Creating Checklists!

Since the second I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I made up my mind on what I wanted my students to learn from my class. Teaching these main three things are very important because they are things they will need for the rest of their life. They each help build a strong child into a successful adult of tomorrow. I have attached two Piktocharts and one checklist.

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Assessment Replacing Testing
1.   Reduce the number of tests and increase assessment
2.   Give students a break from classwork
3.   Provide open ended questions
4.   Provide students with the opportunity to flourish in something they enjoy
5.   Create an environment where students put their peers before themselves

 

Equality vs equity

  • Equality is sameness while equity is fairness, being fair is the right thing to do:

Students must learn that being equal is not always being fair. There will always be situations where a student may need extra tools to help them move on. Others may not find it to be ‘fair’ if they do not need it. It is difficult for children to understand that sometimes not because they do not need something does not mean another person does not it either. Some students may need more tools than others, to achieve the same goal (ex. Technology, assistance for ELL students, accommodations for specific needs).

  • Encourage students to help the peers in need

This important for students to do on their own, we can only encourage them. Helping others gives us a very good feeling in return. Sometimes a student will not understand the teacher, and this is when a peer can be of much help. If there is a student that needs help but the teacher can’t get to him for any reason and another student can help, it would really help the teacher.

  • Hold equal expectations for every student, even if some need extra help

Lowering our expectations for a specific group of students can make them feel less of a student. They all need to feel that they are equally responsible for achieving certain expectations.

  • Create a classroom environment that includes all the students without excluding students for any reason

I do not like to see any students left us because of the way they look, what they believe in, or any other reason. I want them to integrate every student because it is only fair for everyone to enjoy the moment.

  • Motivate parents to be involved in the student’s education

Motivating parents to play a role in their child’s education can greatly benefit the student in always doing the right thing. The student will then want to be there for any student who may not have anyone to stand up for them.

  • Create an environment where students put their peers before themselves

I want to create an environment where all the students look out for each other and care for each other. Before they say or do anything that may affect another student they must think twice before doing something that may hurt another student.

Dive into a diverse classroom

  • Zero Rejection, every student will receive the same opportunity

I want to be the one classroom where students go to get away from any negativity they may be facing. Every student in my class will be given the same opportunity to perform an objective as any other student.

  • Person-first language: we are humans with abilities before a disability

In a classroom where there may be a student with a noticeable need, every student in the class should be taught about the condition. A student will be identified as a student and then their disability. We all have abilities and those are the ones everyone should recognize not the disabilities.

  • Learning styles are as different as every student is to each other

As a teacher, we are to learn the different ways our students learn so that we can include them in our lessons. Our job is to challenge students but not make it too hard to the point that they give up.

  • The lesson should always be responsive to students’ needs

If we are aware of specific needs of our students, we should modify our lessons so that the can participate. Modifying our lessons is giving the students who are usually left out, the opportunity to join in.

  • Inclusion, every student should feel like they belong, welcomed and invited

Encourage students to include each other in activities, games, projects, etc. This will make the students happy, knowing that they are not being left out. The students should be surrounded by the warm feeling of invitation and a place they feel free and welcomed.

  • Every week or two, focus on a well-known person with a disability and learn about their hardships and successes

This will encourage and motivate students with special needs in a whole other level. I have seen this implemented in a classroom I observed before and it had great outcomes.

  • Set rules on how people should be treated while challenging any negative attitudes

Do not permit the negative attitudes, rude comments/ jokes, etc. in the classroom. Teaching students to not do this will more likely extend the use to outside of school. Instead of being told what not to do, it would be nice if they had rules and a list filled with ways they should be treating others.

Assessment is meant to be better than testing

  • Reduce the amount of testing and increase the amount of assessment

Instead of overwhelming students with constant testing, substitute it with assessment. Check how the students as they are working, do not wait until the end to test them.

  • Give students the opportunity to take breaks to break up a long lesson and ask them to reflect

This will give students the opportunity to stretch, let out the giggles and conversations, so that when their break is over they are focused. This has been proven to reduce the amount of wasted time on unnecessary tasks.

  • Provide open ended questions throughout the day to estimate the students’ understanding

Giving the students open ended questions, is making them reevaluate and reflect.  They will analyze their possible answer with not just one correct answer. This is great to check students’ understanding.

  • Provide students the opportunity to flourish in something they enjoy then assess them (art, acting, music, exploring using science, history, etc.)

Allow time for students to work on something they really enjoy and not grade them on the final project. Take the outcome in consideration for the grade, but focus more on what the students had to do to achieve the end results.

  • When working problems out, make sure students know how to get to the answer

Like stated before, this is very important. A teacher should be more concerned about the student knowing how to work out a problem, rather than the actual answer they got. If they worked out the problem correctly but got the answer wrong, then maybe they missed a clue somewhere.

  • At the end of the day have students reflect, write any questions or comments on a paper and put in a private box

Doing this every day, will allow us to see if the students understood the concept for the day or if they need help. This allows them to ask questions without being put on the spot when asking.

 

 

 

Barrett, L. (2013). Seamless teaching: Navigating the inclusion spectrum. Teaching Tolerance, 52(43), 53-55.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/promoting-respect-for-cul_b_1187683.html

http://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/classroom-equality-diversity/

Reflection on teaching

  1. Why teach? I have been asked this question many times in my life. I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. Many other careers have come into mind, but they usually come and then go. I used to play teacher with my sister (which she hated), and the more I played it, the more I fell in love with it. I want to do special education because it is never the same routine, every day is a new day, if you have a bad day, there is always tomorrow. I feel that students with disabilities tend to value life with a different perspective than we do. They enjoy the little they have and love life to the fullest. In the beginning, it may be a little complicated for them to understand their disability, but is our job as educators to teach them to love their disability because they still have other abilities. We go day by day complaining about life even when we have it all and even more than what we need. People with disabilities are sometimes deprived from certain things but that only motivates them and makes them push forward. I want to have that type of motivation day to day. Teaching is more of a feeling, you can truly impact the future of the children in multiple ways. The future of the students in your classroom become your responsibility. I have the love, passion and patience for teaching, it is what I love and what I want to do.
  2. Do I believe all children can learn?

Yes, I believe all children can learn. Disabilities may vary from mild to severe, but learning a new skill or a new topic regardless if it is educational or not, it is something new learned.

 

  1. Do I have high expectations for myself and others?

Yes, high expectations to me is setting goals, setting goals is achievement. It is important to set high expectations so that the students try to better themselves every day to reach and meet those expectations.

 

  1.  Am I dedicated to learning the necessary content knowledge and teaching skills?

Yes, when I graduate I know that I will feel like I have learned everything that I need to know but I know it will not be that way when I begin my teaching career.

 

  1. Can I easily see myself as a professional?

Yes, teaching to me is one of the most professional jobs there can be. So many people are depending on us to educate these children and teach them what they need to know to succeed.

 

  1. Do I look forward to subscribing to professional journals?

Yes, it is interesting to see different people’s point of view.

 

  1. Do I look forward to participating in professional organizations for teachers?

Yes, I feel that this is a great way to learn and build a community with other teachers.

 

  1. Am I willing to uphold high ethical and professional standards for myself?

Yes, every job has rules and regulations. As for educators, we have to uphold the ethical and professional standards.

 

  1. Am I willing to learn new things and to change?

Yes, this what teaching is about. We will always learn new things and we have to be able to take risks if it is for the benefit of our students.

 

  1. Am I willing to devote myself to ongoing professional development as a teacher?

Yes, as educators, we will continue to grow by trying new things and develop as a great teacher.

 

  1. Do I see myself as a lifelong learner?

Yes, regardless of what job or position we hold, we will never stop learning. You are never too old to learn something new.

 

  1. Am I willing to continue my teacher education to improve my knowledge and skills?

Yes, like before, we never stop learning.

 

  1. Am I committed to basing my classroom practice on education research?

Unsure, I believe that sometimes teachers must step away from the research to try something they feel would work best for a specific class.

 

  1. Do I want to spend my days in close contact and interaction with children and young people?

Yes, but I also believe that this close contact should be kept with the parents of the students we will be teaching. Communication is the key.

 

  1. Are teachers the kind of people with whom I want to work?

Yes, I love to see other people’s ideas and the way they work.

 

  1. Am I willing to invest time and energy in professional collaborations?

Unsure, sometimes I do not to work in groups with others, I admit that sometimes I like to be my own boss. But if I know that this is involving my students I am all in for it.

 

  1. Am I willing to do more than what is “required” of me?

Yes, this is what being a teacher is all about, we are to go above and beyond for our students. Our world will officially revolve around our students and it is all about them.

 

  1. Am I willing to give more time to students than a teaching contract may specify?

Yes, like mentioned before it is about the student not about us.

 

  1. Am I willing to communicate my teaching philosophy and practices to parents and others?

Yes, parents should ALWAYS be aware of what their children are doing and learning in school. I would love to show parents and guide them with what we are doing in class so that they can do it at home with their children and help them on their homework.

 

  1. Am I willing to work at developing parent-school and community-school partnerships?

Yes, parents are the closest thing to producing a successful student. They know the student better than we ever will. Building a relationship with the parents may help us guide their child better.

  1. Am I willing to teach children of all cultures and racial and ethnic backgrounds?

Yes, it is important to teach our students to be diversity. I have a theory that children are not born racist they are made that way. If we introduce them to different cultures, who knows, they may end up loving diversity.

  1. Do I have the energy, sense of humor, enthusiasm, and outgoingness teachers need?

Yes, when I am around adult I may sometimes shy away but when I am around children I feel motivated and enthusiastic about teaching them.

 

  1. Am I a flexible person and able to deal with situations in highly active environments?

Yes, I have had plenty of flexible and not flexible teachers. We all have things going on in our life and it is important to understand that even children may face difficulties and we must be flexible towards that.

 

  1. Do I have good organizational, managerial, and leadership skills?

Yes, I feel that an organized classroom is a classroom where students can come in and be ready to learn.

 

  1. Do I have a strong sense of self-efficacy as a teacher?

Yes, I love to finish what I start.

 

  1. Am I willing to undertake periods of apprenticeship as a preservice and novice teacher?

Yes, we should all do this because we have to learn the basics before mastering.

 

  1. Am I willing to undergo periodic formal evaluations of my teaching performance?

Yes, I believe this is something all educators should do even if it is a little uncomfortable.

 

  1. Am I willing to explore many alternatives in finding jobs opportunities as a teacher?

Yes, with my special education certification I would love to try different positions to see where I am needed the most.

 

  1. Will I be willing to relocate to take advantage of teaching opportunities?

Unsure, I tend to fall in love with a job position and sticking to it, even if it means turning down better opportunities.

 

  1. Can I initially meet my needs on a teacher’s starting salary and benefits?

Unsure, I have many plans but also things to pay off. My boyfriend is entering the fire department and we are still trying to work around that.

 

  1. Will I be satisfied with a salary based on educational attainment and years of service?

Yes, I have always wanted to be a teacher and the job itself is more rewarding than the money will ever be.

 

Understanding/Skill High

Level of Understanding/Skill

Medium

Level of Understanding/Skill

Low

Level of Understanding/Skill

My understanding of:
The importance of equity I feel that before this class I did not really know how important equity is in a classroom until now.
The effects of differential treatments I am not that familiarized with the different types of treatments there are available.
Student abilities and learning styles I understand the concept but I feel that in this area we never stop learning something new.
Student exceptionalities I feel that I could work more on this area, even after taking the exceptionalities class.
Culture, race, and ethnicity I understand this very well and have an idea of how to implement it in a classroom.
Culturally diverse classrooms I understand this.
Multicultural education After this course, my knowledge in this field has expanded.
Language diversity I would like to understand this better, but we do not really discuss this in any of my classes.
Gender differences I understand this concept
Social class differences I know this can affect a student’s success but I am not as familiar with it as I would like to be.
Sexual orientation differences I would like to understand this better.
My ability to:
Treat students fairly I feel that I do treat students fairly and this is very important in a classroom.
Show respect for all students This is one of the most important aspects of teaching. The teacher has to demonstrate respect in order to receive it.
Work with students with disabilities I think this is one of my strongest areas of comfort.
Work with gifted students I understand this but I am not sure I would guide the students properly. I need to grow in this area.
Work with racially & culturally diverse I would love to have a classroom filled with different cultures and different races. I feel that I would be able to bring students outside the box.
Work with language-diverse students I need to grow on this area but I feel that am comfortable enough to build basics for a language diverse student.
Work with gender differences I am comfortable in this area.

A PLN is a Personal Learning Network, which is built up of other educators with resources who are meant to help you and guide you. It is a field where people interact to help one another or to just express an idea. This tool uses social media and technology to communicate, collaborate while being connected with colleagues anywhere in the world at any time. This helps us share resources and ideas from people of different fields, experiences and ideas. The goal of a PLN is to improve teaching skills and help the academic performance of students. For this class, we created a twitter account for the use of this course. I had trouble in the beginning using it, but I eventually caught on, and now I enjoy it. I have been able to look at other people’s ideas. I have followed a number of people in the list provided and they share great ideas with us. I have found it to be very interesting and useful. Once I become a teacher I plan on furthering that. It is a great way to communicate and maintain connection. When we created our twitter accounts, I honestly did not see a point in them on the beginning but now my perspective has changed.

How do teachers grow in their craft?

Have you ever heard the saying “sometimes a teacher can learn more from a student than the student can learn from a teacher” (unknown)? I believe that teaching is filled with new experiences and every day is a learning experience. You never stop learning and being in the teaching field we all know that.

The best thing we do for our students is getting to know them, how they learn, what they like, what they dislike and how they think. I had a teacher in 4th grade, who she thought she was teaching us respect and she only called us by our last name and never bothered to learn our first name. A teacher has to be happy about their jobs and actually reflect that and they also have to have a passion for what they do. Like in the Lesson Study Japan video, Mr. Seiyama says that he believes that in order for students to be happy about learning, the teacher has to be happy about teaching the class. It is also important to have resources available to help the educators such as materials, people and assistant from the administration.

The high leverage practice #19 makes an important point, a teacher has to learn to teach which requires time and practice. It states that “teachers study their own teaching and that of their colleagues in order to improve their understanding of the complex interactions between teachers, students, and content and of the impact of the particular instructional approaches”.

As educators, we should not be afraid to take risks, it is like the phrase “without a risk, there is no reward”. Sometimes a new idea for the classroom may be beneficial but if the teacher is afraid to break the routine and try something new, then that is something the educator will be cutting back on. Maintaining a flow or rhythm in the classroom, using materials and technology appropriately, planning according to student ability, and evaluating classroom instruction are all important factors in a learning environment.

Successful educators have a sense of purpose, they are motivated and have goals for all of the students. Students are like sponges (we have heard this before), they absorb everything around them. Kids will pick up on anything, including words used or behaviors performed. Setting objectives for the students is important because this allows students to know what is expected of them without having to guess. Students are like our children, we have to learn when to listen to them or when to ignore them (this is like the children back at home). Some children seek a little attention and sometimes they may need it to move on but there will be times were the educator just needs to ignore it.

For the students praise matters, they love to hear anything good we have to say about them and they love to brag about it with their friends. This important to do it in a smartly manner, because students need encouragement and there will be times where they have not used their full potential. You do not want to create an environment where there is no praise or recognition but you do want to create an environment were any praise is valuable to the student. There is also over doing the praise, and I have done this before and it did not work out the best way. The student feel excited in the beginning but like any new trick, it gets old.

I strongly believe that there are good teachers as there are bad teachers. Sadly teachers are labeled good or bad mainly by the students and their parents. A new teacher usually comes in freshly made, with all of these great new ideas and experiments they want to perform. I once read something that said that usually these teachers were disappointed at how different things actually were compared to what they had learned and studied for years. Usually these teachers have to make changes and improve in many areas to best educate the students. This is where they begin to settle as good or bad teachers. Being a good teacher can go a very long way, I am sure we all have at least one favorite teacher, or one teacher we will never forget about and then the worst one we have had. I have 4 people I am very thankful for, 2 of them were counselors. One of the teachers was my second-grade teacher, she helped me get through the school year by always keeping in touch after I found my baby sisters body. She helped counsel me, helped guide my family through the hardships and I shall always be thankful for meeting her. My high school education teacher went above and beyond to get to know me. Until this day I try to visit her one a month and we catch up, it is very nice to have someone else to fall back on. When my dad passed away I was an incoming fifth grader with a mom who had to step up her game and work two jobs. Our first Christmas was to be spent alone and without gifts because we could not afford them. Our school counselor organized a Christmas dinner party and invited us. We were able to make it (they made my mom take a day off) they had gifts for us which consisted of clothes, jackets, shoes and gift cards. It is something that I shall always cherish. When I moved on to middle school I became a victim of bullying but this counselor was able to pull me out. He always checked in on me, he looked at my grades and made sure that y basic needs were met. We never forget the good teachers we have and we tend to hold on to fond memories.

How can schools be more equitable?

Through the years, our people have faced different issues, from segregation and discrimination to the struggle of wanting equality. Due to the fact that many years ago schools were segregated and children of color never held the same rights to an education as the white children, now society has set that barrier. This barrier has separated everything from race, ethnicity, economic status, and education. Children who come from wealthier families will score approximately 88 points higher on the PISA reading test (Programme for International Student Assessment). In this link, you can see the different scoring between different countries. This allows us to see the equity between boys and girls, immigration status, and social backgrounds. It does not mean that the wealthier one is, the smarter they are. Schools that are not funded as much, lack the extra materials and help students need. The more money a school has the more it can provide for the students. Extra classes, extra tutoring help, new books, technology are all helpful tools that not many students have access too. If schools all received the same amount of funding as every other school, it does not mean that everything will be better. Depending on what the students’ needs are, some school will need more funding than others to provide and meet the needs of the most students possible.

Equity is something that takes time to accomplish and it will not make everyone happy. Schools need to provide the students with tools they need to be successful, even though some may need more than others. The most important factors also need to be taken into account, such as the long run benefits, academic benefits, price and how many students will this help. For example, a high school’s math and science department need new textbooks because the ones they have now are outdates, old and there is new research and techniques. On the other hand, 12 students just created an after school chess club but they need funding, but there is only so much money. This means that if the chess club gets funded, there would not be enough money to buy books, which will benefit more students, which one is more likely to get funded? Or the school could also be equal and give the chess club half of the money and let them keep any they have left over. The school can just buy books with the amount they have left, even if this means not having enough books. This would be equal but not fair. Some departments will forcefully need more money/ funding than others and that is equity. Of course the books will go a long way and benefit everyone, unlike the chess club.

That is how equity and equality differ in a school setting. Another example could be the special education classroom. The special education students need therapists, paraprofessionals, teacher aids, teachers (as much help as possible), equipment and tools to better help their learning. If the rest of the school is given the same amount of funding as the special education department, but they do not use it all for some reason and the special education department needs what they have left over constantly, that says something. That says the special education department is not being given what is needed to have successful students. This limitation can be depriving special education students while everyone else has left over money piling up. According to the Ten Steps of Equity in Education, directing resources to the students with the greatest needs, is one of the ten steps. It does not necessarily mean to leave out everyone else and forget about them. All this “step” means is to take care of the bigger issues first and work your way down to the little things. Also in this article it talks about how schools with the least equity, have higher dropout numbers and low school attainments. Being fair and providing opportunities is what equity in education is. This reminds me of the video named “A world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees”, where they are using one test to measure and test everyone, yet they all require different things. A fish can not climb a tree nor run, this meaning that everyone has different needs that need to be met, compare this with funding in school. We can’t treat everyone equally like monkeys and fishes but every department needs different materials.

 

Image result for don't ask a fish to climb a tree

Achiron, M. (1970, January 01). Making education more equitable. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2013/02/making-education-more-equitable.html

Ten steps to equity in education. (2008, January). Policy Brief.

http://www.oecd.org/education/school/39989494.pdf

Ethics Project

You suspect that one of your students is smoking at school based on the way her clothes smell when she is near. The teacher asks the student for her purse to check for cigarettes.  The student claims that the teacher had no right to check her belongings at school without more suspicion or evidence. Is the student right?  Or, did the teacher have the right to do this?  Why or why not?

 

The Code of Ethics

(C) Standard 3.3. The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly misrepresent facts regarding a student.

 

The teacher violated the students privacy by making a negative assumption with no real evidence. By simply smelling smoke on the student, it is not enough evidence and the teacher has no right in going through someone else’s belongings without their consent. This may even cause mistrust among students with that specific teacher or even with every other teacher.

 

The most important person is the student, who can also represent every student. The student, the teacher, administrators, and even the school board need to be considered. A school is build up with different people but everyone is responsible for each other therefor, everyone involved in any of the students’ education needs to be considered.
Other needed information that may be needed is information from other teachers who may also have this student in their class. I want to know if this is the only teacher who has accused the student of smelling like cigarettes. I also want to know if the teacher has smelled her over a period or just one specific day. I would also like to know if the teacher has previously gone through any other students’ belongings aside from this student. Lastly, I would like to know how exactly she approached the student with all of the information given and if she asked the student for permission to look through her purse.

Instead of accusing the student, of something that may not even be true, I would take the situation differently. First thing I would do, is let the administrators know that the student smells like smoke. This will alert other and it would be help to keep a lookout on the student. Many adults can walk by this student multiple times a day, they too can determine if the statement is accurate or not. A short-term consequence to this may be the amount of time it would take to have everyone observe the student. On-going consequences would be if there were still no hard evidence to approach the student. Long-term consequences would be the student noticing how everyone is keeping an eye out for her which could ultimately lead to other problems. The psychological cost the student would have to pay of everyone always watching her is not worth it if she was falsely accused. The social cost may be the student being pushed away from others.

 

Second thing I would do is continue to observe the student throughout the day. There can be a wide number of reasons why the student smells like smoke. This can include, parents, peers or anyone the student may have even stood by. The student may come from a home where someone there smokes, or even on the ride to school. She may have stood next to someone else smoking or even a friend of the student may have been smoking. The smell of smoke tends to stick to clothes rather quickly. Short-term consequences would be the difficulty in finding the people who surround the student to observe them. On-going would be having to observe everyone just to see if the student is smoking. Which if nothing is found, and the student does not arrive to school with the smell of smoke but does leave with the smell of smoke, this may lead to the administrators maybe even accusing her of smoking on campus. This would all come at a psychological cost considering that the student may be asked questions pertaining to those who surround her.
Another thing that could have been done, is ask the student after talking with the administrators about the suspicions and after observing the student for a while. The teacher could have talked to student and asked her. If all goes wrong this maybe even bring the dogs in, which would also help search the rest of the school and not just the student.

New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)
Issue: Privacy Rights at School
Bottom Line: Your Belongings Can Be Searched, But Not Arbitrarily

This would relate to the student a way. The difference here is that the teacher actually saw the student smoking and not just smelt it. When the teacher did go through the student’s belongings, marijuana was found, unlike this case.

I personally find talking to the student the easiest way to approach this whole situation. This way I am being of good moral character and not shaming her with false accusations. I would have also respected the student’s privacy and those who surround the student.
 

 

References

Jacobs, T. (2008, September 15). 10 Supreme Cases Every Teen Should Know. Retrieved March 06, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20080915monday.html