Monthly Archives: March 2014

Student Behavior in My Classroom – A Classroom with all Japanese Students (Part 1)

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I teach in an IB (International Baccalaureate) school in Japan. It isn’t an international school – it’s a Japanese secondary school with an IB program. All my students are Japanese, but many of them have lived in foreign countries for a year or two. While many of them have experience living abroad, their culture is definitely Japanese. One or two who lived in the US or the UK for a long time could be considered “third-culture kids,” but they are a rarity. Most of the kids are 100% Japanese, culture and nationality.

So what this means is I am an American woman teaching a classroom full of students from a culture that is different from mine. And I am immersed in their culture.

By the way, I am not an ALT (an ALT is an assistant language teacher – most foreigners who teach in Japan are ALTs, including my husband). I am completely in charge of my class. Being a foreign teacher in a Japanese school has its challenges, as you can imagine. One of them is discipline.

Don’t get me wrong. Discipline is not nearly as challenging here as it is in the states. 90% of my students are well-behaved, polite, and no problem whatsoever. But contrary to popular belief, Japanese teenagers are not that different from American students. They have the same bad habits. They do their homework at the last minute. They are sleepy in class. They love their phones, PCs, and video games. They daydream in class. Some of them are even bullies.

There are major differences too, but I don’t want to discuss those at the moment. What I want to discuss is the 10% of students I have that do require some discipline. I have had a variety of students who have done things in class that most American teachers would reprimand. When they do these things, it is my first instinct to discipline them in the same way I would back home. In fact, that’s what I did my first year. But now I have been here for two years (almost) and I am starting to realize that the Japanese teachers don’t discipline in the same way. And I don’t really feel comfortable coming in and just doing things the way I would back home.  It probably wouldn’t be very effective, anyway. I would just seem even more foreign to them.

Here are some of the discipline-worthy behaviors my students have exhibited in class:

  • Sleeping in class (this is very common in Japan and it seems to be more accepted here, although the administration adamantly says it is not to be accepted)
  • Chatting while I am teaching (I know this is normal student behavior, but it isn’t something I usually tolerate for very long.)
  • Speaking in Japanese about me because they know I can’t understand them
  • Bullying classmates in Japanese because they think they can get away with it
  • Making faces when I turn my back to the class (I have an infamous class of seventh graders at the moment – they do all sorts of things when the teachers turn to write on the board)

All of the above behaviors are pretty tame. I haven’t ever had to deal with real defiance at this school. Most of the students at my school come from stable, supportive households, so their parents would be very responsive if they found out their child had behavior problems. Plus, it’s a private school so the expectations are pretty high for behavior.

Expectations. That is one of the main differences I wanted to point out. In American schools, it is commonly accepted that the best way to start the school year is to introduce your rules and expectations.  The teacher states these very clearly and starts off the year with strict rules, at least until the class routine is clearly in place and all the students know what the teacher expects from them.

In Japan, or at least in my school in Japan, rules are not stated explicitly by the subject teacher at the beginning of the school year. The teacher does not walk in on his or her first day of math or English class and outline a list of rules. Moreover, rules are not posted in the classroom for the students to see. In fact, when one of my colleagues (another foreign teacher, from the UK) suggested that we post rules in the seventh grade classroom, the Japanese teachers had a hard time understanding why we would do that.

But even though the subject teachers don’t state the rules, somehow the students do know they are expected to behave in a certain way. Unfortunately, my inability to speak Japanese limits how much I can understand about how the school communicates expectations to the students.  But from what I can gather, and from what I have read about discipline in Japan, and of course from what my colleagues tell me, it seems that students figure out how they should behave based on these things:

  • influence from the group they are in
  • their homeroom teacher
  • their soccer coach (students on the soccer team are expected to adhere to a strict code of behavior)
  • the soccer coach (at our school, he seems to be in charge of speaking at the school assemblies about working hard, wearing the school uniform correctly, and not getting into trouble)

In this post, I will discuss the first point. I will get to the three following points in my next post.

How “discipline” comes in the form of influence from the group

The first point is the most important one. Everyone probably knows that Japanese society is a collectivist society. It is the stereotypical collectivist society. Social cohesion is the priority, and when an individual is treated unfairly, it isn’t usually their first instinct to stand up for themselves. Their first instinct is to fit into the group.

(Of course, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. I have to add a disclaimer right now. I am an outsider looking in, and I don’t even speak the language. Please just take my words as my own perception of things and assume that they are probably all wrong.)

But it seems to me that it is really true – the group rules here. The reason I think this is because I have seen this with my own eyes. In the program I teach, the students are assigned to one class, and they stay with that class from seventh until twelfth grade. They do not mingle with other students, not really. They spend all of their school days with a group of about 20-30 other students. And when you teach one of those groups, you really see that as individuals, it can be really hard to get to know the students. They aren’t willing to reveal their distinct identity immediately. They don’t want to be seen as an individual. They want to hide within the class. But the class as a single entity has a very distinct personality.

Each of my classes is very different. But the weird thing is, the students within a class are very similar. They behave in similar ways. My twelfth graders are all laid-back, friendly, and really happy to spend classes discussing and debating big ideas. My eleventh graders are very introspective, and very intelligent. They are deep thinkers who (to my utter frustration) are less willing to share their ideas out-loud (although they are happy to share them with each other in small groups). My tenth graders are also extremely quiet and they are all a little nerdy. They are probably the most “Japanese” of the classes in that they are unwilling to do any activity until they see that others in the class are willing to do it. (There are a lot of awkward silences in that class). And my seventh graders – they are all insane. They are hyper, playful, and naughty. They are a class of 27 little monsters.

Ok, I am exaggerating of course. There are individual personalities in these classes. But it is amazing how much influence the group has on the individuals.  Much more than in America.

So, what this all means is that much of their behavior is based on the expectations of the group. The Japanese way is to let the group influence the individual rather than one individual standing at the front of the room and exerting power over the entire group (although this definitely does happen – I’ll get to this when I discuss the soccer coach I mentioned earlier). This is especially seen with small children. Parents do not reprimand or punish their children for “misbehaving”. They let them be wild and out of control, knowing that in a couple of years their kids will enter kindergarten and be intensely socialized into behaving appropriately. It is almost as if that “childhood,” before they enter the system, is sacred and they must be left to be free, because that freedom is very temporary. Then the child enters school and feels the intense pressure to conform to the group.

Mostly this works, but there are those few students who act out or misbehave. In my seventh grade class, this misbehavior is socially acceptable because that’s how the whole group wants to behave. In my twelfth grade class, it is less acceptable, but the students would not directly speak out and tell a classmate who is being too chatty to pipe down. They just ignore the student or wait for the student to figure out the group wants him/her to change his/her behavior. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. It seems that about 90% of the students have it figured out and they fall into line. And the ones who don’t fall into line exactly aren’t really that far off. If there is anyone who really doesn’t fit in, then the eventual consequences can be pretty extreme. In fact, bullying is a serious problem here, and it’s no wonder why, with the priority being to fit into the group.

I will continue writing about this topic of discipline in my next post. There really is so much to say.

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photo credits: specialoperations via photopinBeckywithasmile via photopin  cc

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A Day In The Life…

I’ve heard that a blog can be kind of like a diary. Here is my first “diary” entry. A day in the life…of me.

I woke up today at 6:15, the same time I always wake up on a work day. My alarm always wakes me up. This morning I was in a deep sleep and I think I was having a nightmare, so it wasn’t a bad thing that the alarm went off.

My workday morning routine (notice I don’t say “weekday” since here in Japan my workweek often includes Saturday) is always the same:  shower, iron my clothes, dress, blow-dry, make lunch for later, take vitamins, eat cereal and drink coffee, check Gmail/ CNN/ Facebook/ Twitter/ bank account, put on a touch of makeup, head out the door at 8:00 AM. Walk across the street. (My school is across the street from my apartment complex.)

I work at a private Japanese secondary school. It includes both a junior high and high school. We are required to be there at 8:20 for the morning meeting. The morning meeting is when all the teachers meet in the main teachers’ office on the ground floor and the principal or vice-principals take us through any announcements for the day. Since I work in a smaller international program within this school, I don’t actually have a desk in the main teachers’ office. During the morning meeting, all of us from the international program jam ourselves into a corner in the back, sitting uncomfortably on folding chairs as the announcements are given in Japanese. I don’t understand a word of it (OK, I admit, I might understand a word hear or there). But we have a translator (the head of our program, actually…she wears many hats). She makes sure we get all the information, down to the smallest detail…. We do this every morning. Morning after morning. It’s really weird when I am sitting there and then I blink and I am sitting there again but it is the next morning. This is the routine, Monday through Friday, and two Saturdays per month.

This morning, the morning meeting was short. There are various school trips going on at the moment, with some of our students in the international program away in Iowa for a homestay program, and some of the other students in Utah for a different homestay program. Teachers are with them, and some other teachers are away on business trips, so less teachers and less students meant less announcements, thus, a short morning meeting.

The students have homeroom at 8:40 for about 5 minutes. I’m not a homeroom teacher (I have the heaviest class load so I got out of having that duty). Then we start lessons at 8:50. But I didn’t have class this morning during first period. Actually, today I had much of my morning free to prep. We are in the last couple weeks of the last term of the year (the third term), and I have a little bit of a lighter schedule since my twelfth graders have finished all their classes. (In Japan, the twelfth graders finish at the end of term two and they spend much of term three taking university entrance exams.) So today I spent my morning grading exams, making photocopies, and preparing lessons.

 

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Lunchtime is usually at 12:40. It was a bit earlier today because the students have shortened lessons due to this being the end of the school year. The students eat lunch in their classrooms. Their mothers pack them bento lunches, which are a balanced smorgasbord of vegetables, a small portion of meat (often fish) and a big serving of rice. Sometimes I like to take a peek to see the nicely organized compartments in their bento boxes. I wish I had time to make such a healthy meal, but for me it’s usually a sandwich or leftovers from dinner the night before. Today it was leftovers.

I taught three periods of classes in the afternoon. My seventh graders are adorable little demons who find any opportunity they can to make trouble, but who are very good at doing so without me knowing. I’m fine with that. They follow the Japanese custom of standing and bowing to the teacher at the beginning and end of class. At first I thought it was strange and I was a little uncomfortable with it. I don’t expect my other students to do it (my 10th, 11th, and 12th graders), and they know it is not expected by the foreign teachers like me, so they don’t bow to us. But the seventh graders need structure and they have such a hard time not acting like maniacs half the time, so all of the teachers, including the foreign teachers, encourage them to maintain the custom. I am sure it will fall by the wayside when they enter 8th grade, but it has helped create some sense of structure in the class.

(One of the reasons there has been such difficulty with this particular seventh grade class is because the Japanese style of discipline does not include stating explicit rules of behavior. This particular group of kids really needs explicit rules and expectations. But the discipline philosophy is completely different in Japan, so there are no rules. But that is a post for another day.)

I also taught my eleventh graders in the afternoon. That was an uneventful class. I just gave them back their year-end exams, passed out some homework I wanted them to work on over the next week, and let them work on the reading assignments.

My tenth grade class was more eventful. I taught the lesson I wrote about in my previous post, the lesson called “Football in American High Schools.” This was an important lesson because I was recording it to show to my induction supervisor in the program I’m doing through CGU to clear my credential. I set up the digital recorder and explained to my students that it was there to record me, not to record them. I asked them to try to be actively engaged in the lesson because this would make me look good (I did this before I pressed the record button, of course!). They were happy to help. I found out that this is actually a great strategy for getting them to be more engaged – tell them it will help to make me look good. (They are really sweet kids – usually very quiet but since they knew they were helping me out, they tried their hardest to seem like they were totally comfortable discussing ideas in front of a camera.) Of course, there were some technical difficulties. The camera was on for a while but then it stopped because the SD card was full. I had to spend about 10 minutes just trying to figure out how to delete stuff off the SD card. It was a school camera, and I hadn’t realized that people had filled it up and hadn’t deleted their old files. So that wasted some time. But my students were totally cool about it. To be honest, I didn’t really care if they learned a thing during this lesson. It’s the end of the school year, I’ve made them work their butts off for the last three terms, and I just wanted to get this lesson on video so I could check off another box on my way to clearing my credential. My students played along, and we eventually got the lesson back on track. They put on a good show of discussing their definition of “culture” and then we came up with a definition that I wrote on the board and then the bell rang and class was over. I think I’ll show them the second episode of “Friday Night Lights” tomorrow as a reward for being so helpful today. I showed them the pilot last week and they seemed to really like it. Today some of them were asking me what happened to Jason Street. I feel bad giving them the bad news. I’ll let them find out in the show tomorrow.

After that, I went back to the office and watched the video of my lesson. I realize that I definitely have a “teacher voice” and that I kind of look drunk when I am in front of the class.  I’ll have to work on that.

At 5:20 I came home, worked out, ate dinner, and started blogging. And here I am.

 

photo credit: gamene via photopin cc 

 

Inside My Classroom: Lesson Plan – Football in American High Schools

This is a post on a lesson I am currently working on for one of my classes.

I teach in an International Baccalaureate school in Japan. I teach both MYP and DP English. The Japanese school year ends in March, so right now we are nearing the end. But we have a few strange weeks which fall in between the year-end exams and our spring break. Last year, I used this time to teach lessons on grammar and sentence structure topics that we hadn’t had a chance to get to during the year. But as most English teachers know, it doesn’t really work to teach a lot of grammar out of context. So this year, I have decided to use the time in one of my classes to get them started on the first unit of the new school year. I am not really diving right into the unit, but instead I am using this time to set the scene and to build some background knowledge.

This lesson will be for the IB course DP English B. In this course, students develop their oral and written English skills through the study of topics such as communication and media, social relationships, global issues, health, science and technology, leisure, and a few others. The teacher is also expected to bring in topics related to English-speaking cultures, since this is an English as a second language course. The lesson I am going to be doing with my students is related to the topics of health, leisure, and culture and traditions.

This is just the first lesson. This is meant to start as an intro to a bigger unit, titled Sports Traditions in English-Speaking Cultures.

In this lesson, I have decided to introduce students to traditions in American football, specifically football in in American high schools. While Japanese students are very familiar with America’s favorite pastime (baseball) since they themselves love the sport, they are not as familiar with American football. I think many people would agree that football in America has actually taken over and become the more popular spectator sport. The topic of football also seems like a great way to introduce my students to some aspects of American high school culture.

I am looking forward to doing this lesson with my students because I really love the show “Friday Night Lights,” and I think it will be fun for them to see a television depiction of American high school culture. This particular class tends to be extremely quiet, so I am having them do a lot of group work to help motivate them to discuss more. I don’t have much success when I try to get them to discuss as a whole-class, but in small groups they seem to enjoy discussions.

I will write a post later this week about how it goes. Here is the lesson plan:

Lesson: Football in American High Schools

Objectives

Students will:Ÿ

  • define culture
  • identify cultural traditions in American high school and American sports culture (based on their viewing of the pilot episode of the television drama “Friday Night Lights”)
  • discuss how the cultural tradition of football is important to American culture and why it might face opposition by some people
  • use vocabulary related to American culture to discuss football and the television drama “Friday Night Lights”

Essential Questions

  • Why do people play football?
  • How can football promote a sense of community?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of playing football?
  • How does football contribute to creating cultural identity in America?

Procedures

Day  1

  1. Give students a handout to introduce vocabulary related to American high school (freshman, sophomore, pep rally, etc.) and American football (quarterback, tackle, touchdown, etc.). Go over words and explain cultural terms.
  2. Give students a list of character names from the pilot episode of “Friday Night Lights.” Briefly go over characters so that students have some idea of who they are before watching the program.
  3. Show the pilot episode of “Friday Night Lights” to students. This program will serve as a point of reference throughout the unit when discussing how sports promote community pride and contribute to cultural identity.

 Day 2

  1. Tell students that in this unit, we are going to be thinking about the role sports play in culture, with the goal of learning more about sports played in English-speaking countries. We will begin by looking at the role football plays in American culture.
  2. Write the word “culture” on the board. Write two questions: What is culture? What are examples of culture? Tell students to write ideas in their notebooks for five minutes.
  3. Put students into pairs. Pairs should discuss their ideas with each other. Together, they must write a basic definition of culture. Walk around the room and check their understanding. This activity should help students gain confidence before they share their ideas with the whole group.
  4. Go over students ideas about culture. Call on pairs of students to explain what “culture” means. Using their ideas, write a definition of culture on the board. Students copy this definition into their notebooks. The definition should be something like:

Culture is a shared set of practices and traditions that characterize a society or group of people. Culture can include clothing, food, traditions, ceremonies, spiritual practices and beliefs, language, family structure, and communication styles.

Model to students how to write a clear definition and how to identify examples of culture by identifying specific examples of Japanese culture. (Make a list of specific examples on the board.)

  1. Put students into groups of four. In their groups, they will discuss these questions:
  • What is your reaction to the show “Friday Night Lights”? What did you find interesting? What did you find difficult to understand?
  • How does football help to promote community pride in the town of Dillon, Texas?
  • What did you learn about American culture by watching the show? (You may discuss anything – you do not have to only discuss football.)
  • What are the positive benefits of playing football in American high school? What are the drawbacks of playing football?
  • How is football an important part of American culture? How does it contribute to creating a sense of American identity?

Independent Practice

Students write a journal response in their notebooks. Journal responses must be one page. Journal responses must answer the question “How is football an important part of American culture?” Students may also discuss other questions from their group discussions. We will discuss their ideas together in class the following day.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum: Resources

For those who are interested in learning more about Writing Across the Curriculum, I will post links to resources here. Check back for updates.

Writing Across the Curriculum in Secondary Education:

  1. Writing Across the Curriculum Reference Guide – Bazerman, C., Little, J., Bethel, L., Chavkin, T., Fouquette, D., & Gaurfis, J. (2005)
  2. Writing Across the Curriculum by Steve Peha
  3. Specific subject guides for using WAC (created by the Michigan State Department of Education):

If you find other good resources, please send them my way!

Writing Across the Curriculum: Why to do it, Reason #1

In my previous post, I talked about the induction program I am currently doing through the Claremont Graduate University school of education. One of the things I would like to do in this blog is discuss some of the teaching strategies I am learning about in this program. In this post, I would like to introduce Writing Across the Curriculum and discuss one of the reasons WAC is a valuable practice to implement in schools.

Writing Across the Curriculum is a set of teaching practices guided by the idea that writing across the disciplines enhances student learning (Michigan Department of Education). According to the Michigan Department of Education:

  • Writing promotes learning.
  • Integration of writing and the writing process promotes student participation, a diversity of student voices, and engages students as critical thinkers while promoting their texts as important resources and thinking tools.
  • Effective writing instruction integrates disciplines.
  • The opportunity to write in every class develops good writers.
  • Using writing as part of instruction can be used in every classroom.
  • Only by practicing the thinking and writing conventions of an academic discipline will students begin to communicate effectively within that discipline.

The basic idea is that writing is such an important part of learning that it should be included as an integral part of all subjects, not just language arts classes.

In my experience, many subject teachers are resistant to the idea that every teacher should be teaching writing. I can understand why. Teachers already have so much on their plates; how are they supposed to also be responsible for this incredible task of teaching writing? And I will be the first to say that it is my job (the English teacher) to teach students how to write. It is my job to teach them all the skills that come with using the writing process and conducting research. It is my job to teach them how to write essays and how to master skills such as paraphrase and summary. I will work my hardest to do that. But the reality of today is that if we are going to prepare students who have the abilities necessary to succeed in this 21st century world, we need to make them write as much as possible.

There are so many reasons writing should be taught across the disciplines. To me, the most obvious reason is that we now live in a world that immerses us in texts. We encounter texts on a daily basis as we read and search the internet. We create texts in the form of presentations at work, not to mention all of the writing done in business settings such as reports, memos, and proposals. Not everyone is going to be a writer as a profession, but so many professions require the skill of writing. By using writing more in all the school subjects, students will be presented with a more relevant learning experience since this is what they can expect in their future after they graduate from school. This is my first reason for why WAC should be incorporated across the disciplines:

Writing in disciplines such as math, history, science and others gives students experience practicing professional forms of writing that they are most likely to have to do in their futures.

Language arts writing is so important to the development of students’ thinking skills. The ability to synthesize information comes from practicing the writing skill of summarizing. The ability to present a logical argument comes from practicing outlining and essay organization. The ability to take creative risks comes from practicing creative writing tasks such as story telling and poetry. Practicing these skills takes up much of our time in language arts classes. Unfortunately, time is limited, so we do not get to devote a lot of time to practicing forms of writing like reports (such as lab and field reports), proposals, pamphlets, memos, and journal articles. However, I believe that students will be more successful when they leave school if they have some experience practicing these forms of professional and business writing. There are many opportunities in other subjects to create tasks that require students to practice these forms of writing. In addition to giving students practice in real-world forms of writing, these types of tasks also help to create a meaningful context for learning subjects such as math, science, history and other disciplines. If we can create tasks modeled after real world situations, learning will feel more relevant to students; it will be easier to answer the question: what is the point of learning this?

Clearing My Credential

I have a teaching credential from the state of California. I got my credential a few years after graduating from college. I had not realized while doing my undergraduate studies that I would want to be a teacher. I studied linguistics at UC Berkeley and didn’t really have a plan as to what job I eventually wanted, so I just finished my studies and began working in the corporate world for a technology company in San Francisco. However, the style of the corporate world didn’t agree with me and I soon began to feel a deep sense of dread at the thought that I might be sitting in a cubicle for the next forty years.

I decided to begin working on getting my teaching credential. I already knew that I liked teaching – I had had the opportunity to try it out when I taught English as a second language in Mexico for a short time, and also when I worked part time teaching ESL while I was still in college. Teaching always made me feel great – it was mentally stimulating, it was more active than sitting in a cubicle, and it was fun working with people. I knew it was a better choice for me. So I began a credential program through National University, taking classes online and at the local NU campus.

I won’t tell you all the details of my experience working towards my credential. That might be a post for another day. To make a long story short, I got a preliminary single subject teaching credential in the subject area of English. That “preliminary” credential would be valid for five years. At some point in those five years, I would have to enroll in an induction program to complete coursework so that I could obtain the “clear” credential. Once a teacher in the state of California has a clear credential, they do not have to worry about taking more courses or documenting their professional development; they can just pay the renewal fee and have a valid credential until the end of their career. But you have to complete the induction program to get your clear credential. Otherwise, your preliminary credential will expire, and then who knows what happens to you.

The problem for me was that after I finished my credential program, I moved abroad to teach in a small American school in Shanghai, China. This meant that I was far away from any school that offered an induction program. For the next four years, I diligently searched online to find an induction program I could do from abroad. No such luck.

But last fall (2013), I discovered a program offered by Claremont Graduate University in their education department. This program could be done locally or from a “geographically-far” location. I was thrilled! I had been so worried that my credential was going to lapse. Even though I work in the international schools scene, I still need to have a valid credential. I was afraid that my options would be very limited after this school year and I would have to move back to California to clear my credential. But so far, I seem to have found the solution.

I am currently participating in the CGU Induction Program. I am required to take a “clinical component,” which is a course connected to my practice in the classroom. I meet with my induction supervisor over Skype and we discuss my teaching practice, focusing on one of the specific classes I teach and several focus students in that class. At the same time, I must also take an “academic component.” This is an online graduate class through the school of education at CGU. The idea is that both components will work in tandem and I can gain valuable knowledge about theory and its practical implementation in my teaching.

I am very happy to be in this program. I am currently working at a secondary school in Japan, and this program allows me to continue to work abroad while clearing my credential. My credential is due to expire in October, so I am on track to clear my credential before then. That means all the work I have done to obtain my credential and to move forward in my career as a teacher will have paid off. Once my credential is clear, I will be able to continue to teach in international schools if I choose, but I will also be able to return home to the States and begin a teaching career if I so desire.

For California teachers like me who have been seeking a way to clear their credentials from afar, this seems like a great solution.

 

The Beginning

This is the first post of my blog. I am excited to begin documenting my journey to becoming a more deliberate educator.

This blog will serve as a journal of my experiences as an educator. My goal with this blog is to become a more active teacher. I always tell my students that they need to be active learners, not passive learners. To me, this means that they take responsibility for improving themselves; they confront academic challenges with the intention of seizing the opportunity to grow, and they actively participate in their own education rather than waiting for a teacher to feed them knowledge. I also want to be an active learner for the purpose of becoming a better teacher. But as a teacher, I must use my learning to achieve my ultimate purpose: to help my students succeed. This blog will be a way for me to challenge myself to continue to seek knowledge about how to be a great educator and also to put the information I find into practice.

Because this is a blog, and because I want to encourage myself to post as much as possible, I am going to be less careful about how I present my ideas. The purpose is to get them onto the screen and to start documenting what I am doing. It might be messy sometimes, but my hope is that this blog will not be the final product – it will be part of the process. The final product will be what I do in the classroom. This blog is just a tool for helping me follow my own advice and become a teacher who actively strives to find growth opportunities so that I can have a greater chance at success in the classroom.

I am also interested in connecting with other teachers in the world. I hope that eventually, this blog can help me to join a great network of educators who share their experiences with the online world.