Every time I look back at my career as a teacher, I realize how far I have come.
What I find truly astounding is that what made the most impact in my practice was not learned in the resounding hallways of my Alma Mater or the momentous conference rooms of the many in-service training sessions I’ve completed, but interacting and networking with my peers. Sometimes I will get the best idea from asking a question or brainstorming in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) session.
And just like a movie flashback, I am back at the topic for this blog!
I wanted to ask some questions to our teachers that everyone else also asks. It was difficult to single out one or two teachers, because here at FLVS I feel that I am teaching in the middle of a rock festival and every teacher I know is a rock star!
To narrow it down, I reached out to two of our Teacher of the Year nominees, Amsler Burns and Kellie Shellenberger. Continue reading
Lights, Camera, Action! Our FLVS Full Time high school has made more FLVS history by launching a live-streaming news show.
The premiere was broadcast on Monday, March 13 on our YouTube Mega News Network (MNN).
This is a new format for FLVS Full Time in which a live host presents a mixture of media and pre-recorded material to deliver school news and announcements in an entertaining way, targeting our audience of students and families who are very familiar with the YouTube culture.
As the sponsor for this new student opportunity, I had the pleasure of hosting the premiere and had a lot of fun opening the show with an Oscar-themed skit. The show also featured a pre-recorded segment with Peer Ambassadors Zeynab and Keren, as well as an animated commercial created by Peer Ambassador Maleeka.
I had a chance to speak with our Principal, Ken Henson, after the show’s season finale back in May. Continue reading
FLVS teachers and staff members recently returned from our annual In-Service Training.
This yearly event is a great time to meet with colleagues face to face, sharpen our skills, and put a few new tricks in our hats.
I was pleasantly surprised to walk into a session in which some of our students were part of a panel telling us what a day in their life is like. They spoke candidly and honestly and some of what they said needs to be in the FLVS Teaching Handbook!
Here are some of those pearls of wisdom, straight from the source. Continue reading
In a galaxy far, far away…all of Padawans turned in their research projects on time and received perfect scores every time…and…uh…wait a minute – this does sound like a fictional world!
Let’s land in the real world where a research project requires time and effort and especially some serious research skills. Cue the dramatic music and let’s begin your training! Continue reading
April is Autism Awareness Month, so I decided to do some reading and brush up on the subject of autism.
In doing so, I came across a surprising blog post about the negative connotation of the puzzle pieces that represent autism in the Autism Society’s ribbon logo, which is now widely used to create awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The post called my attention for two reasons. First, I had no idea that the puzzle ribbon was so controversial, and second, it was written by an autistic person – so naturally I was interested in reading about her particular point of view. In her blog, Alex says that the puzzle implies that autistic people need to be figured out, fixed, or completed as if parts of them were missing. Continue reading
1. A substantially awesome method for taking notes that is easy, fun, and does not require drawing ability (stick figures welcome!)
2. Combining doodles and notes and increasing your memory retention by transferring an idea from your head to the paper!
This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!
As we celebrate the National Day on Writing today, what better way to encourage our younger writers than by getting them involved in daily family routines that involve writing!
When my daughter was younger, she helped me write our grocery list every week. She loved using the “special” checklist notepaper I kept on the fridge and writing the words she already knew (milk, juice, apples, cereal). For new words, I encouraged her to “sound it out” and write it the way she heard it.
Now that she’s older, we take it a step further and have her be in charge of the list – checking off each item as we pick them from the shelves at the store. Continue reading
In our Spanish for Spanish Speakers course, an assignment asks students to compare their lives in the United States with that of a fictional character in the lesson.
This character writes an entry in her diary describing her struggles to fit in with two different cultures, dealing with attitudes towards her language and towards her, and even learning to speak “Spanglish.” I especially like part of her entry where she talks about another Spanish-speaking lady she meets at her kid’s school who owns a store in town where she can meet for a cafecito* and some very-needed Spanish conversation.
Teaching this lesson, I suddenly realized that I struggle with the very same things! Continue reading
You are in front of your screen, you have logged into your live lesson, and your instructor is about to start.
He or she reminds you to “take notes!” You find yourself unprepared, so you either open a Word document (which by the end of the lesson remains basically blank) or you hastily gather a pen and a paper napkin left in your room from last night’s pizza. At the end of the lesson, you barely have a few notes and the main idea of today’s lesson eludes you like the ghost of Christmas past…
Sigh…sound familiar? Continue reading