Start at the Beginning

I created this website as a way to serve as a resource to those who are interested in elementary education and child development. This will also serve as a journal of my own journey as I become an elementary teacher in California. Journaling provides an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement. I firmly believe that education is a lifelong journey for educators, we may reach markers (certifications, degrees, etc.) but to be excellent educators we never stop learning, growing and developing as professionals.

I believe that every student is different and as teachers, we must strive to reach out to students at their personal learning level through our lessons. To discover each student’s personal learning level I would conduct assessment activities at the beginning of the year. The results would inform my instructional design choices for that student. The goal is for a student have lessons that are challenging without being frustrating. I believe that another way to figure out the needs of our students is to help them discover their learning style. As a teacher, I will strive to create lessons that appeal to the whole class by including activities geared toward each of the three learning styles.

I hope my blog may inspire other students who are working towards a California multiple subject credential, elementary teachers, homeschool instructors, and parents. Together we can inspire the next generation to a love of learning and encourage them to become lifelong learners.

As a way to boost my blogging habit which got a slow start, I will be posting content that I write for my Credential program, Multiple Subject in California, and my Master’s program, Best Practices in Education.

 

References

Steever, S. (2015). Personal Education Plan (PEP) Books. In Best Practices for Elementary What Award-Winning Teachers Do(2015 ed.). New York, NY: First Skyhourse Publishing.

Future student teachers: get on all your nearby substitute lists

There is a lot of paperwork that goes into student teaching.  I am going to make a fairly big suggestion for anyone looking at starting student teaching in the next six months, ready? Get on the substitute teaching list for all the districts that you live nearby. Do it now that way when the time comes to get your placements set up you have done a huge amount of the needed paperwork already. The district has already vetted you and accepted you to work in their district. I did this with my first placement’s district (in my hometown where I regularly took substitute jobs) which made starting there a breeze. I did not do this with my second placement which is a town away. I had figured, why get on the substitute list for another school district when the one in my hometown keeps me plenty busy? The answer is…to make student teaching easier, much, much easier.

Added bonus: many districts consider substitute’s internal candidates when they apply for teaching positions and grant them preferential treatment in the hiring process.

 

Decision Made

I took a real hard look at the syllabus and decided that student teaching is already going to be fairly demanding without another course in the mix. So I dropped MAT 674, the Masters level class on Differentiation. I feel confident that I am making the right decision.

Decisions…

So my first student teaching position starts Monday. I am currently enrolled in my last regular course (MAT 674) for my Master’s Degree  (student teaching, student teaching seminars and Master’s Capstone not included as they are all very individualized) which also starts on Monday. Originally, I thought that my student teaching seminar was going to bump my MAT 674 course off my schedule. However, my actual student teaching seminar does not start until February. So now I am trying to decide if I want to keep the course and juggle my first month of student teaching at the same time or if I should re-schedule the course after my student teaching is done. I am torn. I think ultimately all I can do is wait until Sunday night when the Blackboard for the course opens up and check out the assignments. I do not think that I can really make a clear decision without more information, but it is weighing on my mind.

Student Teaching Seminars Scheduled

Since I live so far from a physical campus (and my student teaching position is about a block from my house) I put in a formal request for an exemption to allow me to take the student teaching seminars online instead of in person. The request was conditionally approved over the holiday break but the notification did not explain what “conditionally” actually meant. Later, I found out it depended on whether there would be an online course available. Today, I was notified that I was (finally) enrolled in my student teaching seminar courses. I checked, they are online and that means that I do not have to commute to a University campus for the seminars. Woohoo!

Professional Development Spotlight: Torsch

Torsch (Today’s One Room School House) is a paid site (~$7-17 per month) aimed at professional development. The idea is that you record yourself during a lesson, upload it from your computer or a number of online cloud services and send it to a mentor, coach, admin, etc. There is automatic transcription service of the videos, places to upload supporting documents like lesson plans or sample work, etc. The individual who receives is able to view all the materials and collaborate with you (without being in the same room) to provide assessment, feedback, coaching logs, live video conference or chat, create video libraries, tag video timeline with keywords linking to rubrics, frameworks, etc. While this may not be for everyone, it is a really fabulous tool for those working with coaches who are farther away.  

Technology Spotlight: School Tube

School Tube was created in 2006 with the idea that students and teachers needed a safe space to share videos. Videos are moderated by approved local educators to ensure a safe experience. It reaches 5 million US teachers, 55 million US students (1.4 billion worldwide students) with over 500,000 videos from around the world. So relax, take a deep breath and feel a little more at ease with this video sharing site.