Secondary Teaching Methods

The Lasting Effect on My Classroom

Shifting Demographics in Public Schools

  • It is important for educators and administration to get together for weekly meetings: to keep the lines of communications open, to make the staff aware of the ongoings at school including new students. Many times, the administration informs teachers about educational/ behavioral plans, medical conditions and possible discipline problems. Also the administration can check on and see how other students are adjusting to IEPs, the school, the students and teachers. Also the they can communicate about possible issues that may be occurring, they can confront the issue, solve it, before it escalates.
  • Many times the administration informs teachers about educational/ behavioral plans, medical conditions and possible discipline problems. This benefits the students so that they can make a smooth transition, become comfortable with their surroundings and teachers so that they can get the full benefit of their education.
  • Weekly meetings benefit teachers because they can see if a plan is working for a student, if it isn't they can make adjustments so that they are meeting the students needs as well as challenging them.
  • Some of the questions teachers ask themselves are Are we challenging our students? Are they really pushing themselves or are they just doing enough to get by? What can I do to get more out of my students?
  • Every student is not the same, each student is an individual with their own beliefs, ethics, morals and needs. Students are like snowflakes, no two are the same.

Globalization and Cultural Awareness in Education

Globalization: This is a common trend that we as educators have to be ready for, and adjust our teaching styles to meet the need of those students. With the influx of technology, we have to keep up with our students, many times our students know about new technology advances before we the educators do. Sometimes I am learning from my students about the latest technology advances. Our school is 1 to 1, our students have the privilege of having their own laptop to do school work on, but our school has had new technology inplaced to better monitor our students usage. The new technology can now trace where they are, what they are doing or sending and when they sent it. The software is almost like GPS technology, this can come in handy to shut down cyber bullying and inappropriate usage, chalk one up for the techies at school.

Cultural Awareness: Cultural competency is different from cultural awareness in the sense that competency refers the vast understanding and effective interaction with people from different cultures, socio - economic backgrounds. As educators, it is a must to get to know all of our students. Once we do this, we can gain trust, respect and relationships can begin to develop. If we as educators can accomplish many times our students will open up to us, this allows us to really make impacts on their lives. Understanding our students allows us to help them learn better, meet their needs and solve issues that they may have. Cultural awareness refers to our ability to recognize cultural differences, beliefs, values and perceptions but to not interact with other cultures. But some times, do to location students are only exposed to cultural awareness, it is not until they go to college where they are introduced to be cultural competent. As a teacher in a small rural public school we have a low number of minority students, but we as teachers do our best to prepare them for the outside world and different cultures. I believe that our school does a good job of teaching tolerance and diversity. One advantage of our small school is that everyone can get to know one another. We have a tight unified student body, it is almost like a family type atmosphere. I guess, I am very luck to be working in a great school district. I know that this isn't always the case in other school districts.

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Communication and Collaboration

Communication: The role of communication in secondary education is ever changing and today’s students are benefiting from it. Today students are more connected to our global society through their cell phones, tablets, IPODS and laptops. Today students don’t have to physically hand in assignments anymore rather they now can email the assignment to their teachers. Students can now email their teachers if they are having a problem in class. Students do not have to research for hours in the library they can communicate with people and web sites all over the world to obtain the information that they need to complete their assignments. The day of the timid and shy student are over, students are now more comfortable with typing what they have to say rather than verbal exchange with their teachers. Secondary students as well as their teachers are better off due to the increase of communication through technology, being able to access anyone without having to all meet at one site. Makes conferences, meetings, and collaborations that more convenient for all parties involved.

Collaboration: Horizontal articulation is the alignment and collaboration of teachers across the region within a particular grade; while vertical articulation facilitates K-12 collaboration within the existing feeder pattern.

Vertical collaboration, involves conversations between K-12 teachers, along with title and resource teachers. An opportunities to bring teachers at a school together for meaningful vertical discussions across grade levels. These are some specific strategies that will allow teachers to conduct engaging vertical sharing at their schools.

These are characteristics of professional learning communities and questions of how to make time for vertical conversations.

  • Begin with the end in mind;
  • Purposely put structures into place to create opportunities for conversation, and map out how these structures fit together;
  • Put dates on the calendar now for next year;
  • Involve staff in developing content for discussions;
  • Follow through with the plan; and
  • Evaluate and reflect upon the effectiveness of the collaboration.

Horizontal collaboration refers to cooperative activities between and among developed and less developed countries that take place in a non-hierarchical manner. The goal is to develop mechanisms to promote dialog between educators in partner countries, to learn from each other's experience, and to jointly find solutions to common problems. Based on principles of solidarity and mutual support, the goal of horizontal collaboration is to promote the sharing and transfer of information between countries in similar or different stages of development. Unlike the old concept of "vertical collaboration" which describes a donor-recipient relationship, the emergence of horizontal collaboration reflects more of a partnership or collaborative relationship.

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Legal Guidelines

First of All, Using Common Sense can keep you out of trouble.

Be consistent and fair! Make sure that you treat all students consistently with your policies and concerns. Having a set of rules and consequences posted will help establish this consistency.
Don't Touch! In many cases, it is advisable not to touch students at all. Placing your hand on a student's shoulder or grabbing a student's arm can sometimes produce negative reactions for the students and can be misconstrued as an offensive action. Instead, use verbal clues or hand gestures to get a student's attention. (Note on hugging: Do not attempt to hug students. If a student initiates the hug, attempt to have a side embrace or arm over the shoulder. In the long run, this will prevent any misunderstandings. The point here is to be careful and aware.)
Open Door Policy! An open door policy usually means that as a teacher you are willing to see students at any time before or after school. This is a good way to establish communication with a student. However, an open door policy should also mean to have your door open when dealing with students, especially if you are alone with a student. If you are having a conference with a student, consider having another teacher witness the conference.
Respect Confidentiality! Keep all records and information about the student's grade and home life confidential unless you are sharing with other faculty members who have an active part in the success of that student. Gossiping about students to those who do not teach the student or to other adults is a violation of the student's right to privacy.
Best Not to Make Promises to Students! In many cases, an inexperienced teacher will make a promise to a student and will be unable to fulfill their part of the bargain. A teacher should never make a promise to keep everything a student tells them confidential. For example, if a student reveals that he/she is being abused at home, you have a legal responsibility to report this to your campus administrator and possibly the Child Protective Services. Furthermore, avoid exchanging promises/gifts with a student such as in "If you turn in all your work, I'll get buy you tickets to the movies." These methods are counterproductive; they might compromise your professionalism.
Don't Pickup Hitchhikers! Basic premise here is not to drive students in your own personal vehicle. You become liable for that student, and if you got into an accident your job as well as your health might be in jeopardy.
Your Personal Life is Personal! Disclosing personal information with your students about your history, relationships, and religious beliefs can compromise your professionalism. Focus on the content and issues related to the school while at school. This is plenty of time at home to dwell on the other stuff.
Document Phone Calls Home! Each time you call a parent, the reason for the call, and the outcome of the conversation should be recorded for future reference. This will allow you to refer to a history of conversations with a parent about the student. In addition, this documentation can be used to help facilitate parent-conferences.

Never be alone with a student! Always make sure that you are in plain site of other teachers or students.

Positive Learning Environment and Assessment Process

Positive Learning Environment: I would classify the types of the best practices for a new teacher is to first have a classroom management plan. This plan is the foundation of you classroom, also this is a reference for you as the teacher to look back and adjust if something doesn't work. The plan also helps the teacher to be organized from the structure of their classroom procedures. The students also can benefit from the plan as well, you can share the classroom procedures, rules and expectations. If you can get everyone on board this set the stage for a conductive harmonious learning environment. Second, I believe that you must start out as strict and a stickler for rules and procedures, setting the tone for each class is important to prevent discipline problems from even starting. Once the students have a firm understanding of rules, expectations and procedures then you can loosen up, but not too much "If you give kids an inch, they will try to take a mile". The third classification I believe would to know your curriculum and be able to adjust it to meet the needs of your students but cover the state standards. Try teaching the same curriculum but in a challenging and fun way, that is what will get your students attention and engage them. The last classification would to always be a caring professional, act, dress and condone yourself in a professional manner, but let your students know you care. Try to get to know each student, and try to relate to them. If you can create and build relationships with your students they will open up and become more productive cause they are comfortable with you and your classroom.

Student Assessment Process: My Secondary Art Class Assessment would include many types of assessments to help measure the student’s ability to retain, understand and recite art content. I would plan on implementing Formative and Summative Assessments. The Formative Assessments are good to monitor student learning providing ongoing feedback that can be used by the instructor to improve their teaching and improve the student’s learning. Formative Assessments can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work. Also they help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately. Some examples of a Formative Assessment is to have students draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic. Also students could submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of the lecture. Students could finally turn in a research proposal for early feedback on the topic at hand. Hand-on assessments are also a way to determine if students understand the art concepts and can apply them to a project. Summative Assessment’s goal is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Being high stakes some examples include: midterm exams, final projects, papers, recitals or exhibits.