Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Proposal and Blog Post 10

Blog Post:
One thing I discovered about myself is how I truly think I have made the right decision in wanting to become a teacher.  After going to the three schools to observe the classes and while doing my observations I learned how much I do want to pursue a teaching career.  The only difference is that right now I feel as if I may want to become a 5th grade teacher instead of possible 7th grade.  Coming into this class there were not many concerns I had.  If anything it was just the ability to treat all the kids the same, even if they are a pain in the butt, but now I feel like I am able to do that based on what Bill Ayers has written.

I really enjoy the idea of being able to influence our future generations in a positive way.  I hope to teach math but not only teach my students math, I would talk about life how it is and what they should expect as they get older.  At the same time I think it would be nice to teach and at the same time coach.  I would want try and get a job at a school that has high standards with both education and sports, most importantly education.

The topic I have in mind is that of standardized testing.  Standardized testing has been a tough topic throughout the years in school districts.  There are many forms of standardized testing.  Before the No Child Left Behind, standardized tests were mainly for high school junior and seniors who are hoping to go to college one day.  The tests used for these students are ACT and SAT.  These tests are suppose to symbolize what each student has been able to learn inside the classroom and to measure how each student is doing on the core subjects and to show what they may need help in.

In schools today, standardized testing has taking a prominent role.  States will spend hundreds, thousands of dollars to make sure these standardized tests are taken and to make sure teachers teach toward those tests.  Even though teachers may have an idea of what the test may look like, they have no idea what is really going to be on the test, therefore, it puts them in a big hole because their may be a whole section in the test they did not get to teach and the students will have no idea how to complete the section.  Testing results would be greatly different in certain subjects because in subjects such as reading and English there are multiple choice questions and for English the questions are more for grammar and common sense.  Reading you will have to read a passage and answer questions based on the passage, the answers are right in front of you.  So students will be able to do better on these sections if they have not been taught them.  But, in math you either have the right or wrong answer, you either know how to do a problem or you don't.  Will all this being said, math teachers may be at a disadvantage because of this.

Issues that I find in this topic is the fact that it does not truly test students intelligence.  Especially with the ACT and SAT.  These two standardized tests really show well a student can sit in a classroom for a few hours and take a timed test real early in the morning.  Also, there are some topics on the test that most will have no idea how to do so they will end up having to guess on questions just because they were not aware of topics on the test.  There is an increasing debate on the validity and true value of standardized tests today.  There are more and more people realizing that standardized tests are not the way to go and are truly unfair to both the students and teachers.  It is unfair to punish a teacher for how poorly a student does on a test they were not prepared for because the teacher does not have the questions coming directly of the test.

There many issues I, personally, have with standardized tests.  My class in high school got stuck taking 28 standardized tests in our four years in high school.  This was an awful experience because not only did we have to take these tests, the tests would always take priority over other classes so we would miss important lessons in class and miss what we needed for tests or quizzes.  Another way this effects me personally is because my mom is a teacher and if she would have stayed at her old school for another couple years, her pay would have been decided based on how well the students did.  My mom was a fifth grade math teacher at the time and had 6 IEP students in her class.  This could hurt teachers with IEP students because those students need extra teaching and extra time taking a test that they will not get when it comes to standardized tests.  To rate teachers based on this is absolutely insane.

I have connections within this field because I can ask my mom, a teacher, how standardized tests directly impacted her and students.  She could give me a first hand account on how she taught to the standardized tests and made sure her students were prepared to take them.

I really want to know why the government would want to base teachers pay based of young kids test scores.  Teaching is supposed to be something that can inspire and help kids grow up and respect the world around them.  Other than a students family, a teacher is around the kids more than anyone else in their lives.  To punish a teacher for their students poor results on a test made by the government is wrong.  If one teacher has all honors students and one teacher has regular students with a couple IEP students in there, to compare one to the other is wrong.  Yes, both classes have the same test but there is honors and regular for a reason.  One class excels more in that subject than the other.

Monday, November 14, 2016

This I Believe

Armstrong, Thomas. "15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests are Worthless." Institute 4 
        Learning.  28 February 2013. 
This article clearly states 15 reasons as to why standardized testing is worthless and does not help.  This article seems to think of everything, whether major or minor reasons but clearly explains why he believes standardized testing does not help.  I plan on using this source to support my thesis because I too believe that standardized testing does not accomplish much.  Also, this article provides facts that also back up their basic points about why they do not like standardized testing.

Morgan, Hani.  "Relying on High-Stakes Standardized Test to Evaluate Schools and Teachers: A Bad Idea." Clearing House; April 2016, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p67-72.
This article focuses on the fact that standardized testing is now what is used to show whether a teacher is an effective teach and good at what he/she does.  It also brings up some solutions to alleviate the damage in testing.  I will use this to show how it is not a good way to show if a teacher truly is a good teacher or not. Also, add my own opinion to how this could help alleviate the damage. 

Green, KE. "Differing Opinions on Testing Between Preservice and Inservice Teachers." Journal of 
          Educational Research,; September 1992, 86 1, p37-p42, 6p.
This article is all about what the title is.  It shows the different opinions Preservice teacher have on standardized tests compared to inservice teachers.  This is very significant because it shows how professional teachers tend to look at standardized tests compared to college students who are just learning about becoming a teacher.  I would use this in my paper by showing how opinions can differ or be the same compared to what category of teacher one falls under.  Then, if the results varied one way then I would say why I thought that.

Phillips, Michele.  "Standardized Tests aren't Like T-Shirts: One Size Doesn't Fit All." Multicultural Education. Fall 2006, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p52-55, 4p
This source talks about some biases and potential negatives that tend to occur with standardized tests.  Also, it talks about the fact that tests tend to be more based on language, environment, and culture, not intellectual ability.  I will use this by agreeing with the statement that it does not truly test intellectual ability. This will be the main sources that helps support my thesis.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blog Post 7

What is greatness in teaching?  In my opinion there are many things that can make a great teacher and lead to great things.  In my opinion the biggest trait to make a great teacher is the ability to connect with the students.  The more a teacher connects with the students and gets to know each of his students the more respect he will gain from the students and the greater chance that they will pay attention and learn.

Another big aspect of teaching I feel makes a teacher great is if the they have all their plans planned out and know how they are going to get through day by day.  If I was a teacher I would dedicate a whole week to go over a topic in class and then they next week I would see if any of the students had questions about what to do, on Monday and Tuesday.  Then on Wednesday and Thursday I would play some review games with the students and give them worksheets.  But, if it happened to be a short lesson, then I would teach the lesson on Monday and Tuesday then go over it in class half of Wednesday and then hand out a worksheet due Thursday for extra credit and then play a review game Thursday and have the test Friday.

The one big thing is that I would never give a test on a Monday because I know as a student I never liked having tests on Monday.  Also, I dreaded going to school every Monday and would not put my students through the same thing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Field Post 3

Is it right to truly assume the class you are teaching knows absolutely nothing?

In my previous blog post you read why I have mixed emotions but kind of lean more towards the answer of no, it is not right to assume that they know nothing.  The teacher I observed during our trip to Cleveland Heights I believe demonstrated the perfect way to handle this.

The class I observed was doing a science lab with starch and iodine.  This was a freshman science class and the teacher would just ask, "Okay, do you guys know where all the materials are at?" If they answer was no then she would point out where the materials were.  But if the answer was yes, she would move on and not waste her time and take time out of class to explain everything if the students already knew where everything was.

As a teacher if you assume your student know absolutely nothing and you explain a simple topic that the class knows all about, then you just wasted precious class time and everyone else's time that could have been spent on another topic that you could have explained if people know fewer about that specific topic.

Blog Post 6

There many interesting things I found about this section in the book.  The one particular note I did see and make is the fact that the teacher has to teach as if the teacher knows everything and that the students know nothing.  I have many mixed emotions about this saying. There is a part of me that truly agrees with this, but at the same time there a part of me that completely disagrees with this.

I agree with this because as a teacher you would want to assume the students do not know anything about the topic you are discussing and teaching.  You would want to do this because this will allow you, as the teacher, to not skip over any important things and you will not just assume that the students know it

But, the other part of me disagrees with this because in my opinion no matter the class or student, everyone will bring some knowledge worth notable to the table.  Also, the chances of the teacher knowing everything about a certain topic is very unlikely.  As a teacher you do not just want to go into the class assuming the class knows nothing because then that may kill your drive to teach, or willingness to teach.

As a teacher I would approach by introducing the topic we would be talking about the topic in class and ask the student what they knew about it.  I would do this because it give me, the teacher, a good idea of what the students truly know and what they do not know

Monday, October 10, 2016

Blog Post 4

Dear Senator Rob Portman,

I have read that it is said that the elementary and secondary schools or not thorough or efficient.  After saying this it is said that it is unconstitutional, but it still remains to be our educational system, Why?  There are a list of things that need to be done in order for a school to be thorough and efficient in DeRolph V.  With these many things listed I do not understand how you can keep this is your school system because the kids and future generations need a stable and solid education.

Another big thing is the fact that students and staff need to feel safe and feel they can come to school everyday and not have to worry about anything harmful happening such as, a ceiling falling on them, or desks being sturdy to hold students.  Some inner-city, and even public schools do not have the money to help rebuild this stuff and buy new stuff for students.  With this being said I feel like it is important these schools receive more attention and maybe have a little more money given to them by the government because in my opinion, the biggest thing about schooling is not the education but the students' safety.  They need to feel like they are in a harm free environment because if the feel safe about their surroundings then they will be able to learn better because they will not be worrying about something happening.  But, if they are worrying constantly but their safety they will be more focused on other things going on.

Thank you for taking your time to read this and hopefully you will take some of these things into consideration.

Cameron Mayle

Shaker Middle School

Today we went and visited Shaker heights middle school where I observed a Science class and what we thought was going to be a math class but it turned out to be a social studies class.  In both classes the students were very engaged in conversation and were not afraid to say what they thought.  All of the students in the science class were on their chrome books and were playing a game that involved energy transformation.  I could tell that the students would get frustrated if the failed to complete the game, but once they did I could see the satisfaction on their face and they would say, "Yes!" They were very intrigued by the game and loved the challenge of finishing it.  But the teacher made sure they did not stop there.  He would tell them to try and find another more complex way to win the game instead of the way they just found.

In chapter 4 I think Ayers using the metaphor building bridges to describe the gap it takes to travel from no knowledge at all to using and gaining all knowledge that you can.  I think that he wants to expand one's thinking from going to the knowledge they have and going across that to gaining all the knowledge they can and then applying that to every day life.

An example I saw in the classroom was when the students solved their solution that was their knowledge they had and were able to do it.  But, he wanted them to gain more knowledge and think about it more outside the box and think of another more complex solution to solve the problem.