Sunday, February 19, 2012

Schmidt Ch. 11 and "The Blur That is My Life."

After reading this chapter in "Classroom Confidential," I was feeling slightly overwhelmed by the amount to consider when preparing for communication with parents when I am a teacher. I agreed with everything that I read in this section. I want to be the teacher that knows the culture and makeup of her student's families so to show care and preparation for conferences. I want to be prepared for every situation, but as a teacher, I cannot realistically have every perfect response assembled. Part of my future career means surrendering perfection. 

I feel informed in preparing for communication with parents because this chapter has a basic checklist of things to consider including being: proactive, positive, frequent, clear, basic, attention grabbing, appealing, inclusive, timely, and error-free. After reading all of those things to remember and checklist, I was feeling like it was not possible to create the perfect communication. But I know that a teacher who cares and conveys effort to parents doesn't need to worry about perfection.

I really resonated with this segment "It may seem like there's a universe of cultural practices out there just waiting to be discovered, but with very little time on your hands, you may worry that you'll never learn enough fast enough to avoid cultural gaffes. But remember, parents are eager to help you. They're very forgiving when they realize that you have an authentic interest in their cultures and are passionately committed to the education of their child (p. 244-245)." 

In other news, I had another productive blur of a week. I absolutely love working with this class and doing this all day, every day. The days have started to blur together. My cooperative teacher and I have really settled into a routine of cooperative teaching. We communicate clearly about how the days are going. She has said that she feels like we work really well together; that I focus or talk about what she forgets and she does the same for me. 

One thing that I did this week that I think went really well was some of our RtI review. I talked with Mrs. Martinez about the benefit of having the students create poster to review some of the major Language Arts tools that they may need to remember for ISAT. I grouped the students off and led them through the process of reviewing, gathering information, creating rough drafts and working together. I had one partnership that was very frustrated at working together, and I simply discussed different things they needed from each other and that they were in 3rd grade and I expected them to be able to work together. In the end, they created a great product and they said to me: "Miss Blasen! What do you know? We were such a great team!" I think it was such a beneficial thing for all of the students to work on.

Next week, I hope to help my teacher prepare for ISAT and transition to the next unit. Mostly, I will teach they regular topics, but I assist her in test preparation and review. I hope to learn about the most effective ways to prepare students for this kind of test. My goal is to be up and moving through the classroom and following my teacher's lead up until ISATs. 


  1. Hi Sasha!
    I love the fact that you were able to bring a seemingly dysfunctional group of students together and end up with a positive group project! Even better, the children realized that they could work together.
    It will be interesting for you to learn just how teachers prepare the students for ISAT. It can be a frustrating experience for students and teachers.
    I am looking forward to this week's observation!
    Mrs. Hysell

  2. I completely agree with your statement about students working together as a team. At first it may be difficult to start, because students may not completely understand their roles in the group or they could have trouble appreciating different ideas. It is awesome that your students were able to create a project while working so well together. Teamwork is a great way for students to learn how to be accepting of others ideas as well as feelings. Seems that you are doing a great job creating a team-based environment.

    Jessica Colvin

  3. I think Schmidt challenge your thinking this week. You made a profound statement when you said: “Part of my future career means surrendering perfection.” Teaching means you won’t be perfect. None of are. Only God is perfect, and He uses our failures and weak attempts to get us to surrender to Him.

    I’m so glad to read that you are working well with your cooperating teacher. After a rocky start, it seems you have found your pace and are doing well.

    I loved reading what you did for RtI review. Great strategies and best practices were used. I’m glad you took charge and helped the group that wasn’t working well together to gain their focus and purpose. Thanks for sharing the picture as well.
    You are going to learn a lot about ISAT prep. I hope it goes well.