15-Final Thoughts

Week 15 Readings

The reading Time Management and Student Ownership by Chris Peek and Angela Wainright was really interesting to me for multiple reasons. I have struggled recently with the feeling of “I don’t know enough about history, how could I possibly teach students?!” and this reading helped to bring some perspective to me and this feeling. Peek and Wainwright brought up some really great points but the things that stood out to me the most were quotes about the “teachers’ belief that they must be experts on all facets of their subject.” and “Telling a student ‘I don’t know’ is a great teachable moment.” Being able to say “I don’t know” is something that I am definitely going to have to learn how to do as a teacher. Right now I am exactly the type of teacher that Wainright and Peek are speaking about, someone who tries to learn everything there is to know about the subject and that’s just not possible. This reading really helped me to grasp that concept and realize that I need to be okay with not knowing everything right now. 

Raymond Jones’ article The Architecture of Learning goes along really well with the reading from Peek and Wainright. In his article, Jones talks about the process of learning and what we should expect from students before, during, and after learning something new. Jones explains that before students learn something new they must be introduced to the new idea, skill, or information before we send them diving headfirst into it. After students have been introduced to and have explored the new topic we must give them some sort of follow up application for what they have just learned. This made me think back to when I was in school and I realize that the things I remember the most from any subject are the things that my teachers took time to introduce slowly, build upon, and followed up with an application of the new topic/skill/idea. This connected for me just how important Jones’ techniques and recommendations are when it comes to teaching and learning. 

14-Starting Your Career

Week 14 Readings

The readings for this week focused on the struggles that we as new teachers will undoubtedly face and ways in which we can overcome those struggles, survive, and thrive in our first year of teaching. 

The first reading this week was What Should Happen on the First Day in a World History Class? By Helen Grady. In this reading Grady gives some starter questions for educators to think about when planning the course. These questions like “What is world history?” and “Why do we want to teach world history?” seem so simple but Grady expands on why these questions are so important when planning out the year’s lessons. The perspective and views with which we teach and study world history are different because this kind of history is so broad. The broadness of this makes world history both daunting but extremely exciting. This reading made me really excited to teach World History one day. 

The second reading this week was Mike Burns’ The First-Year World History Teacher’s Survive and Thrive Guide. I found this reading to be really helpful as well as very relatable. As I think about my first days and even my first year of teaching I tend to overthink and panic and this reading made me realize that I am not alone in this. Burns gives a lot of insightful tips on overcoming this panic and making a flexible plan for the year. Burns also lists a lot of resources which I know will be helpful now and as I begin my career as an educator. 

15-Final Thoughts

Week 15 – Aaron Rigby

This week’s reading was primarily set on providing guidance to future teachers like ourselves in how to coordinate a proper semester year in terms of creating lessons, teachings subjects, and being balanced while doing both.

In Chris Peek and Angela Wainright’s Time Management and Student Ownership: How to Get Through Your Curriculum in the Time Allotted, they really hit the nail on the head in their subsection of “Time Bandits” subtitled It takes Ms. Jones longer to teach World War II than it took to fight it. This struck me as interesting because as I have written curriculum following assignments, I struggled with not providing enough material because I sought to make it through the whole semester. Likewise, I figure that’ll change rapidly as I begin my Student Teaching at Wilkes Central High School next semester.

Regardless, that article, alongside a previous article I read a while ago which escapes me but talked about “cutting an inch deep and a mile wide”, sent a message to me that I am not the only one struggling with this issue. Equally so, this article put an emphasis on several helpful advice tips including requiring students to take notes on SPEC or Social, Political, Economic, and Cultural aspects of societies and other that came up in a World History class. Incredibly good advice, I feel!

The second thing I looked into was Raymond Jones’ web article The Architecture of Learning. His writing talked a lot about the learning process and how to go about your day-to-day teaching. He talks about how learning is a process. One must be warmed up with prior knowledge acknowledgements followed by the setting of purpose; the setting of drive to learn. In this, key topics must be focal points in the process, followed by the application of this new information into some sort of relevance. To me, and I am sure others, this is the foundation of anything in education…or at the least should be.

This week’s reading is a helpful guide to us as we all prepare to end this semester and start to dive in into our Student Teaching. I want to take this opportunity to reach out to my peers and ask you guys what are you most excited for, and what are you most nervous for, as we all start this journey! Let me hear you, please! Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Reading, all! It’s been a joy being in this class with you all.

14-Starting Your Career

Week 14 – Aaron Rigby

This week’s reading was centered around the beginner teacher and the struggles that we as those teachers will face.

My first read was based on the words of Mike Burn’s The First-year World History Teacher’s Survive and Thrive Guide. Extremely inciteful, he gives us indication to first days’ planning in regards to remaining calm and making a (flexible) calendar, among other things. The part that stood out to me most was crafting enduring essential questions throughout the multiple lesson plans created to proper guide to our students so then to provide feedback to them as they embark on the journey developed by you the educator in your class.

Conveniently the second read I chose was Sigrid Reynolds’ Year Two: Moving from Survival to Fun. My biggest concerns as a soon-to-be teacher is the struggle of transitioning from a first-year to a second-year teacher who will be in the grove, but still not entirely “know my place.” While I overcome these, I realize my weaknesses in certain subjects will have shown from the previous years, such as the gaps of history I lack about specific regions. Some good advice Reynolds gave was reading literature from these regions. While it may seem obvious to do this, I had not considered it.

Likewise, my fear is my interests will overcome what I need to be teaching as I personally harp on rebutting individual teachers’ interest pushing. However, I have realized through Reynold’s reading that perhaps my interests may be in my favor. Gaming in particular is a good one, thus the one I will focus on. Reynolds says, “What fifteen-year-old does not want to hear of the ball games played in classical Mayan cities?” While literally this is not what I care about, it is the concept of connecting with the younger generations. That being said, it could be beneficial for me to connect their interests, my interests, and the interests of the curriculum to a more plausibly-fun academic environment.

Overall, I feel I got a lot out of this weeks readings and seek to apply these in due haste. I open for discussion for someone to add anything they would like in what their fears were, along with some things they think they will do to overcome said fears. Happy reading, all!

15-Final Thoughts

Week 15-Carter Etgen

This weeks readings involved how teachers can make the students time in the classroom an effective learning experience and how important time management can be for teachers. The first article discussed how a teacher can make sure time in the classroom is spent wisely. This can be done through a few different ideas and activities. Most of these involve playing important classroom roles that can help to get students on the right path, and making sure they are really getting the information that they need. The article explains that learning is a process, and that students will not all be learning at the same speed. As teachers it is important to cater to the needs of all students in order to create a good learning environment, and to allow students to change and grow in their education. We need to make sure that we don’t just pass our ideas on to students to make copies of our own thought processes, but we need to get the students to learn how to create their own purely independent thoughts and feelings towards the issues and ideas that we present.

The next article is about time management, which is an extremely important skill to have as a teacher. I will admit that I struggle with time management sometimes, and more often than not I end up doing work and assignments the day or night before they are due. This is something that has allowed me to get through school, but not exactly enough to get me to my full potential. This is something I have struggled with through most of my life, but once I got into college I got a little bit better about finishing assignments ahead of time, and in my free time instead of just in time. I will admit that amongst the pandemic and online learning that I have struggled with time management again and that I can feel myself losing some of the progress I made when I got to college, but now I am doing my best to try and get myself back to where I was in order to succeed as a student as well as a future teacher. This article helped to show just how important time management is for students as well as the fact that it will be important later in life no matter what profession you are in. Overall, this article is a good wake up call and reminder of how important the skill of time management is.

15-Final Thoughts

Week 15 Readings- Caz Wheeler

It is a teacher’s job to fill many roles in order to help their students. It is also the job of the teacher to understand all of these roles so that they are able to involve more students in a wide variety of learning activities. Students will not all be the same they could come from other cultures, have unusual abilities, or have problems learning, Zevin explains that this is why a teacher must be able to fill multiple roles in the classroom. This means a teacher must also be aware of their audience, instead of teaching the class expecting every student is the same a good educator can determine what role bests benefits a specific student’s learning experience. I remember from my own high school experience many teachers are guilty of just filling a few or a single role in an attempt to cater to the classroom as a whole instead of specific students. This allowed the gifted students to slack while also kept other students from learning anything. Filling few roles and catering teaching to the middle is dangerous for a teacher and their classroom, students will struggle because of how different each one is from another. A teacher should be able to fill multiple roles in order to cater to the needs of all their students.

Students learning should be the highest priority of an educator, so what should a teacher do when it is clear that students are not understanding what was taught? In “Architecture of Learning” it is made clear every student is different and therefore that they learn differently. These students should be taught in the way the teacher feels is most effective for them and is why a teacher needs to be able to both identify their students learning style as well as the best way to teach them. This is why it is important for a teacher to be able to fill so many different roles. An educator must be able to cater to the ideal learning situation for their students instead of forcing the students to adapt to their style of teaching. A successful teacher needs to be able to identify their students and fill the niche to provide them the best teaching.

15-Final Thoughts

Week 15 Readings – Clint Henderson

The two readings I read this week had to do with time management in the classroom and the architecture of learning, which I found to be very interesting. Both of these gave new ways to learn and new ways to teach, but I really enjoyed the breakdown of learning from the website. It was short, but it was very informative.

The article “Architecture of Learning” talks about how frustrating it can be for teachers to teach and then grade exams and see that our students are not getting it. However, almost directly after discussing how frustrating it is, the article reminds us that learning is about creating change, and if we haven’t created change in our students, they aren’t learning. The article then goes on to discuss how learning is a process, and that different students learn at different speeds. For example, while skipping steps or using shortcuts in a lesson may benefit certain students that are above average intelligence, it will hurt that student struggling with a concept that much more. I think this breakdown of learning just really hit me, because learning is not how many fact we can cram into our students heads and then testing them on it. Learning is changing the way they think and how they go about taking on a new topic or idea. Learning is critical thinking skills that they will carry past your class. Those are the things that are important.

The other article dealing with time management is a true self-evaluation for me. I struggle more than anybody with time management, and it’s gotten worse because of this pandemic. However, this chapter gives several helpful ideas, concepts, and strategies to help a teacher with time management. One of the things that stuck out to me the most in this article was the idea to rely on other teachers who are teaching the subject, to use each other for help and support. I have already begun doing this, as I was pretty close with my high school history teacher. We worked together outside of the school after I graduated, and he has helped me tremendously since I began my journey as a future teacher. I know he will help me a lot once I get a job and tackle my own classroom as well. This just really struck me from the article because it is something I have already kind of began doing without ever realizing it, asking him for advice and pointers and clearing up ideas.

I liked how the readings from this week were simple, yet very informative. They got the job done, gave me knowledge and understandings to take with me, yet were very simple to read and very straight forward.

14-Starting Your Career

Week 14 Readings – Clint Henderson

This week’s readings all came out of Teaching World History in the Twenty-first Century: A Resource Book. They all really revolved around different ways to conduct yourself in a world history class, starting on what to do the first day of a world history class, how to survive and thrive in the first year, and then how to go from survival to having fun in the second year. I found all three of the chapter for this week to be very helpful and informative, but I think the first day and the first year really struck home. That is what I am most worried about as a future educator. Teaching world history can seem extremely over whelming, but having these pointers really help ease the tension.

“What Should Happen on the First Day in a World History Class?” really talked about how to kick the class off right. Essentially, what to do on the first day, how to conduct the class, what to do to build a bond with your students, what sort of activities to do, and more. I think this is extremely important, because students are already overwhelmed on the first day, just as the teacher is, and following these steps to ease tensions and nerves will benefit them as much as it will the teacher. Of course there are other methods, other activities, etc. but the examples and ideas presented in this chapter are a solid framework on how to kick off the first day of class, and it is definitely advice I will take with me.

“The First-year World History Teacher’s Survive-and-Thrive Guide” discusses how to carry out the first year of teaching world history. It covers everything from how to set up the class, such as working backwards and planning out the class on a calendar, all the way to resources to use for the class, and everything in between. It also provides a small piece that really stuck with me, and that is that we are not going to know everything as teachers, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not know something when a student asks you, we are learning every day too. This is very important to keep in mind. Also, the resources at the end of the chapter are extremely helpful. From short books, to internet sources, to longer books, the chapter offers a large variety of resources to help you make it through that first year of teaching world history.

I found these readings to be extremely helpful and comforting in a sense, and I will carry a lot of this information with me to my future classroom.

15-Final Thoughts

Week 15 Reading – Cullyn Knight

I found this week’s readings to be very informational and informative. Most interesting to me was the reading about the various roles that a teacher has to adopt to make the classroom an effective learning experience. I thought it was very interesting to see a categorical breakdown of this. Some of these roles are ones that I had already implemented into my lesson plans, but others are ones that I will definitely have to keep ready to use in the future. I really enjoyed the idea of artistic interpreter, which has a lot of room for creating interesting lesson plans based on the idea of art analysis. I think it would be a lot of fun.

The second reading, concerning time management, was also really good. I thought that the reading made some good points about using time management to create a more complete and educational learning experience. I can definitely relate to a lot of the short “interview bits” scattered throughout the chapter, and the concept of bad teacher time management (like a World History class that only got to Medieval Europe). The suggestion for paper grading was also really good, as I have had issues with teachers who assign papers and don’t mention again them until the paper’s due date before. I think that students need direction on writing papers to help them develop time management skills. I thought it was a really good idea to have “check ins” where certain work-in-progress bits are due in preparation for the full paper. This is something I wish I had more of in my schooling.

13-Job Market

Week 13- Abbie Fite

The readings this week were very helpful in looking forward as an educator. They all looked at ways of advancing your career and helping you prepare for getting a job. In the piece by Kelly Cherwin, she gives all of the benefits of joining a professional association. This piece didn’t necessarily talk only to teachers but anyone who wants to further there career and have an extra support system of other people with the same career. Learning doesn’t end when we finish school and its especially important for teachers to continue looking and finding these opportunities for growth. Professional associations seem like a really great way of finding these opportunities. It was also interesting to think about how we can also give back in these professional associations by helping others in our profession.

It was also extremely helpful to read the article giving advice to principals on hiring new teachers. It was good to see what exactly they might be looking for and what kinds of questions they may ask. This helps prepare you to have answers to some of these questions and helps give you an idea of what to look out for in different schools. I also hadn’t realized how teaching has become less competitive and that it was a “candidate’s market.” It was informative to see the other side and see that principals are trying to impress you just as much as you are trying to impress them.