Lori Goodson, Editor
Mary Hammel, Technical Editor
Category: February 2018
We decided to go down memory lane with some of your COE professors and ask them what “technology” they had in their classroom for their first year.
Mrs. Kaylee Myers (Elementary Education)—“An overhead and a cassette/taperecorder!”
Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“I had an overhead projector and created transparencies on clear acetate to show on the screen. We had a ditto machine in the workroom that had a drum containing some sort of fluid. I created ditto masters that would be clamped onto the drum which spun around and around, copying the text in purple onto the pages. There was a Xerox machine at the school board office, but we weren’t allowed to use it.”
Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies)—“A lovely green screen Apple IIe.”
Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“The school invested in a photocopy machine so teachers didn’t have to type everything they wanted to reproduce on purple stencils. If you’re curious, find the oldest teacher in your building and ask that person what a purple stencil was.”
Dr. Sally Yahnke (Family and Consumer Sciences)—“Mimeograph machine, overhead projector, opaque projector, movie projector, filmstrip projector.”
Mrs. Cyndi Kuhn (Technology)—“I had absolutely nothing my first year, way back in 1975 when I began teaching, we had typewriters and mimeograph machines. It was paper, paper paper, and you really had to plan ahead.”
Name: Robyn Hubener
School district: Cheney USD 268
City/State: Cheney, KS
Class/content area taught: 5th Grade – Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Reading
What are you most excited about with your new career? I am most excited about being able to learn new things and impact the lives of my students. With teaching you’re constantly learning and working to better yourself for your students. I enjoy being able to do that on a daily basis.
What you enjoy most about teaching:I enjoy the relationships that I get to build with my students! Relationships are a play a large role in what we do.
In what ways has your school/district supported you? I have a mentor in my team that I collaborate with daily. We also have a curriculum director that I meet with twice a month to help better my content knowledge. Overall I have a tremendous amount of support from the school and the district.
What are some specific things you believe KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career? KSU helped me align the Kansas standards with the content that I am teaching. We do not have curriculum at our school, so being able to creatively engage students while teaching to the standards is key. I use my knowledge from KSU to help me create my lessons.
Are there specifics about your background that make teaching the perfect fit for you? Both of my parents are teachers, so it runs in the blood!
Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: Reflect! When something does go as planned, write down what you didn’t like about it at the end of the day. Keep running documents of what you do so that you remember for years to come. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It’s a crazy ride and they are all trying to help you do the best that you possibly can. Sometimes they’ll have ideas that you never even thought of!
School district: Clearwater USD 264
City/State: Clearwater, KS
Class/content area taught: Sophomore World History
What are you most excited about with your new career? I’m most excited to just get to continue growing as an educator. I’m getting to actually put the knowledge gained at KSU into practice, but at the same time there is still so much to learn especially in the Social Studies field.
What you enjoy most about teaching: Getting to be creative. I enjoy trying to come up with fun unique ways to engage students.
In what ways has your school/district supported you? Right now I’m going through the Kansas Mentorship program. I have my mentor as well as several other teachers and administrators who have been very supportive in offering any help or advice if I need it.
What are some specific things you believe KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career? One of the biggest things KSU helped prepare me for was alignment with Kansas standards. That is an area where my school district is really trying to push and encourage teachers to ensure that their lessons are always tied to a standard and have a purposeful objective. This is something that was pushed hard at K-State, so I am already used to utilizing the standards and creating objectives.
Are there specifics about your background that make teaching the perfect fit for you? I don’t know that there is anything from my background that makes teaching a perfect fit, but I would consider myself a fairly creative, hard working person and I feel that teaching fits well with that. I am able to use my creativity in creating lesson plans. I’m always trying to improve myself and there is always opportunity to grow as an educator.
Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: The only encouragement I have for new teachers is don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new. If there’s something you want to try to incorporate in your classroom, give it a try. Reflect on it afterward and if it didn’t work as well as you’d liked, you can always adjust it or get rid of it going forward.
Cyndi Kuhn (Technology) – “Art and music.”
Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies) – “Language arts/social studies is a natural fit!”
Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“Any content can collaborate with any other content, and any grade level can collaborate with any other grade level. The most important thing in a successful collaboration is the quality and the nature of the professional relationship of the teachers leading the project. Bright, enthusiastic teachers who reinforce each other’s creativity can help their students see powerful connections across contents and ways of thinking. On the other hand, forced collaboration between teachers who have no desire to work together usually doesn’t end well for anyone. Our best colleagues are those who make us better, as teachers and as people. When you encounter those individuals, look for ways to collaborate so your students can see how we make connections across all disciplines.”
Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math) – “Science.”
Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism) – “English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, and Journalism present wonderful opportunities to collaborate in all content areas. Often there are topics covered in Social Studies classes to which literary works can be paired so that students are immersed in stories that bring historical events to life. There are also more and more non-fiction texts that can be read in the ELA classroom that support science topics and inquiry processes.”
Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) – “ All the subjects… specifically – Visual Art, History, Language Arts, Math. These all allow for great integration projects within courses.”
Dr. Tonnie Martinez (Secondary Language Arts) – “American Literature and American History; World History and World Literature.”
Dr. Sally Yahnke (Family and Consumer Sciences) – “I would encourage my students to collaborate with as many content areas as possible. I think supporting the content areas through family and consumer sciences is important for students to realize the relevance of the core classes in everyday life. Math just doesn’t happen in the math room or science in the science lab, but it is incorporated into what we do on a day-to-day basis. I think by working together, we can all help students succeed.”
- Let your students’ parents know about the approaching assessments.
- Give students and parents an idea of what the assessments will cover.
- Remind your students that they’re prepared for the assessments.
- Encourage students to eat well – especially breakfast – before a testing day.
- Have students drinking adequate amounts of water.
- Encourage them to do their best – and be proud of them when they do.
- Know that some students are taking tests in more than one content area, so understand if they’re especially stressed.
- If your students are preparing for tests, try to balance that with enjoyable student-focused activities.
- Try not to stress over these assessments; you’ve been preparing your students throughout the year with all your engaging activities and assignments.
- Smile. Your calmness and confidence will carry over to your students.
- And, just to balance things a bit, check out this article on creative teaching activities that DON’T involve filling in bubble answer sheets: Bubble Test Rebellion.
Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“The office called for me to go to gym for a head lice check. I forgot to take my students with me.”
Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math) – “I hardly ever sat down. I stayed busy the whole day and even often ate lunch on the go. One day I was opening a pull-top can of tuna walking down the hallway and sliced my thumb. I had to leave school and have someone take me to get stiches! Lots of people teased me about it. I learned that I needed to stop, sit down, relax and enjoy a 20-minute lunch! My well being depended on it!”
Dr. Sally Yahnke (Family and Consumer Sciences) – “I’m not sure if it was silly or funny, but I was embarrassed and uncomfortable. I had a class of 18-year-old boys, and I taught them human sexuality. I was 22! At one point in the conversation we were talking about male anatomy, and I finally said, “I’m guessing you know more about this than I do!”
Dr. Tom Vontz (Elementary Social Studies) – “I left my barn door open after lunch.”
Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) – “Most of these are really inside jokes among our staff! We still have a great time with them… while this is not silly, the moral of the story is enjoy every moment and don’t take yourself too seriously.”
We want to help beginning and early career teachers like you thrive in your career! Check out #WeAreEdCats for teaching tips and to stay in touch with the COE! Check out the website at coe.k-state.edu/edcats.
Why don’t you send us a photo of you at work in your classroom! Or, do you have a question about classroom procedures? A suggestion for a topic we should address in Before the Bell? Want to add your name to our mailing list? Or provide a different email for our list?
Early-career teachers, feel free to jump in and offer suggestions to those who are following your career choice!
We’d love to hear from you, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go, COE Cats!
And you are SO close to finishing your first (or beyond!) year as a classroom teacher! With that in mind, we’re going to provide some information that should help you have an amazing finish to your hear. We’re going to focus on the following in our March issue:
- Assessments – The Sequel
- Spring Break Recharging
- Purple Possibilities