Friday, November 21, 2014

Blog Post #6

Engaging Students in Learning.

Learning is a two way road. There is no way the students are going to learn if they are not held to some sort of standard or given the opportunity to participate. Engaging your students is one of the best ways to make sure that you know exactly what they know. Also its a good way for students to work together, and be able to learn for experience. One of the more common ways that I have seen is teachers will call on students or ask a question, and wait to see what the students come up with. This is great because it allows it to be an open discussion, and it allows students to build their response from previous responses. I think it is great when a teacher will ask students directly. It allows the student to know that the teacher cares, but it gives the student a chance to have there own opinion. Each class room has a different dynamic especially when it comes to the types of students. Some students are more quiet, but know the information. While others know the information, and will always let you know they know the information. Letting students be a part of the lesson helps them learn, and also helps them know that school is fun. No one wants to be lectured for hours on end. As I was observing and learning about engaging students there were a few points that stood out to me.
First is holding your students to a high standard. Letting them know its an expectation that they are involved, and letting them know that you will accept there ideas or opinions openly. That way students can feel comfortable sharing with each other.
Second is to obviously help where needed is a student is struggling to pronounce a word or doesn't quite know the answer its important to offer assistance as need, and not make the student feel self conscience.
Third its important to have a variety of activities. Such as a discussion, group projects, and individualized work. It just switches up the routine of the classroom, and helps the students learn.
A few weeks ago I was in a 6th grade class, and they were having some type of NOVA presentation. I watched as the officer would ask specific questions, and then just call on students. Of course if the students didn't feel like answering or didn't know the answer they wouldn't raise there hand. Some of the questions were about personal experiences. It allowed to students to decided what they were comfortable with, and wanted to share with the class. Then the next day they were asked to do a history assignment. The teacher had said that they could be in small groups of two. Which allowed them to find a spot in the class room and work together. It allowed the students to discuss answers, and search for the answers in the textbook together. Of course you always have to make sure that they are on task. It allowed them to work together in a smaller setting! Engaging Students and getting them involved is what will help they want to Learn.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blog Post #5- Roles of a Teacher

What do you think is the most important role a teacher plays? Why?
What is the most challenging role a teacher plays? Why?

I think an important role of a teacher is to help inspire the students. Students need to know that someone believes in them. A teacher needs to be willing to compliment the students and give positive feedback on their ideas. Students need to know that what they are doing is going to help them become better, and want to be better. Students also need to have a positive experience in school. Its important that as a teacher we inspire them, and help them to be life long learners. The other day in the office I had a teacher bring in a student who need some time away from class. He was having a rough day, and the teacher sent him to the office because he was not staying on task. She sent him with some books, and asked if I wouldn't mind letting him read me these particular books. This first grade boy comes up to the desk, and begins to read. He struggles with some words, and looks to me for validation. At that point I say OK lets sound the word out. He would sound ok the word, say it, and I would them let him know that he is doing a good job. He read a few books to me, and did well. When they struggle with a word or a problem we have to let them know that they can do it. We have to be there to let them know that they can learn, and be that support for them.
I think one of the most challenging roles a teacher plays is trying to balance all the needs of everyone in the class. I know there are going to be kids who struggle more than others. Each child needs to have the time with the teacher. I think it could be hard to help every student in the way they need to be helped with still keeping the needs of the class. For instance there is a student who had a difficult time in a particular class so he got switched to another teacher.  He has had a hard background, and for other reasons he has a hard time in school. In talking with the teacher she has been helping him to pay attention in class. Also, she noticed that if she treats him respectfully and politely he has a better chance of staying on task. Which of course to me that is a very important thing no matter the student, but the point is each student needs. As a teacher you have to balance the needs of everyone in the class. Students have different strengths and weakness.