Teach English in Yanghong Zhen - Xianyang Shi

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The year was 1996, and I was asked to teach a special program for unwed mothers and fathers. As I had recently resigned, I took the offer. It was not much, but for the students, it was something more than they had received in school. There I instructed them on technology, specifically how to use Microsoft Word to build resumes and other documents. Additionally, I walked them through the application and interview process. This experience was my inspiration for obtaining my teacher certification. I received my certification in Special Education (Pk-12) in the state of Texas. At the time, I had no idea what special education was or the type of students that I would be required to teach. Special education teachers were considered a "jack-of-all-trades," so we taught every course. The first year was the most trying of my time in education. Learning about classroom management, lesson planning, and content made me wonder if this was really for me. Through the years, I have learned more than a few things. Experience is a great teacher by itself. Classroom management became my number one priority in the classroom. If you do not have control of the classroom, it will have a hold on you, and it is like trying to straighten out a train wreck. There are restrictions on how many ways to arrange the classroom, but that would be my number one under classroom management. Depending on the objective, the teacher may need to rearrange the desk to accommodate individual learning, pair learning or small group learning. Preferred seating may also be a way of keeping those that tend to get off task focused. Another method of control would be proximity. I found that if I was near to students that tend to be off task, they refocus quickly. This can happen during any point of instruction. Each organization has its format for presenting a lesson plan. Though the formats may be different, based on my experience, lesson plans are a necessity. They provide a “road map” of where you want or need to go, and identify how you know you have arrived. However, they all retain information that is generic to all plans. The most obvious would be the teacher’s name, room number, and date. Other information that is generally required would be the objective, what the student should be learning, and resources required to meet the objective. Lesson plans are just that, plans. They are not written in stone. I cannot count the number of times that I have had to change how I was teaching. When you can see that students are not grasping the concept, you have to be able to readjust. Two things about lesson plans that I have noticed over recent years, one, some teachers never change their lesson plans and two, some teachers are not drawn to technology as you might imagine. \ One of the technological packages I had access to was MimioStudio. With the use of a computer and projector, I was able to project images to the whiteboard, store the information from the board, create games, and other interactive activities. The package was flexible as it came with a camera, microscope, and input devices. The whiteboard became an interactive top. Students were able to use the board with the stylus and could touch and point to answer questions, write on the board. By itself, it does not sound like much, but I was able to capture what was on the board to the computer. I was able to design games (basic structure came from the Mimio community) that extend lessons, reviewed concepts, and let students be “in-charge” of their education via games. At the time, I was with high school students, and the school expected to have classrooms as student-centered. The most important thing I have learned in 20-plus years in education would be, regardless of what level you teach, students are students. Next would be that lesson plans are not written in stone. Finally, technology is a tool and not the end all in the innovation of education.