How can I encourage a fundamental change in the way my students view the classes they are taking?

One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching future teachers is that these students do not want to think like teachers.  Even though I am teaching senior-level teacher candidates who may be only one semester away from student teaching, they still yawn and ho-hum and drift away during class, like it’s just another class.  THEY WILL BE STUDENT TEACHERS IN JUST A FEW SHORT MONTHS!  Why aren’t they thinking like teachers?  I consistently find myself saying, “think like a teacher,” “take off your student hat and put on your teacher hat,” or “stop acting like a student.”  But it doesn’t sink in.

Right now, my undergraduate students are placed in the field.  We had 9 weeks of instruction, now they spend 4 weeks in the field.  This field experience is called “The Block.”  I prefer to affectionately call them “Blockheads.”  Next week, we will have a general meeting of blockheads during one evening.  I can predict that they will come to the meeting, at least most will, and they will talk about all the things for which they feel unprepared.  They will talk about all the things they didn’t learn.  They will talk about being teachers.

So, I may have just answered my question, “How do I encourage my students to think like teachers?”  The answer is, send them out into the field.  But this raises another question, can we send them out into the field sooner?  I think not.  We already have too many students during the block and student teaching semesters for our local schools to handle, there’s no way to send more out sooner without inundating the schools.

So, what if we bring the field to them?  What if my 9 weeks of class consists of some instruction by me but mostly instruction by them?  What if I require them to BE teachers instead of encouraging them to THINK like teachers.

Problem solved.  Maybe I’m the blockhead.

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Time to Begin Again

My son has inspired me.  He just self-published his first novel on Amazon (C.B. McCullough, The Fallen Odyssey).  I’m not much a reader, I wish I were, but I’m not.  Thus, I’m struggling with writing.  So, the fact that I’m enthralled by his novel is inspiring.  He’s out writing novels and I can’t even keep up with my blog.  I used to be great at it… now, not at all.

It’s time to begin again and start writing my teaching experiences, hopes, and fears.  Stay tuned.

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Test Post

Trying out Blog Booster.

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

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Video Test…

Due to a couple of questions from students, I wanted to try a quick blog test of adding a YouTube video.  In the recent past, WordPress would NOT allow videos to be posted.  I think there was some concern of Flash Player issues.

But… here’s a test, in step-by-step format, which seems to have worked.

  • I found a YouTube Video in a separate browser window,
  • clicked the video’s “Share” button,
  • clicked the “Embed” button,
  • copied the embed code,
  • came back to my Blog,
  • created a new post,
  • when I was ready to add the video, clicked the “HTML” tab above and to the right of the tools,
  • I pasted the embed code at the end of all the HTML.

Did it work?  If so, the video should show in the next line…

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Afloat… Barely.

Well that didn’t take long. I can barely keep my head above water. I thought I would stay on top of things, but here I am in the second week of classes and already WAY behind. It always soundsready, teaching online classes, but it isn’t. At least it isn’t the way I do it. Why do I assign so many blogs and reflections?  If any of my students are out there reading this, please tell me those assignments are worth the time and effort. And please tell me if they are not!

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Summer school begins

The summer session has started out fairly well. ED 517 and ED 620 are at full steam now. I’ve tried to do a better job at verifying students are using their Clarion email. It seems to be working.

As always, I test and test and test pages in D2L, but something still doesn’t work. This time, a couple YouTube videos don’t seem to load properly for some folks. I haven’t been able to narrow done what the issue may be. If anyone knows why this is occurring, feel free to contact me.

Unfortunately, the Graduate Office mistakenly emailed students in ED 620 and told them the class was canceled. However, it wasn’t. I don’t know for sure how many students withdrew because if their mistake.

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Insanely sane…

I thought I would remain sane and not try to plan every single little detail of my Summer 2012 classes.  I thought I would simply add the detail as I went.  What I have found is that I am going insane.  Instead of adding a little detail to what was already planned, I’m adding insane amounts of detail to things that don’t need detail.  I just can’t leave well enough alone, I guess.  And now I getting ready to add audio to a video tutorial that I probably didn’t need to make.  8-\

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QR Codes

I’m having some fun experimenting with QR Codes as they relate to my upcoming classes.  I imagine many folks have smartphones that can read QR Codes, but do they know how to use them?  And if they do, does anyone really care?  Are they more convenient?  Well, just to play, here is a QR Code of my contact information that I will be placing in my syllabus.  Enjoy!

Contact Info QR Code

A QR Code of my contact information

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Summer School…

I can’t believe summer school is already here. I’ll be like a kid in a candy store. I love teaching summer classes!

This summer I’m taking a less organized approach. Instead of being completely insane about having every detail of every aspect of my courses planned, I’m just planning the basics. I’ll spend more time on details as the courses progress.

I hope this technique works out.

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iPhone test

This is a quick test of the WordPress iPhone App. It looks like it could work very nicely. I guess time will tell.


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