EDU 6120 “Search for meaning”

“Search for meaning”

For this week’s response to EDU 6120, the writing prompt is “search for meaning”.  There were numerous parts of the lectures and the readings that created meaningful reactions for me.  I enjoyed the portion of the lecture that made a distinction between persuasive and coercive power that a teacher has at their disposal.  Persuasive power is more challenging to implement but will be much more beneficial to the development of our students own self identities.  There is also this line from the second podcast “Compelling curriculum is the most compelling classroom management plan” (podcast 2).  As a teacher, I will strive to create learning experiences around the curriculum that are meaningful for my students.  If there is no meaning and participation for the students, the instruction will function, or be conducive to enabling a coercive power environment.

From the “The Ethical Basis and Aim of Instruction” by Johann F. Herbart, I really enjoyed this part,“18. The constant presence of the idea of perfection easily introduces a false feature into moral education in the strict sense. The pupil may get an erroneous impression as to the relative importance of the lessons, practice, and performance demanded, and so be betrayed into the belief of being essentially perfect when these demands are satisfied” (Herbart).  Throughout my internship, I have found students desire to be right a disappointment.  This seemed to be a main driving force behind their participation in class.  I tried to openly discuss the importance of being wrong and how we don’t know everything, that’s why we are here.  I also tried to maximize the amount of open ended question’s and activities in class.  In the search for meaning with my students, I hope to continue to develop a meaning in the classroom that will be a safe place for all students to be involved in the learning activities and a desire to discover new things.

From the Arthur Ellis reading Educational Challenges, I would like to discuss the following, “The one inescapable fact that the teacher must face is that he or she will teach values. Whether this is done formally in the sense of offering actual instruction in values, or whether students merely “catch” values through observation of the teacher’s day-to-day behavior, the teacher will teach values.”  There are numerous values that I would like to appropriately model for my students, calm, perseverance, compassion, to name a few.  In order to best model this behavior, I will need to prepare for the days instruction so I can be calm and responsive to my students needs with a meaningful disposition.


Readings for the week

Emile, or a Treatise on Education (1773, sel.) by Jean Jacques Rosseau

“The Ethical Basis and Aim of Instruction” by Johann F. Herbart

Educational Challenges by Arthur Ellis


EDU 6120 “Key Idea Identification”

“Key Idea Identification”

For week 5, I enjoyed the writing of Martin Luther (1483-1546) in “Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools”.  I found the following to quote to be very powerful:  “But the highest welfare, safety, and power of a city consists in able, learned, wise, upright, cultivated citizens, who can secure, preserve, and utilize every treasure and advantage”.   Martin Luther follows this with some very strong words directed towards leaders and their role in ensuring that education is a major priority.  Education is always been a major topic among the larger political elections that I have been around for.  However, it always seems to take a back seat to the economy.  As was mentioned in the lecture, everyone always will have an opinion on Education regardless of their experience working within the field.  Unfortunately, frequently these opinions will gain a voice in media outlets.

I also really enjoyed reading portions of the The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius.  I found his views in relation to nature to be very interesting as well as the positive environment that should be created: “4. Education should be carried out not with beating, severity and any kind of coercion, but easily, pleasantly, and, so to speak, by its own momentum”.  I particularly like the words selected for the end, own momentum.  I think that if we are able to create a climate that is pleasant and enjoyable for our students the desire for students intrinsic growth to occur is more likely.   I am also very interested in working with struggling readers.  I found the ninth postulate to be advice that is similar that I am encountering with some of the current suggestions for teaching reading.  “1. That the pupils have only such books which are fitting for their grade.  2. That these books be of such a kind that they can be called funnels of wisdom, virtue, and piety.”

Lastly, I am still developing my philosophy of education.  I found the readings by Arthur Ellis to be very interesting.  Ellis breaks down the educational philosophies into traditional and contemporary.  In reading about these different philosophies, there were aspects of each that were appealing to me.  I like to try and look on the bright side of things.  It was mentioned in this reading, that our philosophies on life might be similar to those that we will apply towards education.  I think looking on the bright side, will help me to keep an open mind, collaborate with all of my colleagues, reflect, and incorporate strategies into my instructional practice for the benefit of my students.


“Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools” by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius,

Philosophical Perspectives by Arthur Ellis

EDU 6120 “Clear and Unclear Windows”

“Clear and Unclear Windows”

This week in EDU 6120, was titled Judeo-Christian Knowledge and Teaching and Learning in the East.  After listening to the podcast and doing the readings including one involving a tribute to a truly amazing teacher, I am left with a very clear window as to my obligation and duty to facilitate my students in developing a personal well-being that will help them to understand the importance of participation in their immediate community with pro-social attitudes towards their culture (Scheuerman Podcast).  Likewise, all students are still trying to develop or gain an understanding as to the nature of their being.  From podcast 1, Scheuerman discussed how the modern era of personal development has changed.  It is now more of a rarity that students have strong familial generational presence in their lives that was historically responsible for providing for a complete education for personal well being.  Today, most children will spend more time with their peer group, spoken in the lecture as the “tyranny of the peer group”.  Children begin learning from each other by watching and playing with one another from very early ages.  However, children also need to have a presence in their live that will help them to build a strong sense of identity and support in making the right choices through-out life.

As a teacher, I will strive to create a positive supportive climate that inspires participation in the classroom and encourage active socially engaging lives.  One of the ultimate goals of education is to inspire and prepare our students to participate in our Democracy.  In order to be prepared to do so, they will need to have a skill set that will enable them to be good learners but they will also need to be able to interact with one another, voice opinions, share thoughts, debate merits of one particular view point over another, and use good evidence in order to back up their beliefs or the perspective they were asked to represent.  The common core will help guide us in some of these areas.  The climate and culture will also need to be created. How can I design lesson plans that will allow my students to actively participate and socially interact with the knowledge and subject matter?  This is something that is always on my mind during lesson planning.  I would like to try and create authentic interactions for my students around the content.  I loved the examples from the lectures of rethinking assemblies for Veterans Day.  These sounded incredibly powerful and memorable for everyone involved.  I too was moved.  From Morning Stars, I love the teachers comment about discussing the classroom as an extension of the family.  I hadn’t thought of looking at the classroom as such but it would be a great way to work on establishing the social and moral etiquette that is expected in the classroom.  It also sounds like a great way to build a bond between the students and their families.  I am particularly interested in utilizing techniques that will strengthen the teacher, family, student bond.

Just as I need to create an interactive participatory classroom, I can also steer my students in the right direction outside of the classroom.  I am looking forward to communicating with family about students learning but I will also encourage them to become involved in other areas of the community if possible.  I can do this by filling the families in on the extra-curricular activities that are happening at school and in the community.  By establishing good relationships with the students and finding out their interest I could also connect different students that have similar interest to one another.  I will also seek to involve myself more in extra-curricular activities in the learning community that I become a part of.

ISTE Standard 4

The question that I generated for ISTE Standard Four was:  How can I ensure that the sources I use for discussing political current events in my classroom are providing the whole story, not just representing opinions.  This question relates to the ISTE Standard 4 #1 Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.  I want to be sure that I remain impartial when I am discussing important current events with my students.  One way to make sure that I am doing this is to make a point of noting the source of where information is coming from.  Politicians are usually also talking about important issues.  In order to remain neutral, I will plan on consulting the website looks into the claims made by politicians representing the major political parties to make sure they are accurate.  This sight will also be beneficial for meeting the common core standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.

Another part of the ISTE standard 4 is part #3 Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.  The Ribble and Miller article, from our assigned readings, covered this standard well.  This article spoke to the importance of teaching students to act appropriately when they are interacting with others on the web.  Working in a middle school environment, there are multiple times each day that I try and guide students to treat each other, and themselves, with respect.  Often times inappropriate comments or mean behavior will eventually result in students’ recognizing their faults, and apologizing to one another.  The problem with the web, is it is very hard to take back inappropriate comments or behavior.   There can also be a permanent record created of this inappropriate behavior.  For this reason, as the article points out, we must not only teach are students to act appropriately in school, but teach the importance of appropriate behavior on-line. To help my students with being respectful digital citizens, I have created this digital poster through glogster.

A classmate of mine, Katie Y., shared a link from Edutopia that addresses teaching digital citizenship.  This particular link discusses doing so in a contained, controlled setting that provides the teacher and students a chance to interact virtually through the software program created by Schoology.  If we as teachers are going to be able to teach digital citizenship, we must do so while operating within the digital environment.  I look forward to trying to create engaging safe digital learning networks for my students.

Links and Reference

Ribble, M., & Miller, T. N. (2013). Educational leadership in an online world: Connecting students to technology responsibly, safely, and ethically. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(1), 137-145.

EDU 6134: Reflection on standard E3

(E3)- Exemplify an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies.  In order to be an effective teacher, I will need to know what is expected of me beyond the common core standards. The insert below, is a snapshot from “A Blueprint for R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”, one of our assigned readings for the class EDU 6134: Professional Issues in Education.profesional issues pic  I find this portion particularly applicable in helping me to be aware of the numerous attributes that I will need to continually contemplate and develop as I prepare to enter and thrive within the profession. In reading this publication put out by the Department of Education, I have gained a good understanding of the current state of education, the direction it is heading, the priority our country is placing on education, and how I can fit within this framework to become a strong contributing teacher.  “A Blueprint for R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”, will have great implications on student learning.  The students will benefit greatly by receiving the best teaching instruction, continual and strong formative assessments to ready them for the next step of going to college, and being technologically competent.  I am just entering the field of education and have a lot to learn.  I need to focus on developing a diverse repertoire of instructional strategies.  My instructional strategies will also have to include the use of frequent formative assessment with a focus on benefiting student learning.  In the special education field it will be essential that I am able to communicate effectively with my colleagues and the families of my students. I will also want to develop my disposition.  In EDU 6134, we chose one disposition to focus on during class time.  I found this to be a valuable experience at increasing self-awareness.  During my internship, I will pick a daily disposition to focus on for that particular day.  This will be beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of my interactions with students and colleagues.  In order to stay up to date on my professional responsibilities I plan on joining the National Association of Special Education Teachers in the near future.



U.S. Department of Education. (2013). A Blueprint for R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  Retrieved August 14, 2013 from





vision for success

I envision learning effective teaching skills through SPU’s ARC program, and utilizing them in practice through my internship when applicable.  I will do this by putting forth my best effort academically to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented.  I will use the HOPE principles for my goals in working towards competency.  During my internship, I will seek out opportunities to incorporate the skills I am learning in the classroom, to be of better service to my students.

My work ethic, dedication, compassion, and strong desire to see students learn will enable me to be a successful teacher.  I will strive to create a classroom that is inclusive, supportive, and embraces the learning potential of every student.  In doing so, I will create a community of learners in which we will all be able to reach our full potential.