Seek 6 Saturday #s6s Ed677 Spring 2018 Week 5

 

1.)    I decided to go down the rabbit hole, I decided to do more research on one of this week’s authors Bob Fecho.  While I found it neat that he went to Arcadia, I also appreciated seeing the consistency in his research.  In particular, I found it awesome that Fecho describes the larger complexity of the classroom and the opportunities for change.  Personally, I feel like this was cool to have the wobbly message reinforced throughout multiple mediums.

2.)    So today, I guess I am going to have a yoga theme Select 6 this week.  Perhaps with this week’s readings, I feel a special sort of connection.  In my undergraduate education, I took a year of Tai Chi.  From this experience, I feel an awareness of the concept of “wobble” that is described in this week’s.  Perhaps given my life circumstances, I need to have a reminder of growth and self love-this is why I have selected this article.

3.)    Again, keeping in mind the yoga theme this week, I find this website pertaining to incorporating yoga into the K12 classroom.   I will be the first to say, given my own educational background, I may not have the same understanding of the classroom such as my classmates.  However, from my own experiences, I enjoy the connections that this website tries to incorporate with the classroom.  From yoga poses for teachers to lesson plan ideas, I believe that this website is a fantastic find for any educator.  (Another great example of Connected Learning!!!)

4.)    Sadly, given the events in Florida, I think this article about the power of Yoga is very important.   With the focus on finding positive solutions to aggressive emotions, this article describes how yoga helps teenagers find non-violent solutions to their issues.  Given the description of wobble this week, I feel that this is an unfortunately timely addition to my selection.

5.) I went down the rabbit hole on the Iloveteaching.  When I was searching through it, I found teacher2teacher.  O.M.G.  All I can say is that it is the epitome of Connected Learning and Teaching.  

6.) And last but not least… (thanks to my classmate Kristin…) I am going to link to one of her posts… In a recent post, Kristin describes how she attempted to play using an unknown recipe.  For me, how she describes “progression”, and how to be reminded of how her students are learning.  This awareness of one’s self and one’s limitations is wobbling.  Thanks for the application!

Wobble, Pose, and Flow

The concept of wobble, pose, and flow actually is a very interesting and legitimate concept.  Garcia and O’Donnell compare this concept to the practice of yoga.  Just as yogis hold a pose, so do teachers, when they utilize familiar lesson plans and teaching practices.  However, as yogis start to implement more difficult poses, they find themselves wobbling.  The same can be said of teachers that attempt new and unfamiliar lesson plans and teaching practices.  Eventually, yogis are able to take the old and meld it with the new, finding a flow that enables them to be more concentrated, balanced, and stronger than before.  Just the same, teachers, when they find their flow, end up being better and stronger teachers!  With that said, teachers never really have a true flow, as changes occur constantly.  Garcia and O’Donnell remark how while “repeated P/W/F cycles with new poses are necessary to improve one’s strength, balance, and concentration…one never quite arrive at a perpetual state of flow”.  

Over the past week, notes were kept about personal struggles while teaching.  If I’m being frank, I go into work daily not really knowing what to expect.  Working with students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you don’t always know what you might be walking into.  One day, my students could be totally fine, and then the next day, something will happen that will cause my students to perseverate, thereby resulting in the day being a complete flop.  What’s more is that I cannot use the same interventions with all of my students, especially because what works for one necessarily does not work for the others.  As is such, I always am on my toes.  

Don’t get me wrong - I love my students.  There is not a thing I would not do for them.  With that said, there are days I leave work insanely exhausted.  Staying on your toes all day every day, and having to work students through frustrations, shutdowns, and meltdowns takes quite a toll on one’s mental and emotional status.  

Now being in my second year in this position, I’d like to think I have a better flow of staying on my toes than I did the previous school year.  However, there still is so much I can learn in terms of interventions and how best to service my students without wearing myself out so much.  Fortunately, my students seem receptive to the interventions when they are with me in the moment.  Now, it’s a matter of generalizing those interventions to help them work through any and all situations across a variety of settings.

When I look back over the last year and a half, I think about where I was when I started and where I am now.  When I first started with this position, I was not given much direction.  So, I had to take what I was given and mold it into something new…something more.  Having only been given a caseload of students, I took the information, and with my colleague (who has become one of my work wives), we created a Social Skills program at the high school for students diagnosed with ASD.  The amount of wobbling that has happened over the last year and a half has enabled me to become a better and more effective teacher, while also providing me with two of the best friends I ever could have asked for.  Not only do we bounce ideas off of each other and support each other as teachers, but we also keep each other sane.  I honestly do not know what I would do if I hadn’t met these wonderful ladies!  So, while I’d like to think I have some semblance of a flow, I know I am not yet done.  I’ve only just begun with my career.  Bring on the wobbles!  Keep my on my toes!  This only will allow me to become that much better of a teacher. 😊 

Wobble, Pose, and Flow

The concept of wobble, pose, and flow actually is a very interesting and legitimate concept.  Garcia and O’Donnell compare this concept to the practice of yoga.  Just as yogis hold a pose, so do teachers, when they utilize familiar lesson plans and teaching practices.  However, as yogis start to implement more difficult poses, they find themselves wobbling.  The same can be said of teachers that attempt new and unfamiliar lesson plans and teaching practices.  Eventually, yogis are able to take the old and meld it with the new, finding a flow that enables them to be more concentrated, balanced, and stronger than before.  Just the same, teachers, when they find their flow, end up being better and stronger teachers!  With that said, teachers never really have a true flow, as changes occur constantly.  Garcia and O’Donnell remark how while “repeated P/W/F cycles with new poses are necessary to improve one’s strength, balance, and concentration…one never quite arrive at a perpetual state of flow”.  

Over the past week, notes were kept about personal struggles while teaching.  If I’m being frank, I go into work daily not really knowing what to expect.  Working with students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you don’t always know what you might be walking into.  One day, my students could be totally fine, and then the next day, something will happen that will cause my students to perseverate, thereby resulting in the day being a complete flop.  What’s more is that I cannot use the same interventions with all of my students, especially because what works for one necessarily does not work for the others.  As is such, I always am on my toes.  

Don’t get me wrong - I love my students.  There is not a thing I would not do for them.  With that said, there are days I leave work insanely exhausted.  Staying on your toes all day every day, and having to work students through frustrations, shutdowns, and meltdowns takes quite a toll on one’s mental and emotional status.  

Now being in my second year in this position, I’d like to think I have a better flow of staying on my toes than I did the previous school year.  However, there still is so much I can learn in terms of interventions and how best to service my students without wearing myself out so much.  Fortunately, my students seem receptive to the interventions when they are with me in the moment.  Now, it’s a matter of generalizing those interventions to help them work through any and all situations across a variety of settings.

When I look back over the last year and a half, I think about where I was when I started and where I am now.  When I first started with this position, I was not given much direction.  So, I had to take what I was given and mold it into something new…something more.  Having only been given a caseload of students, I took the information, and with my colleague (who has become one of my work wives), we created a Social Skills program at the high school for students diagnosed with ASD.  The amount of wobbling that has happened over the last year and a half has enabled me to become a better and more effective teacher, while also providing me with two of the best friends I ever could have asked for.  Not only do we bounce ideas off of each other and support each other as teachers, but we also keep each other sane.  I honestly do not know what I would do if I hadn’t met these wonderful ladies!  So, while I’d like to think I have some semblance of a flow, I know I am not yet done.  I’ve only just begun with my career.  Bring on the wobbles!  Keep my on my toes!  This only will allow me to become that much better of a teacher. 😊 

Seeking Six Saturday

image

This week I have been reflecting on where I find support during times of challenge.

1.  QUEST Colleagues:  Three years ago, 12 teachers from my school district were hired to launch a new elementary STEM program called QUEST (Questioning and Understading through Engineering, Science, and Technology).  We were given the task of creating a curriculum from scratch and implementing it in our schools.  Coming from a traditional classroom setting, becoming a specialist was a big transition for me. I no longer had grade level partners in the classrooms next to me to rely on for support. I was the only QUEST teacher in my building. I soon came to discover that I desperately needed the support of the other QUEST teachers. We started having monthly gatherings where we worked together to reflect on the effectiveness of our self-designed curriculum. I was comforted to learn that most of my very esteemed colleagues were “wobbling” along with me.  We are constantly emailing ideas back and forth. Everyone in this group of teachers shows vulnerability and strength. We all feel valued and supported. This group is unique…they inspire me everyday to strive to be a better teacher.

2.  My Students:  It’s incredibly important for me to serve as a model for my students. I encourage them to have a growth mindset and understand that there is no such thing as failure…you don’t fail, you either succeed or learn.  When a lesson isn’t going as planned, when my students don’t seem as engaged as I was hoping, when I wobble, I seek advice from my students. I admit to them that I’m looking for ways to improve, and I ask them to give me feedback. This video shows a really great example of how a high school teacher solicited feedback from his students. 

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/feedback-from-students

3.  Online Tutorials:  The use of technology plays a huge part in my role as a QUEST teacher and also as an instructional coach.  Oftentimes I take risks in trying new technologies, and I feel like I’m floundering a bit (or a lot!).  I have found that watching tutorials has been incredibly useful in building my confidence to try new ideas and to be able to support other teachers with trying new things.  I have also been downloading free iBooks from Apple Teacher to use as resources.

4.  District Staff Developer:  I am fortunate to work with some really incredible people.  Our district’s staff developer has been an amazing resource for me.  She is the most positive person I know, and makes every teacher in our district feel empowered and important. She has been guiding me through my new role as an instructional coach…a role in which I face many challenges.  

5.  Twitter:  Twitter has given me the opportunity to seek solutions from and connect with the global community.  It also enables me to connect with other teachers in my school district.  I teach in a very large district (15 elementary schools), and in the past teachers would have to wait until staff development days to collaborate with people from other schools.  Now, with the use of Twitter, we are able to share ideas and offer each other support constantly.  

6.  My family:  Everyday at the dinner table, my family shares their highs and lows of their days.  Throughout my 24 years of teaching, my husband and daughters have endured endless stories from my classroom.  Most of the stories are positive, uplifting, and funny.  But on those difficult days, when it seemed like nothing was going quite right, my family has served as a sounding board for me.  They are always quick to remind me about how much I love my job or to give me some suggestions on how to make the next day better.  What would I do without my favorite cheering section?

Seeking Six Saturday

image

This week I have been reflecting on where I find support during times of challenge.

1.  QUEST Colleagues:  Three years ago, 12 teachers from my school district were hired to launch a new elementary STEM program called QUEST (Questioning and Understading through Engineering, Science, and Technology).  We were given the task of creating a curriculum from scratch and implementing it in our schools.  Coming from a traditional classroom setting, becoming a specialist was a big transition for me. I no longer had grade level partners in the classrooms next to me to rely on for support. I was the only QUEST teacher in my building. I soon came to discover that I desperately needed the support of the other QUEST teachers. We started having monthly gatherings where we worked together to reflect on the effectiveness of our self-designed curriculum. I was comforted to learn that most of my very esteemed colleagues were “wobbling” along with me.  We are constantly emailing ideas back and forth. Everyone in this group of teachers shows vulnerability and strength. We all feel valued and supported. This group is unique…they inspire me everyday to strive to be a better teacher.

2.  My Students:  It’s incredibly important for me to serve as a model for my students. I encourage them to have a growth mindset and understand that there is no such thing as failure…you don’t fail, you either succeed or learn.  When a lesson isn’t going as planned, when my students don’t seem as engaged as I was hoping, when I wobble, I seek advice from my students. I admit to them that I’m looking for ways to improve, and I ask them to give me feedback. This video shows a really great example of how a high school teacher solicited feedback from his students. 

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/feedback-from-students

3.  Online Tutorials:  The use of technology plays a huge part in my role as a QUEST teacher and also as an instructional coach.  Oftentimes I take risks in trying new technologies, and I feel like I’m floundering a bit (or a lot!).  I have found that watching tutorials has been incredibly useful in building my confidence to try new ideas and to be able to support other teachers with trying new things.  I have also been downloading free iBooks from Apple Teacher to use as resources.

4.  District Staff Developer:  I am fortunate to work with some really incredible people.  Our district’s staff developer has been an amazing resource for me.  She is the most positive person I know, and makes every teacher in our district feel empowered and important. She has been guiding me through my new role as an instructional coach…a role in which I face many challenges.  

5.  Twitter:  Twitter has given me the opportunity to seek solutions from and connect with the global community.  It also enables me to connect with other teachers in my school district.  I teach in a very large district (15 elementary schools), and in the past teachers would have to wait until staff development days to collaborate with people from other schools.  Now, with the use of Twitter, we are able to share ideas and offer each other support constantly.  

6.  My family:  Everyday at the dinner table, my family shares their highs and lows of their days.  Throughout my 24 years of teaching, my husband and daughters have endured endless stories from my classroom.  Most of the stories are positive, uplifting, and funny.  But on those difficult days, when it seemed like nothing was going quite right, my family has served as a sounding board for me.  They are always quick to remind me about how much I love my job or to give me some suggestions on how to make the next day better.  What would I do without my favorite cheering section?

Week 4 Find 5

I love finding ways to help me better myself as a teacher and a person. Things that help or support me is….

  1. Facebook– I follow many Art Education groups. The most helpful one is Art Elementary Teachers. It is so nice to get ideas from other educators along solving any problems that I have.  It is nice to have people who has gone through wobbly moments like myself help you out.
  2. Instagram– I love Instagram. Maybe obsess. I love pictures and videos, I guess you would say I am more a visual person. I follow A LOT of Art Teachers on there. I find it very inspiring to get ideas from other artist. I also get great comments on my pictures as well, so it is alway positive!
  3. Pinterest– So this is the best thing in the world. This allows me to get maker and art ideas to implement in my classroom. It is so easy to use and I can go right to the site of the idea and get more information on what I need.
  4. Cassie Stephens– This women is very inspiring. I found her a couple years ago online and love her ideas. She is so colorful both in outfit and personality. I love reading her blogs and getting inspired to create a fun project. I am also very jealous of her amazing outfits.
  5. Art Sonia– This is a great site to get some ideas to implement in the classroom. I love the pictures of all the work. It really gets you motivated to make it. The site reminds me of Pinterest for Art Teachers. I highly recommend this to all art teachers to get ideas and inspiration for their classroom. It also helps inspire your students, showing their artwork to others.

Five Fabulous Friday Finds – Week 4

This week’s finds are based on our discussion, which focused on Learning and Wobbling in a Connected Community. 

(1) Before reading more into the concept of Pose, Wobble, and Flow, the only thing I could picture was a spinning top, because you pose the top and set it in motion, which wobbles for a bit before finding it’s groove and flowing, only to have to pose again!

(2) Lindsay discussed social media outlets where she hangs out.  I, once upon a blue moon, spent a considerable amount of time on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat…) until I realized how much harm it was doing to my mental health.  As a result, I actually took a large step back from social media in order to re-focus and re-prioritize my life.  Nowadays, the only social media outlets I turn to are Pinterest and YouTube, which is where I find a lot of resources to supplement my lessons!  (I do realize that Tumblr is considered to be social media, and, if I’m being honest, if it weren’t for this class, I likely would not be on here 😬.)

(3) Michael, in his blog, mentioned being part of an Induction group.  I actually went through the Induction program last year, as a first year teacher in the district.  Fortunately, I went through the program with a girl with whom I went to high school.  Thankfully, Ms. F. and I had classes together when we were in high school and were very friendly with each other, so it was nice to have a friendly face going through the Induction process!

(4) First year teachers, typically, are granted a mentor teacher, in addition to being part of the Induction program.  Even though I now work at the high school from where I graduated, I knew there was quite a bit I had yet to learn.  For starters, a new building was built a few years after I had graduated.  Furthermore, the administration now is completely different, AND I work in a field that was completely unknown to me when I was in high school.  How lucky was I, then, to be granted such a wonderful mentor teacher! L.A. has proven to be more than a mentor teacher, as she quickly has become my sounding board and my guru for all things Special Education and English.  I’m even luckier now, as a second year teacher, as I have the opportunity to co-teach with L.A. once a week, every week!

(5) As an educator, I, at times, question why I went into education.  It is during these times that I turn to my work wives, who, over the last year and a half, have become my support system and my sounding board.  I, honestly, do not know what I would do without them.  Not only do they keep me sane when I feel like I’m losing my mind, but they constantly make me laugh, which makes work that much more enjoyable!

Find 5

1) I like to hangout the most on Facebook. I found that they have a lot a teacher groups that give me connections in my field, as well as project ideas, support, and help. My first day teaching High School Art I did not know how to use the old kiln that was in the classroom. On FB i posted pictures and asked for help and teachers were able to point me in the right direction so I could safely get the kiln up and running safely.

2) Instagram, it is interesting to see what the kids are looking at everyday and to find ideas for projects. 

3) Art Sonia is a great art teacher source for projects, lesson plans, and for connection to other schools around the world. It is also a great source to post student work where parents can purchase coffee mugs with their childs art work on it. Plus it raises money for the art program with every purchase. Their are also are contests with student work. 

4) Snapchat. I dont use it I just like to see the different filters for pictures. I always find my students looking to the filters when making self portraits. 

5) Philadelphia Museum of Art/ and Googles Arts and Culture app, they proved teacher tools and resources such as 3D images of artwork, close ups, artist highlights and more.