A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. - Henry Adams
Jerry Smith's Digital Teaching Portfolio
 

Standard III: Implements and Manages Instruction

Introduction

This standard is extremely important because it answers the question, "Can you actually get in there in front of a bunch of kids and teach?" Hopefully upon reviewing the evidence, you will be able to say that I can indeed teach. I have tried hard this year to implement teaching methods and activities that my least favorite teachers never did. The teachers I remember the most are the ones that did fun things that helped me to learn. I want to be cast from that mold!

Inside this standard, you'll find a couple lessons that I feel show that I can indeed deliver lessons that are different from what the students are used to. I have tried to implement the many strategies that we have discussed in the MAT program. Then, you'll find some documents that show that I have went to great lengths to manage the classroom and handle all the things that go with it (i.e. mountains and mountains of papers). You will find throughout that I use technology constantly.

The Evidence

Course Expectations

  • Computer Applications Syllabus (Word Format) - Here is a typical syllabus from my Computer Applications class. You'll notice that in addition to telling the students what we will be covering, I also incorporate my classroom management plan.

Student Products

This section contains examples of student products as a result of instruction. The lesson plan is listed first, followed by the resulting student prodcuts.

Adaptive Use of Technology

  • Using Windows XP Magnifier (JPG) - The following is a screenshot of a piece of adaptive technology I use daily in the classroom to aid instruction. The screenshot depicts the Windows Maginfier being used to enlarge the size of a spreadsheet. Whenever I'm doing a demonstration using the projector, I use this feature so that everyone can see. Most vision problems are undocumented, however, the majority of my students have less than 20/20 vision. This has been very effective ensuring that everyone can see.

Classroom Management Techniques/Aides

  • Moodle Site - Since I have a computer lab with full Internet access, I have the fortune of being able to use a powerful classroom management system called Moodle. Moodle is like Blackboard, but it's free to use. I use it to help the students keep track of assignments. Often, they submit assignments to me electronically. While I didn't do a lot of it last year, I'm going to attempt to use it for assessments. Most students like it because they say it really helps them keep track of what they have turned in and what they haven't.
  • Class Mailboxes (JPG) - Each student in my class has a mailbox. I use the mailboxes to hand out assignments (I fill them in the morning with whatever materials are to be used that day) and to hand back graded work. This $200 investment has changed my classroom forever. There are no longer piles of papers laying about and the kids have somewhere to stick a pencil for later!

Reflection

I have made a great deal of progress in terms of being able to successfully deliver a lesson and manage the classroom. I have tried to deliver high quality lessons from the beginning, but I didn't have that much success until the Spring semester. Through trial and error, I learned the things that I need to anticipate when trying to do authentic lessons.

This standard was probably the toughest for me to get a grip on. I would have these gorgeous lesson plans that would go about as far as a lead zeppelin. The students would either be uber-confused or their products would be less than spectacular. As the year has went along, I have learned how to write plans that minimize confusion and adapt quickly when the plans fail. And above all, never let the students see you sweat! Even when everything has tanked, keep your chin up and act like it's all part of the plan. If you panic, they panic! Specificity is also very important. The more the students know before they get started, the better things turn out. As my worksheets have gotten longer and longer, so has the students' products improved.

When I first started teaching, I really didn't feel like a teacher. I didn't like using my authority. I have learned, though, that my authority is necessary to wrangle the often strong-willed students. The lesson plans don't just deliver themselves. I must be like a captain with a map and firmly guide my class to the intended destination. When I'm up there in front of the classroom, I'm running the show. The students should listen to me because I'm highly trained and whatever I'm trying to explain is going to help them at some point in life. This level of confidence could only come with experience.

If there were one thing I would like to improve on, it would have to be that I wish my desk was tidier. I have tried and tried to keep the paperwork under control, however, on any given day, my desk looks like a tornado has just touch down. Mr. Mayabb has helped me in this area, but I can't manage to make everything look spotless like he does. As any Cubs fan would say, "Maybe next year."

Overall, I believe my ability to design and deliver lessons that are based on unique situations is an asset. While I'm not perfect at doing so, I think I am more than competent. Given the amount of improvement I have experienced in less than a year of teaching, I'm almost positive I will only get better at classroom management and instruction as time goes on.







 
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