In preparation for EDU 639 I had to create the above “Coat of Arms” Each section had a specific item that needed to occupy the space. I also had to explain my choices, which follows:
Section 1: Mythical Beast-Egyptian Sphinx (Greek Sphinx would eat those who gave wrong answers!)
The Sphinx asks difficult questions that make the person being asked to think carefully and often differently. I urge students to think by asking them questions. I urge them to think by developing their own questions and questioning skills.
Section 2: Symbol – Ying-Yang = Balance
Walking the line between covering the required content and teaching skills students need to be, not only good students, but good people is a challenge. Making the delivery engaging but keeping the focus on the content, not the technology is a challenge. Not spending all my time working and having a life outside the classroom can be challenging. That is why working to strike and/or maintain balance is so important in every aspect of my professional and personal life.
Section 3: Color(s)
Green=Growth In the Language Arts classroom a definitive endpoint in learning is hard to find. Much of what is done is skill based and therefore practice and honing and deepening the skills is what we work on. In 8th grade, 99% of the students will not master the skills they’re learning/practicing. That is why growth is important, I want to see a progression and improvement in students.
Blue=Calm, Peace, Technology The first two words associated with this color, calm and peace, speak to my demeanor and the culture and environment I foster in the class. Technology also speaks to the environment. I am a technophile. I am on the tech leadership team. I am the go-to guy on my team and floor when it comes to technology. I view technology as a powerful educational tool for learning and engagement.
Yellow=Joy, Cheerfulness, Energy These three words describe my feeling about what I do for a living and my attitude towards the content I teach.
Section 4: Character (real or fictional) – Harold (and his purple crayon).
His creativity came out in very simple actions, “I need a moon so I’ll draw one”. Sometimes we try to do things the hard way. As a teacher I feel that simplicity is often the best, but not always the first thing you think of doing. Harold does not have that problem. To emphasize the idea of simplicity Harold appears in this section alone.
Section 5: Word – “Community”
Collaboration was one of the other words I initially thought for this section. I chose community because it encapsulates collaboration but so much more too. Community implies a common bond between it’s members that goes beyond the common goal behind collaboration. It is a safe place where people can be who they are, have their strengths celebrated and challenges supported; this is what I strive for in my class. It is rainbow-colored to celebrate diversity.