2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Checking In

A lot has changed in my work life since the last time I was on this blog!

During my “blogging break,” I was RIF’ed from my school district due to budget cuts. I was disappointed since I was already looking forward to new things I was going to implement in the next school year, but, in the long run, I think the change came for the better. I found a new position closer to my family (always a plus) in a school that I think will be a better fit for me as a teacher. It is hard to put into words how I know this, it is one of those “gut instincts,” but I think something that happend this morning really drove it home.

I am working in a private, Catholic high school, one not all that different than ones I went to as a student. Morning announcements are similar to that of any other school I have been in; Pledge of Allegiance, lists of activities that day, etc – with the addition of a short scripture reflection and prayer. At the end of all the announcements today, the teacher leading it closed with, “Have a good weekend everyone, and, remember – your teachers love you”.

Now, I have been amazed for a while now how much I end up caring for my students by the end of each school year. I don’t think it is a secret amongst those in the education field how important our students are to us – just look at any of the school disasters that have happened over the past few years. In all instances, teachers have put themselves in danger in hopes of protecting their class. While this knowledge seems to be unspoken amongst teachers, I do not think many others realize it. Which is why I think it is important to communicate it on a regular basis, especially to our students. Hearing the announcements today drove that home for me – this school makes a practice of regularly telling its students – “Hey – we care about you – we love you and want what’s best for you.” It creates an atmosphere of caring and support – as if we are one extended family.

I love it. It is something I did not even realize I was missing in my past schools, and that I am embracing now. I really enjoy teaching because, just when you think you know it all and have it all figured out, something new comes up. I am looking forward to what other lessons this place can teach me.

Why the Internet is Like the Mall – Discussing Online Safety With Students

When teaching with tech, you can never talk about Internet safety enough. This great post from “Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension” gives a great way to frame this discussion with your students as the new school year gets under way.

Another cross posting from my other blog, this one has taken on a life of its own, with others putting their own spin on it.  When we discuss internet safety, it is vital that we are able to relate it to students’ lives, so that they can understand that being behind a computer does not mean that they are protected.  While I am not in the business of scaring students, there are plenty of other ways that can happen, we can stress the importance of proper behavior.  And thus this lesson came about; linking the internet to going to the mall.

I believe in the importance of honest conversation with the kids, where they supply the answers, rather than me hitting them over the head with it.  I simply started out this lesson by writing the words “Internet Safety” on my whiteboard and turned to the kids.  They volunteered what these…

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21st Century Icebreakers: 13 Ways To Get To Know Your Students with Technology

While a handful of schools started back up last week, I know today marks the first day of school for a large majority of students and teachers. With that in mind, this post on “21st Century Icebreakers: 13 Ways to Get to Know Your Students with Technology” seemed like a great fit for today’s events! Happy first (or what ever number you may be on) day of school!

TeachBytes

handshakeIn honor of the start of a new school year, I am sharing one of my popular posts again with you with a couple of new additions!

On Monday I will begin my new job. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be working as a Technology Resource Specialist as well as teaching a couple of classes. As always, I am nervous and excited for the first day of school, and eager to meet a new group of students. As an educator, I often find myself repeating the same icebreakers each year, trying to quickly get to know my students through “Two Truths and a Lie” or a “Getting To Know You” fact sheet.

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