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.


Basketball practice


I recently attended the first girls and boys basketball practice.  There was a very large turn out and everyone is allowed and encouraged to play. I have chosen the HOPE standard- H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process  The evidence for this post comes from a conversation I had with the head coach.

basketball info

This evidence demonstrates how athletics can benefit the physical health of the students but also involve the greater community in the learning process.  Parents/family members of these children will be aware of the consequences of poor academic performance and will be encouraged to become involved.  The coach is stressing the importance of academics and using athletics as an incentive to ensure the students achieve academic success. After school programs at my school provide students with numerous opportunities to strengthen the bonds within their community.  Participation is a great way to become a well-rounded individual.  It is also a time when doing well in school will be encouraged and required in order to participate.  This is done in a supportive fashion.  If ones’ grades are low, they will receive the help they need in order to get them to a more acceptable level. One suggestion for making this process run smoothly is to make sure that the students know the academic expectations that they are required to maintain in order to be involved.  This could be done at the beginning of the year.  Parents could be told and this would also ensure their participation in the academic areas in a proactive fashion. The implications for student learning are great.  By being involved in an after school program, they have the opportunity to create a tighter community group that will support them and encourage them to do well academically.

Open House Reflection

H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process.  This standard speaks to the importance of communicating with the family/community as to the crucial role that they can have in participating in students’ learning.  For this entry, I will focus specifically on family involvement.  I recently participated in my school’s open house.  The open house was an excellent opportunity to meet the parents/caretakers, let them know what their children will be working on in our classroom, and introduce ourselves if we hadn’t already met. The evidence provided below comes from the syllabus that my mentor teacher provided for the event.    evidence for open house night

This evidence speaks to the important role that the parents/family will play in our students’ education and the process of communicating this to the parents.  The students spend time in each class recording some of the more important activities that they are working on in their planners.  The direction is for the family to be actively involved with the students in their learning. I learned a great deal from attending this event.  It was great to have the opportunity to interact with some of the parents, let them know that I will be doing my student teaching this year, and to begin the process of making connections.  Gargiulo and Kilgo (2011), stress the importance of the family in the educational process when they say “the best type of relationship that can develop between families and professionals is one in which families are viewed as full-fledged partners” (p 78).  They are speaking in particular of early childhood education.  However, I think this partnership is equally important to maintain as students progress through schools.  Students’ learning will be improved when their families take an active role in their education.  Education can become a focus in all aspects of the students’ lives, in addition to the time they spend at school.  As I progress through my internship, I will try and take every opportunity to dialogue with the parents/family about how their student is performing in class but also how the whole family is doing in general.  I hope to establish an effective relationship/partnership that can make everyone feel comfortable and provide a solid safe base that will enable the students to meet their goals.  In the near future, I will be attending an IEP meeting for a student that my mentor teacher oversees.  I will continue to take advantage of opportunities that arise to make family connections.

Gargiulo, Richard, and Kilgo, Jennifer 3rd edition (2011). An Introduction To Young Children with Special Needs Birth Through Age 8. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.