Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Post #5 Part B

personal learning network depicted in chart form. silioute of a man sitting in front of a laptop with keywords of PLN surrounding him

This blog post is a continuation of Blog Post #5. In Blog Post #5, I was introduced to what a PLN is. To review, a PLN, personal learning network, is a space on the internet where you can expand your connections and knowledge through social networking and other media.To start my PLN I created a twitter account where I followed teachers and administrators at the University of South Alabama. My next step was following people who are in EDM 310. I haven't utilized my twitter account to the fullest, but I did follow one teacher I commented on for C4T. My PLN is still small, but I hope to expand it as I continue on in my educational adventure.

C4T #4

screenshot of lana's blog 4theloveofteaching
Five for Friday- Short and Sweet! by Lana
This blog post Lana posted some pictures from Red Ribbon week at her school. Her class completed their STEM challenge, her and her son dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween, and she is a living a very busy life. One of my favorite pictures from this post was of one of her students who wrote "My Heros and Sheros" and a cape for "Dress like your hero" day during Red Ribbon Week. My commented mentioned her colorful blog and how I much enjoyed viewing the pictures she took.

I'm Still Here by Lana
This blog post was just a quick update on her hectic life. Her class finished ip their informative animal reports and had begun their oral presentations. She also received a sweet letter from one of her students that brightened up one of her worser days. The comment I left her wished her some calmer days and many more letters like the one she received. I also wished her students luck on their presentations.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world
When people think of teaching, they don't think it to be on par with being a doctor or being a lawyer. Joel Klein addresses these problems in Teaching our Children can be a Profession

Problem: Teaching doesn't require the best.
Solution: Start picking from the best.
Problem: Seniority
Solution: Get rid of seniority.
Problem: ..."Teachers continued to be workers in an old fashioned factory." Solution: A new system created by teachers, for the teachers

There is a stigma attached to teaching. When I told people I was going to be a teacher, their first response was, "Really? Why? You're so brave. I could never be a teacher. That's such a stressful job." On the other hand, when I talked to someone who knew someone in the education field, their response would be "Good luck. So and so hates it." I never knew how to take these comments. Teaching was just something that came natural to me. I enjoyed tutoring people and I knew I wanted to do something that would make a difference. I'm no longer an education major, but I do understand the importance of teaching. People tend to overlook teaching, but imagine the world without teachers. You can't. Teaching, and those who teach, are fundamental for all societies. So why doesn't teaching and teachers get more respect?

One problem that Klein addresses is that anyone with a teaching degree can become a teacher. His solution is that teachers should be selected from the top third of the graduates. But what are we basing this merit on? Is it grades? Is it ability in the classroom? Is it reviews from other peers? If we're going to pick from the top third, we're going to have to get selective and that might leave out great candidates for teaching. Instead of picking from the top third, maybe the academic training of teachers needs to be changed. This is suggested by Klein stating that "23 states cannot boast a single (teacher education) program that provides solid math preparation resembling the practices of high-performing nations." It's time for an academic training makeover. The changes in academic training include a longer training process, a teacher examination, and longer student-teaching internship. If all teachers are capable of teaching to the highest degree, will there still be a need to pick from the top third? Is there another process in weeding out those who may not be as competent as another? Do we create stricter academic training for future teachers?

Another problem Klein addresses is seniority. Klein makes the statement that "Job security and seniority dictate the way our schools operate." I once talked to a former teacher and she said for the first few years of teaching, she was passed around from school to school. She was stuck in the "last hired, first fired" cycle. Professionalizing teaching should lead to excellence being a guiding factor. "Excellence" will be the key derminator in policies, standards, coursework, administration...etc. I agree that excellence should be a grading factor for teachers, but again we would have to define what excellence is. Teachers who provide constant positive results should be rewarded for their efforts with tenure or other compensations. Teachers who can not provide those same results need to be re-trained. Seniority or not, teachers who are not giving the results needed should be re-evaluated.

Going back to a stricter training for future educators, Albert Shanker, a former teachers'-union leader, suggested a "national teacher examination." This exam would be like the Bar or MCAT that lawyers or doctors have to take before being able to become fully licensed. This could weed out those who may not be as competent, but again, would this leave out those possible candidates who maybe don't test as well as others. While I agree that maybe letting anyone with a teaching degree is a bad idea, I also believe that the success of teachers should be found in the classroom, not a standardized test that dictates whether or not I should be allowed to be a teacher.

While, I may not have answered this fully, I feel as if this article was only the tip of the iceberg. While Klein had a lot to say, he gave us more problems than solutions. I don't see teaching as something that needs to professionalized because I already see it as a professional job. Seniority is to be expected no matter where you go, but it shouldn't dictate who gets to stay and who doesn't. The results that teachers provide should determine who gets to stay and who doesn't. Will creating a national test cut down on how many people choose to be a teacher? Because teaching is seen as an "easy" major, will this change the way teaching is viewed? I hope it will. Teaching needs to be respected as a professional job, but it's going to take a little more than what Klein and Shanker are suggesting.

C4K #3

fountain pen laid on top of paper

100 Word Challenge by Pavit
In this blog post, Pavit wrote a bone-chilling story about being in a pumpkin patch. She was looking for a pumpkin to carve, when she wandered too far in the forest. Her mom got worried about her, but the character wanted to stay in the forest. At the end of the story, the character sees a figure in a black costume. My comment on Pavit's post complimented her on her writing skills. I told her she did a good job. I hope Pavit continues to share her writing.

PB & J by Reyna M.
Reyna uses descriptive words to describe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She uses words like "soft", "sweetness", and "delicious" to describe the texture and experience of eating a peanut butter and jelly. My comment mentioned that she should proof read her post before posting because she did have a lot of spelling errors. However, despite her spelling errors, I found her writing to be advanced for her age.

The Awesome Car by Antonio A.
Antonio writes about why he wants a car robot. A car robot can talk to you and can fight evil people. My comment agreed with him. A car robot would be very convenient and a great conversationalist.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post #13

For this blog post, Dr. Strange asked us to create a blog post on a topic that we felt was left out. It needed to be focused on our speciality, but besides that, these were the only instructions given to us. As a future educator, one of the most important things to be is to be engaging. We had previous blog posts on what can we learn from watching these videos, but they were all related to project based learning and technology. These post didn't address what it takes to be a teacher. It addressed how to utilize technology in the classroom or how to succeed in project based learning.This blog post addresses how to be a better teacher without the use of technology.

screen cap from Christopher Emdin's video
Blog Post #13

Have you discovered how to use “magic?”

Watch Christopher Emdin’s TEDtalk titled, Teach Teachers how to Create Magic and then respond to this video and answer this following question: Have you discovered how to create magic? Explain what your take on the "magic" is.

Christopher Emdin's TEDtalk opens with him creating pictures for the audience to imagine. As future educators, his depictions really hit home. Why do we spend endless hours studying old texts written by some educator who is no longer alive? Why do we slave for hours over perfecting our lesson plans when we know no matter how prepared we are, things aren't always going to go right? It's not for us. It's for other people to grade us on. To set a standard for us. But, Emdin then talks about people who are great educators, but have no idea of the education process. They don't have the formal knowledge of how to teach education, but they are some of the best educators. It's in the way they talk, the way they move. While Emdin focuses on the urban lifestyle, take his advice and apply it to your own teaching style. As a future educator, I will create an atmosphere where my lessons tell a story. Where my students are interested in what I am saying and are paying attention to where even a simple movement speaks a thousand words. Don't be afraid to get expressive and get your students engaged through speaking. Don't be afraid to ask for that amen in the middle of a lesson! The magic Emdin's talks about is the ability to capture the attention of your students with just words.

Project #12 Part B

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog Post #12

photo says remove barriers from education
Articles on Assistive Technology
Videos on Assistive Technology
Presentation on Assistive Technology

C4T #3

clip art of a man with the text date security tips for teachers in the upper left hand corner

For this month's C4T, I commented on The Electric Educator, also known as John Sowash. His blog consist of post that provide information on how to protect your data on the internet. The first post I commented on was titled Digital Security for Teachers: Know Your Data". In this blog post he goes over how to view your data, update your privacy settings, and how to backup your data. He concludes by saying once you know how to manage and take control of your account you can reduce the risk of your account information being used incorrectly.

My comment stated how I found his post informative and helpful.

The second post I commented on, Data Security for Teachers - The Basics, Sowash gave a brief overview on some security basics. For example, your password should be at least eight characters long with a mixture of lower case and upper case letters. He also suggest mixing in some numbers and symbols. You should avoid personal information such as birthdays or phone numbers and dictionary words. As in his previous post he strongly suggest backing up your data.

I told Sowash that I enjoyed reading his posts. I also left a link to the class blog. I told him that his post were informative and although I know backing up my data is important, I had never backed up my Google data.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post #11

confused figure with question marks
1. Back to the Future - TED Talk by Brian Cosby

Brian Cosby is a teacher whose class is composed of mainly 2nd language learners. Not only that but they are at risk students. At the beginning of his speech he shows just how little these students are connected to their outside world by asking questions such as "what's your address?", "what country do you live in?", "what's your phone number?"...etc. The numbers that came back were low and shocking. Only three students out of the 24 he taught knew what country they lived in. He goes on to talk about the "schema" of the world and you can not create passion with creativity. His speech goes on for awhile about he got his students connected by technology. The projects he had them start had them engaged and interested because he created buzz around the project. He incorporated science and the language arts to pull a "head fake." They were learning all about science while at the same time they were improving their language skills. He had them writing stories based on what they saw which improved their writing skills. Not only that, their connections grew because of the projects and the blog posts that they created. People from all over the world saw their "High Hopes" project and sent their own "High Hopes" into Cosby's class. As a teacher, I think that is a great accomplishment. Cosby's students got to see how they can change the world. What I learned from Cosby was that there are no limitations to teaching or learning. He created a opportunity for his students to grow and become real learners. As a teacher, I want to make sure my students also have that opportunity to grow and reach other communities around them.

2. Blended Learning Cycle by Paul Andersen.
Paul Andersen is an AP Biology teacher. I have taken AP classes and I can personally tell you the workload in those classes is severe. Not only are students gearing up the take the AP exam at the end of the semester, but they are working with college level material. In Andersen's video, I was already intrigued by the spinning disk. The only thing I could think of during that video was "Wow, when is this disk going to stop spinning and why is it spinning for so long?" Already, Andersen's use of QUIVERS (his acronym that he created) was working. I hope to be able to incorporate QUIVERS (Question, Investigate, Video, Elaboration, Review, and Summary) into my lesson plans as a future educator. He talked about in the beginning of the video how he tried a new style of teaching, but as he thought about it, he realized he strayed away from what the original idea was. He acknowledged those who helped him remix his ideas and helped create what he was explaining in the video. This is a great example of what it is like to be a learner as a teacher. He went to other resources to help improve his skills as a teacher. It's okay to be uncertain about things. I shouldn't shy away from getting ideas or getting advice from other sources. We are all constantly learning and that should not stop once I become the head honcho in the classroom.

3. Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church
Mark Church had his students create a banner that, in a few short words, represented what they had learned already about human origins. He had them discuss and then put their banners on the board. This project was done near the beginning of their lesson. He then revealed that at the end of their lesson they would write another statement based on what they now know. This is a great technique showing students just how much they have learned over a time period. Would their slogan be different from what they wrote before? Why or Why not? What do you know now that you didn't know before? Questions like create a discussion and students can share their opinions and learn from their peers.

4. Building Comics by Sam Pane
This video was my favorite to watch. Sam Pane introduces safety on the internet by having his class create a "Digital Citizen Superhero." He incorporates language arts and the use of technology to teach his class how to be safe on the internet. His lesson is fun and keeps the students engaged. He has them walk around and peer edit students' comics. Is this a safety issue? Was it resolved correctly? As a teacher, I want to be able to incorporate various subjects into one lesson. This teaching style leads me into the last two videos and what I have learned about teaching and learning from these six videos.

5. Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski and Roosevelt Elementary PBL Program
One of the biggest advantages about Project Based Learning is that it takes away the need for segmented subjects. Why not teach science, language arts, and history all at the same time? A school in Canada decided to take on that challenge by combining history, english, and information processing. With the combining of these three subjects, the teachers found that students were able to learn more and understand more because they got the chance to expand their knowledge through several subjects. If this trend continues, could we see classrooms changing? Instead of going to another classroom and having "periods" or "blocks" will it just be an open classroom with different subjects all going on at once? In Roosevelt Elementary School, students were doing projects that involved other subjects as well. Don't we already write for science? We have to lab reports.

I feel as if I have veered from the original question, "What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?" However, I feel as if there is another question to be asked from these videos and it's something we have only addressed once. What is in store for the future of the classroom? With all these Project Based Learning ideas, are we going to find ourselves collaborating more often with teachers from different subject areas in higher grade levels? Do we need to take another look at the standards? Is the classroom size going to expand? In short, I found that after watching these six videos I felt as if I had watched the same six videos over again because I was looking for an answer I had given already in previous blog post.

Project #14 Group 8

extreme storm weather

For this project our group decided to work with the third grade. We created a project that has students researching extreme weather phenomena. Students will be placed in predetermined groups and create a presentation that explains how these phenomena are predicted, how they affect the world, how they are defined and how to prepare in case of one. We hope that at the end of this project students have a better knowledge of the weather around them.

Lesson Plan

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Project #12 A

Blog Post #10

a screenshot of Dr. Strange's Video
What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy? In her video Little Kids...Big Potential, she shows how she uses technology in her classroom. As a pioneer of technology in her workplace, Cassidy shows us new and unique ways to use technology. While the use of SMARTboards and blogs are common, Cassidy shows how her students expand their personal learning networks through the use of Skype and Wikis. I found it interesting that she used Nintendo DS's and NintenDogs to teach her students responsibility and teamwork. In Dr. Strange's videos, Interviewing with Mrs. Cassidy, he and Cassidy discuss the importance of technology in the classroom. As future teachers, we need to understand that technology is not going anywhere. Cassidy suggest to start with what you like. If you're interested in videos, start with Youtube or if you like writing, start with blogging. She mentions that building your personal learning network is another great place to start.

As far as techniques go, I would take advantage of the technology available to me and my students. The SMARTboard is capable of so many activities as I learned this past week. Some problems I could run into is internet safety or parents who do not want their child being on the internet. If this happens, I will try my best to change the parents mind by showing them just how safe using the internet can be when used properly. Benefits I would reap by following in Cassidy's steps would be that my students might be more engaged. My classroom will be a place of fun and education. Students won't feel as if they're being suffocated by pens and paper and hoards of information.

C4K #2

1. Doko Organish by Nicolas

Nicolas collaborated with another classmate to produce an art project for International Dot Day. He and his classmate drew a picture of an orange volcano with a rainbow above it. It also had lava coming from it. The final product was neat. I told him I really enjoyed his painting.

2. Blogging Challenge #2 by Zach D.

Zach D. makes complaints. His complaints ranged from hats to class pets, and in the middle there was study hall. His post was entertaining and very relevant to how I felt when I was in his grade. What's the problem hoodies? They really do just keep your head warm. I told him that he made some good points when talking about hats and the class pet. At the end of my comment I told him when he gets to college he won't have to worry about the no hat rule. I also mentioned that when I was in school, hoodies were seen as a safety hazard because it obscured our identity.

3. All About Me by Deven.

Deven shares some information with us. He has two sisters and brother. His brother is "nice and crazy." His sisters are just nice. I like that his favorite animal is a duck. I shared some information with him in my comment. I told him I had a sister and that I wanted a dog. I asked him if he had ever fed the ducks in a park. I have yet to hear back from him.

4. Hats by Raewen Eva.

The title of this blog post is not "Hats." Raewen did not have a title for her post. In her post she explains why hats are important. Hats protect our skin on a sunny day. If we don't wear hats, we will get sunburnt. Her school makes her wear a red hat outside. If they do not, they get in trouble. I asked her if she did research on why hats were important or if this information was from her own observation. She made good points about why hats are important. I suggested she use sunscreen as well to prevent sunburn.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

key concepts of project based learing written on blocks that are surrounded a cartoon baby

1. Seven Essentials to Project Based Learning
After reading this article I discovered seven important essentials about project-based learning. The first being that "a project is meaningful if it fulfills two criteria...students must perceive the work as personally meaningful, as a task that matters and that they want to do well...fulfills an educational person. Well-designed and well-implemented project-based learning is meaningful in both ways." The article then further breaks down the seven essentials. The first essential is an "entry event." This is a fun, engaging way for students to be introduced to a project. It creates conversation and peaks students interest. The second essential is a driving question. A driving question "captures the heart of the project in a clear, compelling language which gives students a sense of purpose and challenge." A driving question should be open ended and linked to the core of the project. The question does not have to be concrete. It can be an abstract question or a problem solving question. Driving questions give reasons to a project. It's not longer just about creating a poster, but it's the information that's going on to the poster that students are interested in. Third, don't be a stick in the mud. Don't limit your students options. Give them enough room to create something they want to create. Set some guidelines, but let them set the bar. Don't tell them what you are expecting from them. It's the 21st century. The fourth essential is to use that to your advantage. Collaboration and communication are easier in the 21st century. Technology is a great tool to use to help hone these skills. Fifth, don't lay out a straight path for your students. Encourage curiosity and help them answer their own questions and then create new ones. The sixth essential is feedback and revision. This helps students learn that revision is important to create the highest quality of work. Rome wasn't built in a day and the perfect project won't be built in a hour. The last essential is provide an audience. Students will get more out of the project and they'll take ownership of their work. They'll want to provide the highest quality of work to show off.

2. Project-Based Learning For Teachers
We, as teachers and students, should not be asking "what" but "how". Project-based learning inspires students to be learners and creators. They answer a driving question that is open ended and thought provoking. Compared to the Common Core Standards, which are restrictive and focused on memorization, project-based learning is customizable and promotes individuality.

3. PBL: What Motivates Students Today
After watching this video, I discovered a pattern. Students were focused on grades. I know this is video is about what motivates them, but none of them answered learning. A student said she wants to be a veterinarian. However, it was the grades that motivated her. Shouldn't it be her passion to become a veterinarian? The new question is "Are students today too focused on grades?" I remember getting rewards for doing good in the classroom and that definitely pushed me to do my best. As a future educator, I want to motivate students to learn because they want to. Rewards are good, but I don't want my students to expect an award every time they do what they should be doing.

4. High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation
Project-based learning is applicable to all subjects in school. The unique thing about project-based learning is that it can change its form. There is not right or wrong way to apply project-based learning. There is no cookie cutter mold for project-based learning. If you attempt to apply the same project or the same ideas to each and every subject, you're going to find that it doesn't work. As a teacher you have to assess the situation and go from there.

5. Students Solve the Problem of Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap
This was an interesting article to read. One, I hope someone picks up this and these students get the attention they deserve. Watery ketchup is the worst. Two, this is a great example of what students are capable of. Richard and Thompson seemed to thoroughly enjoy the process of creating this ketchup cap. The driving question of this project was "it really bugs me when." This is a perfect example of what a driving question should be. It does not limit students to one idea.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog Post #8

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch's lecture, The Last Lecture, is upbeat and entertaining. He takes his life experiences and turns them into life lessons that we can all learn from. His lecture starts out with explaining his childhood dreams. The first one is to be an astronaut. This is where Pausch introduces "brick walls." As Pausch states, "They let us prove how badly we want things." That was one of the brick walls Pausch mentions. Despite at first being told no, Pausch pushes until he is able to achieve his dream, of experiencing zero gravity. His next dream was playing for the NFL. This experience was one of my favorites. Learn the fundamentals. Walk before you run. Not only that, never give up on anyone. When you stop criticizing, you stop caring. As an educator you need to always encourage your students to succeed. As a student, your biggest fan will be your biggest critic.

Pausch has a great example on how to be a learner. We already know that to be an educator you must be a learner. You must continue to expand your knowledge and want to know more. Pausch's experience with being an Imagineer provided a great example of how to be learner. One person Pausch met with said to him "I don't know" while the other said "I don't have much information...I want to learn more."

"You guys did good, but I know you can do better." Never set a bar. Always believe that there is room to do more. That's what Pausch's class did. They did more and it turned into this great thing. Parents, teachers administrators, all came to see his student's final products. In a later story Pausch mentions as an educator the best thing to do is have your students become "self reflective." This can be done through peer reviews and then not just throwing it away but giving it back to students to see where they stand.

There was a lot to learn from Pausch's last lecture. At the end of his lecture, Pausch turns his lecture around and asks the audience have they figured out the head fake yet. The head fake of his lecture was not about how dreams are achieved but how to lead a life. Pausch's lecture taught me to never give up as an educator or a learner. Never stop caring about your students and never set a bar. Brick walls are going to be there in life, but they are there for a reason. They will keep those who don't want something as bad as you out. They show how dedicated you are. Pausch may have passed away, but he has changed lives, and he has now changed mine. On a side note, I will be buying his book, The Last Lecture.

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

Nokia Lumia 1020
I remember being in middle school and having a phone with a camera on it made you the coolest person ever. When I got my phone in 8th grade, it had to have a camera on it. Now I have an iPhone and I use the camera at least weekly. Not only do I use the camera but I also use the internet and social media platforms. The data corresponds only to 18-24 year olds, but assuming that this data can apply to the younger generation, that means that the students I will teach will either own or have access to a cell phone. The rule of "No cell phones allowed" will need to be changed. Instead of banning cell phones, we, as teachers, need to find ways to incorporate cell phone usage into our lesson plan. With information at the tip of their fingers, we need to control the flow of information. Make sure that they are using their cell phones to benefit their experience in the classroom. Distractions are not far with apps so students will need to learn the time and place to use certain apps inside the classroom. However, you can easily argue if students can access the internet through a laptop or a tablet of some kind, why do they need their cellphones? Cell phones could be seen as just another distraction in the classroom.

Cell phones are good for mobility. Inside the classroom students will have access to computers, iPads, smartboards, each other..etc, but outside the classroom what do they use? Cell phones. Cell phones allow teachers to move the classroom outside of the classroom. Students can take notes, record audio, record videos, take pictures, research information all with the press of a button.

Assuming all my students will either have a smartphone or a tablet with a camera opens up so many doors. I could create a scavenger hunt for an art museum and let them take pictures with the answer. We could do an art project where they see just how much they change over a year by taking a picture of them every day for the whole school year. We can put together a time lapse of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. For more ideas check out Using A Digital Camera in the Classroom.

C4T #2

stamp, ink, and fountain pen laid on top of a sheet of paper
For this month's C4T I was assigned to teacher Michael Kaechele. His blog is The Concrete Classroom. Unlike my last assignment, Mr. Kaechele has a formal writing style. My comments were not published on his blog for reasons unknown, but I did enjoy reading his entries.

The first post I read was How to Get Students to Own Their Learning. In this post Mr. Kaechele explained how he started of the school year with a project named The Water Project. It is a project that he and his students started last year. The focus of the post was to give an example of how to get students to own their learning. He wrote, "The Water Project was our best project ever because of how much ownership the students took over it." (para 2, line 1) The Water Project is a year long project. Mr. Kaechele has his students working on it every Friday for two hours. Mr. Kaechele ends his post by answering the question "How do you get students to own their learning?". He states, "Challenge them with real work for real people for a real purpose."

Like I said before, my comment went unpublished for reasons unknown. However, the comment I left for him to approve explained how I thought this was a wonderful idea. I told him that as a future educator I will keep this in mind. Making projects not only relevant but real and being able to see the changes my students are making in our community is a great way to capture their attention. I hope that if I choose to do a project this big, my students show as much enthusiasm as Mr. Kaechele's students did.

The second post I commented on was Don't Put Words in my Mouth. Unlike his last post, this was not a post about the classroom. Instead this post was about him being contacted by a organization that wanted to help him expand his audience. They told him that they could "amplify" his voice and get more media exposure. He also mentions that this group had large political ties. Sadly, while they're intentions seemed innocent, their motives were not. Instead of allowing Mr. Kaechele to express his own opinions, the organization wanted him to focus on promoting the Common Core. Mr. Kaechele turned them down and went on to say in his post, "I won't have anyone putting words in my mouth. I have plenty to say by myself, thank you."

I left a comment agreeing with Mr. Kaechele. It was wrong of the organization to only promote teachers who took their side. They were not truly "the voice of teachers." I hope that if this organization contacts other teachers, they see the problem and take the same route that Mr. Kaechele took.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #13 Part 1

Weimar's Courtyard of the Muses by Theobald von Oer

Age of Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution Project

This project introduces key players of both the Age of Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. Students will be placed in groups and create a presentation that covers the who, what, when, where, and why of the person they have selected. They will then present their findings in class and provide a handout for the other students to complete.

The Breakdown:

PBL Lesson Plan
PBL Calendar
PBL Checklist
PBL Rubric

Project #7 Part B

Blog Post #7

QR Code
First off, I'd like to share my audio QR Code I made with the help of this video. It was exciting and I can't wait to utilize this tool in the future.

From watching the available movies, it is evident that technology is a driving force in the classroom. Students are eager to learn and get a hands on learning experience. From Ginger Tuck's kindergarten class to Mrs. Tassin's 2nd Grade class, students were having a blast using technology. It was interesting to see how all the teachers integrated certain apps as a learning tool. The AVL center that Ginger Tuck created for her kindergarten class for vocabulary expansion was my favorite. The students who presented in Mrs. Tassin's class were all very eager to share their projects with the class. I learned a lot about how I could use technology as a learning tool inside the classroom.

From the last two videos, We All Become Learners and Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten, it is easy to see that the classroom dynamics are changing. In We All Become Learners, Michele Bennett explained how students are teaching teachers, teachers are teaching students, and students are teaching students. This new dynamic is breaking down traditional barriers. In the higher grades, teachers do not worry about the mechanics of a program. They know that they're students will be able to help them if needed.

In Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten, Dr. Strange and his guests discussed how kindergarteners were making book trailers using iMovie. They were eager to create and improve their product. Dr. Strange made the comment that compared to his college students, the kindergarteners were more enthusiastic to fix their mistakes. Kindergarteners did not want to want to stop editing whereas Dr. Strange had to push and prod his college students to fix a mistake in a project.

How do we all become learners? To become a learner you have to be eager and open to new experiences. Don't shy away from something you don't know. Let your students teach you a trick or two on iMovie or how to use the iPad camera correctly. Since I have grown up around technology, I have an advantage in the classroom compared to the older generations. However, I am lacking knowledge about how to use technology as a learning tool instead of entertainment. In the next year and a half I need to research how to successfully integrate PBL into my classroom. What resources will I need to make sure my students get the most out of the projects? What kind of projects are most beneficial? How do I properly use a Smartboard? These are questions I need to answer or at least have some information on before I step into a classroom.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Post #6

teacher with a book in his hand
Conversations with Anthony Capps

1. Project Based Learning Pt 1 & Project Based Learning Pt 2

Any teacher can be a project based teacher, however, it takes a good teacher to be an effective project based teacher. Students need to be content driven. They need to want to learn and expand their world. Projects need to be modern and authentic. By making the projects modern and in tune to today's changing world, this helps students connect to the project. This will encourage them to research the topic because it affects them. Even if the project is a history project, Anthony Capps took a modern headline and turned it into a time travel through history. Students had to research women who broke the stereotype and exceeded the expectations. He then told them to use this information to back up their standing on should women be allowed in combat. Reflection and revision are important. Going over projects and answers, this allows students to think over questions and how that answer was created. Never limit the students. Keep projects open and allow students to find their own groove. Projects are not always going to go as planned, but that's what makes it fun.

2. iCurio and Discovery Ed

iCurio is an online tool that students can use. It creates a safe learning environment for students to explore through images, videos, and other web content. It also has the capacity to be an organizational tool. Students can save important information along with teachers. Not only that, students can use it as a directory for certain historical figures. They can search based on gender, race, nationality...etc.

Discovery Education takes the learning experience to another level. It brings experts into the classroom via video and it can bring text to life. Teachers are not Google so they can not know everything. This gives students a chance to learn from an expert. Students are becoming listeners and watchers, in the words of Dr. Strange, instead of the former readers and writers. The hope for the future is that students will convert from consumers of knowledge to producers and users of knowledge.

3. Don't Teach Tech - Use It, The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Pt. 1, and Additional Thought About Lessons

Technology is important, but as a teacher, an educator, teaching technology is not utilizing it correctly. Instead of teaching technology, integrate it into a lesson. Anthony Capps has his students use iCurio or Discovery Education to find and research a topic. He then has his students transfer what they learned into a video using iMovie. He does not teach them how to use iMovie however. He encourages them to learn how to use it themselves. The final product is a combination of learning how to research and mastering iMovie. He did not waste time on going over the basics of iMovie.

Some of the tips Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps shared include: be a constant learner, hard work is necessary but is rewarding, be flexible, start with an end goal, get 100% engagement from students, reflection and revision. I think these are important tips to remember as I embark on my journey to become an educator. Learning does not stop after I leave the building. It is important to continue improving and expanding my knowledge. Being flexible inside the classroom is a must. Things are not going to go as planned, but as an educator you have to able to turn things around.

In the last video, Anthony Capps mentions how lessons are four layers thick. This is important to think about as I create my own lesson plans. You have to think of the bigger picture. You can't base a lesson on a day, you have to base it on the year. How will this lesson fit into the rest of the year? Will it fit into the week? How do I connect Monday's lesson to Thursday's lesson? Lessons have to make a connection to make an impact.

C4K #1

pen and paper

Summary of Transportation - Unfair things in Aucklandby student blogger Lesieli from Pt England School.

In this blog post Leseili writes about how public transportation should be required to have seat belts. She makes a valid points about how seat belts would make public transportation safer despite being more expensive. She mentions that she would feel safer if public transportation had seat belts.

The comment I left on her post complimented her on her insightful thinking. I mentioned that she is not alone in her way of thinking. The same problem exist here in the United States and there are many people asking the same question. She responded to my comment and mentioned that the public transportation over there has handrails, but she does not understand how those will keep someone safe.

Summary of Kin-Ball by student blogger Lesieli from Pt England School.

In this blog post Leseili summaries the sport Kin-Ball. This is a popular sport that encourages team building and communication. Not only does it teach teamwork is strengthens speed, agility, and strength. Leseili writes that this game is very popular and has the chance to be an Olympic Event.

Her post was informative and easy to digest. My comment made sure to point that out. I had never heard of Kin-Ball before and her post was a great introduction to it. I complimented her on the use of links and photos.

Summary of Week 4 - 100 Word Challenge by student blogger Michael. His blog is connected to the class blog which can be found here.

Michael had to write an one hundred word blog post that contained certain words. He created a story about getting a puppy from the store.

My comment complimented him on his word choice. He used strong words like "lugubrious".

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Project #3

Blog Post #5

chart full of tips on expanding your PLN
To be honest I had never heard of "Personal Learning Networks (PLN)" before this blog post. From my understanding a PLN is a network of people where you collect and share information with via the internet. This includes social media, search engines, blog sites..etc. A PLN is not only useful for students, but for educators as well. As a teacher they can help me new learn methods of teaching or learn new information about a topic. They are formed by first creating a base for where all your information is stored. Bookmarking sites such as Delicious or using a website such as symbaloo like the seventh grader did in A Seventh Grader's Personal Learning Enivornment. My own PLN begins on twitter. I've had a twitter for a few years now and I've mainly used it as a place of entertainment. However, because of EDM310 I have created a new Twitter account that is focused more on learning and expanding my connections within in the education system. I have already followed the accounts Dr. Strange has mentioned in the syllabus. I have also started following the Twitter account @thenerdyteacher.

Also, check out this website that gives tips and tricks to help expand your PLN, The Social Media Guide to Growing Your Personal Learning Netowrk.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Post #4

panda with question marks above its head
As a teacher, having questions to ask your students is just as important as being able to answer their questions. Questions are important because not only does it gauge how much your students have learned, but opens to floor for your students to share their own opinions. However, simply asking any question is not going to be effective.

The steps laid out by Maryellen Weimer, writer of the article Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom suggest that teachers prepare questions beforehand. This a great way to cut down on the confusion of trying to come up with a question on the spot. Students are more likely to questions they can easily comprehend rather than those that are unclear. In that same article she mentions playing with the question. The way she described it, I interpreted it as it being like a "Question of the Day." As a teacher you could utilize this. Have you students write down the question and tell them to keep the question in mind as the lesson goes on. At the end of the class, have an open discussion about the question. This is a great way to engage the students and create an open environment. This can make us an effective teacher because we should also be aware of the "Question of the Day" so we can have a discussion with the students as well.

In the article Asking Questions to Improve Learning, it is suggested for teachers to learn how to respond effectively. If a student responds incorrectly, it is our job as teachers to point out their mistakes, but also turn that into a learning process. Instead of just telling their they're wrong, help them get to the right answer by asking a couple of questions and taking suggestions from other students.

Questions are great teaching tools because they require students to think for themselves and this requires them to understand the information given. To be effective in teaching, we need to know which questions will most beneficial where and when in the classroom.

Project #15

private invesitgator holding a mangnifying glass
In this ever changing world of technology, information is at the tips of our fingers. Search engines are a great resource, but which search engines are actually helping you? We all know the big guy, Google, but have you heard of Dogpile, WolframAlpha, Yippy? You probably haven't unless you're doing some hardcore searching. Not only are the multiple search engines, but there are different types of search engines. Breaking it down that far can get messy though. For the sake of keeping things easy and simple, I have picked out eight search engines and will review each one. For a base, I have used the word dog. It's simple and easy to define.

*These are in no specific order and the opinions for each site are purely my own.
Yippy is an obscure search engine that I had never heard of until this project. If I had to describe this search engine in one would be horrific. The homepage is easy to maneuver and there isn't much to it. However, the results that pop up after searching are less than favorable.
screen shot of
As you can see by the screenshot, the first result that popped up was There is a way to narrow your results, but as far as convenience, the search engine is lacking. I would not use it on a regular basis nor would I recommend it to anyone.

Dogpile grabs it search results from Google and Yahoo which means you could of just used Google or Yahoo.
screen shot of
The only thing you'd be missing out on if you didn't use Dogpile would be the dog puns.

WolframAlpha was suggested to me by Dr. Strange. The home page is delightful to look at and even has a tab for you to "give your brain a quick workout with the Wolfram Problem Generator." Not only can you type in a phrase, but you can also type in an equation and it will solve it for you. The search results are different from the standard results page. Instead of having different links leading to another source that will tell you more about what you're searching, Wolfram will bring you actual information on what you searched, as seen in the screenshot below. It will also ask how you want to use that certain search phrase. Overall, this is a great search site for children because it knocks out all the advertisements and misleading websites.
screen shot of

Bing is the 'better' version of Google. You've seen the commercials for it. However, Bing is still the standard search engine and that gives you the same links you'll get from Google or even Yahoo. Developed by the makers of Internet Explorer, if you visit Bing using Chrome a little box will pop up asking if you Chrome is running slow and will give you the option to switch to Internet Explorer. After searching dog, the result pages gives not only links to websites but images and a box that has some fast facts in it. At least this search engine's results are about dogs.
screen shot of

AskJeeves has been around for a while now. I remember using it back in middle school. The main page is a bland gray, but you are able to change it by looking at the themes presented by Askjeeves. There is also a question of that day that you can explore. After searching the word 'dog', the standard wikipedia link did not show up. I considered that a plus until I looked at the 'Explore Answers About'. There is a spot that says 'Explore Answers About' and the top suggestion was Non Surgical Face Lift.
screen shot of

Duckduckgo is a search engine where their slogan is "The search engine that doesn't track you." They have a simple design and I like the duck mascot. The results are fair and the links are websites that relate back to the word 'dog.' I would recommend this search engine to someone if they didn't want to be tracked.
screen shot of

Faroo is a peer-to-peer search engine website. This means that it tracks what links people on other computers have clicked on and displays the most popular pages. This means that this search engine is not the most accurate, nor is it actually helpful. If you're looking for some fast news about a celebrity or possibly just some fun facts, this might be for you. If you're writing a research paper, I would stick to the more known, not peer-to-peer based search engines.

Yahoo the not Google version of Google. It's search bar is surrounded by news, weather, business, and other interesting articles. Unlike other search engines, Yahoo utilizes it's home page space by putting all those news articles on there. It's search results are standard and even gave the same results. As far as search engines go, Yahoo isn't the best and it's not the holy grail of all search engines.

C4T #1

Some of Mr. Provenzano's students posing in front of a marshmallow tower made out of marshmallows and thin sticks
For my first C4T assignment, I was assigned to Nicholas Provenzano otherwise known as the The Nerdy Teacher. His blog is full of his thoughts on what is like to be a teacher and how he aims to improve his classroom. He gives helpful advice to new, present, and veteran teachers. The first post I commented on was First Day Reflections. In this post, Provenzano summarizes how his first day went from the perspective of the teacher. He sets it up as a pro vs con and elaborates on what he says. One of my favorite parts of his post was reading about the Marshmallow challenge. He had his students construct shapes and objects out of marshmallows. You can see pictures by searching the hashtags #MRPAL and #MRPFROSH. My comment I left on his post addressed how I enjoyed the way he utilized pro vs con and complimented him on the Marshmallow challenge. I thought that was a innovative ice breaker that not only broke the ice, but was a fun way to start the year off.

The second post I commented on was #NerdySpaces Reflections #EdChat #Learning Spaces."I'm constantly thinking about my learning environment right now," Provenzano writes. In this post, Provenzano writes about the setup of his classroom. He shares that his students, however, have mixed feelings towards the new setup. Some say they feel as if they're at a conference meeting and others don't like the fact they aren't facing the front of the classroom. He mentions wanted to get away from the concept of "the front of the room" by rearranging the desk. He gives a shout out to a group called VS. They sent him this awesome chair named Hokki and at first glance it looks like a funky stool. If you want to find out more you can either visit Provenzano's post or check out VS's website VS | School Furniture and Office Furniture. In my comment, I agreed with Provenzano about how the set up of a classroom can really affect the learning environment. I highly suggest checking out Provenzano's NerdyCast on Youtube.

For more information about Nicholas Provenzano, check out these following links:
Blog: The Nerdy Teacher
Twitter: @mrprovenzano or @thenerdyteacher
Facebook: One Nerdy Teacher
Youtube: NerdyCast

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blog Post #3

clip art of a boy and girl. The girl has blonde hair in pigtails, a pink backpack on, and an orange dress on. The boy has brown hair, a green backpack on, and a blue outfit on.
Peer reviewing is a great asset in the learning process. It allows the writer to get a fresh set of eyes to look at his or her work. It can embarrassing, awkward, unhelpful, unproductive, productive..etc. Peer reviewing is what you and your peers make of it. After reviewing Peer Editing, Tutorial Peer Editing, and Writing Peer Review (Peer Critique) TOP 10 Mistakes, I have gained knowledge on how to properly peer review and how I can use my new set of skills to help other people learn.

If I had to explain peer review in two words it would be, "positive criticism." All three resources stress the importance of remaining positive. Peer review is not meant to be an embarrassing or negative process. When I peer review, I will make sure to begin with a compliment and end with a compliment. This way the writer knows I am not trying to insult them in any way, shape, or form. I want them to know I am pointing out certain things to help make his or her writing better. I will look forward to peer reviewing as it my chance to help a fellow student strengthen his or her writing. I hope to learn from my fellow students as they look over my writings and help me grow and develop my skills as a writer.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post #2

21st century whose accessories depict certain qualities of a 21st century teacher. Example, books inside of his trench coat and they are labeled information management.
This week I had to review several videos that depict the changes in teaching for the 21st century. The first one I reviewed was Professor Dancealot. In this video students are taking a dance class from Professor Dancealot. Despite being a dance class, Professor Dancealot stands behind a desk and reads off a powerpoint. His examples of the dances are limited, and he has no student involvement. When it comes time for the final his students are lost and are relying on written notes to perform a dance. The point of this video was to show how this kind of teaching style effects students. The video shows students disinterested, bored, sleeping, not paying attention, confused, and all around displeased with how Professor Dancealot was teaching. They might of learned the definitions and steps, but they did not learn how to apply what they learned. This was proven when it came time for the final and all the students were confused and flipping through their notes. I do not agree with the teaching methods that Professor Dancealot implements, but I do agree with what the video is trying to say. Teaching is not just standing in front of some students and talking. Teaching includes involvement and applying what was learned so the students have a better understanding of the subject.

The second video I reviewed was Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts. In this video Roberts discussing what is like to be a teacher in the 21st century. He addresses the fact that students in the 21st century have access to any information at any time of the day. He theorizes that because teachers are no longer the main source of information, it is now a teacher's duty to become a filter for the information. As a teacher in the 21st century, he says teachers should be teaching students how to use the internet as an asset in learning instead of seeing it as a source for entertainment. He sees the ever growing need for technology as a way to engage students in the learning process. By showing them how to google properly, cite correctly, or connect to networks, he sees this as a new way of learning that, we as teachers, facilitate from the background. I understand what Roberts is saying, and yes this is most likely going to happen but, I am still not all gung-ho for completely throwing away the old way of teaching because students have more access to the internet. If Roberts is correct, I will no longer be teaching what I know. Instead I will be waiting for my students to discover this information on their own while I oversee what they learn and how they learn it.

The third video I reviewed was The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. This video introduces the term 'connectivism.' This theory theorizes that learning occurs as a part of social networking of many diverse connections an ties. After watching this video, and a few others on the list, I had to stop and question why I was becoming a teacher. Because I am a product of the early 21st century education where technology was not the driving force and I had a burp-back education, I am overwhelmed by the changes in the classroom. To me being a teacher means teaching a student an idea or a fact and then expand on that after it has been taught. However, in this changing time, to be a teacher means to put that idea out there and let the student discover what it is on their own. It does bring students to a higher level of thinking and yes that is a good thing, but it's an idea I am not use to.

The fourth video I reviewed was Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis. She theorizes that problems within the classroom result from the limitations that are created by using just pen and paper. She sees technology as an opportunity for students to grow and learn more through group projects. I, again, was very overwhelmed with her teaching style. When she openly admitted to not having a slight clue on how to terraform, the first thing I wanted to scream was "How can you teach this then?" It is a weird idea to me for a teacher not to know or being a little informed in what he or she is assigning to her students. It is like telling a student to diffuse a bomb, but not giving them help or being knowledgeable enough to answer a question they might have. Technology is a great asset for learning, but I believe a student must have the basics before diving deeper into a subject. However, the peer teaching, and group learning is a great way to keep students engaged. That can lead to information being retained and remembered further down the road.

The fifth video I reviewed was Who's Ahead in the Learning Race by John Strange. This video depicts the learning gap in technology between elementary and college level students. Strange visits an elementary school that has kindergarteners using google docs and third graders creating rubrics. It shows just how advanced elementary schools have gotten, which does put them ahead in the technology race. However, I believe I am not far behind. I have used most of google's tools that are available to me and I am proficient in several video and photo editing softwares.

The last video I reviewed was Flipping the Classroom Flipping the classroom is not a new phrase to me, but the actual concept is. I have heard that term here and there but have not known what it actually entailed. For those who are like me, flipping the classroom is a new innovative way of learning in the classroom. Instead using class time to explain a concept, a student will get a prerecorded videos of teachers going over concepts. The outcome is suppose to prompt questions and involvement from the students and maximize classroom time for student activities and group engagement. I believe flipping the classroom is a great concept and I will use some aspects from it in my own classroom. However, I do not like the idea of just sticking a kid in front of a computer. I will still teach students in the classroom, but I will also find time to maximize group projects and peer teaching. Will flipping the classroom be useful to me? Yes and no. I will utilize the parts I find most beneficial to my classroom.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blog Post #1

A desktop computer with keyboard and mouse
The first time I heard about EDM 310 was in MA 201, Math for Elementary Education. Everyone who talked about it seemed stressed and confused. They had nothing but horrible things to say. I heard that you HAD to have a Mac or else. It was Mac or nothing. That myth was quickly busted after sending an email to Dr. Strange asking about this. My HP would do just fine in this class. The number one piece of advice I got from everyone in that class was to have someone proof read any blog post before it was posted. I also heard that Dr. Strange was a strange man and rude. If you asked for help, he would be rude and ask if you read the directions.

After the first day of class I understood why everyone was stressed and confused all the time. I walked out of there feeling overwhelmed and under prepared for what I had gotten myself into. Now that I have time to think about everything, I realize that I have nothing to fear. If I stay on top of things and manage my time well, I will be able to succeed in this class. This class is going to take me out of my comfort zone because it’s not a normal class. It is a place to further my knowledge, not just spit out what I’ve learned unlike classes in high school. EDM 310 challenges me in a way that my HY 101, Western Civilization, professor challenged me. It wasn’t a burp back education. He had us thinking about how events in the past have affected us now. It was a challenge because I ready to memorize thousands of dates and random French names.

The most difficult part of EDM 310 is going to be the amount of work that is given. I looked over the checklist and it appears to be an overwhelming amount of activities. I have poor time management skills which has always caused trouble in school and even outside of school activities. To remedy this problem, I am buying a planner. I have free days where I can work on blog post and other assignments which I need to take advantage of.

Although I do not have any questions about EDM 310 at the moment, I know I can turn to my fellow students, professor, or lab assistants for help. This class will be hard but I believe by the end of it, I will had learned a lot and grown as an educator.

Practice Post

Question/Topic: Who am I? Why do I want to be an educator? What does an educator do in his or her practice? What are my passions?

A. Introduction
1. Basics
-a. name, age, where i've lived
2. Family Life
-a. mom, dad, step mom, sister
3. University Life
-a. local, scholarship, commute
B. Teaching
1. My reasons for wanting to teach
-a. I have always loved helping people
-b. I've seen teachers who have made an impact on people's lives, and I want to be a part of that experience.
-c. high school example
-d. I want to be a part of the future in a big way.
2. Educator's work
-a. technology
-b. responsibility in the classroom
C. Fun facts and Passions
1. Fun facts
-a. AOII, Trail Maid, Knitting
2. Passions
-a. photography

Hi there! My name is Emily Rodrick.
my sister and I standing on a bridge with a river and trees in the background
I am eighteen years young and am currently enjoying cruising through life. My family consists of my stepmother, Debbie, my non biological father, Billy, and my adopted sister, Sara. I myself am also adopted from Hefei, China. I was adopted by Billy and Robyn, my dad’s first wife who passed away from ALS in 2005, when I was eleven months old. I don’t remember much about the adoption center seeing as how I was so young, but I am grateful for being adopted. During that time, China had a one child law to control the population. I could have been killed or abandoned due to that. My parents often remind me of how lucky I was to be left in front of the orphanage instead of in a dumpster in a back alleyway. I hold no grudge against my biological mother. She left me to be found, and I believe that means she truly loved me and wanted me to have a better future. My sister shares the same story as I do. However, she was found at a train station near the country. As sad as my story seems, I still live a great life.
Me in my lavander Azlaea Trail Maid dress
I had the privilege of being an Azalea Trail Maid my senior year of high school and because of that was able to walk in the Disney Easter Parade in Disneyworld, the Cherry Blossom parade in Washington D.C, and the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

In my spare time I really enjoy watching Netflix or being involved. I am a sister in the sorority Alpha Omicron Pi here at South Alabama. Being a part of sorority keeps me busy, especially now that recruitment week is going on. I have been in a relationship for about two years and some months with a wonderful man named AJ. He is also a student here at South Alabama. He is majoring in computer programming at the moment. When I’m not busy with my sorority, hanging out with friends, or catching up on homework, you can find me watching Netflix or browsing the internet. I’m a kid at heart so the Disney section is my favorite section on Netflix. With that being said, Disneyland and Disneyworld are my happy places. I love going there and I believe that you are never too old for Disney.

As far as picking where I wanted to go for university, it was a no brainer. I knew I wanted to stay close, even though I always said I wanted to go somewhere half way across the country. My top three choices were Auburn University, Southern Mississippi, and the University of South Alabama. All three schools have great education programs which made it hard to choose. In the end, money was the ultimate decider. My scholarship from the University of South Alabama was more beneficial than the ones from Southern Mississippi or Auburn. Being able to live at home and save money that way was also a plus. I am excited to see what the future has in hold for me as I continue my journey of learning here at South Alabama.

I wanted to become a teacher because I saw the impact they had on students’ lives. I have never had a bad teacher. My teachers have been nothing but spectacular even now in college. In high school, I always struggled with math. I don’t know why, but I could never make anything but a B in any math classes. When calculus came around, I knew I was in trouble. I had to kick into high gear and tried my hardest to understand every concept we learned. However, despite my efforts, I still felt like I was not good enough, or smart enough. When test came around, I forgot everything I knew. I’d stare at the problems and think to myself, “What am I looking at? Is this Latin?” I was in a constant state of distress over this class. Here’s where it gets better. Coach Agnew, my calculus teacher, was always supportive of me and his other students. He made sure that we felt comfortable with what we were learning and always offered extra help if needed. I remember one semester my dad came up to the school and Coach Agnew had nothing but good things to say about me. He told my dad that I worked hard and was always helping others. This was the real kicker because I was pretty good at working problems that weren’t on a test and could explain how to work a problem to other students who needed help. Because of Coach Agnew, I continued with calculus and ended up making a three on the AP Calculus AB Exam at the end of the year. Coach Agnew was such a memorable person in my life and I want to be that to someone else. I want to be able to push students to their limits because I know they can succeed. I want to be able to help mold the future and be a part of it. Teaching is more than just getting in front of a class and speaking. It’s getting to know your students and help them become better people. Every student that comes through the classroom is going to be affected by you, the teacher. I want to make a change in a student. I want to be somebody they can look up to. This is my goal, and what I think a teacher's responsibility is.

Teaching is a passion of mine, but it is not my only passion. My other passion is photography. I love being able to capture a moment in time and have it saved forever. My love for photography comes from seeing old photographs in history books. All pictures tell a story, and I want to tell my story through every picture I take.
Me standing in front of some mountains in Tennessee.

source for all photos: Emily Rodrick