Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Class 3: 09/01/2011-Ethics & Field Observations

Today Dr. Petrosino joined the class via Skype for a while and led a discussion over the Eratosthenes problem and how it related to us as future teachers. He explained that problems and information come in three types or levels: factual, conceptual, and innovation or transfer. The factual information, contained in the pre-quiz we took online, is an area that the United States is very good at teaching and assessing. Conceptual information involves synthesizing ideas from several sources, making inferences and applying ideas within a field. Innovation or information transfer involves taking information learned in one field and using it in different ways in another field. Factual information is very critical to know, but it has been shown that experts have conceptual and transfer abilities that we need to pay more attention to and encourage.

The Eratosthenes problem synthesizes math and science concepts and requires innovative, creative transfers between the fields. Dr. Pertosino explained that the reason he introduces these complex problems to us as students it so get us use to using all three levels of problem solving and information. These creative problems are difficult, even if the factual information is already known, as many groups found out in Tuesday’s activity. This semester, our goal will be to move from consumers to producers of complex problems, coming up with ways to design, assess, and form lessons around them.

We spent the remainder of the class period discussing the safety and ethical standards of teachers. Prudie, our  UTeach master teacher, led a discussion using the below “Ethics and Resoponsibility presentation.  Below is a summary of what we discussed in class (3.1-3.7), but you can also review the entire Texas Teacher Code of Ethics here.

Ethics and Responsibilities

3.1: The educator shall not reveal confidential information concerning students unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposed or is required by law. We decided that confidential information included everything from grades, learning disabilities, and behavioral or medical issues to personal contact information.

3.2 The educator shall not knowingly treat a student in a manner that adversely affects the student’s learning, physical health, mental health, or safety. This means knowing the individual needs, considerations, personalities, and boundaries of your students. It includes being fair with participation and not picking favorites. Sara and Tara also pointed out that most students do NOT understand sarcasm and to resist using it until you are absolutely certain the student(s) can handle it.

3.3 The educator shall not deliberately or knowingly misrepresent facts regarding a student. Do not assume things about your students’ lives or abilities. If necessary, approach another teacher who interacts with the student or a counselor with questions or concerns, but do make sure that you are looking for solutions and not just gossiping about problems.

3.4 The educator shall not exclude a student from participation in a program, deny benefits to a student, or grant an advantage to a student on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, national origin, religion, or family status. This means making sure accommodations are met for ESL students and students with disabilities during field trips and other activities to assure they can participate. We also noted that athletes should not be given special treatment and to stand your ground against inevitable pressure from family, coaches, and others to make sure things remain fair to all of your students.

3.5 The educator shall not engage in physical mistreatment of a student. This seems really obvious (don’t hit your students, duh!), but as Tara pointed out, you are legally not allowed to touch students even if you are being attacked, students are fighting, or a special ed student has an episode. In these cases, get an administrator or person who is trained to handle these problems! In more general, less severe cases where you just get frustrated take a time out and think before you yell or act.

3.6 The educator shall not solicit or engage in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student. This one also seems really obvious, but the point is to not even allow a situation to occur where these types of behaviors might be inferred. That means, don’t Facebook friend your students, text them, or be alone with them in a place that could not be observed by another adult.

3.7 The educator shall not furnish alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or knowingly allow any student to consume alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs in the presence of the educator. Again, another one that seems obvious, but “unauthorized drugs” includes everything from the illegal ones to benign ones like Advil and cough drops. We also took this opportunity to point out that tobacco products are not allowed on school grounds whether you’re a teacher or student. If you smoke, leave your cigarettes at home!

Other rules and standards include:
* Showing up when you’re supposed to be there and being early so you can deal with any unforeseen circumstances.
* Dressing professionally: ladies, watch your neckline and remember leggings are not pants. Field trip attire will be discussed at a later date.
* Being respectful to your supervisors, peers, students and mentor teachers.
* Making your personal webpages private and removing inappropriate material from the web.
* And more! Again, check out the powerpoint for lots of important extra information.
* (For our experience at MNTH) DO NOT EAT PEANUTS OR HAVE PEANUTS ON YOU OR EVEN THINK ABOUT PEANUTS (okay, maybe you can think about them...) at MNTH because a student there is super highly allergic to them.

Last minute things: Prudie passed out our teaching assignments and a field observation form. We need to observe our mentor teacher, obtain a roster and note any attention getters and procedures the teacher uses during class sometime in the next week or so. Figure out what technology is available to you and how to work with it (set it up, practice with it, and talk to your mentor teacher about special glitches). It is also encouraged to go around seeing other classrooms and teachers to get a feel for the project based learning environment.

Each day in PBI a different student takes responsibility for blogging about what goes on in class.  Today’s blog is brought to you by ­­Katye.

No comments:

Post a Comment