Although the day went pretty well, the meeting after school did not go as well. I attended a functional behavioral
assessment (FBA) meeting for one of my students. As I read through his record, I noticed one major mistake. Listed under his
strengths was a statement that read he “relates well to teachers and peers and does not instigate conflicts with others.”
Since I began my student teaching, I have observed that this student does the complete opposite. He does not relate well with
his teachers or peers and always instigate conflicts with others. It was clear to me that this student needed a re-evaluation
of his FBA.
His target behavior to be reduced and/or eliminated was his poor anger management and social judgment. This student
would use physical and verbal aggression in order to gain power. Listed under “Desired Replacement Behaviors (Objectives)”
were the following statements: The student will comply with teacher directives and demonstrate acceptable methods for expressing
feelings of anger.
As I sat in the meeting, I thought to myself that this student really needs some type of intervention. A few interventions
that were provided on his FBA included the following: establish a positive working relationship with the student, always use
a calm tone, frequently acknowledge appropriate behavior, and provide a full schedule of meaningful activities to avoid “down
At the end of this meeting, I began to think of the best interventions to begin using for this student. I was ready
to incorporate them.
February 5, 2008
This morning we had a faculty meeting. In the meeting, the assistant principal demonstrated the appropriate way to
conduct a parent conference. I learned to know the parent’s last name to be able to greet him/her properly (some parents
have different last names than their children). I also learned to tell the parent something positive about his or her child
before stating the negative things about the student.
In addition, I learned to be prepared with all the information that I will need to effectively conduct the meeting.
This means that the teacher should have the students’ work samples for his or her parents to review, along with the
students’ test grades. The last thing that I learned was to have the students’ grades already averaged out for
This meeting was very informative-as usual. I am learning so much here!
February 6, 2008
Today I participated in a learning walk along with other teachers and administrators. A learning walk is when small
groups of teachers and administrators go around the school to several classes and observe. Each participant is given a sheet
rating different things. For example, I was given a sheet on classroom management. On this sheet, there were several questions
pertaining to classroom management. As I observed, I looked for the items on my sheet to check off. Everyone in the group
did the same.
At the end of our observations, we left the classroom and discussed what we observed. In one class the teacher had
her class very well managed, but there were some students who were sitting and not participating in the lesson. In another
class the teacher appeared to be teaching only one small group of students, while the others listened.
I learned a great deal from these learning walks. By observing other
teachers, I was better able to see what the students may be doing while the teacher is talking. I was also able to see what
teaching methods were useful, and those that were harmful (such as teaching to only a small group of students).
I really enjoyed the learning walk and hope to do more in the future.
February 11, 2008
I had a student show up for class for the first time this year today. It was extremely hard trying to catch this student
up after being absent for six weeks! I didn’t know where to begin. I could not stop my class from achieving their objectives
for the day for this one student.
I found out what the D in the R.E.A.D. Model is all about today! Although
I have to be a decisive teacher on a daily basis, today, it seemed as though I put it into practice on a much higher level.
Specifically, I had to make decisions on the following: where to begin with this student, how to assess him to know what level
he is on, what kind of assessment to administer to him, what level he was on mentally, how to implement interventions as part
of his functional behavioral assessment (FBA), how to assist him in achieving the goals written in his individualized education
plan (IEP) etc.
I had my work cut out for me. So immediately, I gave him a partner
and explained the lesson to him. I even gave him some background knowledge of the previous lesson, but he did not seem interested
at all. He put his head on the desk and refused to do any work. After school, my supervising teacher explained that when he
finally decides to come to school, he does nothing but puts his head down on the desk. I became very angry. I wouldn’t
see this student for another two days (block schedule), I had plenty of time to come up with a solution to this problem.
February 12, 2008
In our faculty meeting this morning, we discussed a School-Wide Checklist. This checklist included 5 major components.
The first component was pertaining to lesson plans. It stated that lesson plans should be “highly visible” on
teachers’ desks and open to the day’s lesson. That was self explanatory to me because teachers should be following
the lesson plans each day anyway.
The second component was pertaining to objectives. It stated that the objectives should be posted and aligned with
the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) curriculum and written in student-measurable terms. I had no problem doing this
each day-Tougaloo prepared me for aligning objectives with standards. I’m used to it now.
The third component stated that the agenda should be posted so students would know their intended tasks beforehand
and be able to pace themselves. The fourth component stated that teachers should use varying levels of Webb’s Depth
of Knowledge (D.O.K.) to accommodate the needs of every student. The fifth component was pertaining to literacy bold target
February 13, 2008
Last night, I contemplated ways to get this student (who finally decided
to show up for class for the first time) to become interested in school. I made the lessons more interesting and appealing
to teenagers and even allowed the students to make some of the classroom decisions. Still, this student would do nothing but
put his head on the desk. His mother said that it was nothing she could do to make him do his work. I became frustrated. I
really wanted this student to learn. I was so glad he finally decided to come to school, and I was determined to keep him
I began to think of other strategies to get him to complete his work.
I would be ready for the next time this student comes to our class.
February 14, 2008
Today I was given the guidelines to creating a Transition Portfolio. All students whose IEP indicates that they will
exit high school with an option other than a standard diploma or an occupational diploma must have a Transition Portfolio.
The purpose of the Transition Portfolio is to document the preparation of students with disabilities for independent living.
I learned that there were five minimum requirements for the Transition Portfolio. Section One (Personal Information)
includes the student’s personal information, a future planning inventory, and awards and certificates. Section Two (Pre-Employment
Activities) includes a résumé, W-4 form, and a copy of the student’s social security card.
Section Three (Work Experience) includes the student’s job experience, visual documentation, a list of references,
and letters of employers. Section Four (Life Skills) includes self help skills and training received. Section Five (Linkages)
includes the names and phone numbers of contacts for services that the student may need to live independently.
February 15, 2008
Today, the student who recently started back coming to class sat up and began to do his work. I was shocked, and excited.
As is observed him during the class period, I heard him say that the work was too easy for him. I was extremely surprised.
When he was assessed, he performed quite poorly, but he performed decently on his in-class assignments.
So I planned to make his work more challenging. I figured this would
keep him coming to school and on-task in class. I couldn’t wait for the next class period to see how this would turn
February 18, 2008
One boy and one girl, in particular, are extremely hard workers in my classroom. Each day, they come to class, sit
quietly without disturbing others, and complete the objectives for the day. When they need assistance, they politely raise
their hands and ask for assistance. They stay on-task about 98% of the time and complete all of their work each day. They
never complain, never disrupt the class, and never show inappropriate behaviors. In addition, they always do their homework,
unlike many of their peers.
I have learned from my experience with student teaching that each child is extremely different. Some are hard workers
and high achievers, while others don’t care about school and rarely come. Then, other students represent a combination
of the two. They come to school regularly, but sometimes they show disciplinary problems, and other times they complete their
assignments with no problem.
Furthermore, I have learned to never hold grudges with students and to start each day off with a fresh start. It amazed
me the first time I had to discipline a student and the next day this student smiled at me and asked me how my day was going.
I was sure that this student would give me problems the very next day out of anger from the previous day, but this was not
the case. The student took ownership for her inappropriate behavior and corrected it without holding a grudge with me. I was
so shocked, but relieved. I am learning so much. This experience will definitely benefit me in the future!
February 19, 2008
My strategy worked for the student who just returned to school! I am so excited! I seems as though his teacher was
providing work for him that was too easy for him and quite boring. As a result, he wasn’t interested in the lesson and
hardly ever came to school. I am so glad I found a way to deal with this issue!
I used a projector to teach my lesson today. It was fun using the transparencies, and the students thought so too.
In one of my classes prior to student teaching, I learned to always make sure my technology devices are working properly before
class begins and to have an alternate way of teaching the lesson if something goes wrong. I came to school extra early to
do just that. I set up the projector and screen, laid the transparencies that I would be using to teach my lesson on top of
the projector, and turned it on to test it. Everything worked smoothly so I smiled and turned if off. I was ready for the
day to begin!
February 20, 2008
Today was a stressful day. In my first period class, one boy didn’t want to move his seat when I told him to.
I explained to him that testing procedures require students to sit in every other seat. After giving him a warning and telling
him I was going to call his mother, he decided to move.
In my third period class, a boy refused to do his work and a girl started crying because her stomach was hurting. I
gave the boy a verbal warning and had a talk with the girl outside of the classroom. Soon, the boy began to work on his assignment
and the girl stopped crying.
During my planning period, I participated in a learning walk with other teachers and administrators. We got into groups
of five and went around the school to several teachers, rating them in a variety of areas. For example, we would go into a
classroom, observer for about twenty minutes, and rate the teacher and students on a scale, depending on which rating sheet
we had. I had a Classroom Management Rating Sheet. I rated how well the teachers managed their classrooms. I learned a great
deal from this learning walk experience.
February 21, 2008
Today was much less stressful than yesterday. My fifth period class completed their assignments with little difficulties
and was very much interested in the lesson on colleges. During my planning period, I graded papers. My seventh period class
was calmer than yesterday’s class. During eighth period, many of the students were dismissed for a parent versus the
faculty basketball game. I stayed in the classroom and continued to teach those students who did not have a ticket to the
Because the class was so small, the students really began to open up to me. They seemed to feel much more comfortable
talking to me with fewer students in the room. One such student discussed his disability with me. He was diagnosed as having
a specific learning disability. In addition to that, he had been shot when he was younger and was physically impaired as a
result. After our conversation, I knew that the rapport that we already had had been strengthened.
February 22, 2008
The day was going quite well, until lunch time when a boy sexually harassed a girl in the lunch line. As I sat at the
lunch table and ate my lunch, I noticed a male student inappropriately placing his hands on a female student. I was astonished.
I got up and approached the boy and the girl and took them to the side to talk with them.It appeared that the girl had been attempting to make the boy stop touching her, but he refused. So I explained to
the boy that what he was doing was inappropriate and considered to be sexual harassment and to never do it again. I also explained
to the girl to never let anyone put their hands on her in such a way ever again.
Then I told my supervising teacher what had occurred and she explained to me that he had performed a similar act before
and was given a warning. Now, his parent was to be contacted. We called his parent and he came up to the school. After we
explained to him what had occurred, he was devastated.He told us that he would
definitely take care of the situation.
February 25, 2008
In our profession development meeting today, we discussed the exceptional education audit that would soon be occurring.
We were told to place the number of students enrolled, present, and absent on the board for each class period, in preparation
for the audit.
We also discussed several faculty reminders including learning expectations, the data inquiry process, daily professional
responsibilities, and attendance. Under learning experiences, we were reinforced to always monitor student progress, list
homework on the board, and make sure our objective is taken from the pacing guide. Under data inquiry, we were told to assess
students every two weeks, and post grades on the on-line grading system.
Under professional responsibilities, we were reinforced to always dress professionally,
to arrive to work at , and to keep the noise level at a minimum in the lunch room. Under attendance, we were told to call roll each
day and to always report students who are skipping class to the attendance officer.
I think it is imperative for the principal to make these meetings mandatory. Teachers should conduct themselves
in a professional manner, dress professionally, and be punctual at all times. These meetings serve as simple reminders for
some teachers; however, others need to be continually told how to conduct themselves.
February 26, 2008
Today we discussed different types of postsecondary education. Many of my students were very interested in the lesson
because it was something they could really relate to. Although my students consist of a combination of ninth, tenth, eleventh,
and twelfth graders, each student was equally interested in the lesson. The ninth graders were already beginning to plan for
We also discussed the different types of financial aid to help pay for college. Most of the students had no idea that
a person can receive a grant or a scholarship to pay for their college tuition. I was so excited that everyone seemed so interested
in the lesson. “If only every day could go this smoothly,” I thought as I listened to my students give a response
for an oral quiz grade.
February 27, 2008
Today the auditors came. They observed each of the exceptional education classrooms. In addition, they analyzed and
evaluated IEPs, and even interviewed several teachers. Their objective was to make sure the students’ IEPs were complete
To my surprise, the students were not distracted by the auditors at all. When they entered the classroom, the students
continued to take their test and remained on-task- that is, until the tornado drill.
After school, I attended a meeting for a student who was failing her general English course. The student is a very
hard worker and tries her very best at every assignment. She even stays after school for tutorial assistance. The conclusion
of the meeting was that she needed to be place in an exceptional education English class in order to truly be successful.Her parents agreed so the decision was made.
February 28, 2008
I read an article pertaining to students with disabilities today during my planning period. The article was very informative
and highlighted three major areas. The first major area consisted of information included under the No Child Left behind Act
of 2001 (NCLB). Based on NCLB, students would be required to participate in high-quality, yearly academic assessments. Also,
reasonable adaptations and accommodations would be provided for students with disabilities.
The second major area consisted of information included under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement
Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04). Based on IDEA, services would be provided to students with disabilities. Also, students with
disabilities would be required to participate in state and district-wide assessments with appropriate accommodations.
The third major area consisted of information pertaining to equal access to grade-level content. This means that teachers
should be using a range of instructional strategies based on the specific strengths and needs of the students. Also, they
should be providing accommodations during instruction and assessments to promote equal access to grade-level content.
February 29, 2008
Several of my students participated in the Decorations Committee for our Black History program. They completed their
assignments and rushed to the auditorium to begin decorating. When they finished, the decorations were beautiful.
Many of them also participated in the program. A small group of our
girls praise danced and did an outstanding performance. They performed each step with perfection. The choir sang beautifully.
Their voices were truly amazing. Other students did poetry and performed a dance routine. To me, the most unforgettable moment
was when a male student quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s“I Have
a Dream” speech. It was remarkable! If my eyes would have been closed, I would have been confident that I was listening
to Dr. King himself!
After the program, the students were allowed to write about what they
learned from the program.