Thursday, August 25, 2011

You're my crack of sunlight.

Chelsey Hann
Instructional Technology
Dr. Shellie Gutierrez
August 18, 2011
I become frustrated a lot. I knew it was a part of my personality to want to teach others how to find themselves in this world, and how to have their own moral code that matches my own, all the while exploring the world that is out there; but I did not realize how much that characteristic defined my personality until I took the Keirsey Temperament test.  The Kiersey test defined my temperament as Idealist.  Idealists, in general, love to contemplate themselves and their own personal growth, as well as the growth and development of the people around them. We as Idealists see things in black and white, right and wrong. I immediately felt a connection with the report while I was reading it, it described me almost perfectly!  Reading further through the report, it said that Idealists are kind of rare, only making up about twenty percent of the population, which gave me reassurance that I was not always requesting too much of people, but rather that we’re just different personalities and see the world in a different way. I am okay with this concept, but I am still working on how to incorporate that knowledge into my daily life, how do I go into a classroom and teach a body of students who do not think as I do? With love and lots of patience, hopefully. The MI Learning Styles test was a little confusing for me, seeing as how a lot of the numbers matched very closely to one another. Maybe it is trying to tell me that I do not have a particular learning style that I prefer best, but that I do have some that I do not like at all (Naturalistic was only a 26%). Linguistics and Music were my highest levels, with Music at a 45%, and Linguistic at a 43%. Mathematics and Kinesthetic followed closely behind, both with a 39%. I think the test was pretty accurate, I love to read, I talk with my hands, I love putting anything together with my hands (or taking it apart),  and currently while writing this paper I’m listening to Pandora Radio. Most people that know me well would disagree with the mathematics as I have never done well in a math class, but I do love logic, and I think I just find math classes lacking in challenge and importance.  The VARK questionnaire just solidified what I already knew from the two previous tests, I have a multimodal learning preference (a little of each). Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic were tied at a 7, Visual was 6, and Aural was 5.
The knowledge that I was slowly coming around to figuring out on my own was answered in these tests. I love to teach and help individuals find their way through life, but I can very easily get frustrated when it seems that they are not on the same page as me. When working with children, that is something that I will have to take into consideration. I have known a lot of teachers who spend a lot of time yelling in class, and I know a lot of parents who spend a lot of time yelling at home. I do not want to ever be either of those. That being said, I also do not want to worry so much about how I come across to my students that I never teach them anything because I’m too afraid of pushing them too far. I think knowing my personality temperament is a swell thing, but I think knowing what the other temperaments are will affect my teaching style more, because I will have incorporate those into how I think and how I teach.
I would like to be able to say that I do not have any weaknesses but since I do, instead I’m going to say that acknowledging my weaknesses for what they are is actually one of my greatest strengths. I am driven, and passionate, and honestly want to make each child that I come across realize that the world is completely open to them in so many ways as long as they apply themselves. I love kids and I love teaching, and every time I skip count in front of a child and watch their brains click and make connections it just brightens my whole day. On the flip side, I know that being who I am means that I sometimes want too much from my students; that I have too high of expectations of them, and that if I do not keep that bar of expectations down to child height I could end up stressing everyone out, myself included. I have excellent communication skills, I’m organized, I am a planner and a list-maker, I’m creative (which I tend to think is an extremely excellent strength when it comes to children), I work well under pressure, and I’m not afraid to reach out to those around me for help. However, I am also (slightly) demanding, impatient at times and easily stressed out in small situations. I do not really care for rules, but I’ve never figured out whether I honestly think that is a strength or weakness.
I will have to adapt who I am into a classroom of diverse students, because very few people out there are like me personality-wise. Instead of imagining what it would feel like to have each of my children get the highest score possible in the state assessments, I will have to learn to focus on more tangible, realistic ideas. The majority of personalities out in the world are a Guardian temperament, meaning that they have very realistic views of the world, and if I stood up in front of the classroom with my art equipment each day they would all start running for the hills. Showing them concrete proof of what it is that I am trying to teach will reach them more effectively. That also is being said for the other two temperaments, but in their cases I will have to adjust my ways of thinking to acknowledge that they might cut corners to get the results that they want, and that I need to be appreciative of the fact that they at least got the correct answer (that does not say that I condone cheating, merely thinking outside of the box). Everyone has to adapt in life to get along with each other, and I think that those who were born to be teachers (and I do think that people are “born” to be something) are naturally able to adapt better than others.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Intellect has powerful muscles, but no personality (Hey, wait!)

I am taking Instructional Technology this semester which I thought meant that I would be learning how to use technology (i.e., doing nothing), but apparently I was incorrect. Instructional Technology is how to incorporate technology into education, I guess that's why this class is required for my degree (boo, Chelsey). So our first assignment is to take three tests - one personality test and two learning styles tests, and then write a paper reflecting on our personality/learning types and how to use those/adapt in the classroom.
So! The first test:

Custom Keirsey Temperament Report for: Chelsey Hann
Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.
Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the "not visible" or the "not yet" that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things.
Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.
Idealists are relatively rare, making up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. But their ability to inspire people with their enthusiasm and their idealism has given them influence far beyond their numbers.

Idealists at Work
Your beliefs are the arbiter of your actions, even if you cannot articulate those beliefs specifically. You hold a strong, clear sense of the way the universe works, what's "right" and what's "wrong," and what your purpose is in the overall scheme of things. In your ideal job, you can embody those beliefs in your relationships with other people. Because you likely have a talent for de-escalating situations and can almost always find just the "right words", you often significantly improve the morale of organizations to which you belong.

These few paragraphs were like my own personal bermuda triangle. I started reading and it just sucked me in. This is me (minus the part about always being able to find the "right words")! I've already started writing my paper and have almost finished it, which isn't due until the 29th (over-achiever Chelsey to the rescue!) and I will be suuuure to share it with you as soon as I am done!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I have a philosophy!

Chelsey Hann
Intro to Teaching
Philosophy of Education
May 3, 2011
I had to take an Introduction to College Algebra class one year, and much to my surprise it was actually my favorite class of the semester. Each couple of weeks we learned a new process, and then spent those weeks learning different methods to tackle each type of process. Now, some of these ways were horrible for me personally, but in each set of weeks, I learned at least one way to handle each set of problems that fit me, and if need be, I could solve the problem using a different method as well. Now, math will never be my forte, and I cannot even really look at a calculator without cringing, but I left that semester and that classroom with more confidence in my mathematic abilities than I had ever had before, and will ever have after – guaranteed.  This is what successful teaching looks like to me; students learning to flourish and grow into themselves by any method necessary, surrounded by teachers who do not expect them to figure out the secret of pi, but still encouraging them to try. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”. If I could make this one sentence my entire philosophy and stop at that, I would. Instead, this quote is what I want to base my philosophy on.
In my classroom children will become well-developed in the fields of math, science, history, and English through the means of hands-on and minds-on learning. Core subjects are very important to me; they are the foundation upon which the school system was built. That being said, I think creative outlets like music and art are supremely important to the development of a child as a whole. I believe shop class to be good for the mental development of young men, and I think sports are cathartic. Schools should keep an atmosphere of discipline, while incorporating creative techniques that will introduce students to examine and question realities. John Dewey was once quoted as saying, “Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself”. It is my role as a teacher to prepare children for the adult world with real life experiences, and I think it is important that children are knowledgeable, and it is the roll of my students to ask questions, and to argue, and if they think another method is superior to the method that is given, then I want to hear it. I want to inspire children for life, not just the months that they spend sitting in my classroom. I want to encourage them to over-achieve, inspire them to think outside the box, and push them to achieve their highest goals. Each student is unique, and I believe in arming them with the knowledge and intellect and emotion that is required in the world that they experience.
Teaching is important to me because I think every child has the potential to be outstanding in life, in their own way, and they just need someone to show them how to get there. I will be that person.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Earth Day!

Teacher: Chelsey Hann
Subject: Science
Grade Level: Third Grade
Date: April 27, 2011
Time Frame: 1 class period, 35 minutes

I. Content: I want my students to be able to know the definition of "pollution", develop personal actions to solve pollution, and learn ways to practice reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Kansas State Standards: Third Grade - Standard 6: Science In Personal and Environmental Perspectives -Benchmark 2- Indicators 1, 2, and 3.
1. Anticipatory Set: Eco the Butterfly!

II. Prerequisites: Students must be able to give a vague description of what they think "recycling" is, and how they can help. They also have to be able to write a complete sentence with correct spelling and punctuation. 
III. Instructional Objective: Students will all be able to write one sentence describing how they personally can help stop pollution/start recycling.
            1. Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this lesson is to teach students the importance of taking care of the world they live in; that unless something is taken care of, it will wither and perish.

IV. Instructional Procedure: 
9:25-9:30: Watch Youtube clip of Eco the Butterfly, and find out what the students already know about pollution and recycling.
9:30-9:40: "Michael Recycle" by Ellie Bethel, and introduce extra credit spelling words: "pollution", "environment", "ecology", and "recycle" (the actual definitions of the words can be explained during spelling time).

Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel

9:40-10:00: Writing one sentence on how the student personally can help save the earth, and coloring the "Love the World" picture.

Coloring Page

V. Materials and Equipment: "Michael Recycle" book, smartboard for youtube video, and colors, markers, and pencils for "Love the World" picture.

VI. Assessment/Evaluation: The spelling and punctuation will count for 5% of the total grade, otherwise, if there is a sentence describing how the student can help the earth by either stopping pollution or by reducing, reusing, or recycling - then they will get an A.

VII. Follow-up Activities: For homework, the students will take home a "Think Green" word search, and if the student tells their parents what recycling is and have the parent sign the word search, then the student will get 5 extra minutes at recess.We will  also color and label different boxes and set them up throughout the classroom, for paper, plastic, and aluminum cans, and students will be expected to use the correct boxes throughout the year.

The Word Search!

VIII. Self Assessment: I rock. I think the video is a strength, because there is a song involved and it's catchy. The only downfall of this lesson is the fact that Earth Day is towards the end of the school year, so students won't be setting up the recycling boxes until the end of the year. Maybe Earth Day should be celebrated at the beginning of the school year instead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dr. Seuss Week!

Teacher: Chelsey Hann
Subject: Writing
Grade Level: Third Grade
Date: April 13, 2011
Time Frame: I  week, 25 minute classes

I. Content: I want my students to be able to practice writing by composing a short poem based upon personal experience.
Kansas State Standard: Third Grade - Standard 1:Writing - Bench Mark 1 - Indicator 2:
"Practices writing by using (1) personal experience (2) observations (3) prior knowledge."

II. Prerequisites: Students must be able to identify rhyming words, and must be able to write a short story using proper punctuation and capitalization.
Anticipatory Set: Reggie the Rhyming Rhino (http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bll/reggie/index.htm)

III. Instructional Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the state standard listed above by writing a poem based upon a personal experience. The purpose of this week's lesson is to find and experience the fun of poetry. Poetry is a hard subject to find enjoyment in later in life if it is not properly introduced early on. My objective is to show the fun of writing a poem, to prepare them for later learning.

IV.  Instructional Procedures: The first five minutes of each class will be spent using the smartboard playiing "Reggie the Rhyming Rhino" each day - focusing the kids onto rhyming and poetry, and refreshing their minds on what they already know.

Monday: Intro to personal experiences
9:00-9:05 Reggie the Rhyming Rhino
9:05-9:10 Explaining the day's objective: writing a short story based upon a personal experience
9:10-9:12 Modeling my own short story:
Last summer my family and I went out to the lake, and while I was out there I became very sunburnt. I was so sunburned that it hurt to lay in bed! From now on, I will listen when my mom tells me to put on sunscreen.
9:12-9:25 Students will write their own short story.

Tuesday: Poetry Introduction
9:00-9:05 Reggie the Rhyming Rhino
9:05-9:20 "Boa Constrictor" by Shel Silverstein and "Daisy Head Mayzie" by Dr Seuss.
9:20-9:25 Smartboard - "Boa Constictor"- Circle the rhyming words as a class.

Wednesday: Personal experience poetry
9:00-9:05 Reggie the Rhyming Rhino
9:05-9:25 Modeling my poem, and guided practice, based upon fake personal experiences.
I went out in the sun,
and that sun ruined my fun.
Now it hurts to sit,
But I guess that's what I get!

(Remember: rhyming usually happens at the end of the line, but it definitely doesn't have to. Make the poem your own.)

Thursday & Friday:
9:00-9:05 Reggie the Rhyming Rhino
9:05-9:25 Working on their own poems.

V. Materials & Equipment: Smartboard: used for Reggie the Rhyming Rhino as well as the worksheet over "Boa Constrictor" and the guided practice. "Daisy  Head Mayzie" by Dr Seuss. "Boa Constrictor" by Shel Silverstein. Construction paper: to glue the poems to after they're finished.

VI. Assessment: Every misspelled word will be counted off, name on the paper, punctuation on both the story and the poem, and at least one pair of rhyming words.

Story: 50 Points
Personal Experience: 25 Points
Spelling: 10 Points
Punctuation: 10 Points
Name: 5 Points

Poem: 50 Points
Personal Experience: 15 Points
1 Pair of Rhyming Words: 20 Points
Spelling/Punctuation: 10 Points
Name: 5 Points
VII. Follow-Up Activities: Decorating the poems, gluing them to construction paper, and hanging them up outside the classroom.

VIII. Self Assessment: I think this is a fantastic week of writing class, if I do say so myself. Maybe it should have been a Haiku instead though. Writing a poem based off a story is actually a little harder than I thought.

The smartboard worksheet!

My story & poem!

How I Got To Where I Am: A Reflection

Chelsey Hann
Intro to Teaching
Why to Teach: A Reflection

I am going to be completely honest: my introduction to teaching class almost broke me of my will to live. There were a lot of times throughout this semester that I almost thought about  dropping the class, or changing my major, or giving up on life altogether. It took me the majority of the semester before I realized that the attempt to break me of my will to teach was intentional, and now nearing the end of the year, I can say with complete confidence that I still want to be an educator.

I'm positive that there will be hard times, and I am certain that there will be children that make me want to scream and cry. I am equally as confident that I can change the lives of the children that I teach; I am ready to be the inspiration to these children that they can carry with them past their years in school, and throughout life.

It was a surprise to me to find out that I would be able to teach any level with the same level of competence. For the majority of my life I was sure that I would only want to teach elementary school, and then, only recently, did I decide to do special education. Never did it occur to me to want to teach general education at the middle or high school levels. After my observations though, I realized that I would not mind it too much. I still think that what I can provide to an eight year old would be more worthwhile than what I could provide to an eighteen year old, and I enjoy younger children more - but I do not dislike the older students and in fact, had a lot of fun being around them.

This semester in school made me face the fact that there will be hard times and that I will face situations that I have never had to face before, but it also confirmed that this is what I want to be doing with my life; I want to teach.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

FDR & Other People.

I parked next to police car. I cannot even begin to explain how weird it was to be parking next to a police car, preparing to go into a high school and observe. I got the eye from a security guard, who told me I needed to get to class, and I passed a bank. A real bank, where these kids used their debit cards and got out money. After the first five minutes of being there, I was completely weary of being in Derby High School.
Derby High School is where I did my ten hours of high school observations. Molly Pourhussin is an English teacher there, who also teaches ASL (sign language). She's been working in the high school for three years, and before that she worked in Winfield as an elementary teacher, also as a translator. The first day started out alright. Both days I skipped going through security, because they weren't ever in the right place, and I didn't want to have to wait for ten minutes, and then be late for class.
First hour for day one was English 11, and they were going over Local Color Writing, which is not about african-american writers, which is what I originally thought. The desks were grouped up, and the kids all had assigned seats, from what I could tell. Every child in the class had an IEP for one reason or another, as well as every other class she taught. To be honest though, I didn't know that at first. Some of these kids were just brats, but they had a "behavorial problem". Molly handed me a textbook, and a sheet of paper with questions on it, and suddenly I was being paired up with a 17 year old named Chelsea, and we were looking up answers to the questions. I had to explain a lot of what we were talking about to her, and I also had a break down a lot of words that I used into something more understandable to her. I loved feeling like I was maybe imparting a little bit of knowledge to her, even if she did just copy off of my paper in the end.
I'm pretty sure that each class was ninety minutes long, and second period was English 10, and the Holocaust. I was pretty impressed with what the kids knew already, since it was a new unit. I think the para Allison and I might have answered quite a few questions though. I was very amazed at how much I remembered once I started thinking about it. We started listening to "Night" by Elie Wiesel on audio book, and I admit, I started reading ahead. I was really into this class, and was sad when it ended. But it did, and that was the end of my first day back in high school.


I'll just say now, white people are almost a minority in this school. Maybe it just seemed like that to me, because until college, I never went to school with more than one African-American at a time, there was maybe one Asian in my high school, and he was younger than I was, and very few Mexicans, if any.
My second day in Derby High started with a planning period. It was also a food day for the teachers, because their principal was leaving, and they were saying goodbye, with donuts! So I spent the ninety minutes writing a permission letter for the 10th graders to take home letting their parents know that they would be watching Schindler's List in class, googling videos of Hitler's life (do you know how hard it is to find a useable video when youtube is blocked?), and eating a donut! Second period was Advisory hour, which is just study hall with a fancy name. The majority of the students in the class were the same kids from English 10 the day before, and maybe a few others. I spent the hour with a junior, helping him with his Government homework. It was kind of heart-breaking. He was such a nice kid, and he was making a clock in shop class that looked like a human eye, so he was creative and thought outside of the box - which I think is a really good characteristic in a kid. He couldn't spell "Thomas" though, and he didn't know who FDR was, and I don't know why - but none of these kids seemed to understand that all you have to do is look for the bold words in the textbook, and that's where all the answers are.
Third period was my favorite. It was ASL (American Sign Language), and the kids spent the time preparing to share what they did over Spring Break in sign language. There were 2 or 3 hearing impaired kids in the class, and one was completely deaf, and had a para in every class with him, signing what the teacher was saying. I learned how to say "blockhead" in sign language. Only a couple of the kids actually got up in front of the class and showed what they did, but it was so entertaining to watch them practice, and so inspiring! All of the kids seemed to be working really hard on it. They also are preparing a song, of their choice, to perform in front of the class - but they didn't practice that during that class.
Lunch was spent in the teacher's lounge, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. All the teachers are really nice, and they only talked about a few kids. Mostly they talked about themselves, and joked around. It was a different atmosphere from the middle school teachers lounge, where the talk was all about men and Zumba. The last class of the day was English 10 again but with different students, so they were just starting the unit of Local Color Writing. 
The thing I do like about middle school and high school is that you don't have the same students all day long, and I do like variety. I still prefer elementary though. All in all it was a good two days, and I enjoyed my time very much.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

March 30, 2011

Dear Parents,

                We have started a new unit on the Holocaust in English 10. In the following weeks we will be watching Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg. This is a rated R movie. If you do not want your child to watch it, please sign and return this slip.

Thank you,
Molly Pourhussin


This is my first REAL letter. It's being sent home to parents. It's nerdy, but I'm super excited about it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We'll Meet in the Middle.

"I have some bad news. My notebook?"
"You forgot it?"
"I lost it."
I went to South Jr High in Lawrence, KS to watch Kelly Hart teach some middle schooler’s their p's and q's, and some other random things. Kelly (who does happen to be my [favorite] cousin in-law) has been teaching for around five years, she's 28, and I'm pretty sure she's my new favorite middle school teacher. She fits right in along with the kids in a perfect blend of friend and teacher; it was amazing to watch her teach. I think I might have been inspired.
My goal wasn't to fall in love with middle schoolers, it was more like I was hoping that by the time my five hours in South Jr High were done I would at least rethink the decision of sending my own future middle schoolers off to boarding school in France (which was my initial feeling towards pre-teens) when the time came. It was so entertaining though! I'm still not sure that I'd like to ever teach middle school, but I definitely think I could substitute without wanting to beat my head against a wall.
We started off the day by running some errands; we ran down to the office to pick up some t-shirts, then to the copier to make copies over worksheets to do with the Bermuda Triangle. First period was 7th graders, and Percy Jackson! This is what I love about middle school - the books! I think out of the 11 students in class during first period there were only three kids that were not on an IEP, and one of the three remaining kids was an ESL kid. It was entertaining. There was a lot of student involvement in the reading, and Mrs. Hart would stop throughout the chapter and define a word, or ask which paranormal category the current character fell under. The time kind of flew by. They school does not use smartboards, although I guess there is one teacher in the building who does have one. Instead, it is sort of like a webcam, I think, that is being used. It flipped back and forth between showing what was up on the computer, and what Kelly had written out on the desk with the flip of a button. It was pretty cool, and I think I like them better than the smartboard, especially since they’re apparently cheaper!
            The desks were arranged in groups of four, spread out around the classroom. Mrs. Hart showed me her seating chart, and how she arranges and groups the kids together using one “high” student, two “middle” students, and one “low”. She was super organized about the whole thing, which made it clearer for me. I have to admit, I sort of hate group work, but it seemed to work really well for her classes. Once class was over she had to walk one of the students over to his next classroom, and then it was planning period! We ate some donuts, ran some errands, talked to the assistant principal about basketball and government funding/state assessments, and ran over her lesson plans for the week following spring break.
            Third period was eighth graders. I dislike eighth graders. They are like seventh graders, except with a superiority complex. There were around 20 kids, and they were hyper, and wore mix-matched socks and fuzzy shoes, and swished their pony-tails and baggy shorts around like they were 50 Cent. They were ending a lesson over Rikki Tikki Tavi, and they were given the hour to work on their papers, using the laptops only after they had written a rough draft and it had been deemed worthy. I kind of spaced out during this time and took some pictures!
Mrs. Hart's desk and wall!

The outside of her classroom.

Mrs. Hart (look at the glass walls!)

            Fourth period was probably my favorite, and it was also the last period of the day. There were 24 9th graders, and they were going over Shakespeare, so it was a lecture. I learned so much though! For the most part, the kids were quiet and listened pretty well, but I think it’s mostly because Mrs. Hart does so well at…, well, not being old. The slide-show was titled, “The man, his writing style, his theater. Oh, and Romeo & Juliet, too.” I think I’ve been struggling/in awe with this class so much because it’s just so different from what I’m used to. My teachers growing up were all older, and not too often funny. Every kid had to turn to their partner at the end of the period (which was broken up by lunch, and then finished with a remaining 30 minutes of class at the end of the day) and tell them three things that they had learned about Shakespeare today. Kelly says this helps them, because when they look back on the three things they were to remember, they’ll also (hopefully) remember the conversation they had with their partner, and in turn, the other person’s three things. It was a fantastic day all around.
Oh, and:
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Swagger
  • Died on his birthday
Those are my three. J
                I did my last five hours of observation at Udall Middle School, and they did dissecting frogs! Well, not the entire day, I'm getting ahead of myself. I did the first hour in the class of Bob Classen, and he was teaching some science class out in the IDL classroom. When I asked what IDL stood for, he said, "Individualized....Independent...I don't really know... It does have something to do with Distance Learning". They were going over the test, and then they did some papers on their own. Since no one else was actually in the classroom, we talked. Of course, prior to all of this, Classen had to tell the classroom how we knew each other. My senior year in high school I hit a deer, and while I was sitting on the side of the road crying my eyes out, and this teacher pulls up and asks me to get out of the middle of the road. Then he sits with me until my parents show up while I cry about orphaning Bambie. He tells this to his students. It's embarrassing. And moving on! Second hour was a quiz, and 6th graders were continuing their testing. I did the rest of the hours in Nicole Welshan's class, and it was biology. And we dissected frogs, and it was gross.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parent/Teacher Love.

March 24, 2011
Dear Parent/Guardian,
            It’s that time of year again, parent/teacher conferences. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to sit down and discuss your child with you.
Conferences are next week, March 30th and 31st from 4:15-7:15pm. Feel free to come at any time, and bring your child with you if you’d like. Also, as a reminder, due to parent/teacher conferences, there will not be school on that Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday (the 30th through the 1st).
Can’t wait to see you!

Chelsey Hann
(t) 316-666-6666

Okay, so in truth, this was my least favorite letter. Just because I didn't really get to say anything. Sadface.

If I've told you once...,

March 24, 2011
Dear Parent/Guardian,
            Today Johnny hit Suzie in the arm with a plastic baseball bat. This is not the first time that we’ve had to send Johnny to the principal for causing harm in the classroom, and as a result we are now going to be putting Johnny in In-School Suspension for the next 3 days. Johnny should report to school as normal each day, and we will have a teacher escort him to the correct classroom.
I would like you to know that if this behavior does not cease, the next step for Johnny will be Out-of-School Suspension.
I would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience to see if we can work out a plan to get Johnny back on track. My office number and e-mail address are listed below.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter,

Chelsey Hann
(t) 316-555-5555
(e) Chelsey.hann@usd999.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Define: Separate

"Like..., when my mom and dad separated."

Ahh...just when I thought my day was going to be horrible, some little child picked my spirits right back up!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Croc Out With Your Bad Self

I make nerdy bulletin boards and share them with people.

Can't forget the name tags!

Homophones on Earth.

Some of my mom's third graders drew me some pictures. :)

I come before you to stand behind you.

Dear Parents,

Welcome to another wonderful year. I’m so excited for what we have in store for us in the next eight months!
Just a few quick things I’d like to bring you up-to-date on before the school year officially starts. Every Friday the children will have the opportunity to eat their lunches in the classroom while watching a movie. In the event that a child receives more than 10 marks against their name throughout the week, that opportunity is then taken away from them for that week. There will also be an extra recess at every month’s end, in which any child with less than 25 marks for the total month will be able to attend.
Also every Friday is the opportunity for your child to bring money to buy lunch for the Ala Carte.
Again, I’m very excited and can’t wait to meet all of you and your children. If you have any questions or concerns throughout the year, feel free to contact me via the school's office phone or by e-mail. Please give a 24 hour advance heads-up in the event that you would like to come directly to the classroom. Lunch is from 11:30-11:50 and I will be in the classroom after school until 4 p.m.
See you in September!

Chelsey Hann
Phone# 555-555-5555

My sample letter leaves out my home phone number, because my teacher told me to take it off. That being said, I think it's important to make yourself available to your children's parents. I do understand that there are some parents out there that think the sun shines out of every orphus of their child, and that they will steam roll you given the chance. However, I don't totally like the idea of putting limits on when you're a teacher and when you're not. If you want to stop me in the grocery store and go over your child's book report, feel free. I do not want to just teach from 8-3 every day. I'll be there whenever.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One, Two, Skip a Few

Some deep-rooted part of me has always wanted to educate, and while I wasn't always sure at what level or what subject, I always knew that some day I would pass on what I know to others.
I spent plenty of time and money in college the first few years volleying back and forth about being a teacher. Part of me wanted to get out and try something new; I wanted to go to the moon, or be in the peace corps, or be a photo journalist in a third world country. It's not that I do not think that I could do these things, I'm sure I could.
It is more that..., classrooms are my safe havens. I have spent my entire childhood running up and down the halls of schools, hiding from janitors and getting into things that normal children (those who didn't grow up with both parents as teachers) weren't ever allowed to experience.
If you've ever spent a Saturday or Sunday at a school by your own choice you will know what I mean. It is a right of passage that just makes being in a school a whole new experience; being in school is like being home for me.
I guess now that I've sat down to think about it, I realize that I never really had a choice; I've never been completely comfortable in any other atmosphere.
Now, if I'm being asked why I want to teach Special Education vs. General Education..., well that's a different story. Up until very recently I had no real interaction with any special needs child for any prolonged period of time. Then I spent a few days at Heartspring with some of the most adorable autistic children this world has ever seen, and my heart just longed to take them home and make them all mine. Don't worry, I left them there.
I want to special in Autism, because these children, while having handicaps of a sort, are completely brilliant - in their own way. I all of a sudden saw the world in a totally different way.
Also, I should mention that I love to read. Reading was what I was grounded from as a child, it was that kind of love. I loved to dive into a new world where all sorts of crazy and unimaginable things happened; where animals could talk, and where people who have faced unbelievable pain still stand to brave another day. I love to read of magic and passion and love, and I want to believe that good always prevails over evil, and in books I can. And I want to pass that magic on to children. I want kids who maybe don't have the best home life to know that there is still magic and love out there. I want to provide the escape for them that books provided for me (although, clarification: I had an amazing home life).

I want to be like my mom. That is what it basically boils down to. I want to make her proud.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Not-So-First Bulletin Board.

Let me clarify, I've been making bulletin boards for years. Many summers gone by have I holed myself up in a classroom with my mom decorating walls and singin along with some country music.
However, for this blog's purpose, we're just going to say that this is my first. It's also the first bulletin board that I've ever painted.
Bon App├ętit (figuratively, not literally).

This could be used to teach children one of the seasons (Spring, obviously) in a fun and colorful way. Or, it could be used to help teach children their prime colors!

Observations, Day 1.

My body hurts.

Today I did my elementary school observations by accident. I went to Udall High School, intending to do my high school observations, only to find out that the teacher I had set it up with was sick for the day. Instead of driving back home and going back to bed like a smart child, I went across the street to see my mom, who teaches third grade there. As all the teachers were bunched up outside the gymnasium preparing to collect their kids I let them all know that I was free for a few hours if they needed any random help for an hour or two. An hour or two turned into ten.
Elementary school basically boils down to hours of, "Sit down", "Be quiet", "Don't hit", "I love you too", and, "Where'd he just go?".
I started my day at a bright and early 7 a.m. (this is not early for teachers). Today was the 100th day of school, and the kindergarten class was having a celebration. The kindergarten class is where I was first volunteered off to. I did my first five hours of observation in the classroom of Tammy Tannehill, and her fourteen very rowdy students, as well as one adorable little dirty-handed boy who walked up to me, offered his hand (which I took) and said, "I love you. What's your name?"
The desks in the classroom were grouped up in 2 or 3 groups, all with students facing each other, essentially making one big table. The walls were covered with the normal kindergarten decorations: the big colorful rug where the children gather around, the bright, shiny posters with words of encouragement, and the 100 board. The 100 board is half a wall that is filled up with numbers 1-100, straws in bags marked "ones", "tens", and "hundreds", and some other one-hundredy stuff (my memory is giving out on me at this old age of 22).
Everyone wore "100" hats and "100 Days of School" bracelets. They were very festive, and everyone loved wearing them. Including me.

The class split up into 5 stations, and the station that I ran was playing Chutes and Ladders (because the game goes up to 100). I only had 2 or 3 kids at a time, but that was probably enough for me. They didn't like to wait their turn, they wanted to play with their little figures, and slide them up and down the ladders.
The first group I had was a girl and boy. All and all, they were probably my best group all morning. The girl told me that I was pretty, and the boy didn't mind that he didn't get to spin first, I thought I was doing good.
The second group I had probably didn't go as well; I made a little boy cry. He didn't understand that if he landed in the middle of a ladder, that he wasn't able to "climb" up it to the higher square, at least, he didn't understand it until someone else tried to do it as well - then he understood!
We took a group picture, along with some other pictures, and then the class went off to music for ten minutes!
I know where everything is in this building, because it's the school that my mom teaches in, so needless to say, I ran a lot of errands for the teacher. I also took the kids to the bathroom and on a drink break. Kids don't wash their hands, and it's gross, and you have to send them back multiple times.
Then we ate cake out on the sidewalk in the beautiful sun, and it was time for me to switch classes!

The class I spent the next 5 hours in was third grade, for Melody Klingenberg (who I will admit, is my mom). It's that time of the year to once again change bulletin boards, so after searching on the internet, some arguing, and some very bad suggestions (on the part of my mom), we finally agreed on a bulletin board. So after I displayed my amazing talent for cursive S's on the smartboard to the childrens delight (and mockery) , I went to the art room and begged from the substitute some washable paint (which turned out to not be so washable), which I then proceeded to use to paint the background of the bulletin board. As well as a lot of kids' hands. The end result was satisfying, but I'm pretty sure I made quite a mess.

Quiet reading time was spent teaching kids how to pronounce new words, and immediately turning around and giving definitions and examples of these new words.
Time was flying up until about 2:30 p.m., at which time I was exhausted, and tired, and kind of grouchy. So when a kid made a smart remark, I threatened to give them a mark on their daily report. It felt good for a minute, but then I felt a little bad. It's possible that I didn't need to give them a mark, I'm sure the kids were tired too.
Sadly, 2:30 wasn't the end of my day for me. At 3:20, when school "ends", this awesome program, accurately named "After School", starts. This is where kids who are having a little bit of trouble in certain areas can stay after school for an hour and a half and get a little extra help. The kid who stayed today was having problems in math, and I don't think I helped at all. I'm pretty horrible at math, and that's not me being modest. When I grade papers for my mom, I always leave all of the math papers for her to do, and she only teaches third grade.
Math + Chelsey ≠ Success.

Both teachers gave me a good bit of advice as the day went on, and I'm pretty sure I will never be a kindergarten teacher - but it was a fun day, and all the kids gave me hugs before they left for the day.