Layla Quinones CPA 011.3872 May 4, 2009 Learning Journal #4 (Information Interview) Question #1: It is critical that I communicate to them that they can achieve anything that they set their hearts to if they are willing to work hard academically and do any inner work that might be necessary to get them to move forward. I want my kids to know in their hearts that I genuinely care about them as people first and then as students who can make a difference in this world. Question #2: Understanding is multifaceted and multileveled. On any given day the lesson will be differentiated in all sorts of ways. One technique I like is the use of good questioning. Basic questioning that gets students to think critically in a fundamental way and respond with a fundamental level of understanding can be quickly assessed. Then comes the application of that basic understanding. The question asked will seek to get the students to cogitate over the information in a deeper. It is here that I may have students writing and sharing their thoughts or engaging in converstaion with members of their respective groups. As they reflect I walk around and carefully listen to their comments interjecting where necessary. In this way I can easily assess whether or not learning is taking place and know where to offer more opportunities for clearing up misconceptions etc. Question #3: I like 6 rows that can easily be converted to groups of 3 or 4. For groups of 3 the 2nd and 5th rows reamin and the 1st and 3rd, and 4th and 6th can turn in making a group. For groups of 4 the odd row seats need only turn around. I like it because it provides flexibilty to the learning environment without a lot of disruptive movement. Question#4: The biggest rule that is imposed is respect...respect for themselves and for each other. Once that has been understood everything else is easy. I'm not a big rules person. As needs arise within the class...and these needs are not mine but belong to the students we modify our manner of coexisting and learning as a diverse but unified whole. Question#5: I believe that for any course of study the entire child should be taught. Knowledge is for naught if we leave out any aspect of what makes a human being a human being. Holistic education is paramount if we are to help students discover their gifts and talents. Holistic education is paramount if we are to help students discover their own voice, experience the world about them, and to acquire the confidence to remember who they really are. Question #6: I treat my students with respect. I am strong for them when they need me to be strong and loving when they need me to be loving. I don't judge no matter what the appearance of a particular challenge they may be having is. I listen carefully and incite a belief within them that they can achieve and that the first steps to pursuing their own success just might not have anything to do with academics or what's going on in the classroom. I get students to spend time with themselves and reach their own conclusions. I'm supportive all the way and will go out of my way for them both in and out of the classroom. I will visit a home if necessary. I let my actions speak. Question #7: There is no definitive procedure that I follow. There is a wisp of a skeletal framework that varies day to day, period to period. No two classes are the same on any given day. There are too many variables. The more students, the more possible combinations and so I go in with a particular lesson for the day that will be executed based on the needs of my students that day. My repetoire is deep and so I draw from it as the day demands. Question #8: I never wanted to be an educator. In fact I vowed I would never become a teacher. I went to college to become an engineer. By the third year I realized that although the material was interesting it was not how I wanted to serve humanity. Engineering was not the modality that would allow me to fully express my own gifts and talents. Realizing this I made the decision to do something else only I wasn't sure what that something else would be. After much soul-searching, education found me. I was working in the Wall Street area and had just been offered a job as a manager in a communications firm straight out of college. I declined knowing that the financial district and I would not long be friends. It was then that I received a call "out of the blue" from my high school trigonometry teacher who was also the Assistant Principal Mathematics in my old high school. Much to my surprise I was offered a j! ob. As I complete my 25th year as an educator I realize that it was because I had let go and trusted that the right career would present itself to me that I was able to find my vocation. I answered the call and have never looked back. In fact my mom use to kid around with me and say that I was having far too much fun and should be paying the Board of Education! Question #9: Very rarely do students misbehave. I count on one hand the number of times I have had to get outside intervention (deans, security, AP etc) for a problematic child. If a child acts out in any way it is because something is terribly wrong (or at least appears that way to the child) in the child's life. As an educator and human being it is my responsibility to help the child through his or her dilemma. I need to find out what is wrong and help...not engage in punitive behavior!!! Question #10: Any kind of activity that will stimulate the student's curiosity about himself and the world in which he or she lives would be fine. Activities that help students see how what they are learning is pertinent and connected to their everyday existence and to the functioning of the world around them is prefereable. Any activity that allows the student's mind to soar and enables them to see that they too are and can continue to be a part of the unfolding story is the way to go! Question #11: The purpose of homework is multidimensional. Homework should first and foremost help students to determine if they really understand what is being taught daily. Secondly homework should challenge a child to take this new found information and apply it in all sorts of ways. Homework should stimulate the mind and excite the spirit. Finally, homework should lay the ground work for the next day's lesson. Question #12: First and foremost I share my excitement and enthusiasm for my subject with my students. Varying inflections in my voice, body postures and rate of speech have served me well. Whenever possible I relate what I am teaching to some other discipline and most definitely find esoteric stories and applications about the material being taught. Question #13: All grades are cumulative. Students need to know that what they do in our classroom from day one will be taken into consideration. Next, I use the exam grade average as a spring board. Grades move up and down from this point based on student effort, homework, projects, innovation, class participation, attendance in class and if needed in tutoring sessions etc. Question #14: My teaching strategies include traditional lessons...not teacher dominated...but ones in which through good questioning class dialogues can freely take place; group work in which students are heterogeneously grouped and work on a particular task as I walk around and individualize where necessary: group presentations in which small student groups are responsible for presenting in as interesting a way as possible a body of information for which the class will later be responsible. Question #15: My students are incredible and as the semester has progressed have become more confident in themselves and in their abilities both in class and out. They are more comfortable taking risks. They have become independent thinkers. I want them to continue the great work which they have begun! I want them to be able to be self-reflective. I want them to learn for the wonder and glory of knowledge!!! 1- What do you hope to communicate to your students in general? 2- How do you know when your students understand what is being taught? And how do you asses their understnding of specific concepts? 3- How do you set up the physical layout of your classroom? Why? 4- What rules do you identify for your students in your class? Why? 5- What would you say is your educational philosophy? 6- How does this philosophy translate into the classroom? 7- When you are teaching a class, is there any definite procedures that you follow? Why? 8- What inspired you to become an educator? 9- Do you have any back-up plans for when students misbehave or in case of an emergency? 10- What kinds of activities do you think is helpful for students during the process of learning? 11- What do you think is the importantce/ purpose of homework? 12- What methods do you use to motivate or engage students during your lessons? 13- What is your grading policy? Why? 14-What are some examples of your teaching strategies? 15- What is your perpective about your students? What do your want them to be able to achieve? 16- How do you suppose that you can close the gap between students who have a streghth in your subject and a weakness in your subject? 17- Is there any other aspect to your teaching that you feel is extreemly crucial to the sucess of your students?