EDS 111 finale: Some truth in fiction thru EDS 111

Q: So was Louanne Johnson’s classroom success in the 1995 movie “Dangerous Minds” (Bruckheimer Films) a
pure work of fiction or does it have some theoretical basis?

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I have always thought of myself as a person who likes to learn new things. I have a very varied interest, and for the past few years that I have been a teacher, I am most especially curious on correct education. Question is, what does that even mean?

Studying EDS 111 has helped me gain the first step towards answering this question. First, it has pointed me to the way of interesting reads, albeit long and grueling, but interesting nonetheless. Until I knew about the TPI and teaching perspectives I felt like a very little number of people understand a social reform perspective in teaching that I want to apply in my instruction. I didn’t know that they already have a name for the TPACK framework for teaching, and that it is considered a massive part of a teacher’s knowledge base, when to me it was just one of those mysterious merger of technology use and good old pedagogy. That the importance of teacher interpersonal skills had been a subject of academic
study, and teaching diverse students had always fascinated me, and I thought “while I could be a teacher of fairness and diversity, how do you teach a class of rowdy teenagers?”. In short, if the barrios have Juan Flavier, will I be able to handle that as a teacher?

Truthfully, the course had also enlightened some dark spots in my practice. Reflective practice has been a key point in any kind of teaching, and like Peter Scales (2008) said, it needs to be deliberate. If before, critical analysis of my class issues were sporadic at best, now I have realized thru the course that a continuous learning of techniques and theories would generously help me to cope with the challenges I face. My initiatives of creating a community of learning thru projects we had and wants to have will now have a name. Knowing what you are doing provides more direction and puts goals in front of you and your collective.

If I’d give myself a summative self assessment of all the new thoughts, new and old, that has been imparted in Principles of Teaching, I would create a list of the following skills whose goal is for the items to be ticked off one by one. And for those items left unchecked, they will serve as a reminder of all the things I need to learn to master, and turn my efforts into, as Reynolds (1965) calls it, ‘second nature’.

Personal list of things to master:

  • Strengthen the other complementing areas of my TPI based off of my dominant perspective 
  • Practice how to shift into all of Grasha’s teaching styles and apply when needed
  • Involve the immediate community in decision and policy making, achieving democratic professionalism in your own school; share tasks and make parents and teaching staff feel empowered thru this new mandate
  • Train staff and share the knowledge about the TPACK framework on how to optimize the available technology at work 
  • Seminars and reflection sessions on helpful objective setting, as some of my colleagues still don’t know how to set lesson objectives √
  • Share interesting theories such as Thomas Gordon’s (2003) communication techniques with students 
  • Make sure I stand my ground on being a teacher than a mother 
  • Accept that all students are able students, no playing favorites 
  • Innovate my style, methods, create novelty in my lessons and aids, deviate from being Teacher Glen sometimes 
  • Realize that I have the power to move revolutionize ethos and culture in my school, take advantage of that with the education I had from this course 
  • Attempt to create initiatives towards shaping part of the staff identity and be known as a well rounded teachers committed to both learning and teaching;
  • Meet regularly, delegate, collaborate, make a call to action
  • Be a living model that learning does not stop here 

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A: Ms Johnson probably learned EDS 111.

Scales, P. (2008). The reflective teacher. Teaching in the lifelong learning sector, 7 – 26. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.). Retrieved from http://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335222407.pdf

Scarlett, W. G., Ponte, I. C., & Singh, J. P. (2009). Building positive teacher – student relationships (Chapter 3). In Approaches to behavior and classroom management. SAGE Publications.). Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/26067_3.pdf

Simpson, D. & Bruckheimer, J. (producer). Smith, J. (director). (1995). Dangerous Minds. [motion picture]. USA.

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