The teachers who inspired us, and even changed the trajectories of our lives

This blog post begins by talking about Rita Pierson, a lady who is inspirational and discusses how to be a successful teacher in a video by TED. One way that she said you should teach your students is by making personal connections with them. I agree with this statement 100%, mostly because of personal experiences. I can look back to my educational history and pick out the classes in which I learned the most, and something that all of these teachers have in common is that they got to know me on a personal level and make connections with me. Some teachers feel as if it is a 9-3 job and then they are free to do what ever they want, not bringing work home with them. This is not the case especially if you have the desire to be a powerful teacher. In order to allow your students to make you feel as if you care about them and want to see them succeed, it is essential that you get to know them inside and outside of school, care about their interests, and show that you have things in common.
Rita also inspired her students and gave them the hope that they needed inorder to succeed in school. The saying that she gave them to repeat was “I am somebody. I was somebody when I came and I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here’ … You say it long enough, it starts to be a part of you.” If this saying is coming from your teacher and you are repeating it over and over again, it is human instinct to begin to believe what you are repeating. In order to be successful in school, not only your teacher can have fait in you, you must have it in yourself, and this is a very good way to begin to install this faith and want to do well into your students.
Another good part about this blog post is that it allows you the opportunity to see what the qualities are that many different people found in their favorite teacher. This is a great resource to look back on when I become a teacher because I can see what it is that students appreciate and respond positively to.

TED Blog

Rita Pierson is the kind of teacher you wish you had. An educator for 40 years, she is funny, sharp and simply has a way with words — so much so that today’s talk feels a bit like a sermon.

[ted_talkteaser id=1728]In this talk, Pierson shares the secret to teaching students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds — make personal connections with them.

“I have had classes so low, so academically deficient that I cried. I wondered, ‘How am I going to take this group in nine months from where they are to where they need to be?” says Pierson, in this amazing talk. “I came up with a bright idea … I gave them a saying: ‘I am somebody. I was somebody when I came and I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here’…

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PLN 6 Part 2

PLN 6 Part 2 (link to blog)

PLN 6 part 2

There is not that much that is written in this blog post, however I strongly agree with the short, yet accurate argument that is made here, as well as the video that is included which was done very well. The first portion that I agree with is that you must teach students in ways that interests them. This is a teaching technique that has been discussed in many of my classes and is important because it is proven that kids will be more inclined to pay attention, participate, and there for learn if the material is presented in a way that will get their attention and keep it because it is something they like.

Another important topic that was mainly discussed in this blog and in the video that is attached to the blog is that we should not be teaching students to get a specific answer on a specific test, we should be teaching them to get good answers. To me, this means that more than one answer may be correct, but it up to the students to then justify why they believe that is correct and show the reasoning behind it. We live in a world where nothing is black and white. Nothing has just one correct answer, so why are we trying to teach our students that there is only one correct answer for a specific question?

Mini Challenge 6

Turning point anywhere software– for this form of assessment, the teacher is able to create their own questions on their computer, and open up a poll to allow their students to respond to the questions while using clickers. This is such a vital tool to use as a teacher because it allows you to create your own questions and focus on the specific material that you are interested in collecting data on. It also allows you to see what percent of the class had answered the individual questions incorrectly or accurately instantly, so you can get immediate feedback. This tool is also very helpful because it can be a quick form of an assessment, just to see where your class stands regarding the material you are covering, without making them take a standard, long written exam. This helps you as a teacher to not waste time re-teaching the material that your class already knows, and to be able to spend more time on the material they are struggling with.

Discovery education assessment– This is a good assessment because if mirrors each states high-stakes tests and can accurately predict student proficiency and mastery. This allows the teachers to compare the students success across a large number of people, and see where they stand compared to students across the world. Similar to the way the other assessments are valuable, this assessment allows teachers to use the time that they have to work on the areas that they students need help in, which they can find from these tests, and not waste it on the topics that they already have an understanding for.

Individual student report– This report does a very good job clearly marking where each individual student stands in reference to common core standards. It is color coded rather they are below, meet or exceed standards, and what subject it is in. That helps the teacher know which students need extra help in a specific subject area to prevent them from continuing to fall behind. This also provides a growth comparison graph to schools and districts, and a scale score, which helps the teachers know where their students are standing and the growth that they are making so they know what they are doing well or if it is not working and they need to change the way they are teaching.  

Excel/data analysis– This is a great form a technology to help you enter the data that you have received, track progress, and compare it to the other students in your class. As all of these tools have provided, it allows the teacher to pinpoint the area of struggle so they can focus on that and help their students succeed. Overall, these assessments all help, as I have stated before, the teacher get fast results as to where their students are succeeding and what they do not need to waste their time on, and then where their students are struggling and spend the time they have on that. These also allow the teachers to talk to each other about the teaching techniques that they are using, and seeing what is working and asking for suggestions that may help them better their own instruction and students.

Dibels– For this form of assessment, you are able to record a student who is reading a specific passage, and see how many words they have read correctly compared to the amount of mistakes they had made in reading the specific passage. This is a very helpful form of assessment for teachers and their students because you are able to see where the student stands with reading, and also compare it to the other students that you have tested in your class. It is also very beneficial because you are able to re-listen and or pause the recording to make sure you have caught all of the errors and have heard everything accurately. This allows a teacher to see where their students are succeeding in reading and what types of things they need more practice on.

How we change the world

How we change the world.


I think this blog is extremely relevant to everyone, rather they are in the field of education, special education, or simply an ordinary citizen. The most important message I think that I received from this, is that education does not only take place inside the classroom, but during everyday experences. Also it is important to remember the power that we all have as individuals to make a change and educate people on the importance of equality, judgment, and understanding that people have different ways of expressing themselves. As I am studying to become a special education teacher, I hold the responsibility to spread awareness of autism and other disabilities because there are many people who are uneducated in these areas, which leads to false accusations and cruel judgments. I am so happy to see other people doing their part to make a change in the way people look at individuals with special needs, and I know that as I become more educated on the topic I will do my part to make other members of society educated as well.