Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration

The Inauguration was great! We were allowed to watch it all day today at school. My first ever experience of sitting at work watching television and enjoying seeing the President I absolutely adore being sworn in. It was great and I will continue watching CNN tonight.

Well, I will go for now. I am scoring essays and such.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My First Video

video

My son Gabriel at first baseball game.....age 3..

Reassessing Assessment: Resources for the 21st Century

video

This is the video opener that 'may' be used as attendees are seating. What is your feedback on it? Other than it is very amatuer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Degrees

I have been reading the Twitter posts since I can't catch them during the work day. One man asked if there is a 'faux pas" or wrongness against putting your degree after your name if you are not a Ph.D or ED or doctor of some kind. I say no. Many people have worked so hard for their degrees and anything 'graduate' should be recognized....tell me what you think!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Teacher's Bag of Tricks!

I am currently undergoing a professional development course that is actually a book study of the author, Todd Whitaker. The book is " What Great Teachers Do Differently." Once I received the book and syllabus, I opened the book and slipped the syllabus inside. That was about three weeks ago before Christmas Break. I just picked the book back up because now the class is starting and I wanted to read ahead a little. The page that was marked by the syllabus struck a chord with me. I now know why we are studying this author's works. He is phenomenal. I also feel like me, my colleagues, and friends who are also teachers can benefit from this excerpt of his book that I am about to post....

A Teacher's Bag of Tricks
Support from the administrator may matter a great deal, but here are some questions an excellent teacher may ask himself/herself when problems arise:
  • What can teachers do when students misbehave?

Most teachers respond with "eye contact, proximity, redirect the student, send them to the office, put them in timeout, argue with the student, sit the student in the hall, yell, ignore, praise another student for positive behavior, embarrass the misbehaving student, and so on."

Most of you probably flinch at some of these behaviors or nod at others. However, the point here is quantity. After the list is generated, switch to quality.

Now answer this question:

  • Which of these strategies always work?

The answer is simple: "None of them." Of course there is no one approach that always works. If it were, we would do it all the time. These options are a teacher's bag of tricks. Ask yourself,

  • Does every teacher have the same options?

The answer is yes. Every teacher does have the same options. Every teacher has the same tools in their bag of tricks. Every teacher can use eye contact or proximity, send the student to the office, praise, argue, or yell. Not every teacher does, but every teacher could do everything on your list.

What is the difference between good classroom managers and poor classroom managers? It's not what is in your bag of tricks, since every one's tricks are the same. It's the variables.

One variable, of course, is how often teachers reach into their bag of tricks. A great teacher rarely reaches in, maybe once or twice a day. A poor teacher, however, grabs several times within an hour; if we reach into our bags often enough, we will pull out ugly tricks.

This brings us to another variable-----quality. Some options that appear on teachers' lists of behavior/classroom management are "yelling, arguing, and humiliating (sarcasm)."

Ask yourself, "When is sarcasm appropriate in the classrooms?" The answer is NEVER! So, let's never use sarcasm in the classroom.

"Who decides how many arguments occur in a week?"

The answer, of course, is the teachers. We never win an argument with a student. As soon as it starts, we have lost. If their peers are watching, they cannot afford to give in. We would like to win the argument, but they have to win it. Anyway, there needs to be at least one adult in student and teacher interaction-----let that be you!

Outside of a true emergency, when is the appropriate time for yelling?

Again, we know the answer: NEVER! The students we are tempted to yell at have been yelled at so much, why on Earth would we think this would be effective on them?

Therefore, we do not yell at our students.

Effective Teachers Choose Wisely From Their Bag Of Tricks!!!!!

This has been an abridged excerpt from Todd Whitaker's book, "What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things That Matter Most." 2004, Eye on Education, Inc.

I would suggest all teachers, new and veteran, pick this one up!

Me Again

Here's a better pic of me and my new haircut! Sorry it is so blurry.....that's the camera phone for ya!

Response to the Cut!

Well, today was the first day back to school and I just want to report back to y'all on the number of comments I had to my hair. Not as many as I expected of course, but still more than necessary.

Out of the whole school.....approximately 15 people made comments! Many made comments several times...a few said they like it, one lady hugged me twice after seeing it (is that pity?) and one of my students said "yo hair don't look right! you need long hair!" Oh, what can we do with our wonderful kids these days?

Well, I just wanted to relay that to y'all. I took more pics and will post them later. I will also make another post about this great book that I am reading! Y'all teachers have to pic it up!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meme

7 Things Meme is basically a trend on Twitter where Twitter members ask each other to blog "the 7 things that someone may NOT know about you"

Here are my 7 things:

1.) I was really underweight as a young child, teenager, and young adult. I have now become more comfortable in my own skin as a healthy looking adult.

2.) I never envisioned being a teacher. As one now, I cannot imagine doing anything else. There is so much joy in teaching.

3) I love being married! Despite the ups and downs and my controlling behavior, I am overjoyed with being a mother and wife.

4) I can't stop learning. I tried! I lasted a whole semester without taking courses, but then again, I did step into several professional development workshops/classes as well as began public speaking which is a challenge and learning experience within itself.

5) I am very shy and reserved. Some may even call me anti-social. I am most comfortable sitting at home in front of the computer or television or watching my son learn and grow. Life is great when relaxing at home.

6) I would love to become a professor or college instructor one day. I think a profession such as that is the ultimate in showcasing experience and knowledge.

7) I like scrap booking and crafts. I know that is really cheesy and I never have time for it, but then again, it is so relaxing and I surprise myself with the things I create.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you have learned more things about me through reading my 7 Things Meme!

My New Haircut

Hey! This is my new haircut. I cut my hair about three weeks ago. Tomorrow will be my first day back to work since my cut. I have to endure the fascination around it as well as questions (especially from kids) all over again. Sigh!!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gabriel Ethan Woodard

Look at Mr. Naked posing in front of tree!

Things to Do!

I have changed this blog design at least seven times now. I think that I am okay with what I have chosen today. I am pretty sure that I will change it again eventually.

I researched virtual classrooms that I mentioned earlier. Elluminate, WizIQ, and Moodle. I am thinking that I may prefer to just keep E-Lecta Live. I am comfortable with that one, although there is a charge. Additionally, I do not want to have to have a separate server for my classrooms. I will continue searching and considering what steps I should take regarding the classrooms.

Next week, I will be printing marketing documents. It's time to get the ball rolling in regards to the business. It has been well since opening, but as the owner, I am confident it could be much better. I keep thinking that if i were a WAHM I would definitely have had the company spring to life by now. Well anyway, marketing materials on next week. Distribute and post them eventually.

More immediate chores are preparations for a presentation that will take place in a week. I have yet to complete the video that I would like to play as attendees are walking into the session and sit, right before I make the introductions. I will be working on that now as soon as I complete this post.

Another task is special education progress reports. I have about three left that I can do at home and two that will need to be completed on Monday when I return to school. I also have to organize my calendar for one professional development course I will be taking starting January 8 and lasting 5 weeks and three graduate courses beginning on the 12th and lasting 16 weeks. These courses should allow for a tremendous amount of growth in my professional career. I like to organize my calendar to reflect due dates and assignments; something that should easily keep me on track and somewhat focused. However the bad thing about that is once I make the calendar, I never look at it again. So much for the effort of organization.....

Well I appreciate your listening ears.....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolution Number One

Alright,



I made several New Year's resolutions. My number one resolution was to expand my business. I opened my business in June of 2008. I received considerable amount of positive feedback, however I feel more families can benefit from what I have to offer. I am very experienced in my field and I would love to showcase such experiences through my tutoring service. Now that I am sitting here writing, I think that it may even be appropriate to do education consulting on the side. Nevertheless, my marketing efforts for my tutoring business must be increased. I may also revamp my website so that professionalism stands out.

After several workshops and conferences, I am also thinking that the business will greatly benefit from a variety of Web 2.0 tools. I really want to start using Skype as a tool and I may change the virtual classroom from E-Lecta Live to WizIQ, Elluminate, or Moodle. I was not aware of the flexibility of Elluminate until chatting with a lady on Classroom 2.0. I think I will look more into that later.

These most of the changes I can think of that will promote my business. I welcome any suggestions. Please comment if you have any.

Thanks Bunches!!!

My Layout

I think I have changed this layout several times. I have spent at least two hours just copy and pasting and editing codes. I am so exasperated from this mess. And on top of that, I have to change it again! The one I have is so juvenile. I had a very cute scrapbook page, but when I edited it and clicked preview, it disappeared and I didn't want to have to go through working with that one again. So, I am sure before the night is over I will be changing this layout, but here it is for now.

So much for being a great teacher! Did you check out all my run-on sentences?

My First Post

Hey Friends,

This is my third blog, but actually my first personal one and here you are reading my first post. I am so excited to be starting a blog that I hope will contain a wealth of information in one month's time.

How ironic is it that I have started this blog at the beginning of year 2009? I think that shows the direction I wish this year would go for me. I think that it is only appropriate if I mention a few resolutions I have for this year:

1) Increase business growth and revenue
2) Market business to others as franchise or how-to/referral service
3) Publish a Book (or two)
4) Have another child
5) Plan wedding for 2010
6) Forge another path in my teaching career!!!
7) Develop a curriculum and Start a homeschool!

Okay, so these resolutions are a little widespread and perhaps somewhat far-fetched, but thats okay. I will actually enjoy such a busy year! I will have much fun and stress trying to reach my goals :)

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