also cannot be unrealistic and expect to get everything done in a day, or a week, or a year even. Every moment is a teachable/learnable moment, and that is what we thrive upon. Flexibility and creativity plays a large part in our roles, as well. We should constantly strive to find innovative and engaging ways to get a subject through the brains of our students. Reflection also plays a key part in our jobs, and feedback from parents and students is crucial. We should constantly look for room for improvement, and not be afraid to practice our teaching styles and to branch out. We must also question ourselves. "Did my students enjoy and learn from this lesson?" "Was it effective in engaging students interest and involvement?" Rome was not built in a day. The same goes for teaching. I can definitely say I learned quite a bit from this video, and it makes me eager to begin practicing my teaching style.
In this video, Mr. Capps tells us to utilize technology in our classrooms, but not to go overboard. I agree with this 100 percent. Growing up, technology was introduced to my classmates and I at a much slower rate than what it is now! Now a days, technology is basically being shoved in children's faces. Mr. Capps states that students should be given a chance to master using one form of technology before moving on to the next tool. This will make students confident when using these tools, and give them skills they can use for a lifetime.
As teachers, however, we should still keep in mind that we are dealing with children, and we cannot expect our students to master these tools right off hand. However, what Mr. Capps does suggest we do is allow students room for mistakes and time for self reflection. We should never TEACH technology, but instead, "introduce it smartly."
I definitely plan to take this into consideration when I do begin to work with my students because I know sometimes it can be difficult to find patience when dealing with technology. I immediately think of all the possible backgrounds that my students will probably come from, and there is no way that all of them will react the same to new technology. All I can do is try my best to think of creative ways to introduce it to them and help them master it.
In the final video, Mr. Capps points out a subject that he left out of the conversation, and it was about lessons. According to Capps, a lesson is at least 4 layers thick. We must think about the overall, like are we covering Content Standards and making sure we get those done throughout the year. Then we must think about unit projects that are meaningful and can be broken up over a number of weeks to get our points across. Third, we must think about goals for each week, and if we have accomplished those goals. Last, we must think about daily lessons, and how we deliver material.
I felt that this was a great way of looking at things. I honestly never thought to break lessons down like that, but Mr. Capps is completely correct, in my opinion. It is great to have covered all the material, but are our students retaining any of that information? It is also great to have gone into detail and broken things down all the time, but do our students get the bigger picture? It is a great thing to have balance, and with this viewpoint that Mr. Capps suggests, balance does not seem to be a problem!
How did you view Anthony Capps conversations with Dr. Strange? I would love to hear your feedback.
For this week's project assignment, my classmates and I were asked to make a book trailer. I chose to feature the national bestseller "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Originally, I thought that this project would be very tedious and dull, but I actually had fun creating the trailer, as well as reading over the book and viewing the great artwork. Now I plan to use this book during my reading time with my student that I am tutoring for another one of my education classes.
I give this book a double thumbs up to my peers, and I also think that this would be a great time to share this book with students since Halloween is quickly approaching! I found my copy for around $6.00 at my local Walmart. Hope you all enjoy the trailer I have created. Feel free to leave comments with your feedback!
Here is the link to the song that I used in the video:
My first C4K assignment was to an eighth grade student named Porscha who attends Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. While scrolling through her blog, I noticed an interesting post she wrote on September 4, 2014, in which she made a proposal to New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key. In this letter, Porscha respectfully asked that there be a ban on plastic bags because she did not like the pollution that it was causing to the local marine life. She suggested a number of great ideas to reduce sea pollution through the ban and reduction of the use of plastic bags. She also provided many great facts that I never would have guessed.
One key fact that I learned from Porscha is that over 1 million plastic bags are used in New Zealand each year. She went on to say that when plastic bags are not disposed of properly, they can wind up in the ocean, and the animals can mistake it for food. This then can be the cause of many deaths amongst sea creatures.
I enjoyed reading and learning from Porscha's post, so I wrote her to thank her for sharing and to suggest a few ideas. Here is my response to her proposal to New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key on banning plastic bags:
"Hello Porscha! I loved this proposal to ban plastic bags. It makes me proud to see a young lady so concerned with improving the environment. Sea pollution is a serious problem, and it is a great thing that you are choosing to be an activist in the movement to end it. One question that I do have is have you presented this letter to Mr. John Key himself? I am sure he would love to hear your opinion. Your proposal is very well formulated, and I suggest that you consider mailing this letter to him. I am an animal lover, and I would love to see your letter make it to his office. Good luck in your journey to end this issue!"
The following week, I was assigned to the blog of a student named Heaven, a high school student in Virginia. The title of her blog post that I commented on is "Make your mark on the world, world, world!!." In this post, Heaven tells how she plans to make her mark on the world by becoming a famous professional actress. She says that she would love to become a great African-American actress like Dorothy Dandridge or another African-American actress. I found this post quite interesting because I like her pursuit for a career that she would enjoy.
Thinking back on my life, I always made choices based off of what people wanted me to do or what "everyone else" was doing. But I one thing I never thought about was about making MY mark on the world. I never questioned what was really for ME. It wasn't until now that I have become sure of what it is that I want to do, and I am proud to say that teaching is something that I plan to use to make MY mark on the world.
In my response to Heaven's post, I did not go into great detail about my own thoughts about making my mark on the world, but instead I further questioned her about her plans to make her own mark. This was my response:
"Hello Heaven! I am Candace Harris, a student at the University of South Alabama, and I love your plan to become a professional actress! What a great career choice! Personally, I love actors and actresses because without them the world would be a lot less entertaining. What kind of acting do you like the most? In the future, do you think you would prefer being an actor on television or on the big screen, in movies? Have you ever considered becoming a Broadway actress? I would love to know!"
For my third C4k assignment, I chose the student Chloe F, an Iowa High School Student. In her post "Talent or Hard Work?" Chloe explained that hard work was much more important than talent because of how far hard work can take you in life. Not only was her blog post very detailed, but Chloe made several valid points, which all lead back to her thesis that hard work is more important than talent.
One important point that Chloe made was that hard work could really take you far in life. This makes me think about my own experiences throughout life. I have noticed that when I am patient, and I put in time and effort for something, I usually get better results. People also notice when you are passionate about something, and you may work harder to achieve a goal when you start gaining notice. I agree with Chloe 100 percent. Here is my statement in response to Chloe's post:
"Hello Chloe! I agree totally. I also think that hard work is much more important than talent. It is a great thing to have a talent, however, what good does it do to have a talent that goes to waste because of laziness? One quote that has always stuck in my head is by Tim Notke, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I have found this quote to be very true, not only throughout my life, but through looking at the lives of many talented people who let their gifts go to waste. Great post! Keep up the good work! I would love to hear what inspires you to work hard!"
Click the following links to read the full posts by Porscha, Heaven, and Chloe:
For Project #7 part A, my classmates and I were asked to complete two short videos. The first video, "My Sentence Is.." is a video stating what sentence we would want someone to use to describe us with if they had to say something about how we lived our lives. The second video, "My passion is.." is a sentence that we use to tell our audience what our passion(s) in life might be.
For the most part, I really enjoyed this project. Not surprisingly, it took a billion recordings for me to finally get it right. And thankfully, the only major problem I had throughout the entire process was figuring out how to get the videos to upload correctly to Youtube. However, once I did figure it out, it now seems much easier for me to branch off into creating Youtube videos. I hope you all enjoy watching my first two videos, and maybe you will learn something about me that you might not have otherwise known! I would love to hear your feedback on the two topics. What is your sentence? What is/are your passion(s)? Feel free to leave your response in the comments below!
Personal Learning Networks are just what the name says: PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORKS. They are the tools and resources that can assist people of all ages throughout their personal lives and professional careers, with the goal of producing LIFE LONG LEARNERS. PLNs have no limit! They are the sources for information that can benefit anyone, regardless of your background, age, race, gender, religion, or career. PLNs can be a person, place, thing, website, whatever you want it to be, as long as it helps you learn.
For a future educator, one source in their PLN may be another educator that provides innovative and creative ideas for their own classroom through Youtube videos, such as Dr. Will Deyamport, III. For a person searching for a car, this may be a website like Auto Trader with advertisements for cars on sale. For a student having trouble with synonyms in elementary, this may be a website like Thesaurus, which lists all the synonyms one could imagine. The list goes on and on!
How can they help me as a teacher?
Personal Learning Networks can help me in numerous ways, personal and professional. In my personal life, it can provide me with sources of information for a wide array of tasks, big and small. From helping me learn how to bake a pineapple upside-down cake, to learning more about political issues, my PLN can introduce me to more information than just what scratches the surface. For example, did you know that otters hold hands while they sleep? I FOR SURE DIDN'T. But after watching a random video on one of the tools that I religiously use for information and searching for information on Google, another source in my PLN, I now know that otters do, in fact hold hands while they sleep.
As for my professional life with teaching, PLNs can be just as helpful. Take for example, this class, EDM310. In EDM310, not only have I met plenty of other future teachers, but thinking about it, I have met many other resources for my Personal Learning Network. Not only do I now have group members, who are resourceful and creative, but I have many other classmates that I interact with, students that I post back and forth with, and educators that I follow and chat with.
Already, I have noticed how powerful PLNs can be through the use of Twitter. While doing my Comments for Teachers (C4T) assignment this week, I watched a great video on this topic of Building Personal Learning Networks Through Twitter, which was on my assigned teacher for the week, Dr. Will Deyamport, III's blog. I left a comment thanking Dr. Will for sharing, and I gave him my twitter information. To my surprise, Dr. Will commented back a few hours later, and he even followed me on Twitter. So, now I have one more source to say that I have added to my PLN.
How are PLNs formed, and how can I create my own?
As I previously stated, PLNs are limitless. They may be formed in anyway imaginable. One of the best ways is through social networks, such as twitter, which is discussed in the video above by Dr. Will. However, whether it be in person or online, personal learning networks vary because of the specific relationship per individual source. It can be one sided, or it can be beneficial to both parties. I am sure that everyone in my personal learning networks may not consider me a part of theirs, but that does not make my learning experience any less important. Think about it. Most of the resources used for EDM310 are videos, and there is no possible way for the person who created those videos to know how far their videos might travel, but that does not stop us from using the sources for information.
It is up to us to make our voices known, to branch out and not only watch the videos and view the information, but to ENGAGE in the information. That is how PLNs are formed, through engaging, interacting, and involving. I highly doubt Dr. Will would have even known who I was if it were not for me trying to expand my network.
Who will be the first additions to my PLN?
As far as my first additions to my personal learning network go, I have already begun to make them. Through my involvement both online and in person with my peers, all of whom have the same career goal as me, I already have an advantage. Now, it is just up to me to keep the network alive. Continue to research, motivate, and create. I have already begun to use the site Symbaloo as a dashboard to keep up with my PLN. I use Blogger to post weekly and comment on various student and educator blogsites. I also am beginning to use Twitter to connect with my peers, stay informed, and follow my influences.
Prior to EDM310, I never thought to be so active in my pursuit of becoming a 21st Century Teacher, but now I can honestly say I am enjoying how much of a critical thinker it is encouraging me to become, as well as how it challenges me to stay current and active in my field. I hope my classmates are also keeping up with the work and learning how to use PLNs to enhance their future careers, as well.
This week in EDM310, my group and I learned about Project Based Learning and The Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core). Both of these topics were quite unfamiliar to me as we began this project, so I guess you can infer from our presentation that I learned quite a bit! I hope you all enjoy viewing the presentation that my group created for this week's assignment, as well as learn a few things that you might not have known before. I look forward to your feedback.
On September 6, 2014, Ms. Buyuksimkesyan made a post with a creative idea for the first week of school. In the post, she tells her plan to get students to mingle and engage in conversation with each other by starting an activity with post-it notes and poster boards. The activity basically allows students to give an introduction of themselves through pictures and adjectives to describe themselves. The activity concludes with students getting a partner and allowing the partner to introduce them.
I felt that this idea was a great way to get students to open up to each other and to me as an educator. I thanked Ms. Buyuksimkesyan for sharing and told her that I definitely plan to implement this idea into my classroom. I love this concept because it gives students a sense of pride in their different backgrounds and uniqueness. This is a very creative way to get students to engage in the classroom, as well as get to know their classmates.
Cool Sites and Tools for ESL & EFL Learners
On September 10, 2014, I read another post on the blog site. The second blog post was a very resourceful post that contained many sites for students and teachers that help with increasing English vocabulary words. I visited the sites that she mentioned, but my favorite sites were 5 Minute English and One Word. In my comment, I told Ms. Buyuksimkesyan that I enjoyed her post, I explained the struggle that my younger sister had trying to learn English, and I thanked her for providing such great resources. For a student trying to learn the English language, it can be extremely difficult. I found the post extremely informative and helpful for teachers that may have students with a smaller vocabulary than most. I also love the fact that she incorporated Pinterest into her list of sites because it was a very familiar site to me and probably a large number of other educators and future educators. I never thought to use it to actually organize ways to teach my students. GENIUS!
According to the website's description, "Bing is a search engine that brings together the best of search and people in your social networks to help you spend less time searching and more time doing." In my opinion, Bing can be adequately compared to the services of both Yahoo and Google, although it is much smaller, as well as less popular. Personally, I prefer Google because I have been using the site for a number of years, and many of the services that it offers is familiar to me. However, I am open to using Bing from time to time. I enjoyed how fast the site produced results and the design of the site, as well.
This search engine is best used when searching for jobs. According to the site, users can "find millions of jobs from thousands of company web sites, job boards and newspapers. one search. all jobs. Indeed." This was certainly the case when I was on the job hunt this past year. Not only did I find thousands of job listings in my small community, but I was able to get updates on the job even after I had applied. In addition to having plenty of job options, it is also fairly easy to use. To find jobs, all you have to do is type in your zip code and what type of job you would like and the search engine automatically finds jobs in the area you listed.
According to the site, "craigslist provides local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, personals, services, local community, and events." When you go on the site, you will see that it is organized into categories. From discussion forums to event listings, just like the description states, craiglist can be used for a number of things. In 2009 and 2010, Craiglist went mainstream after receiving a bad reputation for its role in several robberies and killings from its escort and massage services, however, it is still widely used and accepted.
In addition to being one of my absolute favorite websites, Yummly is very popular around the world for those that like to cook and/or look up food recipes. Using the site is as easy as typing in a simple food and being given several recipes for it, or having a particular meal in mind and finding many different ways to prepare it. Although the site recommends that users join, it is not necessary; however, in order to enjoy the full uses of the site, one must create a login.
According to its description, "Wolframalpha is a computational knowledge engine or answer engine developed by Wolfram Research." I find this site most useful when trying to find mathematical solutions. I found this site very useful as a high school student in harder classes such as Algebra 2, Trigonometry, and Geometry. I like the fact that the site breaks the solutions down part by part.
This site is useful in finding out how to use an item or how to master a certain skill or trade. Whenever I have a question about how something works, I use this site. It is easy to use and produces meaningful articles with step by step instructions, which sometimes include a video.
One of the most popular sites around the globe, Youtube is a video site that offers tutorials, comedy, informative information, and just about any video category you can think of. It has the potential to be used for bad, but for the most part, I feel that Youtube has been used for many positive things (including resources for this class)
Just as the site's name suggests, Dictionary.com is an online search engine for dictionary definitions. If you have a question about a word meaning, usage, or part of speech, this site is the place to go. I enjoy using Dictionary.com for quick reference. The site also has a mobile page and an app for on the go referencing.
Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?
After reading this week's assignment for my fourth blog post for EDM310 which is on questions, the topic immediately captured my attention! While pondering the thoughts of what questions do educators ask and how do we ask them, it instantly brought back memories of my own elementary years. I began to think about my third grade teacher Mrs. Whalen and how she made sure to ask us effective questions and the many tactics she used to ensure that we understood what she was teaching. Then, my mind drifted to a not so effective method used by another teacher, who shall remain nameless. From this I concluded that not only is it vital that educators ask questions throughout the day, but it is extremely important to make sure that our students comprehend what we are asking and that each student can effectively respond to our questions.
"Most of us have been exposed to the questioning strategies researched by Mary Budd Rowe. She proposed that teachers simply ask a question, such as "What do you call it when an insect kills itself?" pause for at least three seconds, and then say a student's name: "Sally." By doing this, all the students will automatically be thinking about an answer and only after another child's name is said will they sigh in relief because they were not chosen."
I agree fully with this idea proposed in the article. Before viewing this article, when I thought of my elementary teacher's questioning tactics, this is what stood out in my mind. Of course, there were times when the selection for questions were not random. However, the random selection is something that I think every student can say that they remember. For some students, it was the memory when he or she had their tiny fingers crossed and the tiny voice inside their head was screaming,"PICK ME. PICK ME!" Then for some students, there may be not so fond memories of hoping to be a chameleon that was able to change to the color of the wall in order to not get chosen. However, no matter which memory comes to mind, I am positive that most students will agree that they are familiar with this style of questioning. I feel that this method has been very effective in making sure that students knew key concepts in the past, and it is still very relevant for learning in the future.
Asking Questions to Improve Learning
This resource provided many valuable contributions to my thoughts on questions in the classroom. I love the strategies for asking questions that it provided, as well as the tips towards improving and producing effective student responses. A few of the points that I took note of were the concepts of avoiding leading questions, asking a mix of questions, waiting for students to think and formulate thoughts, and asking students to clarify vague comments. I feel that all of the concepts listed in the article are important, but to me those four are extremely important when it comes to comprehension for students.
"Consequently, students come to believe that their role is only to listen, rather than to become active participants in learning."- Kenneth Chuska
In addition to the resources listed by Dr. Strange, I did some browsing of my own on the topic of questions being asked in the classroom and I stumbled across this Youtube video. I decided to watch the video in its entirety, and it provided some valid points! One of my favorite messages that I received from the video was the quote by Kenneth Chuska and a more condensed version of the QFT method for questions.
One of the key points that stuck in my brain was to always be specific. This made me think of not only being specific when making suggestions, but to be more specific in my blog posts. I plan to add more detail and more links to other sites that support my ideas, as well as use more resources other than just those assigned to our class. By doing so, I hope to make my classmates job of peer editing my blog much easier, as well as, hopefully set an great example of what an exemplary blog should look like.
In addition to being specific, another useful thing that I learned was to definitely stay positive when commenting on another person's blog. Of course, in a perfect world, everyone would agree to everything that each other thought and hold hands singing Hakuna Matata, but the reality is, some people just think differently than others and they should not be harshly criticized or ridiculed for that. Some people may also be at more of a disadvantage than others, so I plan to keep in mind that no one has the same background as anyone else, nor do I know what someone may be going through. Hopefully many others take on this mindset when they view the blogs of others.
After viewing the video Mr. Dancealot, I can honestly say that though the video was meant to humor, the underlying idea behind the video was shown in a clever way. Though his name was Professor Dancealot, the instructor of a dance course did not, in fact, dance a lot! He simply stood at a podium and taught his students how to dance through lengthy lectures. The main point I gained from the video is that as a 21st century teacher, I must be flexible! Lecturing can be a great source of information, but just as this video implies, sometimes the best way to learn something is not always through listening to an extensive lecture. One of my favorite quotes is one that states, “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.” With students, the idea is the same. As future teachers in a rapidly evolving technological world, we must make sure that we are giving our students the information they need that they can use to not only advance for a moment in time, but for the rest of their lives.
Teaching in the 21st Century
I. Virtually Limitless Information A. Teachers are no longer sole sources of information. 1. Blogs, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. 2. Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace B. "Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge--we are the filter." II. Becoming “The Filter” A. Teaching students valuable skills 1. Focus on teaching students to analyze, synthesize, and validate information, etc. B. “Facts and content OR skills?” 1. Solving real-life problems requires more than just a search engine 2. Teach student to use technology to their advantage by creating, applying, understanding, etc. III. Professionalism A. Show students how to avoid crowdsourcing, plagiarism, pirating, etc. B. Focus on teaching students to build technological skills while maintaining professionalism C. Rethink how we could use Facebook, twitter, cellphones, etc to view and discuss data, share resources, or collaborate IV. 21st Century Teachers A.Use technology the same way we used paper and pencil B. Create Relevant, Challenging, and Engaging Lessons C. “Entertainment is not the same as engagement.” D. It all starts with the teacher E. Tips
As a teacher, Roberts feels that we should keep up with the times. He states that students have “virtually limitless information” and that teachers are no longer the sole sources of information. This means that we must not only provide them with resources, but we must instill the knowledge of how to make wise decisions when using new technology. Not only should teachers teach students to become technology savvy, but we should teach students to use this technology to their advantage, instead of downfall. Personally, I feel nervous about incorporating so many new forms of technology into the classroom because it feels like the more technology advances, the less privacy we all have. It can be a bit nerve-racking, but I am up for the challenge. I see this affecting my future career as a teacher positively; however, I definitely still have my doubts.
The Networked Student
In such a technologically advanced generation, students are being taught to stray away from previous norms when it comes to education. In the video "The Networked Student," the idea of connectivism is discussed. The video uses the character “21st Century Student” to show the many possibilities when it comes to learning. Not only is the networked student able to take a more independent approach to learning, but the possibilities are endless. By being taught to use technological tools correctly, the student is able to come across several opportunities that may not have come about had it not been for the resources that networking provided. From listening to other expert professor's podcasts on iTunes U, to bookmarking sources with Delicious, and skyping with filmmakers, the student is able to stumble across some of the best resources possible.
So why does the networked student even need a teacher?
The answer is simple: to teach. The teacher is there to provide the student with knowledge and resources to get started. The teacher helps the student learn how to take advantage of these opportunities and build their network. Personally, I believe networking is a great thing. These days it is not just not about who you know or what you know, but instead it is about being able to use those things to your advantage. I would love to see more connectivism in the educational system, however, I do feel as though we should still remain somewhat personal. Technology has its pros and cons, so in order to be successful, we should have a balance.
Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts
In the video “Harness Your Student’s Digital Smarts,” Vicki Davis discussed the importance of media literacy in education. The thesis, or main idea of Davis’ video was that despite where someone is located, it is possible to be connected with the world in numerous ways because of social media and that we can all learn from each other and through exploration. In fact, through the use of blogging and other networking skills, Davis states that her students are now teaching her things. She even comments that she did not even know how to do a particular skill until her students showed her that day. “Where children have trouble is when you only have paper and only pencil. Only certain students are going to succeed,” says Davis. Davis allows her students to work independently and in groups. She also does not explain everything to students; however, she expects them to look certain things up and use their resources. This increases their media literacy.
I personally agree with Davis’ argument because I believe that media literacy is one of the most important things for a 21st century teacher to stress in their classrooms. Technology is here to stay, so by teaching students to utilize technology for their own benefit will only help them more in the long run.
Who’s Ahead in the Learning Race?
Honestly, I find it funny that “who is ahead” is still a question! When it comes to technology, without a doubt, the children in elementary schools could run circles around undergraduate and graduate students by the time they have reached middle school. When I was in elementary, my classes were still trying to effectively use a floppy disk and computers were the speed of a turtle. Now a days, it seems like children are being raised with an iPad in their hands, and the technology that is constantly being improved is only going to get better and better with their generation. In order to keep up, teachers are having to modernize their teaching styles to incorporate this, as well. I feel that the improvements in technology have helped make things easier, however, it may be hard to keep things personal these days. It seems as though a computer screen is shoved in my face every time I look around, and sometimes I miss when things were not so high tech. I do think it is a great idea to invest in laptops for elementary students. I would suppose that they will be much more prepared for higher learning in high school and college.
Flipping the Classroom
Yes, flipping the classroom is entirely new to me. I have never heard of this concept. I do feel that this approach will be quite useful to me because I am sure that many schools may begin to practice this technique to measure the success rate. I personally would have hated this as a student because I was quite lazy in my younger years; however, as a teacher, I feel that this idea is GENIUS. I think it is a great way to get students to branch out and become more independent. Independent learning can be a great approach when done correctly, so I feel that by allowing students to work at their own pace and explore resources for themselves, that it will allow them to use more brainpower than ever.
Bringing the Locker Room Into the Classroom
After reading the article about "coaching in the classroom", I think of this tactic as a normal thing instead of something new and innovative. In previous years, I remember as a high school senior, many of my teachers "coached" us. We were always active participants because of my several teacher's true concerns for each of us feeling free to speak our opinions. In my classes where this tactic was not used, I can remember that classroom participation was significantly lower! I plan to definitely engage my students into the lesson as much as possible. Providing stimulation for each students mind is essential, and I want my classroom to accomplish this. I have noticed that as a college students, a few of my professors "coach" in the the classroom, however, majority just lecture. I am sure that most of my classmates agree that our favorite classes are usually those that encourage us all to participate, as well as those that challenge our minds.
1. What are the things (if any) you have heard about EDM310?
Being that I am a transfer student and I do not know anyone, I can honestly say that I have heard absolutely nothing about EDM310. I am going into this class with an open mind and free from any bias. This is one of my first classes at South Alabama, and I definitely plan to use it as a learning experience.
2. What fears (if any) do you have about EDM310?
The one fear that I do have about EDM310 is that I will slip behind on my work. I know there are many ways to prevent this fear from becoming a reality; however, this fear is still very real in my eyes. I have decided to take a more optimistic approach and to get a head start by looking ahead on classwork, as well as homework. My goal is also to make sure that I post well ahead of time, so that if any issues come about, I can find a solution before I am potentially behind. I plan to keep up with deadlines and stay ahead, while still producing quality work. A fear is only a fear if you are afraid. I am not afraid of failure, I am afraid of not reaching my full potential. This semester, I plan to conquer this fear.
3. Compare and contrast EDM310 with other courses you have taken in college or high school.
In comparison to my high school courses, EDM310 seems quite a bit more advanced with its use of social media as a platform and use of technology in general. As a student coming from a small high school in Mississippi, I can honestly say that technology is not my strong point. My high school had a decent amount of technology in place for use, but never did we explore the uses of social media, such as blogging because it was against the rules of our school district. We did not even have access to an e-learning site for teachers and students because the school district prohibited access when it was learned that students used the former site that was in place as a means to chat throughout the day with each other during class times.
I do believe that my former high school is incorporating more social media platforms such as twitter into curriculum because of how rapidly social media such as twitter has begun to take over; however, when I was still in school, there was hardly any use of our technology, unless it was for a powerpoint presentation or to type an assignment for a class.
In contrast, when I attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, majority of my classes had updated pages on a site that is similar to USA’s e-learning site, Sakai. On this site, we were able to email and chat with instructors, as well as other students; however, this also does not seem as vast of an exploration as EDM310. EDM310 seems as if it will be much more advanced than this. I noticed that we will be setting up a twitter account, as well as blogging each week and emailing quite a bit as well. Hopefully, this will prepare me for my career as a teacher, seeing as how technology is beginning to play a much larger role in the classroom than it once did.
4. What do you think will be the most difficult thing for you in EDM310?
The most difficult thing in EDM310 that I can foresee now will be html code. I am up for a challenge with everything else, but my html coding needs some serious work! I remember back in the early stages of my social media use, the site Myspace was quite popular. Back then I knew several people skilled in the use of html codes, but I was not one of those people. I was very interested in html coding because of the ability to make intricate and very unique personalized pages from knowing how to use the codes properly. However, no one ever taught me how to code, and I labeled myself as someone who would never be html savvy, so I depended on my friend’s help with making my page one of a kind. I have been researching html more since beginning EDM310, so I plan to try my hardest to make my page worth viewing. I just hope this attempt is successful!
5. What is the best way for you to address this “most difficult” aspect of EDM310?
My best way to address my most difficult aspect is to tackle it head on. I have done the research on html coding, and I know several experienced html coders, so there are no excuses. I plan to not only be html savvy by the end of EDM310, but to be efficient in as many technological subjects as this class covers. With the help of my classmates and friends, I am sure that I will resolve this issue in no time. I am definitely more willing now than ever to learn html, especially since my grade is depending on it.
6. What questions do you still have about EDM310? What ideas do you have about how to address those questions?
I do not have any questions about EDM310. I am just ready to kick this year off and get into all the interesting material that we will be covering.
Hello Everyone! Welcome to my EDM310 blog page. My name is Candace Harris, and I am a junior transfer student at the University of South Alabama. I am a 2012 graduate of Moss Point High School located in Moss Point, Mississippi, where I currently reside. I am also a 2014 graduate of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where I received my Associate's of Arts this past spring. After obtaining my Associate's degree, I rediscovered my passion for learning, and I decided to continue my education at the University of South Alabama. Now, I am extremely determined to set a great example for my younger brother and sister, who are both middle school students that look up to me. My older sister has already shown me an excellent example by obtaining her Bachelor's of Science degree, now I plan to follow in her footsteps as I obtain my degree. A few of major interests of mine are health and fitness, hair and skin care, and spirituality. I also enjoy art and poetry so my head is usually in a book or on my phone on Pinterest viewing new creations. I consider myself to be very family oriented, and I make sure that I do whatever I can to make things easier on them.
Since childhood, I have always known that I was born to lead and that no matter what path that I chose to take, I would do great things. However, I did not know until my midway through my freshman year of college that the path that I would choose would be what it is now. When I began college, I thought that my destiny was to become a doctor; however, after a rough freshman year as a Pre-Med major, I was at a breaking point. I had job shadowed behind doctors, as well as taken math and science classes, and I just knew that the medical field was not for me! My gpa was decent enough for the medical field, and I could pass the classes; however, I knew deep down in my heart that being a doctor was not for me. So, I began to soul search, and after much searching, I felt that I had finally found the perfect career for me: an elementary educator. Now, the problem I faced was telling people. I was quite nervous to tell my parents because all while growing up they encouraged me to pursue a medical career, and I felt that choosing teaching would only disappoint them. So, as my sophomore year began, I finally broke the news to my family, and to my surprise, they were very supportive and still motivate me to this day to chase after my goal of being an elementary teacher. Now with their support, I plan to finish my last two years strong with a high grade point average, as well as a great reputation that will help me in my future path as an educator.
Currently, I am a K-6 Elementary Education/Special Education major, and I am beyond excited to see what the future holds for me in the field! I feel that in the 21st century, passion, patience, and sincerity are the most important qualities that an educator should have. Think about it, who wants a teacher that lacks passion for knowledge and does not want to better his or herself for the sake of their students? I think no one does. Educators should always be willing to step outside of the box. The more innovative, the better. Students now a days are not being taught the same narrow minded way that a lot of the previous generations were brought up with. They are branching out more and more ant I feel that teachers in this day and age must follow some trends, in order to continue to impact students.
As far as passion goes, my passion lies in special education, and I would love to get better at working with special needs students. My younger brother is a special needs child who suffers from Mitochondrial disease, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Autism. I would hate to think that his teacher did not care enough about making sure that he soaks in all the information that he can. After being educated in a school system in which so many of my teachers lacked passion, I see the importance in truly loving what you do. I plan to be a teacher that constantly improves; there is always room for improvement, and if not, then I will make room, especially for my skills with special education students. My brother is definitely my biggest motivation, and I cannot wait to teach other children that deserve as much love and attention as he does! Special education definitely is my soft spot, but the truth is, I love children in general because they truly are the future. I am that one person who goes to a park and gets all the kids involved in a huge game of tag or hide-and-go-seek, and I plan to always be that person. I hope that through this class, my classmates and I are able to gain knowledge that not only helps us pass with an A, but that we gain knowledge that we can utilize to better our student's future educational experiences. I hope this semester is a great one and I can not wait to begin more posting.