I have known I wanted to be a teacher from the first time I fully understood that one day I would be a grown up and have to actually have a job in early middle school. I am so passionate and excited to become a teacher. I continually think about what I want to be like as a teacher. Each education class I take sharpens and changes what I think a good teacher should be/do. The only other thing that matches my passion for education is my passion for books. The fact that I will have a job where I get to combine two of my greatest passions makes me incredibly happy.
I think one thing that gives me an edge is my commitment to being exceptional at whatever I do. I am not a person who likes to reach a certain level of proficiency and think that's good enough. I continually push myself to improve an grow. Being a teacher wouldn't be any different. I am committed to being a great teacher for my student and putting in the incredible amount of work that it takes to be the best I can be.
That being said, I am a very independent person, so if I have a problem, I will usually struggle with it for a while in an attempts to figure it out on my own. I have been working on asking for help and using my resources more than I would normally do. It is a growing process for me.
After graduating college, I plan to get a job probably somewhere close to my home in Overland Park, but I am open to teaching almost anywhere. During this time I want to become a more proficient teacher, applying what I have learned in my education classes to the "real world."
I love all of the different options technology provides for education. There are so many more ways to differentiate learning for all learning styles and special needs. I plan to use many of the resources I found in this class to enhance and adapt current novels or units. There are so many great ways students can demonstrate their knowledge of English outside writing papers (thought I do support paper-writing). Using different media forms, students who struggle to write can find a way to express their ideas on themes or characters without the struggle of writing a paper.
When I find a new resource or technology, I usually just play around with the program until I get a grasp of how it works. I am pretty fast at figuring out how different internet sites work. Once I get the basic grasp, I will read explanations or "how-tos" of more complex or in depth ways to use said resources.
I think all teachers should try to keep up with some current technology, even if they aren't fully immersed in the genre. To help my mom, I showed her different online lesson-planning sites. I also got her an Animoto account and explained how teachers were using twitter. I have started her slowly, which just a few things to incorporate. Next, I am going to teach her a few more resources that would work for her 1st graders. When I show her a site, I tell her about it generally, then I find examples of different ways elementary school teachers have used the site, so she concretely understands how others have used it.
For a detailed look at all of the technology I can use and the different ways I might use them in my classroom, read through the rest of my blogs!

Wow Moment

My wow moment came early in the semester. It was definitely from reading the first chapter in the Google Textbook (Retool Your School). Reading about how this one school fully jumped onto the technology train to redesign every aspect of their school was very interesting. But what was even better was the result! I was pleasantly surprised by how much they were able to turn around their school in just one year. This convinced me that I would integrate not only Google Docs into my classroom, but other forms of technology. I don’t believe I can use every tool covered in this class, but I have been paying attention to the ones that will be most helpful teaching English. This moment of realization and affected how I think about the technology I used in this class. I didn’t just do the project to get it done; I try to think about ways to apply it to my future classroom concretely. I know all the “notes” I took during the podcasts will be an invaluable resource when I begin to plan Units to teach both in school and when I am real teacher. 

Podcast Favorite

My favorite podcast was the Tech Chick Tips. Although there were many useful podcasts I really enjoyed, this was my favorite. I really like how they would preview many different educational resources. I found many, many useful sites by listening to these women. I also appreciated that their podcasts were usually under an hour. We are all busy people, and I don’t usually have more than an hour to sit and listen to podcasts, even if I am trying to do other work. They gave the information without being repetitive or lengthy. These two girls also had excellent rapport. It made it fun to listen to them presenting tools because they would go back and forth so much. The fact two people were talking together made it seem a lot more interactive, engaging, and fun. Scroll through my past podcasts to see all the wonderful resources I discovered with the Tech Chick Tips.

Semester Favorites

My favorite discovery of the semester (well, I used it once before the semester, but I mastered it during the semester) was Google Docs. This has been a great discovery personally (I use it for group project and even got my boss to switch to it for my job), and I know I will use it in my professional life. I am sure I will encourage or require my students to use these resources for group projects. This way, I can monitor their progress and see how the group is working together. In addition, if the district is set up to support this method, I would have my student submit all their papers and assignments online. This way I would reduce the amount of paper I use and decrease the risk of students forgetting assignments.
My other favorite site is Glogster. I have done A LOT of poster and project during my 6-12 days. It will be nice to give students a new way to present information with multimedia. This way, they aren’t crammed for space and it is much easier to make it visually appealing. I like how easily you can add borders, words, videos, and shapes without any of the messy cut and paste aspects of traditional posters.