Being Taught to Teach


Solid Shapes
May 3, 2012, 4:13 am
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My first graders are beginning to learn about solid shapes.  Here is my 3-D Shapes Lesson and Reflection.  This is the first lesson in a 4-5 day series.

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Mindsets
February 12, 2011, 5:16 pm
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I am reading a book on mindsets called, Mindset, the New Psychology of Success. It speaks of the differences between fixed and growth mindsets.  I have learned that I am very much a fixed mindset person and through reading the book I hope to find ways to change that.  I am also very excited to use some of these methods to help my students have a growth mindset, meaning they will want to learn to learn rather then learn to show off how accomplished they are (because this sort of learning fosters quitting when subjects get too hard for a student).

One chapter that I found particularly interesting was the one that spoke to childhood stories.  Do you remember stories of the little engine that could or the tortoise and the hare, etc.  Well, these are good stories with a good moral, aren’t they?  I mean it is meant to teach kids that if you work hard you will win in the end and that’s what we want out of students and people, hard work…the only thing is who really wants to be the slow tortoise or the dilapidated little tugboat?  No one.  These stories set up a scenario in which an already undesirable has to work his butt off to beat the cooler, better models.  What the story really teaches is if you appear better than the other guy you MIGHT be able to find away around doing the real work and win.  Yes, it shows them losing, but there is a chance at winning and so while it is meant to teach that hard work is good it ends up fueling this fixed mindset and feeding into short term gains.

I hope to learn much more from this book and how to apply teaching methods that will keep kids from a fixed mindset…maybe even help myself along the way.



The Beginning
November 29, 2010, 2:25 am
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I have always been told I would make a good teacher, now it is time to see if that’s true.  I grew up in Oakland, went through the public school system and made it to the University of California, Santa Barbara for undergrad.  My education in Oakland gave me a strong, culturally diverse background.  Once I started studying at UCSB I fell for the Cultural Anthropology department.  By taking courses in this discipline I could broaden my understanding of human culture and better interact with anyone I came in contact with.  After graduating from UCSB and working for a few years I decided it was time to go back to school and earn a teaching credential, perhaps a masters and educate a group of cultural and socio-economically diverse children.  That is the path I now face.  In order to prepare myself for a rigorous program I have begun volunteering in two very different school settings.

The first school I began helping in is a French Immersion school. I am helping in a first grade classroom of fifteen children.  Although I am a little rusty in French, I am able to help with spelling, reading and math, as well as with their English sessions.

After I finish in the French Immersion school for the morning I drive a few miles to a public elementary school.  Here I help in a fifth grade class, mostly working one-on-one or in small groups to give students the attention they cannot normally receive due to class size (thirty-two).

Here I hope to share my experiences in becoming and being a teacher.  Now it is time to take my first steps…