Professional Philosophy

Mike Calabrese

My understanding of how my students and colleagues learn:

My understanding of how my students and colleges learn greatly affects the way I teach. I teach at Goshen Middle school with students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. With teaching different grades their and students from all different backgrounds it is important to remember that there is no one right way to teach every student. Each student learns differently and at a different pace that is why it is important to get to know and understand how your student learns so that you can help tailor to their needs. When i teach a lesson say on sawing i teach it to the students a couple of different ways. The first way i present the information to the students is by direct instruction where we talk about the names of pars on a saw the new vocabulary and how to properly handing a saw in the classroom before we ever get into the lab. The second way the information about the saw is presented to the students is in the form of a demonstration. i will demonstrate the proper way to saw a piece of and i will also point on some common misconceptions that students have. The last way the students reinforce the information learned by actually getting a saw and cutting a piece of wood. This way of presenting information to the students covers a wider variety of learning styles to help drive the information home to each students. Students tend to learn more when they can see a practical use for the information they are being taught so I also believe it is important to tell them where they will be using this whenever possible.

My understanding how colleagues learn:

Just like my students my colleagues don't want to be taught something that they may never use so to keep their attention I relate a new program to their classroom so they will remain interested. The quickest way to lose your audiences attention is when they think that this does not apply to me. My colleagues don't like to be lectured so for professional development I like to introduce the new software go over a couple of things, give them a handout with key points and let them explore the program. Most of my colleges are good about troubleshooting so this gives me time to go around and help the others that are struggling with it.

How instructional technology can best assist my learners:

Instructional Technology can assist learners in many ways. There are so many programs for students and teachers to use that can help to differentiate the instruction making it both easier for the student to learn and the teacher to present the material in different ways. By placing this technology in the classroom it can give the students the the extra help or the reinforcement that is need to make the information more concrete. People need to think of this technology as an extra tool and is not something to fear that will one day replace a teacher.

Instructional technology actions I deem best to facilitate learning:

Instructional technology is a great tool that can be used with students and colleges to keep the students more interested in the lesson and teachers more interested and involved during professional development. When new programs are presented to students and colleges properly they will see it as another tool to use to help them present information or as a study tool. With all the different information and programs available at our fingertips it would be doing students a disservice to not use any of it. It is important that teachers are able to see the benefit that Instructional Technology offers and how it can keep the students excited and interested in a lesson that may have once not been so exciting.

Professional Goals:

My professional goals that I have for my self right now are to get tenure, earn a masters degree in Instructional Technology from NYIT, and to stay up to date with all the new technology by attending professional development. My plan is to stay up to date and become a more effective teacher by attending professional development and applying my Instructional technology degree in the classroom. One way that I would like to pass my knowledge of teaching on is by hosting student teachers and to share what I have learned over the years with them so that i can help them become a better and more effective teacher. I feel that it is important to collaborate and share information with colleagues so I would also like to host professional development classes to show them new programs that can be used in their classroom.

Learning Goals for my colleagues:

The Learning goals that I have for my colleges is to incorporate more technology into the classroom without it totally taking over. I want fellow colleagues to feel comfortable using new technology and programs but not totally lost on the one day that the computer or smart board isn't working. I would like to try to get my fellow colleagues used to web 2.0 tools and terms so that they can troubleshoot an issue they are having on their own when exploring a new program. I feel that the more comfortable they are with the technology the more willing they would be to explore and try to figure out new software.

Efforts to improve my own teaching abilities:

The steps that I am taking to improve my own teaching abilities are pursuit of a masters degree in instructional technology and professional development in my areas of study. Like a good student would do when I learn something new I go back and look at my lessons and see what can be changed and added to keep the students more interested and involved. It is important to always go back and review your lessons to see what could use improvements and what are your strong points. With the introduction to all the new Tech Bytes I have gone back and tried to add in some pieces to the lessons that have some boring parts with programs that will keep the students more interested and involved.

Evidence of technology in the classroom:

Teaching an industrial art class there is technology throughout the classroom but when it comes to lecture, and some computer projects that's where you can see the instructional technology. The Tech Bytes at NYIT have exposed me to really interesting programs that I have never seen yet and some that i already use. The students use and online presentation tool such as PREZI to make a presentation on alternative energy. One new one that i am going to have students use is Circuit Lab this is an online virtual circuit board that students can make and test circuits on. Students seem to enjoy using new programs and exploring them so I feel that it is one of my responsibilities as a teacher to keep up to date with the technology and keep the students up to date with the new technology.