Final Blog for 792
Write any final thoughts you’re having about your whole master’s experience.
This has been quite the experience and I am excited for it to come to an end. When I started the program, I thought the school year would be like any other year. Boy was I wrong. This has been the craziest school year I have ever experienced and we're about to head into another crazy year.
That being said, I have learned quite a bit from this program and I am grateful for being given the opportunity to pursue what I was interested in. I am also grateful for how much it pushed me. It pushed me to challenge my teaching methods and keep going even when I felt like I was failing.
July 7, 2020
How has the work you have done during this program fit within Touro’s values and how you are going to take what you have done into the world to make a change. Will you share your work with your principal or colleagues? Will you post about it on twitter? Or will your focus be making a change within your classroom or something else? What practical thing will you do to be of service?
This work had a profound effect on me. I had always assumed there was more growth in learning when I implemented the types of tasks I chose to center my teaching on this year, but I did not realize how much. There were plenty of times when I second guessed my decision to keep the expectation at the level expected from the CAASPP, but I stuck to it and I saw really large gains in knowledge. Next year I will be at a different school, teaching a different subject. I plan on sharing this work with both my teaching partner, who is teaching math this year, and my principal to really show how impactful this combination of teaching can be. My next steps will be to take what I have learned from this experience and see if I can replicate the magic in an English and Social Studies classroom and maybe someday I will get to teach math again.
TPAK is in everything I do as a teacher. I understand how important technology is in this ever-changing world. Though it may seems as though students have a grasp on technological skills because they have grown up with it (whereas ours and previous generations had access during middle school age at best), they really do not. We cannot let our own preconceptions leave students in ignorance of some of the most basic critical technology skills. Students may be able to do things with technology you couldn't even fathom was possible, but when it comes to the basic skills such as typing, formatting a document, using a spread sheet, they are often clueless and need our guidance.
June 17, 2020
Investigate your district’s mission statement and policies around technology and 21st century learning? What is it? It’s an all-encompassing or does it need a gentle nudge from you? Analyze and comment.
Previous District: NVUSD
"Our students are all individuals, with their own talents, interests, needs and goals. That means that we nurture and challenge advanced learners, who want to expand their learning horizons, as well as students who have physical, emotional or cognitive challenges that require more support.We offer rigorous academic courses, robust Career Technical Education options and diverse extracurricular and athletic programs. Our students can learn in traditional neighborhood schools, magnet schools, independent study, dual immersion English-Spanish programs, online options and more."
The above is what I could find for what might be considered the mission statement for the Napa Valley Unified School District.
From my experience, I believe that the mission statement is a good one, however, they are not living up to the standards in the statement. I believe in all of these things, but have witnessed firsthand how curriculum is catering to the lower achieving students and leaving the high achieving students in the dust. With the budget cuts this past year, I am not sure some of these things are achievable. I also feel like it is focused at the high school level and does not address the elementary and middle school levels as almost none of the things listed are able to be offered. This is not necessarily the fault of the district. It is the fault of our schools not being funded properly in order to actually help to support students with a lot of these challenges. But that's a discussion for another day.
Current District: FSUSD
"In a safe, welcoming, and supportive learning environment, we provide innovative educational opportunities to develop resilient students who are inspired to succeed."
I look forward to seeing the reality of this mission statement.
June 3, 2020
Write a paragraph about each site answering the following questions: Who was their audience? Were they effective in presenting to them on every page? Why or why not?
The audience for Cerda was focused towards teachers and how they can use something like students created video tutorials in order to engage his students in learning. I feel like he was effective in presenting on each page I looked at. Large blocks of text was broken up with images to represent that text and made it much more appealing to the eye which really works to invite people in to exploring the website.
This website was also geared towards educators. It looked at how using robotics in a math classroom can effect engagement and attendance. I really felt drawn into this website more that the first because of the number of pictures she chose to include in her website. It really gave way to triggering my curiosity and made me much more willing to sit down and read through what she completed.
Having explored several capstone websites, write a blog about who you think the audience of your capstone is going to be and why.
My audience will be educators, and specifically, math educators of all levels. There are still many math teachers who refuse to learn new methods of teaching or use more inquiry-based tasks in their classroom. The words I most often hear are "well it worked for me." It didn't work for me when I went through school. While math was generally easy for me, it was only easy because I would come up with my own way of solving it, then figured out how to fake solving it the way it was expected. Children's minds do not work the same and the majority of math teachers tend to have very linear ideas about what is appropriate or best practice when it comes to math because they excelled in a system that catered to their learning styles and methods. I want to show teachers there is another way that can produce greater engagement and greater jumps in learning. I want more educators to be open to trying out new things, even if it's out of their comfort zone. There will always be those students who thrive in a traditional direct instruction method of teaching, but if that's all they teach, they are leaving out a large number of students and in the end, adding to our collective poor mindsets around mathematics.
June 10th, 2020
What was the big reason that you committed to research the topic you did? Why did it appeal and resonate with you?
Math is one of those subjects that so many people just automatically write off as something they just never understood in school. Most times when I tell people I am a math teacher, the response is something along the lines of "I hated math in school" or "I am so bad at math." Most people have had some really poor experiences in mathematics. I wanted to try and find a way to change that. I wanted to make math more engaging and to help students find the practicality in learning it. I also wanted to find ways to help them to be successful at math when before they may not have been. Students also tend to come to their math classes years behind proficiency and many times this correlates with their race as students with Hispanic backgrounds (the majority of the demographic I teach) tend to be much farther behind than their white counterparts. I wanted to do what I could to help to bridge that gap or at least try and find ways to really make sure I do something to help get an many students up to grade level as possible.