Dissertation HeadStart

Looking to get a headstart on my dissertation coming up in 2020. I found a topic that may be viable, but I’m still doing some research on it. If you have any information on my topic, please share! Thank you!

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New Year’s Update

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a while since I last posted. Recently, I have been working to manage my classroom better. Although I am just a bible study teacher, I feel that I am nonetheless going through what regular school teachers are going through. After all, these students are coming from regular school. My eight-year-old student keeps asking if we are going to the flag salute, so that should say a lot.

I was prompted to really consider classroom management after growing tired of the pulsating waves of anxiety flooding me throughout the week. My classroom is lacking in effective management. Originally, I had a point system going that I was not religiously enforcing. It was not until I watched a video of a school teacher teaching a children’s church that I saw that I needed to visually enforce that system. Last week, I started seriously taking points away and showing zero mercy, and I got a very quiet class for two sessions. However, I also included small pockets of time where they could talk, like when I’m passing out papers, during pair-share moments, and question and answer sessions.

The importance of classroom management was sealed in me even more after visiting my cousins’ neighborhood bible study. I brought my nephew to my cousins’ 5-hour Christmas party filled with screaming neighborhood kids, flying hula hoops, frustrated children, and ear-stabbing balloon popping. The lack of discipline and the fact that my cousins were not fully enforcing punishments contributed to this. Literally, their consequences are as follows: 1. Warning for the first offense and 2. Send home for a second offense. I cannot tell you how many children should have been sent home. I have been bringing up to them that they should consider changing their rewards and punishment policies.

For myself, I have changed up some of my format. I have gotten rid of round robin reading for choral reading, and recently, I replaced choral reading for cloze reading, where the teacher reads the passage, and the students fill in the word(s) that the teacher leaves out. I like this format, as it keeps them more engaged with the bible.

I am still continuing to use the ASSURE plan for technology integration and still working to find the point of balance for my TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge). While the technological aspect is going well, I feel that I am failing in the pedagogical and content knowledge areas. I know my content, but I can’t remember it well enough to present it, so I’ve started writing it out on a little tablet. This is something that my father does when he teaches Sunday school and preaches, so I shouldn’t be ashamed of that.

Sunday, however, seemed to revert back to the same old, same old: I got a visiting student, and a class full of disruptive laughter and whining, despite that system. (Ah, the limitations of transactional and operant conditioning).

So, what changed? What went wrong?

There is one thing that is unchangeable: my students are all related to each other, so it is a bit obvious how brothers, sisters, and cousins are going to act. One student gets agitated when her brothers violate her personal space–the light tap of a shoe against hers, just their mere existence in this world it seems…There is also the lively eight-year-old who instigates his cousins to break out into laughter.

There is also the fact that we changed our classroom layout. We moved from a large blue picnic bench to a cramped classroom with one table, and everyone is facing toward each other. The type of layout that I had to nix simply because of disruptions like above.

So, after this past Sunday, I worried and stressed about what I should do and where I went wrong in my life. I heard God’s voice simply say, “Trust Me.” In the end, this is all I can do. I have been praying for each of my students, and I’m looking forward to meeting them this Wednesday and enforcing my classroom management plan and following it through.

 

 

Practicing Scholarship

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Last month, I started the doctoral program at an online university, and for the past five weeks, I have been involved in a preliminary writing class as a requirement to being officially accepted into the doctoral program. Because of my background in writing, I was expecting the class to be fairly easy or at least comparable to my master’s program. After all, I wrote a thesis, so I am feeling pretty good about that accomplishment as well as perpetually grateful to God for His strength, wisdom, and power to make that accomplishment even possible.  Continue reading “Practicing Scholarship”

Working with Non-Literacy Oriented and Literacy-Oriented Students

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Hello everyone! It’s been a while, but I hope you all are doing well.

Lately, I have been posting about dealing with my classroom and teaching techniques, so I would like to share some updates and some new revelations. So, I have been working to tighten down on my classroom management, and I am feeling a lot more confident with dealing with the children. In just a couple of classroom sessions, I feel that I have tightened my structure quite a bit. There are some fumbles here and there, but I quickly learn from them and revise. I have also been working to get my lesson pacing right. I’ve been tweaking it just to get it right, and I think I almost have the perfect blend for a 40-minute lesson, so I will start with that first. Continue reading “Working with Non-Literacy Oriented and Literacy-Oriented Students”

Proper Planning to Reduce Stress-Related Headaches

Wednesday, I met with my bible study class.

I don’t know if the stress is starting to affect me physically, though. Lately, I’ve started to notice a pattern that I have been getting headaches or migraines on certain days of the week. At first, I thought it was my ponytail; I wear high ponytails and buns from time to time. However, I would take my hair down, and the pain would persist. The pain would usually start as a dull ache during the afternoon and get gradually worse by the time bible study began. It would never be bad enough to incapacitate me while I’m teaching and was only made better once I headed to bed for the night. Continue reading “Proper Planning to Reduce Stress-Related Headaches”