Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ed.D, PhD, maybe...

Thinking about continuing the current studying trend for another few years...but it's still up in the air until I can find something that will fit the bill or something that I would either be REALLY excited about or paid REALLY well for...we'll see.


This has called my name a few times...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A New (and refreshing) Start

For the 2009/2010 school year I accepted a new position as the teacher for the Live Oak Middle School E.D. teacher for Sutter County. This has been a highly rewarding and refreshing experience to work with so many individuals that are highly knowledgeable about students in special education. My first two years working with this population offered me great opportunities for growth and learning which I have been so happy to be able to put into effect in this position.

All of our students are able to define what it means to be academically engaged and are maintaining a B+ in behavior on average- fantastic growth. We have worked hard to help this group recognize their potential and empower them with an internal locus of control through mastery of simple things like multiplication, juggling, and push-ups. We are looking forward this last half of the year towards drastically improving our team cooperation and communication skills. We have developed a project to benefit Haiti (and subsequently strengthen our communication skills) which we are all greatly excited about.

I am highly interested in finding other E.D. programs that are showing such great progress and learning about interventions and tools that they use to find success. It is a desire of mine to compose a simple and straight forward book on how to best serve this population. This likely long term project is clearly a work in progress.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reading and RICA

So I would'nt necessarily say I was the most studious student growing up. Funny how it can take going through college to actually learn how to study and learn effectively. Speaking of effective...I am retaking the RICA, which is California's assessment of ones ability to effectively teach English and reading. I am actually glad that I have to retake it as I am learning phenomenal and copious amounts of information that I would not have otherwise. I remember teaching English on a weekly basis in Guatemala and how I never realized how difficult of a language it was until then. A great link for learning how to teach reading is:


As this is likely my weakest subject in regards to content knowledge and ability to teach I am truly excited to put this material to work.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Fear and anxiety have regularly stood as a deterrent for me while contemplating my pursuits. There are things I feel that I have missed out on in life and areas where I would have had great success had I gotten in at the right time. 6' 5" and little to no experience with organized athletics has left me with a regular and consistent taste for playing sports. In thinking about coaching, I feel there is an open window there but feel somewhat inadequate due to little experience. We'll put some more thought into this potentially whole hearted pursuit. I think I will follow along with this blog as I ponder it all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Job Hunting and TED

The past month has been spent completing the course work for the finalization of the intern program...lots of work. The customary 'portfolio' is due soon, something that I am truly looking forward to. I have for some time considered myself a deep thinker of sorts and certainly one to reflect. I enjoy the concentrated depth of what comes from a project like this. We are still looking for a good match for the upcoming years as we look at moving to the Phoenix area.

A few years ago I came across a program on The Sundance Channel, I believe. It was called TED. If you have never had the chance to familiarize yourself with it, take some time and do so. TED is a meeting of the minds of the current developers, motivators, and drivers from major industries and think-tanks of our society. TED'sters get together and individually present 3 challenges in our society that need attention then work in teams to see how to meet those needs in detailed and sequential ways. One major component of TED is that most of the individuals who attend have 'resources' to make a lot of those things happen. This fascinates and excites me. I always feel like I am at the tip of the iceburg as I start watching some of the more influential presentations and discourses. A great way to elevate your thinking! Take a look at it.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I decided to start a forum for my own personal reflection in the future in regards to teaching ED in Northern California. It seemed more appropriate to post thoughts in a different place other than the blog I am currently creating for Chico State.

While attending a meeting on PRO-ACT today (which turned into an ED staff mtg, which was great) I came to a realization. I have been somewhat miffed at why there is not any consistency or some specific program in place to handle behavioral emergencies. A handful of AI's and teachers pelted our program director with scenarios and challenges which we face as teachers.

As such perplexities were discussed with the staff on hand, I wondered to myself why there was not anything handed down on how to deal with such difficult classroom situations. How could it be that the ED program has been on our campus for over a decade and I feel like I am reinventing the wheel? It came to me that the long time teacher of that class was very knowledgeable and unique in his approach towards such a challenging population. Having a behavioral modification system in any classroom as well as a token economy system is a must- and only falls second to the need of an interactive and direct instruction academic component. After hearing the same answers from school psych's and program directors, I realized that we are, despite our ignorance at times, truly behavior specialists and the experts in our fields. The tools we have at hand are only those which we can acquire through education, research and peer relationships. That knowledge carries a two fold conclusion. First, we must look for more research based answers to implement into our tool belts as educators. Second, there is simply a duty to confidently and constantly shoulder the challenges which we face in our positions as educators.

It would be a fantastic position to be able to train teachers for ED positions. At this point I can hardly claim any full knowledge of how to redirect, elevate, uplift, and pull very troubled students out of their personal quagmires to find harmony in the classroom. There are many models which can be viewed in video formats that teach proper and successful techniques but there should be one or two very clear formats being much more readily available, simple and thorough.

As a take away from our meeting today, I decided that staff in our classroom would discuss at the close of each day, a new modification to possibly implement when we are dealing with students in crisis or those with unmanageable behaviors.