EdA2Z2016 – Grammar

According to Dictionary.com, here is the history and origin of the word GRAMMAR:

late 12c., gramarye, from O.Fr. grammaire “learning,” especially Latin and philology, from L. grammatica, from Gk. grammatike tekhne “art of letters,” with a sense of both philology and literature in the broadest sense, from gramma “letter,” from stem of graphein “to draw or write.” Restriction to “rules of language” is a post-classical development, but as this type of study was until 16c. limited to Latin, M.E. gramarye also came to mean “learning in general, knowledge peculiar to the learned classes” (early 14c.), which included astrology and magic; hence the secondary meaning of “occult knowledge” (late 15c.), which evolved in Scottish into glamour (q.v.). A grammar school (late 14c.) was originally “a school in which the learned languages are grammatically taught” [Johnson, who also has grammaticaster “a mean verbal pedant”]. In U.S. (1860) the term was put to use in the graded system for “a school between primary and secondary, where English grammar is taught.”

EdA2Z2016 – Empathy 

I remember what it was like in my adolescence to go to school with a heavy mind and heart. Anticipating the mysteries of adulthood – desiring freedom.  

As a teacher, if I am worth anything, I must have EMPATHY for my students.  On some level, I must be mindful and identify with my student’s feelings, thoughts, and attitudes.

All it takes is a bit of inquiry.  It’s worth it.

Photo Credit: EKG Technician Salary

EdA2Z2016 – Comprehension

As a teacher, there is nothing more exciting than when your students “get it!”  When you see their eyes light up because they have finally grasped the concepts you are so desparately trying to teach.  It’s one thing to realize that the students are getting it and following along with you during whole group instruction, but what about when they are reading to themselves?

When they read aloud, you can kind of tell when they do not comprehend what they are reading.  It’s their body language, pace, pitch, and what they do with their eyes.  Sometimes they come to a word they do not understand and just – STOP reading.  While they are uttering the words, they are lost in the meaning of those words.  

My biggest win in the classroom comes when I can help my reading students improve their comprehension skills.  There is so much involved in that process that it is tough to communicate in one post.  It is, in my opinion, the foundation of reading literacy (comprehension really matters).

As I seek to help my students improve their literary comprehension skills, I will also grow in my ability to comprehend the needs of my students. 

#A to Z Challenge

Photo credit: Pinterest 

Reading Literacy from A to Z

As a kid, I loved to read.  Every opportunity I could get to read aloud in the classroom while coming up was golden to me.  I believe it was because I knew I was good at it.  My self-confidence was extremely high in the academic realm because I was such a great reader.

When the teacher asked me to read, I always hoped to be able to read pages at a time.  I use to ask to read the entire story even though my classmates deserved a turn at reading.  Now, as a teacher, I see the students in my class that are the same way.  Although I want to hear from everyone, I love to feed the ego of those who love to read!  I know the doors that will open in the future for that student because he/she is not afraid to communicate.  That’s right – great reading leads to great communication skills!  That’s my opinion and I am sticking with it!

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img 1946

So, in addition to the A to Z Challenge I am doing on my personal blog, I am going to take the challenge on my education blog this month and blog daily (except Sundays) on reading literacy.

This is going to be fun!

EDU270 – Lesson 4: …to be relational as a teacher?

One of my favorite movies is “To Sir with Love”.  In this movie, Engineer Mark Thackeray arrives to teach a totally undisciplined class at an East End school…He starts implementing his own brand of classroom discipline: forcing the pupils to treat each other with respect. Inevitably he begins getting involved in the students’ personal lives, and must avoid the advances of an amorous student while winning over the class.

Sir

I cry every time I see this movie because I love the relationships he develops as their teacher.  When I decided to teach, this movie came to mind several times.  I could see myself coming into a tough school situation and winning the hearts and minds of the students with a goal of improving their lives – not just academically, but all around.  It’s a tall order – but one of the most important jobs you could have.

It means the world to me to be relational with my students.  I work to have their trust and confidence while fostering their growth and development.  Yes, it is entirely possible to do this and still hold them accountable to stay on task and do what it takes to learn.  Not only do they need relationship, they need structure and guidance too.

While I’m no Sir…I love it when my students say, “Ms. Lyons…?”

Photo Credit:  IMDB “To Sir with Love” 1967

 

“I’m BORED”

 

My least favorite phrase (especially while teaching) is, “I’m bored.”

Why?  Because it is a red flag that as a teacher, I am not doing what I should be.  There shouldn’t be a dull moment.  Engagement is the name of the game!

As a new teacher, this is my number one focus – STUDENT ENGAGEMENT. I am always looking for anything that will help in this area. My students shouldn’t be bored! They should be on the edge of their seats inhaling knowledge. They should be so interested that they long for every word I speak and they look forward to participating every opportunity they can!

My goal is to become the best teacher ever when it comes to student engagement!

P3 – Pain, Passion, and Purpose

I wrote this post in November of 2015 in another education blog.  I decided to close that blog and only use this one.  I wanted to keep this, so I transferred it.

On the first day of school (my second year teaching), I told the students that the picture on the wall of the lion roaring at the butterflies was symbolic to our classroom.   I stated, ” There will be times when I roar like a lion, but only to get you to transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly.” I could tell that some of the students really had to process what I was saying. Others got it right away!  This is when I realized how passionate I had become about being in the classroom and teaching.

My students mean so much to me. At the end of my first year (May, 2015), I cried during the 8th grade promotion ceremony. I couldn’t help it. The song they walked to was that sad song played at the end of the most recent Fast and Furious movie where they pay homage to Paul Walker (the actor who died in the car crash). I love the Fast and Furious franchise because my son and I watched every movie as he grew up from 5 to 18 years old. Those movies created even more of a bond between my son and I.

“…How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?  Everything I went through you were standing there by my side, and now you gonna be with me for the last ride.  So let the light guide your way hold every memory as you go and every road you take will always lead you home…”

Those words in the song made me tear up even more. Where will they go? How will their lives turn out? I have been their classroom ‘momma’ for a year. The other teachers laughed at me. They told me I was a newbie and there would be many more students to come. Yet, my heart ached for those students. My first students – I called them ‘my babies’.

Why was I so attached?  Well, I saw myself in them. I remember being that age and experiencing so much pain and uncertainty. I could see so much in their eyes. I wanted them to read and have experiences through literature that would expand their world, but they were simply in survival mode. We expect so much from this generation, yet life is dealing them some heavy blows.

As a teacher, all you can do is:

  • feel their pain and press through daily to create a safe environment that fosters learning
  • with passion – find ways to engage your students as they are distracted so easily
  • walk with purpose in getting them to the next level as an educator

Above all else, this is my mission as a TEACHER!

Fall Break 2015

Out for a whole week on a Fall break from teaching school.  The timing is perfect!  I have a number of projects to focus on.  This blog is a BIG priority! My goal is to blog as I work through my Secondary Methods and Curriculum Development (EDU289) and US Constitution Courses (POS222).  I believe blogging while processing the coursework will aide in my retention of the material.  We hope so! At any rate, no socializing or vacationing for me.  This week is all about grinding through lots of materials and completing assignments.

I welcome input along the way!

Why p3 Education?

I recently decided to change my career after working in Corporate America for 30 years.  It is my second year teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at Sacaton Middle School within the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) in Sacaton, Arizona.  I am still excited and feeling positive about my career change!  This year I feel much more equipped to make a difference in the academic lives of my students.  I have set the bar higher than last year to stretch my students.  They know what is expected of them and they are showing me significant effort.

My mission is to educate, motivate and support my student’s reading growth (vocabulary and comprehension skills) significantly by the end of the school year.

Also, it is my 2nd year as a student in the Teaching Internship program at Rio Salado Community College.  Although I previously earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Management, I needed specific courses to be a certified teacher.  So I did what I needed to do to become provisionally certified until I successfully complete the pedagogy curriculum at the college.  I’m in an accelerated program that requires many hours per week in addition to my classroom teaching.  I decided to start this blog to capture and share my experiences and all that I am learning.

Why is this site named p3 Education?  Well, my life story has been about pain, passion, and purpose (p3). There will be more about that in subsequent posts.  However, I will say now that the students I serve in the classroom are fulfilling my purpose.  On many levels I relate to my students and I am passionate about helping them succeed.  I understand the challenges that many of them face today; I want to positively contribute to their lives.

I hope to connect with other teachers on a similar mission along the way.