Finished Product

What an experience! One of the most important things I have learned from my experience is to be prepared for anything. The night before my implementation I had to revamp, revise my whole lesson. I credit the knowledge and “know-how” I have obtained via Kenan Fellow workshops and peer communications for my preparedness and ability to adapt without “freaking-out” completely. The essential part of my lesson was unavailable (peak flow meters) and we did not find out about this unavailability until the afternoon before. My mentor was a great support and was willing to stay up with me as long as it took to ensure I was ready. Learning how to utilize a variety of tools for instruction and student demonstration proved to be a very valuable part of my learning.

On a larger scale, I would love to see the idea of my product used throughout many classrooms. Many students miss school due to asthma attacks and the lack of knowledge of how to monitor their asthma. The inclusion of my product will help students to make that connection between math and something that directly or indirectly affects them. Students will be able to REASON the math associated with the monitoring of asthma.

“Ah-Ha” or “Light bulb” Moment

The moment a couple of my students experienced was an “Ah-Ha” moment. This stands out to me because as teachers, we are always looking for that moment (especially a struggling student) when a child makes a connection with what they are learning. You are happy to see that the student understands. Last year many of my students struggled to understand mean, median and mode, but most of my students were able to grasp it a lot quicker. I give the credit for this to the Kenan Fellows leadership and introduction to a new way of instructing.

During the presentation of my product, one of my students cried out, “I get it now”. They had such a big smile on their face. Not only was the student making the connection with math and the meter readings but they were also able to make connection and understand why the doctor asks them the same questions or why they have to do the same tests over and over again. Another student was able to understand the meaning of which measure of center is best for a given scenario.


How the fellowship has changed me

This fellowship has changed me in so many ways. One of the first ways is the way I view community members coming in to work with students. i can see how much of an affect community members can have on students. I am able to implement collaborative group work more effectively and with more assurance. I was not the biggest fan of “group” work.
Among my peers, I am more of an influential leader. Everyone knows that I will share what I know and am willing to help in any way that I can. The fellowship has opened doors for me that I would have otherwise seen as closed. I like the fact that I am able to put a teacher in contact with someone who may be able to work with them or help them out. The connections I have made with other members is priceless. Sharing class experiences, bouncing ideas off of one another, and problem solving together is something you don’t let go. In this sense, the fellowship has encouraged us to reach out to others.
As far as talents and careers, I love to explore new ideas. There is much that I did not know about that I am familiar with now. i am still learning everyday how to incorporate new ideas and instructional strategies within the classroom. Students are able to make a connection with the content to a life career. I will never forget this experience because it has helped me to grow into a better teacher. It has helped me to understand learning and the many ways it can take place.

Kenan Fellow/Mentor Partnership

To me the Kenan Fellow/Mentor partnership means a stronger and more meaningful community connection/relationship. It means more of a personal connection to be made by students. That which had little to no significance, now has value. During my internship, I had a single mentor who introduced me to other professionals who worked within the establishment. It may seem odd, but my mentor really helped me to organize my thoughts and bring all points to a focal point. One thing i was glad she had me attend was one of the meetings. In this meeting, department heads had a mini professional development on communication. This was kind of an “ah-ha” moment for me because I was surprised to activities being done that we did during our PD’s at the school. One activity also mimicked an activity that was done during a leadership program for middle school students. This camp took place a couple of years ago. It is interesting to see how just how important the delivery and reception of communication is. Communication is the key to many accomplishments.
The relationship and communication between my mentor and I was open and honest. She did not hold back for the sake of “feelings” and I appreciated that very much. She also did not just tell me how to correct something or tell me what to do, she asked leading questions to help guide me to a definitive decision. This is one technique I am utilizing in my classroom now. I asked my students questions before, but now I understand how to do it in a more effective manner. There were times I sat down with my mentor and collaborated with her about somethings but she mostly set up a schedule for me and I worked with other in the facility according to my preferences.
The lasting impact for me is the increased knowledge of how to guide my students thinking and also how to help them map out there thinking to try and make a connection. The other lasting impact would be the teamwork of the immediate group she worked with. Teamwork and really working together to accomplish goals is beneficial to success. At the end of this fellowship, I plan to stay in contact with my mentor and all other professionals I am in contact with. I do not want to lose the community connection that has been created. I hope to increase the strength of this bond.

Personal Remote Learning (PRL)

My Personal Remote Learning Plan is similar to the Professional Development Plan (PDP) that I have to create and update during the course of the school year. With both, I think with the end in mind. What do I wish to accomplish? What are my goals and how do I plan to achieve them? Even though I have to create goals for both, with the PRL through KFP, I am provided with a wide variety of options to help meet those goals.
The courses, classes, workshops, events, and etc. address different areas of opportunities for professional growth.
In completing the PRL, reflection is often made on our intent and goals. Therefore, our goals are not just goals written down, revisited and thought about only three times a year.
Collaboration is often talked about and encouraged but the opportunity is rarely provided so that can take place. Through KFP PRL, collaboration is not only encouraged, but opportunities are employed for actual peer collaboration. It only takes a few times before something becomes habitual.

New Tool or Strategy

One of the biggest changes I am trying to make will hopefully make lasting impact on my students to encourage student engagement. It will also, as it is starting to, change my way of thinking for the betterment of instruction to ensure student learning. The strategy is to implement my Kenan product (and the way of teaching during the implementation) using the UBD plan model. With this model, I trying to think with the end in mind. Backwards planning is basically what it is.
I have also started playing music off and on in my room. The reason for this is because I have cooperative students yet very active and agile students. They love music and they like to move. While working, students sometimes listen to music introduced at NCCAT. I sometimes play the music as students come in, this has a tendency to put students in a better mood if they are having a bad day. For those having a good day, it just makes it a little better.

What I have Learned

One thing that I have learned thus far as a result of my fellowship is just how much student-centered instruction really affects students. Student-centered instruction includes developing and maintaining a meaningful relationship with the students. when I had classes with only one type of student population the relationship was strong, I realized that my relationship is not as strong anymore. This will change this year.
One thing I plan to do differently this year is to pay attention to my classroom climate and how students feel in my room. I plan to develop more of a relationship with my students that is not solely content focused. I will try to help change the attitude of students to increase the motivation and interest in students within the math class. I found this video clip inspirational:

Close the “ATTITUDE GAP” and the achievement gap will follow!

Experience Connection to Curriculum

I do not think it will be hard for me to connect my internship experience to my curriculum because there are so many ways that math is utilized within different departments of the hospital. However, while I was visiting the departments, I created some word problems that centered around certain departments. After we complete the word problem I can interject a discussion about why the problem was important and how students think it is related to the hospital. i was also given some resources that encourages teamwork but it also includes the use of math skills. I plan to incorporate a few STEM activities separate from my product. It will be a great year.

My Internship Experience

My internship was an awesome experience at Vidant Duplin. I had one mentor who was just amazing. She was very knowledgeable and helpful in the creation part of my product. My mentor, Ms. Krista, helped me narrow my ideas and focus on one main idea because I had many thoughts and ideas from almost every department visited. But that was good, that was my first two weeks at the hospital. She was a very dependable mentor as well. I was never left wondering what to do or where to go.

I had the chance to visit about 10 different departments within the hospital. Because I had the opportunity to visit many different departments within the hospital, I do not have any one particular moment that was most interesting. There were many interesting moments. However, one of my most challenging moments was when I visited the Women’s Center. Seeing a baby so fragile and hooked to tubes and everything. It just brought back a lot of memories of my own son when he was only a month old. Seeing the mother crying because she just wants to hold her son but she can’t, hearing her baby cry knowing nurses and doctors are doing what they need to help the baby, yet wanting to just cuddle and rock him so he can feel that everything is ok but she cannot. I knew exactly what she was feeling. It was just too much for me.

Within each department, the manager or director was very welcoming and knowledgeable about their field/area. They were all passionate about their job and able to provide me with a mountain of information, ideas, charts, etc. that I could take back and use to help my students understand how math is applied in their job everyday.

One of my biggest take aways from this experience deals with the inner person. I know how it made me feel when others welcomed me or stopped and asked how I was doing that day versus just saying hi or hello while they were still walking. If that made me feel good inside and helped me to enjoy being there, then what if I did the same for my students in my class. How would it make them feel? Will that little bit of interaction help to make them want to be in math class, make them want to participate? How do I make my students feel before they enter my class? What will happen if I stop and ask them about their well-being and day versus just saying hello to each student.


Challenges and Successes

At first, my biggest challenge was figuring out what I was going to do. There was such much to pull ideas from. Afterward I decided what my product was going to be, determining what and how I could implement ideas and strategies and present the information to students in an interactive way so students will want to be engaged. Another challenge I came across (and still facing) was coming up with alternatives and/or substitutions for part of some lessons in case someone wanted to use the lesson but did not have money to purchase certain items or access to needed materials that apart of the required resources.

One of the successes I have experienced is the development of new friends and an extended circle of community networks. Another success was my development for the passion that I have about my product. I feel well equipped to go into my classroom and teach the standards effectively through my product.