Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Summary of Individual Observations

I really enjoyed being at Mayfield High School. I think the major reason behind this was because it was exactly like my own high school. When I went there for the first time my first thought was this looks exactly like North Royalton (where I attended). This relates back to a topic that we talked about in class. Teachers are more comfortable and prepared when they are teaching in communities that they are familiar with or have experience with. I think my observations would have been much different if they were all at Shaker High School, a school that was foreign to me and did not remind me of my own high school.
The four teachers I observed while at Mayfield were all brilliant and I am so happy I was placed with them. They all truly showed how much they loved the education field, which was refreshing after discussing all the issues in education during class. The one thing I noticed from all four was how much they cared about their students. Whether it was taking time out of class to go over a concept from the day before, to postponing a lecture or lab because some students did not understand the material, or even offering to stay after school for extra help.
These teachers have reassured me that I want to be a high school science teacher, preferably chemistry. They constantly expressed to me how hard the job can be at times and how difficult it was at the beginning of their career, but they also expressed how all the work was worth it in the end. I am even more excited for my future as a teacher and hope to be as passionate and caring as the teachers I recently observed.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mayfield High School Observation

This was my last visit to Mayfield High School. I observed a biology class, a zoology class, and a chemistry class.

The biology class was supposed to watch a video during the period, but the computer broke at the start of the period so they had a change of plans. They ended up having to fill out their notes in small groups using the books. The teacher improvised very well and made the lesson work even though they didn't have the computer. They were learning about the structure of DNA and the teacher had a huge model that she used to show all of the different parts. I think this worked much better than just drawing DNA because they got to go up to the model and point at the parts and see it in 3D. I was impressed with ow quickly she changed her plans, but I think that is an important part of being a teacher. Things don't always go as planned.

The second class I observed was a zoology class and they were dissecting a mud puppy, a type of amphibian. This is the same class I observed a few weeks ago when they struggled to follow the directions and perform the dissection correct. This week they all seemed a little better and had to circle the structures that they saw. The teacher knew what they would be able to see and what they would never be able to see so I think this was a great way to tell who actually did the dissection. The teacher is also very attentive during the dissection and really seemed to know what she was doing, which was different from when I was in high school. My biology teacher didn't really help with structures and couldn't identify the structures herself. It is important for a teacher to be able to do the things they expect from their students.

The last class I observed was AP chemistry. When the students walked into the class they all had questions about the lab they were supposed to be doing that day so the teacher last minute decided to post pone the lab and answer the questions as a class because the majority of the students were confused. I think this showed how much she cares about her students learning. Any other teacher would have just made them do the lab to stay on schedule, but this teacher wanted them to understand the lab before and really know the meaning of everything they were doing during it. This teacher is someone I really look up to and admire how much she cares about her students.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Angela Spilker
Dr. Shutkin
ED 100           
20 November 2015
            Everyone has that one special teacher that made a large impact on them. For some reason when students look back on high school they can immediately pin point their favorite teacher and rattle off reasons as to why they impacted them. For me it was my contemporary issues teacher, Ms. Forshey. At the time I was in her class, I did not realize how much I was learning. One of the most important lessons she taught me was to challenge the world, never settle, and to work for others. She is the most selfless person I have ever met and I aspire to be like her one day. In and out of the classroom she was caring for her students and I can honestly say she would do anything for them. I admire her so much and hope to be half as good as a teacher that she is. Ms. Forshey was the perfect balance between being a teacher, being a friend, and being someone I could look up to. Everyone respected her and knew she was very wise. She quit a very prestigious job in DC, working for the president, to be a teacher. I think that alone shows how dedicated she is to teaching and that she is in the field for the right reasons.
            Going into college I knew I wanted to be a science major, but I was unsure of what I wanted to do with it. After taking my freshman general chemistry course with Dr. Heston I knew I wanted to be a high school chemistry. It was a very difficult class, but for some reason I wanted to impress Dr. Heston and do well in her class. Every day when she lectured us she conveyed how much she loved teaching, and that we were the reason she got up and came to work, no other reasons. Not for the research or for the money, for the students. I knew she cared about us and that is the reason she made the class so hard. She wanted us to be challenged and to learn to work for our goals, but also be successful and feel proud of our accomplishments.
            A common theme I have seen through these two educators is caring for students. They taught me more than any textbook could teach me and that is what I believe in. I think it takes a special kind of teacher to care so deeply about their students that they secretly teach them life lessons. I knew that both of these teachers were there for me on a personal level, but I also respected them. I believe that teachers need to be caring and passionate, but also earn the respect of their students.
            The problem with education is people are in it for the wrong reasons. They think it is an easy job with the summers off. This mindset and attitude is reflected in the classroom. They are not passionate about it and do not care for the students as much as the students need to be cared for. If a student sees that a teacher cares, they will feel inspired to earn their respect and work hard in their class. Some teachers are not passionate about their subject and it shows when they are not happy to be in the classroom. If a teacher does not have the motivation to teach, the students will see that and have no reason to want to learn. Instead of teachers like this, we need teachers like Ms. Forshey and Dr. Heston. We need teachers who care about their students, are passionate about the subject they are teaching, and truly want to be working in the classroom.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mayfield High School

On this visit to Mayfield High School I observed a biology class, zoology class.

The biology class had a sub so it was interesting to see how the students behaved for the sub. In the biology class they took a formative assessment which wasn't graded and then went over the answers as a class.  After that they were supposed to independently study for their quiz the following day. Everyone decided to talk and no one would listen to the sub. Some of the girls were even trying to look through the teachers desk and find the quiz. The class was not out of control they were just talking and not studying independently. They behaved a lot better than I was expecting for having a sub.

The next class I observed was zoology and they were dissecting a fish. They were given directions the day of and just started without any pre work. None of the students seemed to be paying attention and were just cutting it open and goofing off. After they all quickly finished the teacher lectured them about not following the directions and how if they don't start performing better they will not do dissections anymore. I think it was important that she told them that she knew they were not doing the lab right. I think if they would have had to read the lab before and take a pre lab quiz they would have been forced to prepare for the lab.

The last class I observed was AP chemistry and it was pretty similar to my other visits. They had an exam coming up so they were given review problems and she was going over them on the projector. Then she went and walked around to individual students and addressed their questions. I think this teacher has masted the art of lecturing and then also giving personal attention to address individual questions.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Field Blog- Gearity Elementary School

I am set on being a high school teacher, but it was still nice to visit an elementary school. Although I was a little board while observing a 1st grade classroom I think the teacher did an excellent job. All of the students were very well behaved. They all had personal iPads that they did math practice on while the class was getting situated. After everyone was done with the math practice the results showed up on the board and the teacher got to see what everyone missed the most and what she needed to review. I was surprised at how well the students were behaved and how they knew exactly what to do on the iPad. One little boy got all of the math practice right and his picture was featured on the board as star student. After this they did an activity where they had to build a city out of construction paper. The teacher had done her own example which I think is important to show the students that she did the assignment also. Over all I enjoyed my time at the elementary school but it also reminded me why I want to be a high school teacher. I want to teach something that is concrete and not just something I can go through the motions with. This experience showed me how effective technology in the classroom can be.

Blog Post 10

After reviewing my blogs one thing I noticed was I always talked about how to be a good teacher. Consistently I was listing off traits that were "good" and traits that were "bad." The beginning blogs were more structured and less open ended. We were talking about ourselves and responding to quotes in the reading. I think we did this so it got our mind in the blog mindset and talking about just education in general. We were trying to form our opinions and each blog slowly did that for us. Later in the semester the blogs got more open ended and I enjoyed that. When I was writing it didn't feel like I was doing homework, rather just talking and reflecting on class. After writing all of these blogs it made me realize how much I loved my high school and how most of my teachers displayed good teacher qualities. I would love to teach in my high school and be part of such an inviting and supportive community. This being said as a future teacher I plan to interpret many of my former teachers teaching styles and make them into my own. I think the most important quality a teacher can have is caring for the students and finding the balance between teacher ad friend. I know that this is a very difficult thing to master.  I think in my blogs I talked about experiences I had in high school that I didn't enjoy and related that to the reading. Like teachers being too focused on teaching and not forming relationships. In conclusion, my blogs have really opened my eyes to what kind of teacher I want to be and the readings we reflected on have helped shaped my beliefs. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blog 5

The Rofes reading was very different than I was expected. Rofes said his childhood was neither good or bad. He also said "despite the constrictions place on children…children are always to a grater or lesser extent active agents in participating in the production of their own childhoods and adolescences." He followed this up by saying that while many of us don’t ask for the circumstances which we live in, many of us do not fully accept them. Like him, I agree that we play a role in "shaping our own consciousness," however he puts it in a much harsher way. Rofes seems very unsympathetic and that life is just horrible and we need to figure out how to deal with it. I think that in life sometimes are hard, but people can work through it and he didn't mention that. He also mentions he thinks that people choose to be gay, and that they weren't born that way. I do not agree with him at all. In the school I do my observations at (Mayfield High School)  I saw posters for LGBT. When I was in high school I didn't even know what that was so obviously it wasn't something that my own high school provides, which is kind of disappointing looking back. I did not see anything at the middle school and high school we attended as a class. I would consider the high school that I went to very liberal and they probably had an LGBT group and I was just oblivious to it. There were open gay students at my high school and everyone was very accepting. While we are all entitled to our own opinions, LGBT is a thriving topic throughout schools now and I think everyone needs to be open minded and accepting when it comes to this topic.