Sunday, July 24, 2005

Veteran Teachers

On Friday morning, the Mississippi Teacher Corps Veterans spoke to us about our first days of school. In addition, they gave us some good pointers about what to do and what not to do. Friday was our second day of workshops. We still have workshops on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Up to that point, the Veteran MTC Panel has been the most beneficial. All of the workshops have been excellent; however, this one stood out to me. It was the most interesting and fun. The role plans were excellent! They gave me some really good ideas of what to do and not to do. I think that this will be very beneficial.

To me, my greatest resource has been those who have already gone through the program. They have been in our shoes before. They know how busy and stressed out we are at this time. They understand that it has been difficult to balance everything. In addition, they have already been though the first days and year of teaching. They have been to the front lines (so to speak), and they are now returning to tell their stories. We can learn from them. We can learn from their mistakes, and more importantly, we can see what worked for them.

As I arrive at Olive Branch in a week, I believe that veteran teachers will continue to be my greatest resource. I will learn a lot from the veteran teachers at Olive Branch. They will know the ends and outs of the school and students. I know that they will be just as helpful as the MTC Veteran Teachers have been.

My MTC Experience

As I look back upon these last two months, it is hard to believe how far I have come. It seems like just yesterday that we-all sat in Guyton Hall, not knowing hardly anyone. The summer has certainly passed rapidly. Time has flown by, and now we stand rapidly approaching August. It is hard for me to believe how much we have done in two months. We have had classes, wrote lesson plans, taught school, team taught, and now workshops. I feel that this program has prepared me for my first days and year of school. I know that I have progressed as a teacher. In short, I know that this program has transformed me into the best teacher that I can possible be. It focused on my qualifications and characteristics, and it allowed a teacher to emerge. I fully support the Mississippi Teacher Corps. I believe that it is an excellent program.

This program did more than teach me the do’s and don’ts of teaching. I feel as if I have made lasting friends. I know that as we continue with our years of school, we will keep in touch with the people in our program. They are our comfort, so to speak. We have all been in the same shoes from day one. We all walked into the School of Education, hardly knowing anyone. From there, we all learned together, and we shared ideas. Together, we will progress into our first days of school. Together, we will make the best teachers for Mississippi.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Team Teaching

As I reviewed my taped lesson, I saw both good and bad qualities. I realized that over-all, the lesson was pretty good. However, I also noticed some items that I need some work. My lesson was on the Distributive Property of Real Numbers. I began the lesson with boardwork about the previous lesson. I believe that the boardwork is very beneficial to the students. I gave good descriptions and directions regarding the boardwork. However, it took a little too much time. This is one of the items that needs some work. I believe the most simple thing to do is to set a timer for 5 minutes. After that, we will have 2 or 3 minutes to discuss boardwork. We will then need to move on to the current lesson.

I believe that my lesson had some really good qualities. During my set, I told the students something about myself. Since the lesson was on the distributive property, I talked about a distributor on a dairy farm. When I was young, my uncle owned and operated a dairy farm. I remember that he used a distributor on the farm. It would evenly distribute the feed to the animals. So, I drew a parallel between this machine and the distributive property. Thus, I was telling the students something about my life.

I had good movement around the room, and I evenly called on the students to answer questions. I also checked for understanding by telling the students to raise their right hand for one answer and their left hand for a different answer. I believe that this will be very effective. In addition, I also showed great excitement about the subject. I had excellent hand gestures, and I tried to get the students involved, as well. I had them working at the board and calling answers out to me. I have been told numerous times that I fit the teacher persona. To be honest, when I reviewed my tape, I believe that I do have a good teacher persona. I have a very strong voice, and I can be heard by everyone in the room.

As I said, there are some items that need some work. The boardwork took too much time. I need to learn to "cut it off" and move on with the new lesson. In addition, while I was using the overhead, part of the board was not erased. Thus, it became a little confusing to the students. I need to make sure that the board is fully erased when using the overhead. I also need to work on some of my math terminology. I need to make sure and distinguish between simplify and solve. If a student is simplifying a problem, there is not an equal sign. I just need to make sure that this is clear to the students. Watching this lesson provided me with some good feedback. I believe that as time moves forward, I will become an even more effective teacher.