News Comment

I chose this article, from the Huffington Post, because it is relivant to my field but its also an important problem to recognize. It happens in many fields however, our field is dealing directly with children and these kinds of issues can really disturb children emotionally and psychologically. I think staying educated on these kinds of issues will help teachers  to identify suspicious behavior and how important it is to speak up.

Below is my submitted comment and the few comments around it, when I commented it was a conversation of 440+ comments and still very active. There were comments as new as 3 minutes upon reading the article so I thought I would add to the dialoge. My biggest reason for picking this particular news article were the comments below. Some people were being serious but amny were many gross jokes are how they wished they had teachers like that when they were in school. I mentioned equal punishment for both genders as the effects on the students are the same no matter what their gender is.


#EngChat reflection

It was very fast pace and hard to keep up however, I thought the amount of information and resources being thrown out to everyone is extremely helpful. Because communities such as #EngChat share resources and ideas, it helps to keep out the monotony of typical high school English classrooms.

During the chaotic stream of the twitter chat, I was able to jot down a couple resources that I would be interested in learning more about and potentially using them whenever I become a teacher…

  • Kidblog
  • Live Binder
  • ThingLink




Affinity Space: Pinterest

Something I thought that was interesting was that instead of learning something “new”, my old knowledge sort of morphed. My prior knowledge of Pinterest got all new vocabulary like “generator” and “portal”. It helped me look further into the different categories and see these people that contribute to different spaces on Pinterest.

As far as making the video, I did the same process as the “This I Believe” multimodal essay. I wrote what I would say and then collect the pictures and videos I wanted to use. And finally, I put all of it together on iMovie which for me was very easy to use.





Teaching Network

I didn’t realize how many connections to other teacher I really had until I had to map it out. Because of my professional involvement in color guard- probably 90% of my friends are also color guard teachers. So I can and do use them as resources for new methods of teaching and techniques. As far as classroom teachers, I still have many connections there too. The two biggest being my mom and step dad. Both have been teaching for 20+ years. My mom taught economics for 14 years and then history now for several years; but she’s also been teaching color guard throughtout her entire teaching career. She was my color guard teacher in high school.  My stepdad, Mark, has been teaching music/Band the entirety of his career. He was my band director throughout high school. Many family friends are all teachers, including my moms best friends who I know very well.

I also have professors from my past university, Texas Woman’s University, that I believe I could contact if I needed advice or help with my teaching experience. I developed friendships with a couple of them after the class was complete and they are great examples to look up to.

Something I thought was interesting from the NetSmart book was that most people will take in the habits and emotions of the people they surround themselvs with. Someone with friends that are obese, smoke and are unhappy are just as likely to be obese, smoke and unhappy. This can definently apply to who I surround myself with when I am a teacher. If I chose to connect with teachers that are unhappy with their career and their students; I may become unhappy with my career and students. So I want to make sure I surround myself with teachers that are enthusiastic about their jobs and about their students so that I can become a strong, inspiring educator.


When I read the chapter about Collaboration in Rheingold’s book NetSmart, it made me think of the color guard that I teach. The Color Guard is the dancers, flags and weapons that perform in marching band shows. I did it professionally for a while and now I teach high school color guards. Anyways, the chapter was an immediate connection in my mind to my team. For them to spin together, they have to count together and do everything at the exact same time. Everything from where your flag is in space to when you breathe in and out. This requires Collaboration: “enhancing the capacity of other’s for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose by sharing risks, resources, responsibilities, and rewards.” They do all share a common purpose, which is to win competitions and entertain/impress their audience. And to do that they need to share their information but I also need to share all my information with them. Responsibility is also a HUGE part of color guard. Not only do we teach responsibility to help them in their lives; but its required for their immediate success. Its their responsibility to show up to every rehearsal, or they will miss information and hold back the entire group. Its their responsibility to bring all their equipment to rehearsal including water, so that they can appropriately participate in rehearsal.

“Attention is a fundamental building block of social cooperation.” You have to pay attention to each other. They have to pay attention to us, the instructors, but also each other. Sometimes performers will not pay attention to the other performers and not be in time with everyone else. They have to count, listen and watch to stay “clean” (spinning completely together). All aspects of attentions are required all at the same time. Which is challenging for high school girls, but they are learning!

Paying Attention

I don’t know what annoys me more:

The fact that it is impossible for me to pay attention to my homework at home.


The fact that I now know the fact above. Now I’m perfectly aware that I wonder off in the middle of reading or even writing, but it doesn’t stop me.

After reading Howard Rheingold’s first chapter in Net Smart, about attention, I am much more aware of how I focus my attention when studying, reading and writing. I always knew that I was scatterbrained but I didn’t understand to the degree I know now. The thing that stuck out to me the most in the chapter was describing how much information our brain is constantly taking in and how much of it we actually acknowledge. While reading it, I became hyper-aware of my surroundings. I could hear conversations, my feet were cold, I could feel the table underneath my forewarms, and feel the hair on my forehead.It was insane! And this didn’t annoy me so much as bringing my attention to many other things. Understanding this, made me understand my personal ability to focus better in a hectic environment. 

When I read at home, I will “read” three pages, but the only thing I’ve learned is that my phone went off twice, my dog licks her butt  too much and I’m really…really hungry. But no new knowledge from the book I was “reading”.  So I have to either: read out loud at home and become my own free audio book or I have to do homework at school.

School. noun. (sk-ool) : a place where people are screaming, burning food in the microwave, and walking by me and nudging my chair. This is where I decide to do my homework. Smart move, Sam. Surprisingly though, I can pay attention to my homework in that environment. It would be inconvenient for me to move locations, or get up to get something to eat. I just sit there, listen to Bon Iver radio on Pandora and bust through my entire to do list.

It makes me wonder why I need all of my senses tortured for me to keep my attention on my homework.  It should be the opposite right?

In high school, they tell you the correct way to do everything. Even the correct way to sit in your chair for maximum focus.

“In order to study efficiently, you need to sit somewhere closed off from everyone else, dimmed lighting and in total silence. This is the only way to pay attention to your studies.”

Did you just describe a jail cell? Guess I’ll just go to the local police station and ask for a holding cell, because that’s the only place I can seem to really “pay attention to my studies.”

Epiphany moment!

Traditional techniques aren’t really my thing. But it makes sense when you think about the time that those teachers came from (not calling anyone old) and current time.

When my teachers were kids, they didn’t have moving billboards, or mirrors in the bathroom that when you aren’t standing in front of it is playing an advertisement, or simply the Internet that we are accustomed to today.

Today’s Internet: Fast, interactive, and usually displaying numerous ads on all margins.  So when you think about what “effective studying” for them would be and what that would mean to us… it’s completely different.

I’m used to my senses being overwhelmed constantly. So when I study, that’s a normal environment to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love some solitude. I love being in my apartment, without the TV on, just relaxing. That doesn’t bring me into focus; the environment I’m used to does though.