With the return to teaching and the start of my last semester in graduate school starting on Monday, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I have done this summer and what I look forward to doing this school year. Like so many teachers across the country, a majority of my time was spent with a full-time summer job. Luckily, the work I completed for the JDO Foundation also served as my internship for graduate school. As a part of the internship requirements, I created a site to showcase the work I completed with a narrative and artifacts from my experience. Since I have never used Wordpress, I decided to create my site using the platform to also gain experience with a new site builder. You can find the site for my internship at https://matteajuengelinternship.wordpress.com/.
One of my goals this summer was to engage more with my professional learning network. While I was able to meet with other connected educators at #InnEdCO15, I also tried to contribute more to the Project Cam Opener Google + Community and looked for new tools to connect and share my teaching and learning. First, thanks to Jessica Raleigh, I learned how to use Voxer, a walkie-talkie type tool you can use to communicate with others. I also decided to get my personal podcast started. Ben Wilkoff has started a series of video reflections and answers to questions posed to him using #AskBenW. While walking from his car to his office, he records these reflections on his phone. I wanted to try and see if I could replicate this same process, but with podcasting instead of video. I am excited to share that I have officially started this podcast. Titled Math, Tech, and Teaching, I plan to share my reflections and answers to listener questions centered around my experience as a math teacher in an urban high school with a deep passion for educational technology. You should be able to find this podcast in iTunes shortly. I have included a subscribe button for android devices below.
I also had the goal to learn more about Classcraft this summer as well as re-think the overall physical structure of my classroom. I was able to attend a Classcraft webinar and plan to start asking my students what rewards and consequences would motivate them as students. I plan to re-launch my classroom blog at msjuengel.edublogs.org. Feel free to check out that site in the near future for classroom updates and information on how my implementation of ClassCraft is going.
Since our school had major construction over the summer, I am not sure what my classroom will look like when I return on Monday. That being said, this article called Ditching the Desk from Edutopia has made me want to try and open up space by eliminating my teacher desk. Truth be told, it always turned into a table to pile papers on - this strategy may be a great way for me to better organize and create more space for students at the same time.
Good luck to everyone starting a new school year! I hope you have a marvelous year and create amazing memories with your students this year! Happy teaching!
Feel free to comment below for podcast suggestions, questions, or any other inquiries.
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.