I have been thinking about how to reach my students better, and I am looking for ideas using technology. I believe that the people reading these blogs would be the technology savvy people and would be the best suited to give advice on the topic. So here is the question, in which ways do you use technology to reach your students?
The one thing that I have done that works great is I make test review podcasts. The students love them, it gives them an excuse to listen to their i pod plus they are studying. The nice thing for me is that they are really easy to make. All you need to do is download a podcast recording program (there are several free ones), buy a little $10 microphone for your computer, and you are good to go.
I have also been trying to think of some good ideas on how to use a blog with my students but I haven't come up with any real useful ideas.
If anyone has some good ideas on using blogs or other forms of technology in the classroom let me know.
Say What!? That's right, driving home last night someone called a
local talk radio show and said, "those who can't do, teach." I had
never heard that before, but when I got home and told my wife, she said
that it was a common saying. Obviously, whoever said that is still
holding a grudge against their 11th grade English teacher who failed
them. Teachers are doers, they do some of just about everything.
I was tossing that statement around in my head last night, I started
comparing other professions to teaching. For example, a teacher is the
owner of a small business. Their classroom is a business and their
students are their employees. If they can't motivate them to do their
work then the business goes under, in other words, students fail and
the teacher gets put on the street.
Teachers are in sales. They
have to sell a lesson objective to 240+ students everyday. If the
students don't buy into the lesson they fail, the teacher didn't make
the sale and so they also failed. Just a thought, ask any salesperson
if they want to pitch a sale to a room of 14-15 year olds that don't
really like what you are selling.
Teachers are performers. They
put on several shows a day that have to spark the audience's attention
or they are out of a job. Not only are they the star of the show, they
write, produce, and direct it also.
Teachers are into psychology
and sociology. They have to research and write. They also have to
take and make phone calls, file, read and edit papers. Teachers are
managers, leaders, planners, and examples.
Hmm, it seems to me that a good teacher could succeed at most any profession. Maybe those that can do--teach.
Ever since I decided to become a teacher people have been asking me what kind of teacher I am going to be; the mean teacher that doesn't let anyone talk, the easy teacher who lets kids do what they want, the coach who passes out a worksheet and then sits at his desk and does who knows what, etc. I really don't like teacher stereotypes because rarely did anyone ask me if I was going to be the teacher that puts in extra hours, that comes up with engaging new lessons, that connects with his students, that students look forward to coming to class to see what's next. The comment that bugged me the most is when I would tell someone that I am a coach, and they would say, "oh, your one of those teachers." That always make my blood boil. Aren't the best teachers just coaching their students? So if good coaches apply coaching skills to their classroom it will make them better teachers (a blog topic for another day).
Now that being said I was at a teacher workshop at the University of Utah a couple of weeks ago and sure enough I saw a bunch of teacher stereotypes in the group of about 20 teachers.
Coach- sits in the back and watches game film on laptop.
Smart Guy- wants to make sure that everyone in the room knows that he is smarter than the professor.
Clueless Lady- wants to be like the above guy, but just proves that he is the most clueless in the room.
Complainer Lady- has too tight curls in her hair that complains about everything to do with teaching, and hates her students (time to retire was 10 years ago).
Textbook Guy- says when asked if he wanted supplemental readings on the topic, "no, the text book is good enough for my class."
Just doing my time Guy- Playing video games on laptop in the back of the room.
Pervert Guy- sits next to the youngest most attractive lady in room and hits on her.
The Mediator Lady- the one who shoots down clueless guy and smart guy for too many comments, and gives just doing my time guy and coach dirty looks (and you know she could kick your butt if you said anything otherwise).
I try not to fit into people's negative perceptions of what teachers are, however, I am not so blind to see why they have these perceptions. It makes me mad that people generally stereotype teachers negatively, but when your a good one you are the exception. At my school I have been impressed with our teachers, and I was beginning to think that the perceptions were wrong, then I went to the workshop and now I wonder.
I haven't been a teacher for long but one thing that I realized quite
quickly was that I am now a celebrity. Everywhere I go I now have my
own little following
that could pop up at any time. I realize that as I teach for a longer
time the following is just going to get bigger. Everywhere I go will be
"hey Mr. Rowley," or "hey Coach," or my favorite "what are you doing here?"
know you look at different professions and some make you celebrities
while most don't. In one's job one deals with maybe 30 different people
on a personal level on a daily basis (that's being generous). In my job
I deal with 240+ on a daily basis, and every year I get a new 240+.
That is not even taking into consideration that 240+'s parents that I
deal with periodically through out the year. Just say I have 240
students times 1.5 parents (you don't always meet or deal with both)
times 30 years in this area and I will be known by about 18,000 people.
That doesn't include co-workers and other teachers/coaches from other
schools that I get to know.
Professional Athlete= Celebrity
Movie Star= Celebrity
kids dream of growing up to be rich and famous, well, half of that is
the reality of a teacher, too bad its not the rich one. Eat your heart
out Brittney Spears, I got famous without selling my soul.
Since this is my first post on this blog, maybe I should introduce myself a little bit. I am about to start my second year teaching World History and World Geography in a very affluent part of Utah. My kids are so rich that when I talk about any part Read More...