Doctors Notes: A note of stupidity

Just a quick rant. Doctors notes, in no way, help anyone accomplish anything. It floods Saskatchewans currently already overstretched health system. It puts other people are risk of being sick, it wastes employers, employees, and doctors time and money. I recently had to get a doctors note to avoid being expelled from my school. For three days of missed classes. I was so sick that I was stuck in bed for the first two days and could only stomach one meal. I was vomitting, had diarrhea, extreme headaches, stuffed up, disoriented, and dizzy. If I’m too sick to show up to class in my fifth year of University, isn’t it logical to assume that I’m too sick to wait in a medical clinic for an hour and a half to pay $40 for a doctors note? The only times I got out of bed were to go to the bathroom, make myself food once, and get a god damned doctors note. People who require these: you do nothing good for the system. That is all.

 

For more reasons why Doctor Note requirements are bad….

 

http://www.ecms.dragonflystyles.biz/pdf/1247754281.pdf

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2014/01/11/sometimes-a-doctors-note-can-make-things-worse

 

If your student or employer says they have a nasty flu and have no habit of commonly falling ‘sick’ before, why harm the system.

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What do I want my classroom to look like?

I’ve tried making a layout on many programs available, but they’re all glitchy and after the fifth time I’ve given up on it. I ‘ve thought about what my ideal classroom would look like… and here it is.

myclassroom

Student Layouts:

  • Four large tables with six chairs around each (two chairs on 3 of the 4 sides of the table… empty side is the one closest to the teachers desk & boards)
  • Each table will have a 3×2 whiteboard that they can have access to (or whiteboard paint on the desk… meaning students can write directly on the desk)
  • Preferable that each student has access to a tablet, laptop, or smartphone… or one for each two students

Boards & Projectors

  • Instead of a smart board like most classes, I would personally prefer a 55″+ HDTV with a chromecast attached to it (assuming internet in the school isn’t the equivalent of a potato)
  • White boards beside or behind the TV/smart board
  • White screen w/ a projector in a corner… within 10 feet of the tv/board
  • Each table has a tiny whiteboard attached to their tables

Miscellanious Things

  • Some noise cancelling ear muffs…. very cheap, and very effective. Have a few pairs attached t the wall for students whom do not concentrate well with noise to use when appropriate
  • Some sofas or bean bag chairs on the corners or against the walls… some comfortable furniture that students have access to
  • a regular desk or two in the corners or storage that can be brought out
  • Smart lights: I have in my own personal room two lightbulbs that are LED. They can be changed to any colour or brightness with a remote control. They can also be turned on/off with a remote control. It seems small and pointless, but trust me they are delightful
  • I’d like an L shaped desk with my own personal laptop on it… or a school one with good specs so I can stream to the chromecast or remote access my computer.
  • A toaster, microwave, and coffee pot in a corner that students have access to…. most students do not eat breakfeast. It’s something simple that can make a big impact

The above is what I wanted before I went into my preinternship. And I still want this after my preinternship. I love the concept of group work and having multiple boards & presentation screens. Now I will talk about what my classroom looked like during my preinternship and examine where and why students with learning problems, disruptive students, unmotivated students and talkative students are placed throughout the room.

jeffsclassroom

After doing intensive amounts of research I’ve found resoures and information that explains where to place students and why. There’s even apps that trace their performance and give you recommended seating plans based on their traits.

There are some pro’s to seating plans:

  • Students were asked how they learn best: In groups reply
  • Lets them learn from each other
  • Optimal for space
  • Gives greater flexibility in teaching strategies
  • Groups in five groups of six
  • Higher ability boys learn best with lower ability girls
  • Can pair students by achievement, learning style, or outcome/content
  • “Seating plans make teachers 2x more effective and raise lower ability student achievement by 2x”

And some cons to seating plans:

  • Will take a while to learn optimal seating plan
  • “condemns the highest ability girls to sit on a table with the three lowest attaining males.”
  • Poor class management with groups can promote tardiness
  • Need to know your students well before this become truly effective

If you want to know more about where to find information about seating plans you can find them at the bottom of this post. I’ll also include some pre-made seating plans that research shows will work (but each classroom and student is different so you will have to throw some personal touches dependant on your layout, your students, and how you teach).

premadeseats

Sources:

The importance of a good seating plan | TES New Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://newteachers.tes.co.uk/news/importance-good-seating-plan/45960

The Psychology and Pedagogy of Seating Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://community.prometheanplanet.com/en/blog/b/blog/archive/2012/06/07/the-psychology-and-pedagogy-of-seating-plans.aspx#.VO5d8_nF-So

Do Seating Arrangements have an Impact on Student Learning? (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/do-seating-arrangements-have-an-impact-on-student-learning/

Seating Arrangements That Promote Positive Academic and Behavioural Outcomes: A Review of Empirical Research. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.academia.edu/706890/Seating_Arrangements_That_Promote_Positive_Academic_and_Behavioural_Outcomes_a_Review_of_Empirical_Research

Classroom Seating Charts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.lessonplansinc.com/classroom_management_seating_chart.php

Seating plans in seconds & super fast behaviour management. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://www.classcharts.com/

Use this —–>     https://www.classcharts.com/     <—–  Use this

Response: Teachers, enough with these social media ‘lessons’

While doing my daily reading, I read Teaching the Teacher’s new post of the day: “Teachers, enough with these social media ‘lessons.'”

Every few months a photo like this surfaces In my social media stream feeds telling me to like, retweet a message to ‘teach’ children a lesson about social media.

2015/01/img_1342.png

In world where millions of pieces of new content are being uploaded every second, creators are resorting to desperate and more shocking things to break through the clutter in search of that elusive like, share or retweet.

And it’s not just kids.

Companies, celebrities, politicians, sports teams and, dare I say it, teachers find themselves wanting to harness the power of this vast global network.

Could there be a better way to teach responsible use of the Internet than publicly shaming students in as wider a forum as possible?

I understand the motivation behind the lesson, to protect kids from posting something stupid that could ruin their lives if it goes viral.

However I’m not convinced this approach actually leaves students with an enduring understanding of responsible and ethical online behaviour.

Fear of ridicule may be great for short-term compliance but in the long term it does little promote sound and ethical decision making over the long term. It actually gives credence to the number one tool in bully’s arsenal, a public audience.

And that audience doesn’t need to be big. The reality is that most students aren’t going to experience Star Wars kid level of viral cyberbullying. However if a student has more than one friend on snapchat, they have the the power to hurt and humiliate someone else through a share.

The focus purely on students as creators of content ignores that most of the time the kids are consumers and distributors of content which is where the problem really lies.

Taking part in a meme without really thinking about the context.

Sharing and viewing images designed to humiliate without thinking about the consent or feelings of the subject.

Retweeting articles without reading them.

I was dismayed at the number of teachers who were happy to capture and share their students doing the Harlem Shake. Yet the kids dancing who had no idea that Harlem was a place let alone what the people living there thought of the global phenomenon.

Or how quickly the cause of motor neurone disease was forgotten in the race to upload, share and nominate others in the ice bucket challenge.

The Internet is participatory.

Whether it’s a 13 year old request for a like for a like or a multinational company getting you to share, they are asking for that moment of connection. They believe their idea is important enough for you to stand by it to give it more credence.

The audience for the share could be 1 or 1 billion. It is the power of that audience kids need to appreciate and use appropriately.

What we share is more important than what we create.

The best way I believe I can response to this article is by breaking it down and then posting a conclusion.

Companies, celebrities, politicians, sports teams and, dare I say it, teachers find themselves wanting to harness the power of this vast global network.

But this is the entire point of social media: Accessing information from others, and sharing yours with the entire userbase (and by extension the world). I agree with the goal of something such as twitter as being able to harness the power of a large collective group. But I also believe that in order for something to be powerful, one must have the mindset of “what can I contribute” instead of “what can I gain.” When one has this mindset and gives enough effort and time, the benefits flow naturally.

I understand the motivation behind the lesson, to protect kids from posting something stupid that could ruin their lives if it goes viral.

However I’m not convinced this approach actually leaves students with an enduring understanding of responsible and ethical online behaviour.

Fear of ridicule may be great for short-term compliance but in the long term it does little promote sound and ethical decision making over the long term. It actually gives credence to the number one tool in bully’s arsenal, a public audience.

Agreed. I was actually a victim of me doing something “Stupid” (others words, not mine. I stand by my actions). I was in the middle of a personal/social experiment on Reddit. Reddit is a large…. forum? Where tens of millions of people post articles, pictures, memes, advice, and so forth. It’s the largest of its kind, and has as much impact as something such as 4chan. The website has one major flaw (asides from its search bar). The flaw is that it becomes a hivemind. One educated person will post an opinion, and the people whom read it will follow it without looking at the evidence themselves or critically. This reflects the real world (with social media and news… trust your sources people!). For example, the site hates comcast, capitalism, and supports Edward Snowden. Back onto the point.

My social experiment was to show what people will believe for terms of entertainment. I started to make up stories and summarize them into memes to show what people will believe. I was planning on showing these results to the entire site once I collected enough examples, but was found out in my fourth or so exposition. The entire hivemind of reddit then decided to do a ‘witch-hunt’ on me. People literally spent hours going through my post history to ‘downvote’ everything (it’s the opposite of a like on facebook). Some even found my real world identity and contacted my friends and family with threats. Which is the point I’m trying to make with these paragraphs: I took extreme precautions to make sure nothing linked to my real world identity, and they found it anyways. One must be extremely careful of what they post, and where.

The focus purely on students as creators of content ignores that most of the time the kids are consumers and distributors of content which is where the problem really lies.

Taking part in a meme without really thinking about the context.

Sharing and viewing images designed to humiliate without thinking about the consent or feelings of the subject.

Retweeting articles without reading them.

Exactly the point I was making above. People will follow something blindly; on and off internet. How many people support John A. Macdonald, or Canada as a whole? I personally believe Canada to be one of the most racist places on Earth and John A to have an extreme dark side to him.

The audience for the share could be 1 or 1 billion. It is the power of that audience kids need to appreciate and use appropriately.

Precisely. Respect the power of the most used tool in the world; the internet and its users. This is a lesson students need to learn. It’s unlikely that a post they made when they were 13 on facebook holding a beer will harm them, but they need to understand that stuff like that shouldn’t be uploaded to begin with (and subsequently, their overall actions could take a little modifying. Mine have

Classroom Rules: Rad or Bad

Everyone who has gone to school has had that one teacher who had dozens of rules, many of which seemed to be pointless and lack sense. Every teacher has their own rules that they are passionate about and are must have. My personal must have rules are:

  1. Speak loud when answering my question or asking me something.
    1.  My ears are terrible, and we’ve all had many classmates who seem to whisper… I plan to help these students
  2. Keep noise to an appropriate level.
    1. Remember when I said my ears are terrible? I also have a disability. Lots of noise at the same time that I disorients me if I need to listen to it all at once. I also cannot key in on a single source when there’s background noise.
  3. Have respect for yourself, your classmates, and me.
    1. It’s good to define what you think of when you say respect. Your version and their version will be drastically different. Yours might include only one person speaking at the same time, while theirs might be not snoring when they fall asleep in class.

During pre-internship, I made the mistake of not coming out with my expectations and procedures. I should have had these rules posted somewhere to refer too. I noticed that my top two rules have relaxed much after my preinternship. Some students are too shy, have difficulty with the language, and setting a ‘talk loud so I can hear you’ precedent causes troubles.

I was very strict on my third rule. Students should have respect for themselves (this was mostly… enforced? in private with students who had some depression), respect for their classmates (aka don’t disrupt their work or be offensive) and respect me (don’t push the limits).

My minor rules that relate to late assignments and skipping school were also relaxed. The school environment has changed far too much for me to discipline students extensively because they did not hand in an assignment or were not in class. Observing my co-op, it was common for only half (if lucky) assignments to be handed in on due dates. We once did an in-class essay and only 70% of students handed in the essay… we saw them write it!

It’s important to remember that teachers should only have few rules. The less, the better. Too many rules become difficult to remember and make the students try to break them because you will be imagined as a dictator in their eyes. Studies show that having only a few rules that are strictly enforced instead of many rules that are rarely (or even worse – strictly enforced) referenced will cause chaotic classroom environments. What are your must have classroom rules?

What’s it Like Being White?

I was doing my regular browning of the web and came upon the question “What is it Like Being White?” I scrolled through the answers and eventually found one that I can relate with. I feel it accurately personifies how many white people feel about the subject. Just some food for thought.

“There’s a lack of identity associated with it. I don’t think of myself as white any more than I think of myself as blue-eyed. It’s a feature, not part of who I am. There’s no real struggle to empathize with, no real connection to other white people based just on being white. At least not that I’ve experienced, so it’s just a non-thing.

A checkbox on a form and nothing else.

Hell, it’s less of an identity thing than hairstyle, at least for me.

As for day-to-day life, it’s honestly hard to consider, since I’ve never not been white.

I guess I’m not worried about going 10 over the speed limit, since I’m no more likely to be pulled over than anyone else. Is that a concern for minority drivers? I honestly don’t know.”

Alorha

How to get hired and stay hired. A drama in four parts.

How to get hired and stay hired. A drama in four parts..

I gave this a read in my spare time. It took fifteen minutes and it provides some extreme examples to take note of. During the internship and pre-internship phase (or rather, a student teachers’ university career) most of these are just something that will take an extra five minutes when one goes into the school.