Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wk 4 Publishing_Leadership Project

When I started my leadership project, I didn’t feel I had everything organized. After working on my PowerPoint presentation, I feel much more organized. Here is a brief explanation of my AR project.

The purpose of my action research is to investigate how gaming can enhance secondary education. I found articles on simulation games and their use in education. The military, business, and universities use gaming. In my school some teachers use computer games for reviewing material, but they are not using simulation games. I found a simulation game called Immune Attack that was developed by the Federation of American Scientists. I used the game in an Occupational Health class. The teacher and the students completed a survey before and after they played the game. The results show that both students and teachers will accept simulation games in education. But there are other considerations that make using these games difficult.

You can follow this link to my leadership presentation. I think you must download it to see my speaker notes.

Now I must look for a venue to present my project. I will try to present locally, but I also need a larger group to present to. Here are two possibilities. I will also check out some others.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week 4 Blog 3 Reply to Tricia Atkinson

Response to Tricia Atkinson

I really liked the phrase “Downward Spiral.” We see that in almost everything. I see it in the news and the way my students talk to each other. I see it in the way we as teachers talk when we get together. I hope I can keep this phrase in my mind whenever I talk to colleagues or students. You are right in saying that The Art of Possibility is not second nature in the world of modern education, but maybe we can make it second nature to us.

As easy as it is to get into a downward negative spiral towards my students, blaming them for their negative, rude, and apathetic actions. But what about what I have done to contribute? What about my negative sarcasm or mediocre effort? Not to mention what they have eaten lately or when the last time is that they got a hug or “good job” from a parent? Trying to remember myself in each other person’s shoes will help me to react with a more enlightened attitude, just as Ben did when his students partied in South America. What would it have helped to “go off” like so many of us teachers are expected to do. Instead, the kids understood, felt enabled, apologetic, regretful, and still valued. Amazing. This Art of Possibility stuff is definitely not second nature in the world of modern education, but I feel like a breath of fresh air, a reminder of options and how to go with the flow, giving students and others in my life the benefit of the doubt, has been given to me…I am inspired and grateful.

week 4 Blog 2 Reply to Jessica Goodenow

To Jessica Goodenow.

I think we always question whether or not we are helping others. At some time or another, everyone needs encouragement to go on. It is always uplifting when someone tells you that you helped him or her along the way. Good job!

One circumstance where I looked outside of myself to uplift a colleague was with a para-professional. She is fantastic para. She has the presence of a teacher in the classroom. When she comes into the room, with a one-minute prep, she could co-teach the classroom. She is one in a million in the realm of para-professionals. One day I asked her if she had every considered being a teacher. She looked at me like that thought had never entered her brain. After explaining to her how wonderful she is with the students and in the classroom, she opened up to me about a disappointment she had had when trying to get her degree in education. She had gotten pregnant with her now 20 year old daughter and never thought she could be a mom and finish a degree. Life got crazy, but now is settling down again. I told her about how universities are trying to make degrees more accessible to older students and gave her a couple universities to look into. A couple weeks went by. She surprised me one day by saying she signed up for an art class to go towards her general requirements. I was so happy. She told me that I had been the bug in her ear. She needed to get back to her passion. She loves kids. Anyone could see that. It was all about honesty and appreciation.

Week 4b Blog 1 - Weekly Reading

Chapter 9 – Lighting a Spark

I liked the idea of enrollment. Sometimes you’ve got to be crazy and find other people that are crazy too. Only crazy people want to change what sane people say is unchangeable. I also liked the idea of the downward spiral thinking. I can see that in my minds eye and how it works. We see and hear so much downward spiral thinking especially in education.

Chapter 10 – Being the board

This chapter is about not loosing control of your life. I think this is the hardest area to control. There are so many things that happen to us that we cannot control. For example, I have students that do not turn work in on time. I could refuse to accept late work, but that doesn’t help them or me. I come away with a feeling of not being a good teacher. They decide that since it won’t count, they don’t have to do it. Then the next time they are late, they don’t have to do that project either. By telling them that their grade will suffer when they are late, but they still have to do the work, I am giving control to both of us.

Chapter 11 – Creating frameworks for Possibility

This chapter sums up the art of possibilities. It tells us to put our beliefs to the test and break the downward spiral. I can’t say if I am up to the challenge. Only time will tell. I firmly believe that the meaning behind this book can change my life and the lives of those I touch. I already have decided to buy three copies of this book, one for me, one for my principal and one for our professional library. Maybe other teachers will enjoy this book as much as I did..

For years I have been contemplating a video I want to make on creativity. But defining creativity is difficult. I think I have my theme now. It is “ Creativity – The Vision of possibility.”

Chapter 12 – Telling the We Story

The author starts this chapter with a story about the Arabs and the Jews as told by his father. The audience, high school students, remark what a wonderful opportunity exists between the two factions. Yet there has been nothing but war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The “We” is missing. My classes often feel like the “I/You” situation that chapter 12 talks about. Next year, I need to develop a “We” feeling in class. I think it will be worth the effort.

Week 4b Blog 4 - Free Choice

I recently had to make a decision on how I was going to present my action research. I could write an article or present. I looked at the subject of my AR and decided that a presentation is more fitting. My AR is on gaming in education. I know this is a big subject, so I narrowed it to Educational simulation games.

I like presentations better because it is usually live, which promotes questions from the audience. I prefer this over articles with very little feedback. Presentations are easy to change when new discoveries or information is acquired. It encourages my AR to be an on-going project. Now my next big project is to investigate where to present my AR project.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 3 Blog 4 Free Choice

I have been in this program at Full Sail for 11 months now. It has been exciting and very tiring. Teaching full time, trying to have a personal life and being what has become a full time student has been difficult. But I have enjoyed it tremendously. One aspect I found interesting is the interaction among the students in the program. I have gotten to know a few. I am also a Face book friend with some. I enjoy the fact that we are constantly trading ideas. I am the only photography and Digital Media teacher in my school. My professional interaction is limited to only a few teachers, so it is great that I find out what other teachers in other parts of the country are doing. I wish I could continue this type of interaction after the program is over. I would also like other teachers in my school to find their own “Family of Educators.” Thank you all for sharing your ideas with me.

Week 3 , blog 2 Response to Tricia Atkinson

I totally agree with you. We don’t know what is going on with the students in our class. My 4th period was probably the worst class I ever had. I was getting frustrated and hated to see them come in. Then I followed rule 6. Now they may not know as much about photography as some of my other classes, but we do get along. I am also understanding more about them. I won’t go into their problems, but suffice it to say that I am now more sympathetic and they appreciate it. Next year, I am posting Rule 6 in my room. The sign will say, “Don’t Forget Rule #6”. I shall see who will ask what rule 6 is.

Chapter 6, and rule number 6, is extraordinary. That idea has been my motto this school year in order to survive. I have found myself so frustrated with certain students’ behaviors that I want to correct them every single time they say something inappropriate, instead of picking and choosing my battles. When I refrain, I feel resentful towards them. I realize from reading this chapter that I need to remind myself that I am a teacher, not a parent of 162 children. I am not physically or mentally able to project my personal value set in the discipline of my classes. I must remember that position and attention are central to my students, and they do not intentionally mean to offend me with most of their actions. They are surviving in a competitive environment. I must focus on finding my central self rather than the calculating, judgmental, angry, resentful self. I can’t judge rude children without considering the whole person=who knows what is going on in their life or how they were raised.If we don’t follow rule 6, we are bound to fail in the classroom.