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LEARNING TO TEACH WHILE TEACHING: "ON THE JOB 101"

A Distance Learning Online Course Focusing on Inclusion, Bilingual/English Language Learners, Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles, and Multicultural Education

An Online Course: Producing A Project of Ideas & Resources.

May be taken twice for 8 credits total.

This is a distance learning course, concentrating on uses of the Internet for teaching, learning and professional development. It also is intended to give you enough web sites and leads-in to more web sites to be a continuously useful resource for your learning and doing.

This is a PASS/FAIL course. Therefore, SELECT and BASE YOUR WORK on those areas that best match your current interests. You can return any time to areas that match future concerns and changing interests--one of the many advantages of on-line learning

Assessment is based on work you produce in series of essays/listings for each Essential Question or topic you "connect with," and with an annotated lists of sites supporting your views and reflecting your web work. Note the Rubric for Course Portfolio Assessment.

For instance, you might write “The site XXXX [http://www.xxx.com] gave me a different perspective on how to help students learn _____. It also cleared up for me something I was confused about, and that is what educators mean by __________.” Certainly you would want to elaborate more.

This work may be emailed to me at ozpk100@aol.com, or snail-mailed to me at Chad C. Osborne 923 W. Mission St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you email the work, you may wish to put it in a Zip file, which compresses text and makes it easier to send over the 'Net.

A Journal & Project-Based On-line Course

If you are doing this Course for academic credit, mail your completed Journal and selected annotated links to:
Chad C. Osborne
923 West Mission St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Because of the extensive number of links, the most important are signified with a *1* sign. These also cover the widest array of Certification Standards. Be sure your course work reflects your having learned from these sites.

*1* Either develop and answer an essential question for each section of the course, or use and re-use the following "ESSENTIAL MEGA-QUESTION": IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT YOU USE (selected) TEACHING STRATEGIES TO TEACH THE SUBJECT MATTER (selected) FROM THE RESOURCES BELOW? [A "rubric" for this question: Use Individual Brainstorming to list at least five items, each indicating both content and strategy. Try to "think outside the box" in your ideas, and then * star what you regard as the best idea(s) for each section.]

Love To Teach?

In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have."
~Lee Iacocca

The traditional way to get certified to teach, taking an undergraduate education major, still leaves teachers having to learn to teach ON THE JOB. In other words, and ask colleagues if this isn't true, courses only prepare you for beginning teaching. This on-line course is intended to support you as you LEARN TO TEACH WHILE TEACHING.

Topic #1: Beginnings

As soon as possible, search, survey, and surf the following seven sites for ideas pertaining to getting off to a good start. If you begin this course work after beginning your teaching, use this search-and-surf to reflect on how you began. *1* Keep a JOURNAL of your first month of teaching, noting any ideas you find OR are looking for, and what happens when you implement ideas. .

  1. *1* 101 Things You Can Do the First Three Weeks of Class
  2. *1* What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching
  3. Teaching Help -- This Web Site is designed to give specific advice, help, and direction for those who view teaching as a profession not just a job. The HELP TOPICS have been gleaned from effective teachers who seem to get the most out of their students with low stress to themselves.
  4. Tips and Strategies from First-Year Teachers
  5. A Checklist of Tips
  6. Lesson Plan Bonanza
  7. *1* A New Teacher's Survival Guide -- A lot here, worth a lot of time, some now, some later--as needed

Task #2:

Following is a FIVE STAR [*****] site that can help you throughout your first AND subsequent years of teaching! Spend the first available extended period of time you have available surveying this site. As you teach, return to this page, keeping a record of what you find most useful, and noting the key sites for your Project. Also share some of what you learn on the COUSE DISCUSSION BOARD

***** *1* Student/ Beginning Teachers

Topic #3:Discipline Without Tears

The accompanying course, ACHIEVING POSITIVE DISCIPLINE, gives you a primary reference. Use the following further fifteen sites to develop your Initial Plan for Classroom Management, a "draft-in-progress" that you will keep in your course Journal. Also reprint and highlight/annotate any key resources for your Portfolio. Share some of your responses to your work and experiments on the COURSE DISCUSSION BOARD

  1. Systematic Classroom Management -- This column by former teacher Cherise Kelley describes her discoveries about classroom management, from TESA to the Fred Jones system. A helpful discussion, especially for new teachers.
  2. Discipline Tips from a Teacher-Survivor -- This message from a veteran teacher to the MiddleWeb listserv describes the discipline and classroom management system that saved her career.
  3. Know When to Discipline! -- An Education World e-Interview with classroom management expert Howard Seeman, Ph.D. When is a discipline problem really a discipline problem?
  4. *1* "You Can Handle Them All" - This site shares a step-by-step approach to handling misbehavior at school and at home. An overview examines the causes of misbehavior, the core needs that motivate humans, and a four-step discipline model. A behavior index applies the model to over 100 specific misbehaviors. Sponsored by the Master Teacher website.
  5. Some Classroom Management Ideas -- Prepared for new teachers in a specific district, these ideas might spark the thinking of any new teacher.
  6. 11 Techniques for Better Classroom Discipline -- Adapted from an article called: "A Primer on Classroom Discipline: Principles Old and New" by Thomas R. McDaniel; Phi Delta Kappan, May 1986. Also see the related article,
  7. *1* Discipline Techniques That Backfire.
  8. *1* Taking the Bully by the Horns -- Kathy Noll and Dr. Jay Carter have written a book and developed a website to help young people deal with bullies, child violence, and self-esteem issues. The website includes an article about how adults can help "prevent children from becoming a statistic on school grounds," and offers "Bully Advice" for kids & young teens.
  9. Classroom Management -- For a treasure trove of tips, visit Scott Mandel's Teachers Helping Teachers site. Includes a beginner's skinny on grading, including thoughts about what to write on papers. Be sure to scroll down the page. You'll find a varied selection of brief articles, including "Guidelines for Good Classroom Management Practice."
  10. *1* How Has Classroom Management Evolved? -- This article from the McREL education research lab traces the history of classroom management, examines recent changes in the field and provides concrete examples of new approaches.
  11. Discipline Advice from Veteran Teachers -- A collection of e-mail advice collected from the Middle-L listserve.
  12. Dealing with Tardy Students -- Receiving consistent attendance and punctuality from all your students may prove to be even more of a daunting task than it sounds. Also read these teacher ideas about
  13. improving attendance. And these
  14. classroom management tips from teachers. Finally, here are some ideas about managing
  15. bathroom breaks.

Classroom Management, a.k.a. Discipline, continues to be such a high teacher concern that the final topic in this course also frequently hearkens back to concerns with discipline.

    ETHICAL CONCERNS

    *1* Sexual Ethics and Your Students

    When you walk down the halls of your middle school or high school as a beginning teacher and you see relatively immature, even awkward young people, some clearly with one foot sti1l in childhood, you may wonder if I have lost my mind to even suggest that you, a teacher, could ever think of having an intimate relationship with one of your students. Even when you consider the more socially sophisticated, physically mature students you deal with, it may, early in your career, seem a sheer impossibility that you would ever think of any of them in a romantic or sexual fashion. You may never fall in love with one of your students, but experience teaches that many of the ingredients for strong mutual attraction exist in the school. Working closely with students over a period of time, getting to know and like and trust them--and they you--your feelings about their availability and their attractiveness may undergo a marked shift.

    In a culture that deifies--and sexualizes--the young, it may become hard to remember that the attractive and often appealing students you teach are not your peers and are not available for socializing and/or romance. When you spend the bulk of your time interacting with young people, you may well find yourself in a position, mutual or not, of being strongly attracted to one of your students. This happens to male and female teachers of almost all ages, to those married and unmarried, and it is a serious ethical issue in our field.

    The heart has a mind of its own, and at some point in your career you may convince yourself that a relationship with one of your students is eminent1y justifiable. You may find yourself in a vulnerable time of your own life; the student in question may be troubled or confused or lonely or just really infatuated with you. There are numerous cases of students and teachers falling in love, having sexual relations, and even marrying. Some of these cases result in scandal and ruined careers and even criminal charges; some of them go on to happier and even permanently happy endings. I doubt there is a school system in this country where intimate teacher/student relationships have not occurred.

    The entire issue, nevertheless, is poisoned by the sheer inequality of the players. A student is never in an equal power relationship with a teacher, the latter of whom holds authority, standing and the weight of the grade. Further, in high school and middle school, students are almost always younger than their teachers, even their young teachers, and regardless of the number of years between the two groups, teachers are generally viewed as parental or older sibling figures.

    Using your power as a teacher, consciously or not, to further a sexual or romantic relationship with a student is wrong It preys on students' vulnerability and trust; it makes school just another place where a young person can be used or exploited. Further-and very practically-most states have laws prohibiting sexual relations with minors, and almost all your students will fall into that legal category. In most states, the legal penalties can be severe: in most states, teaching contracts and even certification can be terminated for such behavior, generally lumped under the rubric "moral turpitude." Specifically, touching and physical proximity are areas of concern. Often our students, male and female, will attempt close physical contact. Sometimes this is done from a sense of affection and care; sometimes it is done from a sense of curiosity and adventure. Certainly, also, some student-initiated physical contact is nothing more than an expression of veiled aggression. Regardless, you as a teacher must insist on maintaining appropriate physical space between yourself and any student. In addition, while any and all individual conferences with our students can be conducted out of earshot of others. They should never be conducted out of eyesight. Thus, meeting with a student in quiet corners of a public space--such as the media center, the school courtyard, or the cafeteria--is acceptable as is, of course, meeting with a student in a classroom with an open door. Conferencing with a student--either of the same or different gender--behind a closed door is asking for misinterpretation.

    While it is understandable, certainly in the beginning of your career, that you may feel more like a friend to your students than a teacher, you need to remember that you are now fulfilling a professional role and one that requires a necessary gulf between you and them. This is the nature of the business. Friends do not give friends grades or credit for work; friends do not reprimand friends or impose sanctions for disciplinary infractions. Teachers, though, do all of these with and for their students, and it is part of your new professional life.

    If this talk of professional distance seems abstract, there are a few specific behaviors you can practice in the classroom that may help to ensure a healthy distance between yourself and your students:

    • Minimize touching students and, when in conference, meet with them in public spaces and in view of others;
    • Decline to share with students details of your own past or present personal life, including dating, sexual practices, or romantic involvement;
    • Avoid in class what could be seen as flirtatious behavior and do not participate in sexually provocative conversations or jokes;
    • Adopt a dress that is more like the teaching staff than like the students;
    • Exhibit characteristics that are professional and adult and avoid excessive personal conversations in the classroom.

    Despite all of the cautionary nature of this discussion, however, this is not a plea for a return to some sort of puritanical past. All of us as human beings are endowed with a sexual identity. It is unrealistic to insist that you not appreciate the attractiveness of your students, that you be immune, as another human being, to their appealing natures. Our students are working on their sexual identities and practicing their personal charm, often in our classrooms and with us and their peers. We would be less than human if we did not respond, if we failed to appreciate in a very real sense their emergence as accomplished young men and women. But beyond that appreciation we must not go. Young people need to find romantic and sexual partners outside the teaching staff, and you as a teacher need to draw a line over which no one crosses. You are in a trusted position as a teacher, and violating that trust while the student is in your charge is serious and regrettable. Admiration from a certain distance is the more honorable path. Taking care not to give students the wrong signals about your relationship with them is essential.

    Topic #4: Other First Year Concerns

    As you continue learning to teach while teaching, a variety of other concerns will arise. *1* Keep up with your course Journal to track these concerns, and survey the following "new teacher" sites to support your Journal work.

    Any topics you want to investigate in more depth can be found by using the search engine GOOGLE.

    *1* Compile higlighted/annotated reprints of particularly useful sites you find, and continue reflect weekly on your first year's Magical Mystery Roller Coaster Ride. Share some of your experiences on the COUSE DISCUSSION BOARD.

  1. *1* Teaching Strategies for All Subjects
  2. *1* TEACHERS ON TEACHING Discussions by classroom teachers on what they wish they'd known when they started.
  3. *1* My Hero: Teacher Heroes Inspiring!
  4. *1* Teacher Tools Page -- On-line tools for making quizzes, puzzles, rubrics, webquests, and more.
  5. Custom Classroom -- Free tools
  6. SchoolNotes.com FREE! Easily develop homework assignments and class information, posting it on the Web!
  7. *1* Lesson Plan Bonanza
  8. *1* Just for Our New Teachers -- A New Jersey School's page of helps
  9. *1* TIPS FOR NEW TEACHERS & SUBSTITUTES
  10. New-Teacher.com
  11. *1* New Teacher Site Overview
  12. A brief portfolio for novice teachers
  13. Survival Guide for New Teachers
  14. ERIC Resources for Teachers
  15. New York Times Navigator for Teachers
  16. New York Alive for Teachers
  17. A Busy Teacher's Guide to Using the Internet
  18. New Teachers Resources from Kenton, Kentucky
  19. The Teacher's Net Gazette
  20. The Teacher's Net
  21. The New Teacher Center at UCSC
  22. New Math Teacher's Home Page
  23. Google Search on Guides for New Teachers Over 200,000 sites!

  24. Discussion List for New Teachers -- The discussion is lively at this listserve for new teachers, where experienced folks drop by from time to time to offer advice and ideas. If you're a new teacher looking for some companionship -- or an experienced teacher willing to help out your freshman colleagues -- you should check this list out. To sign on, mail a message (no subject) to: [listproc@schoolnet.ca ] without the brackets. In the body (text) of the message, type only the following: [subscribe SNE-NewTeacher-L yourfirstname yourlastname] without the brackets. Although this list is maintained in Canada, it includes many teachers from the US.

  25. On-Line Mentors for New Teachers -- The "Teacher Talk" website is experimenting with a new e-mail mentoring program that promises to match beginning teachers with experienced colleagues. The "Mighty Mentors" program is looking for mentors and mentees. The site will post biographical information about all its mentors, allowing mentees to match themselves with an appropriate e-mail correspondent. Give it a try -- and let us know how it worked out. Free registration at site.

  26. AdPrima : A Website for New Teachers -- A rich source of information for new and experienced teachers. Practical information on curriculum, instruction, learning, thinking skills, lesson plans, teaching and other education topics. The name means "the best" in Latin. The site's motto is suggestive: "Anything not understood in more than one way is not understood at all."

  27. New Teachers OnLine -- This service of TeachNet offers lots of ideas, help and advice. See, for example, the How To... section, and these classroom management resources.

  28. What Can New Teachers Do for Themselves? -- "When I read articles about new teachers, I am confronted with such issues as, 'How can we better support new teachers?' That's nice. But why don't I ever read about 'The top 10 ways new teachers can help themselves,' or 'How to make your first years the best years'? The focus of our efforts to help new teachers seems to weigh too heavily on the schools, forgetting to encourage new teachers with practical steps to help themselves." (from "Classroom Leadership," ASCD, May 1999.)

  29. Advice for New Teachers: Reflection Is at the Heart of Good Practice
    -- "The ordinary experiences of our teaching days are the essence of our practice," say the authors of this article in the May 1999 issue of Educational Leadership, which focuses on support for new teachers. "Using a guide to reflect on these experiences--either individually or with colleagues--is an entry to improving our teaching." Includes a 'guided reflection protocol.' Also
  30. see these suggestions on how to use the protocol with colleagues.

  31. *1* Best Teaching Practices in the Middle Grades -- The Maryland Department of Education has a series of web pages where middle grades teachers can link to resources about best teaching practice -- including brief materials on homework, abstract concepts, praise and rewards, student accountability, organizing and presenting instruction, goals and purposes, monitoring student success, meaningful school and community participation, rules and rountines, managing disruptive behavior, learning skills, student team learning, setting high expectations, and more.

  32. Homepage for New Math Teachers -- An experienced middle grades teacher shares what she's learned. "My first advice to anyone starting in teaching is to be careful of those who claim they know the perfect method of teaching. Teaching is an on-going learning experience."

  33. "First Years" -- This teacher-supported site includes an e-mail listserve for new and beginning teachers and links to participants' personal websites.

  34. More Advice for New Teachers --Don't miss this rich advice from experienced middle grades teachers! Pam Chandler, a Middle-L listserve member, offers a couple of good ideas about starting off the year and discusses the bond between middle school teacher and child. And other teachers chime in, with ideas about assessing your new students, designing curriculum, building community, and more. One teacher suggests a good book to read the first week. And Debbie
  35. Bambino talks about the importance of deciding early on what's most important about discipline and classroom management. Several college faculty offer classroom management ideas, and a freshly-minted teacher describes several early mistakes.

  36. Survival Strategies for New Teachers -- Said to be the most requested article of the year at this teacher site. It's a "topic of the week" so if you don't find it on this page, check the homepage of the Teachers Teaching Teachers site.

  37. Advice for Soon-to-Be Student Teachers -- This advice for prospective student teachers comes from a Canadian teacher who just completed student teaching. As he notes, many of his thoughts "could probably apply to first-year teachers as well." Excellent tips from the New Teacher listserve.

  38. Teacher in Training Network -- This site was developed by the University of Tasmania (that island off the Australian coast!) for student teachers. It includes some
  39. *1* terrific resources that may be useful to new and inexperienced teachers as well. For example, the discipline section includes
  40. *1* a quiz about your discipline philosophy; ideas about developing a discipline plan and a discussion of nine different discipline models.
  41. (Here's one.) The classroom management section includes a page on starting the year (including 'first encounters' and anecdotes from teachers) and classroom management
  42. tips and styles. There's
  43. *1* teaching tips, too. All in all, a very useful site.
  44. Membership is US$20 a year and well worth it.

  45. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT -- Here's where we store e-mail discussions and other Internet "teacher traffic." Lots of useful ideas and advice from fellow teachers on many topics.

  46. The New Teacher Page -- Resources and assistance for new teachers and folks considering the profession, developed by a teacher.

  47. The National Association for Beginning Teachers -- Dedicated "to giving new teachers the tools they need to complete their jobs, helping them develop the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom, and encouraging them to remain enthusiastic as they face the challenges of the future in the classrooms of today." First annual conference scheduled for July 1999.
  48. Membership includes a quarterly magazine, a free book, a newsletter, and access to chat boards.

  49. Beginning Teachers' Tool Box -- This commercial site offers the box "Survival Kit for New Teachers," which can be purchased on-line. Also includes useful links and free resources, like the web newsletter "The Mentor." New teachers will especially appreciate
  50. the tips page.

  51. The First Six Weeks of School -- This excerpt from a recent book of the same title will be particularly useful to sixth grade teachers and all new teachers.
  52. *1* Teachers Taking Charge -- Continuous teacher learning is the key to helping students achieve higher standards, says the report, "Teachers Take Charge of Their Learning: Transforming Professional Development for Student Success." A good start in thinking more deeply about professional development and your school.
  53. This page contains many interesting professional development links. Here's one of our favorite stories (we wrote it) about
  54. teacher collaboration as a form of professional development.

  55. Cutting-Edge Teaching Strategies -- This MiddleWeb page is our collecting-point for interesting articles and ideas about effective teaching. A few of our favorites:
  56. Designing Performance Tasks,
  57. WebQuest ,
  58. Good classroom assessment,
  59. and
  60. *1* Becoming a student-centered teacher. If you're curious about creating better classroom assessments, peruse our page on
  61. *1* evaluation and assessment.

  62. *1* The Nuts and Bolts of Schooling -- How we group and sort students, how we divide up the school day, how we escape "the prison of time," how we advise, retain, promote -- these are the "nuts and bolts" issues of schools. This MiddleWeb page offers links and articles on all these subjects and more. Among the best:
  63. Making Detracking Work, articles about looping and time management, and our many
  64. block scheduling links.

  65. *1* Standards-Based Teaching and Learning -- More and more school systems are adopted a standards-based approach to teaching/learning and assessment. The MiddleWeb Guide to Standards-Based School Reform includes many resources on the topic, including stories about teachers who are working toward a standards-based classroom.

  66. Pick Your Curriculum Area! -- We maintain a large collection of curriculum resources, sorted by subject. In addition to specific lesson plans and subject topics, we include links to articles and other resources that can help teachers think more deeply about "content-specific pedagogy."

  67. Teaching At-Risk Students -- "Teaching Alive!" is an interactive CD suitable for pre-service and in-service teacher education. The program uses video clips and lesson transcripts to illustrate five principles for effective teaching of at-risk K-8 students.

    *1***Consider, too, the importance of WAIT TIME. Most teachers ask questions at an extremely rapid rate, and average only one second of wait time after each question and after each student answer.

    When teachers increase wait time by 5 seconds, the following results occur:

    1) Longer student answers;
    2) More appropriate answers;
    3) More frequent student responses;
    4) More answers on the analysis and synthesis levels;
    5) More questions and responses from slow learners; and
    6) More confidence by students in their answers.

    An excellent site to inquire further into the dynamics of questioning and wait-time is *1*Changing the Questions.

    To receive PDP or CEU Certficate, mail your completed Journal and Portfolio to:
    Chad C. Osborne
    923 West Mission St.
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    Note the Rubric for Course Portfolio Assessment.

    CHAD OSBORNE

    The TEACHER DEVELOPMENT NETWORK
    ozpk100@aol.com

    We are available for consulting and other services.

    All courses and web pages Copyright © 2002-2005