Greetings!

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!
 
This marks my 25th year as an educator and I am so excited!  I can't believe this milestone arrived so quickly.  I still feel the same thrill with the start of every school year as if it were my first.  
 
About me:  I am a 1989 graduate of Fairfield High School, former Choralier, member of Tri M, and Thespian. I attended Lee University, graduating with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Secondary Education in 1994. I have taught in Georgia, Minnesota, and now Ohio. I have experience teaching science to all ages from toddlers to adults and have worked in varied settings including public schools, home school co-ops, private tutoring, museums, community centers, and entertainment venues. I am currently pursuing my Masters of Educational Technology through Miami University.
 
My current position as Instructional Specialist allows me the honor of assisting teachers in doing what they do best - instruct and assess to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. I love being able to serve teachers and students in this way.
 
Outside the classroom I am a wife and mother, life-long learner, singer, thespian, nature lover, science fiction/fantasy nerd, and tech geek. I am an avid Whovian, Browncoat, Tolkienophile, Trekkie, Potterhead, and Jedi Wannabe. :)
 

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

-Maya Angelou 

"Access. Automation. Organization.  Great teaching hasn't changed.  The toolbox has."

-Krista Moroder

 

Posts

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a restful break and is able to reflect on all we have to be grateful for!

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

Ted talk by Ken Robinson on the "Death Valley" of education and how to escape it.

Let's teach for mastery, not test scores

 A video proposing that a teacher's goal for student's should be mastery of content, not a score on a test.

What Struggling Students Want Their Teachers to Know

From Kim Marshall

In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, Nicole Matos (College of DuPage) says that each semester, she asks the students in her community college remedial writing classes what they really wish their instructors understood about them. Here’s a compilation of what her students have said:

  • Feel our pain. “My students wanted us to understand that most of them had entered the developmental classroom disappointed, if not outright depressed,” says Matos. They flinched when placement test results said they weren’t good enough for “regular” coursework. They were envious of academically successful classmates and high-school buddies off at fancy colleges. “If we don’t seem motivated,” said one student, “it might be because you don’t seem to care how we actually feel.”
  • Help us out of the mess we’re in. Empty cheerleading isn’t helpful. What these students want, says Matos, is “a pathway, a plan, a step-by-step route to college-level work” with clear, realistic benchmarks along the way.
  • Don’t hate us when we fail. “My students readily admitted that they often screwed up or failed to meet expectations,” says Matos. “They turned work in late, unfinished, or not at all. They racked up too many absences. They lost focus and sometimes took the easy way out. When that happened, they wanted their professors to maintain equanimity and balance – and not read those errors as defections, treason, or revenge.” Many students had fragmented lives working several jobs, raising children, struggling to put food on the table. The most helpful response to disappointing performance was, “I’m not mad at you, but…”
  • Give us multiple, varied chances to succeed. “Don’t only lecture,” begged one student. Traditional tests were “almost universally despised,” says Matos. Students wanted formative assessments, feedback and coaching on weaknesses, and celebration of successes. “If I don’t succeed at first, why can’t I try again, without having to start a whole new class?” asked one student. Specifically, students said they wanted:

-   Late work accepted for reduced credit;

-   Retest opportunities and the chance to revise work;

-   Optional assignments for additional credit;

-   Something like a standards-based, contract-grading model with clear expectations and multiple routes to show proficiency;

-   A “completion camp” space where students can work on the skills or content they’ve missed.

 

“What My Struggling Students Wanted Me to Understand” by Nicole Matos in The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 27, 2017 (Vol. LXIV, #9, p. B38),

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Commentary-What-My-Struggling/241486; Matos can be reached at matosn@cod.edu.