Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Awesome Teacher = No Assignment too Big

When you have an awesome teacher, you pretty much have no problem doing any assignment they ask.

Case in Point:

I was kinda dreading one of my new classes: Research Design & Analysis of Educational Data.

But then, I went to class tonight and this happened:

First thing, Dr. Cortez says, "Okay well, I care about my students and it's 7:05 already so I want to help you reduce your stress. You've had a long day, and we still have over two hours of work to do. So, we are going to do some deep breathing and stretching. If you don't want to participate, that's okay, but if you do, please stand up."

He then led us through about 5 minutes of this, which was awesome.

Then, we watched this youtube clip:

That brought us to the fact that all you have to do is some research, so pick something you love and then it won't be so bad.

Is it nerdy that I'm (a little) excited to do my very own research study? So far I'm thinking about possible topics: Close Reading, something related to blogging and teaching and learning or - I actually like this stress management idea with teachers...and maybe kids, too! More to come on that later though.

This teacher continued the class in a laid back, yet strict way. Laid back...said things like, "I don't want people talking out of their butt," and "Can you believe some people do research studies like...'Do students like to come to school earlier or later?' Umm...what do you think?" Then, "Please don't do s*** research." 

But he was strict, too: "I'm going to need you to close your computers when we have discussions. We're a classroom community and I love when we're really getting down exchanging ideas," and "You're going to need to make sure you follow the outline for your paper. It helps me grade it when it's formatted just. like. this.

Side note: I felt rather creepy writing down what he was saying. I knew I wanted to write this blog when I came home, and wanted to remember...but, nevertheless, creepy!

Dr. Cortez let us introduce ourselves first and didn't spend a whole hour on himself. He's going to give us feedback on our one assignment (the research paper) as we go, so by the end, there will be no surprises. The guy has a PhD, along with his Master's and Bachelor's all from University of Illinois. He is from Chicago and knows all kinds of history of our great city...he's smart. I admire smart people!

So all of this got me thinking: If you are a good teacher...rather, if you care about your students, and you do things (i.e.: are funny, do deep breathing and stretching, use different media to give your lecture...etc) to make your students like you - you can pretty much get them to do any kind of assignment you want, and it's no big deal.

Write a 15 page paper?

With a title page, abstract, table of contents, introduction, and review of literature?
Add in the methodology?

Don't forget your findings.

The same is true for us as teachers and our students: Show them you care about them, make it a point to learn their names ASAP, and let them have a piece of the lesson - kids will do anything.

Me: Which letter is the vowel?
Kids: <sing-songy> The A!
Me: How does it sound?
Kids: /aaaaa/ !!
Me: For homework, sort and say the words again and read the Thunderstorm book.
Kids: YES!!!

Love being a teacher. Love being a student.

That's my slice of life for today. Link up every Tuesday with the Two Writing Teachers.

That's all for now. It's 10:13 and I'm cashed.



  1. Oh So Loved this post. yes, Yes, and More Yes! My students will walk ten miles with a bag of rocks if I ask them to...all because I have let them help decide, made a rocking cute PPT, did some kind of dance, and let them pick their partner- this time! So glad you are having the opportunity to enjoy getting back what you give!

  2. Michelle,

    Isn't this post the truth!? Respecting students, giving them choice, and developing that relationship will do wonders in what they are willing to do in your classroom day in and day out. I just love how you write your blog posts and then graphics you put in. I always find myself smiling and laughing when I read them. Have fun in your new class! It's always a great perspective to be on the student side of things and remember how we feel as we go back into our classroom.

  3. Most super big TRUTH ever :-) LOVE it!!!

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