Are You Cut Out To Be An Online Teacher?

One would think that becoming an online teacher must be much easier than managing a traditional classroom right?  You may be surprised!  After completing EDUC 300 I can see how many new online instructors are unprepared for the amount of work involved in becoming an online teacher.  Online faculty must be ready to face many issues and all manner of student complaints.  Knowing how to handle all these issues, and many more, is critical to learning how to effectively manage an online classroom while staying sane!

As an online teacher I think it is important to set and maintain boundaries.  Setting boundaries is critical when managing students in the online classroom, as well as controlling your own home,and work environment.  Being gentile but firm with students will help a student succeed.  At home the online teacher must remember that it’s ultimately your job to protect your time when teaching online.  Just because you could possible work in your PJ’s doesn’t mean you can skimp on professionalism.  After doing a lot of research on the subject of online teaching I found that there are a whole host of local, state, and federal regulations that have been put in place to help ensure quality standards are self-guarded in the online learning classroom; you have to love details and juggling a billion things at once and you will be a successful online instructor.  Becoming an  online teacher requires a high degree of motivation and self-direction.  Being an online teacher is similar to being an online student, if you’re someone who can’t resist “taking a break” every 10 minutes to see what’s new in the fridge or who’s “liking” your posts on Facebook, then online teaching may not be the right job for you.  As an instructor you must sit and focus on certain tasks for sizable stretches of time-whether it be managing the classroom, conducting administrative tasks, or grading assignments then becoming an online teacher could be very rewarding.  I talked with several professors at my local college and they all stated that at many schools once you have completed the online instructor training process, you are on your own.  You are responsible for guiding students through their work , dealing with their personal issues as they impact the learning environment, ensuring compliance with university policies, grading papers, and more.  The good news is that online teachers can work whenever and wherever they want-even if it’s in the middle of the night or from an automobile, plane, or train.

If freedom to self manage your time and work is a high priority then you will love online teaching.  That being said with great power comes great responsibility.  While there is much freedom and flexibility to work whenever and wherever you want, you also need to remember that your students need you.  The online classroom is open 24/47/365 and nothing turns a student off more than an unresponsive professor.  In our discussion forum for our final module we where asked if we agreed that “technology is not pedagogy” and it always amazes me the different views my classmates take on this subject.  I believe that technology should be integrated into the teaching and learning process.  If a teacher wants to be successful at integrating technology into their methods and practice of teaching they have to be willing to explore the relationship between pedagogy and technology.  Technology used with teaching and learning should be considered an integrate part of instruction and not as an object exclusive to itself.  If a teacher reviews technology integration from a wide perspective it will provide them with the necessary foundation to implement technology into the classroom more successfully.  Mary E. agrees technology is not pedagogy ,instead that technology is an application or toll that is meant to support and enhance instruction. Michele also agrees that technology is not pedagogy.  Pedagogy does not consist of delivering a long speech to the classroom, it’s interactive and stimulating.  Michele also agrees that technology is not pedagogy.  She states that pedagogy does not consist of delivering a long speech to the classroom, it’s interactive and stimulating.  Technology on the other hand facilitates our ability to effectively deliver pedagogy in a fun and interactive way.  Susan S. states that she things technology is pedagogy.  Technology helps facilitate pedagogy in many different aspects.  Susan feels that technology is not her thing and struggles with it so she feels that in order to succeed as an online instructor she will need to stay ahead of social media outlets in the class.  So you see everyone has a different view of technology and the use of it in education.  However in order for a teacher to have a “presence” in an online classroom technology is a must!  I hope someday I will have the privilege of teaching an online course.  I found a video on YouTube on online teaching tips by Dr. Minnis that I found interesting.


Discussion Forums:  using information from Mary E. Michele and Susan S.’s discussion forum.


Self Assessment:  A as I have fulfilled all requirements from blog rubric!  Thank you Dr. Gusa!!!!

Education with a Human Touch

A module closer to finishing this course, Pedagogy & Tech Online Learning, and I am sad because there seems to be so much more to learn in becoming a teacher either face-to-face or online teaching.  One of the questions posed to us in module #3 was do we believe that learning relies on interaction with others.  In our discussion forum several of my classmates agreed with this statement as did I.  However classmates like Kassidi found through Jacob Bainett’s video that some of the greatest minds had few friends and limited interaction.  This still proves to me that some interaction is still necessary for learning.  Susan’s post stated that she disagreed somewhat with the statement only because she believes that online students do a lot of learning on their own.  I found that even when a person sits and reads a book alone they interact with the author, the social and cultural context of the book, and even sometimes other people who have read the same book.  So you see, even if you think you are not interacting while learning you really always are.


As a teacher  and/or online instructor it is every important for your students that you establish a presence both personal and social in order to have a successful class.  Misty, in her discussion post used Knowles 5 adult learning theories to help instructors build a successful online learning environment.  I am the type of adult learner that needs to read the material, see and work through some examples, and have the ability to interact with other students to see their points of view on the subject matter.  I want to be the type of instructor who has a strong presence when it comes to teaching an online course.  Building a community with tools such as discussion forums, several responses, and message boards to encourage interaction among the students.  I love the idea of wikis to show my personality while explaining the material of the course.  I will occasionally post videos of me explaining a difficult are of instruction.  But most of all I will want to be the type of teacher who provides the information meant to be taught and encourage my students, using critical thinking, to take the material and “run” with it!  A great link to help with online teaching is Educase.  Educase Library has and endless supply of books, articles and videos  to help with establishing online teaching strategies:


Kassidi(DF module #3)

Misty(DF module #3)

Susan(DF module #30



Self Assessment:  A as I have fulfilled all of the requirements of the blog rubric


Emerging Technology vs Online Learning




For the last two weeks I have been learning about the tools, challenges and obstacles that I will be facing as a future online instructor.  Having been an online student for the past two years I am finally realizing the work that goes on behind the scenes.  It is not simply providing students with all the information needed to pass a course, it is important to let the students, using emerging technology, expand their knowledge.  The initial posts in our discussion forum this week pointed out some very good points of views of having technology in the classrooms.  Mary, a classmate of mine, stated in her initial post this week that she believed that  a student’s learning outcome could be equivalent to face-2-face courses.  I agree with her because I believe students are more apt to express themselves more openly in an online format rather than in a classroom.  A drawback to technology in the classroom was stated in Katherine’s post  that technology can be disruptive on one side and it also could provide opportunities on the other.  An opportunity could be the use of backchannel communication.  “Backchannel communication is a secondary electronic conversation that takes place at the same time as a conference session, lecture, or instructor-led learning activity”.(Educause2010 pg 1)  I was at a conference last year were a guess speaker used backchannel communication to engage audience participation.  She would ask a question and instead of waiting for a response she has the audience text their answers in.  She stated that everyone in the room had their cell phones on them and she used the opportunity to increase the rate of participation.  Not everyone is comfortable to speak out in public and when she would bring the results up on the screen almost everyone responded to her questions.

Online learning and teaching is a combination of both Andragogy and Heutagogy.  Ashley stated in her initial post that she believes that if you give the students the tools to dive into a subject they will learn more which then courage s critical thinking just not learning.  Heutoagogy, the teacher provides some of the resources but then it is up to the student to take that information and further their own learning.(User Generated Education 2013).  Bill Pelz explains in simple terms the definition of Pedogogy, Andragogy, and Heutagogy in this short video.



Educause:  Learning Initiative.  February 2010.  7 Things You Should Know About…Backchannel Communication

User Generated Education. 2013.  Education 3.0 and the Pedagogy(Andragogy, Heutagogy) of Mobile Learning.  Retrieved from: pedagogoy-andragogy…


Self Assessment:  A as I have fulfilled all the requirements of the blog rubric.

My Farewell Blog

This being my final blog for my Principles of Education coarse I find myself reflecting on the kind of teacher I want to become.  Parents send their children to school expecting there to be  qualified teacher in the classroom.  There are many qualified teachers but what makes a good teacher?  I believe a good teacher has a love of their subject and has excellent subject knowledge.  Good subject knowledge matters not only because being at the top of the ability range you need to be able to stretch students but also because teachers with good subject knowledge to make lessons more interesting.  I will be starting as a clinical instructor at our local community college in the hygiene department this fall.  I am interning at the present time and loving every minute of it.  I have been in the dental field for almost forty years.  I love the dental hygiene profession  and have supported our association both locally and on the state level her in New York State.  This past month I have been working with the senior students on their clinical skills.  I can not express the joy and passion I have while sharing my experience and knowledge with them.


I have learn that teaching requires the right kind of personality.  Being flexible but not a pushover.  A teacher needs to be able to control a class because without it nothing worthwhile can be achieved.  I want my students to know that I can be warm generous and caring.  But I also want them to know that I am not to be messed with.  Recently at the college my mentor had me sit in with her and a student who had been caught cheating.  After a much heated confrontation the student was given a written assignment about what she had done and how it could affect her future a s a dental hygienist.  The student approached me in clinic later that afternoon trying to explain the circumstances of her cheating, and because I was new, tried to get me to talk to her professor  about letting the assignment go.  Clearly being the new instructor she tried appealing to my soft side, however to her surprise I not only told her that I would not do what she requested but I was adding another essay on professionalism on top of her first assignment.


The course material have also taught me that good teachers are very hard working, putting a huge effort into preparing lessons, grading papers and giving extra time to students who need it.  The hardest part of this course was the amount of work it required.  Initial posts, responding to those posts, responding and evaluating classmates posts, PowerPoint presentations, readings an research.  But it also helped me to be able to manage stress.  Teachers must be highly organized, because some are switching from one class to the next in a matter of minutes, keeping track of students, remembering which extra duties they signed up for-all of this requires good organizational skills.  Teachers need to be able to deliver lessons with a pace and interest, how to use digital resources, how best to teach tricky concepts and how to ask questions of the students in the most effective way.


Finally I have learn that teachers need to have high expectations of their students.  To me this is a characteristic I have found in  all of my favorite teachers over the years, including this one.  I want every dental hygiene student of mine to master instrumentation, patient education, and all that goes with the profession of being a preventative healthcare provider. I believe that in order to be an excellent teacher you have to believe that it is a student’s effort and the teachers teaching quality that determines how well a student does, not the ability of the student.  The less able student will get there in the end.  I walk away from this course with a new found respect for everything that goes into educating our children.  From where we started to were we are now.  I was not sure were my bachelors in dental hygiene would take me until I completed this course.  I have found a new passion in teaching and I am extremely fortunate that it is in a field I regard with an equal passion.  Thank you Professor Gusa for an enlightening semester!  This one is for you…

Teaching-Making a Difference

As we approach the end of the semester and the end of the course, Principles of Education, I find myself reflecting on what I have learned so far about the educational system and becoming a teacher.  I never thought of myself as a teacher or having a teaching career someday.  I have a strong passion for my profession, dental hygiene, and as I start my internship as a clinical instructor I have found that I have a second passion and that is teaching.  I love being able to share my knowledge and experiences with the dental hygiene students.  Not only am I teaching them, but I have also learned a lot about myself and the type of teacher I hope to become.  One of our assignments this week was to prepare a paper on your “Dream School”.  There were no restrictions, no rules, and no limitations as far as cost.  I learned that building a school is not that easy when you have to take into consideration not only the students, teachers and administrators, but also the community in the school district. Everyone has to come together in order for the system to work and to provide the children with the best education possible.  Being able to create such a school has prepared me for my future teaching responsibilities to the students and the community.  We also had to prepare an advertisement for a teacher and this is were I struggled a bit.  Before I could write the ad I had to think of the personal qualities I wanted from a teacher.  I had to think beyond the credentials a teacher must poses and dig deep in my memory of the qualities my favorite teachers had when I was in school.


I keep going back to a handout from this week’s module by J. Koch were he talks about creating a culture of care and how one size does not fit all.(Koch 2009)  As a teacher I want to create a caring environment most of all.  Letting the students know that I am there no to only to teach them the skills of instrumentation but also with life in general.  I want to be the type of teacher who realizes the importance that no two students learn the same way or that their outside lives are not the same.  Herbert Kohl states,”Pick and choose, restructure and retool the best of what you can find, make it your own, and most of all watch your students and see what works best.”(Oakes 2013).  By far the best advise to a new teacher and words I hope to live by someday.  Karen, a classmate of mine, is also a clinical instructor at SUNY Orange and feels the most important qualities of any teacher is to energize the students and to motivate them.  Rachel feels that helping students learn to write well and think critically is important.  Hennessy states she will be a good teacher because she is a great listener.  All of these qualifications we expressed as a combination of qualities will make a great teacher.  As the young girl, Malala said to the U.N. “One Child, One Teacher.”(video:  Malala).  That is all it takes to make a difference in a child’s life.


Here is a great video to all teachers out there on their first day of teaching.


Work Cited:

Koch, J.(2009).  Chapter 10:  Making the Decision to Become a Teacher.  In So you want to be a Teacher?  Teaching and Learning in the 21st century.  (pp181-194).  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company.

Oakes, Lipton, Anderson, Stillman(2013).  Teaching to Change the World.  Boulder Paradigm.

Video:  Malala to the U.N.:  “One Child, One Teacher”.

Website:  youtube:


Self Assessment:  A  as I have met all the blog requirements.

Teaching Mind, Body, and Soul

This week’s module concentrated not on teaching basic skills of education but rather the inner soul of education.  Our teacher, Professor Gusa, introduced an author, Rachel Kessler, who wrote a book about social and emotional learning and addressing the “soul” of a student.  Author Rachel Kessler talks about the seven gateways which supports a student, socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually and artistically.(Gusa).  Nurturing a student’s spirit or soul is not necessarily connected to a religious view.


Holistic education movements offer alternative typed of environments where the soul and spirit are recognized as an important part of learning.  Some educational examples of this way of thinking are Montessori schools, Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf schools, and the Albany NY Free School( Martin 2000).  These schools are private schools where they have not been subjected to strict accountability processes and the standards that are expected in the public school settings.  The public schools have been too wrapped up with their primary concern being the economic effects of schooling instead of education the whole student.  The Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten is a preschool held entirely outdoors for children 2-6 years old.  This program is an ideal situation that fits perfectly into some of Kessler’s seven gateways.  It is an unstructured all natural classroom were the only lesson plans are the great outdoors and children’s imaginations.(Forest Kindergarten handout).


Part of our assignment for this module was to build the kind of school YOU would have flourished in.  My classmates, Renee Connors, Misty Garrett, and Karen DeGroat, all seemed to have the basic idea of having smaller classroom sizes, loosing the idea of any type of standardized testing and getting back to basics when it came to teaching.  I agree to a certain point, however this still does not address the soul of education.  Students today are so busy with school, work, extracurricular activities they never stop and take a moment or two to reflect on who they are and were they are going.  My idea for high school students is a half day working in an internship with a career or a trade of their choice.  This exercise will get their creative juices flowing as well as perhaps working with their hands as well.  I have provided a link to a video call “Gateways to Environment Education” which will give you a better understanding of learning outside of the classroom.

Work cited:

Gusa-Module #7 introduction

Forest Kindergarten-Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten.  Module #7 handout

Martin, R.  Paths of Learning:  An Introduction of Educational Alternatives.  Retrieved from:


Self Assessment:  A+++-I finally figured it out!! I posted a video onto my Blog!  Oh yes and I also fulfilled all the other requirements.

Teach to the Little Humans, Not the Tests

    Module #6 is about measuring what matters. We are talking about standardized testing as a way of assessing students’s knowledge and making the teachers accountable for their lessons. There are several ways to assess students such as formative assessment and summative assessment to name a few. Summative assessment is usualluy at the end of a articular program and it porvides accountability of a teacher or professor. Examples of summative assessment are things like exams, papers, journals, and lab write-ups.(TCW 2013). Summative assessment was used as part of m final exam to obtain my licensure for dental hygiene. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. The exam was held downtown in Buffalo, New York at the convention center. Half the room was dental students taking their boards and the other half was dental hygienists taking their boards. As you entered the room they handed you a booklet with what seemed like a thousand muliple choice questions and only four hours to complete it. I never want to have to do that again. My second half of my final exam was called “the NERBS”. We had to complete a patient (yes, a live person) from start to finish in a two hour session. This type of assessment is called performance assessment.(TCW 2013). I was more confident with performance assessment because I was better at showing what I knew instead of remembering cumlative material and answering questions. The combination of these types of assessments not only tested mhy knowledge of what I was suppose to know as a dental hygienist, but it also tested my skills as a hygienist. An artical from FairTest, how standardized testing damages education, makes an excellant point about performance assessment. FairTest states,”Assessments based on student performance on real learning tasks is more useful and accurae for measuring achievement-and provides more information for teaching-than muliple-choice achievement tests.”(FairTest July 2012 pg2).

    As part of our assignment for this module we were to write a letter to the president of a SUNY college about our feelings on standardization at SUNY. Hennessy Vargas, Matthew Medina Misty Garrett, and myself wrote bascially the same response to the president. We all felt that standardize test for final exams would be unfair and does not reflect what a student has learned all semester. Assessing the professors teaching skills based on these standardized exams is also unfair. There is a very large diverse population of students in a college and each of them understand lesson material differently. If a teacher’s class is doing poorly average wise, give the teachers a warning, put them on probation, and then if they do not improve the get rid of them.

It just so happened that in my local paper, The Buffalo News, an article came out March 30th,2015, regarding the Ken-Ton school’s intention of boycotting standardized testing and teacher evaluation. The school board is seriously considering refusing to administer the required state assessment and refusing to use these assessments in annual professional performance review of teachers. Our State Sen. Marc C. Panepinto, D-Buffalo is backing the school board up. I will be attending these board meeting and putting my vote in. Also this week a news story out of Atlanta, Georgia, April 6th, 2015, was released about teachers being arrested for making false claims in a cheating scandal involving standardized tests. Some teachers were found guilty of altering answer sheets. The article states that those involved were from low-income districts whose schools face consequences for poor performance.(see link below)

little human

little human

Too much pressure on students to perform well on standardized tests and too much pressure on teachers and faculty for the students to do well. We need to go back to the basics of teaching.


Work Cited:

FairTest.  How Standardized Testing Damages Education.  July 2012).

Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson,L., & Stillman, J.  Teaching to Change the World.  Paradigm Publishers. Boulder, London.  2013.

Popiolkowski, J.  Panepinto backs board on boycott.  The Buffalo News.  Monday March 30,2015.



Self Assessment:  A as I have meet all the criteria for the blog.  I am working on inserting pictures as you can see.  I am also working on linking. Continue reading

Flexibility-Bend or Break!

As I finished module #5 this week I ponder the type of teacher I will become in the future.  What type of teaching styles I will follow.  I do know I like the sounds of being flexible when it comes to teaching.  Grasping the concept of teaching as an art and teachings as a science sounds like the type of flexibility I am looking for.  “Technical rationality and aesthetic vision visits in a carefully negotiated equilibrium.”(Paterson 2010).  Megan Howe, a classmate of mine, discussed differential instruction in her initial post stating that this was the type of teaching she believes in.  As I reflected on the meaning of this type of teaching instruction, it is something I could see myself following.  Differential instruction matches tasks, activities, and assessments with the students interest, abilities, and learning preferences”(Willoughby).  This type is better than only following one road where all the students are suppose to walk.


The most difficult obstacle I will need to overcome is the understanding of labeling or grouping of the students.  My classmate Susan Santangelo and I seem to be on the same page when it comes to grouping there is not black and white when trying to group or label children.  Matthew Mednia believes in Ability grouping.  Ability grouping, or tracking, sots all students into “high” or “accelerated” students into “average” and “low” students(TCW2013).  While I feel it is important to keep accelerated students stimulated and engaged I also think it is equally important to do the same for the average and low students.  How interesting would it be to see accelerated, average and low students working together, helping one another and feeding off of each other.


In researching ways to becoming a great flexible teacher there is a website  It covers what flexible teaching and learning approaches are and what they are NOT about.  There are wonderful advantages of flexible approaches to teaching and learning such as developing independent, self-directed learning approaches for the students.  There is a complete PDF file to download with some ingenious insights of teaching.


Work cited:

Oakes, J., Lipton,M.,Anderson,L., & Stillman, J. Teaching to Change the World.  Paradigm Publishers.  Boulder, London. (2013).

Paterson, Carmeron(2013).  It’s About Learning-Teaching As An Art.  Retrieved from:  http://learningshore,


Willoughby, Jennipher(2005).  Differentiating Instruction:  Meeting Students Where They Are.  Teaching Today.


self assessment:  A-I have met all the blog rubric requirements


Expanding young minds.

This weeks lesson module focused on how the brain works and different learning styles.  There are several types of learning theories an example is the cognitive  theory were the brain is like a computer.  Cognitive teaching theory revolution replaced behaviorism as it focuses on the inner mental activities.  The human mind is valuable and necessary for understanding how people learn.  Mental processes such as thinking memory, and problem-solving need to be understood.  The cognitism theory proposes that the human memory is compressed of three components:  1.) Sensory memory, 2.)  Short-term memory, 3.)  long-term memory.  All three play an important roll is a student’s ability to learn(Tracey 2010).  Teachers who use cognitive guided instructions turn to the students for guidance in their lesson planning.  They listen to the way students talk to each other about the subject at hand and from what they see and hear, teachers ask the student’s to further explain to extend their thinking.(TCW pg80).  Growth mind set could be incorporated in the cognitive learning theory easy as it is a way to encourage a student to believe he/she can do anything if they  practice and work at learning.(Winkler 2014).


In our discussion forum we where to watch the video of Pink Floyd’s  song “Learning to Fly” and interpret the meaning of the lyrics by answering a few questions.  It is amazing how each of us saw the video and came up with different interpretations.  Hennessey Vargas compared the lyrics to events in her childhood.  Rachel Rimes associated the lyrics to the different types of learning theories and compared them to her experiences of student teaching.  Grace Schwatz saw it as an opportunity to compare the lyrics and scenes from the video to the 7 styles of learning charts.


The most important thing I learned from this week’s modules is that different people learn in different ways.  Whether it be visual learning, auditory learning, kinestheic learning, or the read/write learning style, it is important to understand that in order to be good educators we have to remember that not everyone fits into the same style of learning. To learn more these learning styles visit:


Work Citied:

Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson, L., & Stillman, J.  Teaching to Change the World. Paradigm Publishers. Boulder, London (2013).

Tracey, R.  Taxonomy of Learning Theories.  Retrieved from:

Winkler, D.  The Growth Mindset:  The Important Concept NOT Taught Under the Common Core.  Retrieved from:


self assessment: A-I feel I fulfilled all the requirements of this blog.


Education or Politics? Which one would you choose for your child?

Module #3 has certainly been an eye opener for me, learning about our educational system and it’s policies.  Education comes in many forms and through a variety of setting as I have discovered through my readings this past two weeks.  There is our early childhood education, elementary education, secondary, college, graduate, and professional education.  I have learned that there are just as many areas of debate in the education policies as there schools in this country.  School size, class size, school choice, teaching methods, curricula content and graduation requirements just to name a few.  Education policy is suppose to answer the questions about the purpose of education, how to obtain the objectives of education and supply the tools for measuring the success or failure of the educational institutes.

As Kasside Morrison stated in her discussion forum, “the policies in  education tend to get in the way of the actual education.”  Her thoughts are similar to the words in the article “Politics and Education Don’t Mix” in that “Successful teaching and good school cultures don’t have a formula.”(Thomas 2012).  Elena Vagidov touches upon the private investors having an interest in our public education.  Those with connections and wealth are taking on a greater part in determining who are educated and how.(Oakes, 2013 pg104).  In Susan Santagelo’s discussion form she points out what we all would like to see and that is less politics and more of letting the teachers, students, and surrounding community decide what is the best way to educate our children.

Private sectors such as private management companies( some of them for profit) are in full control of running the more that 5,500 charter schools nationwide.  These companies run the public charter schools with public dollars. (Simon,2012)  Public charter schools do not take any costs from the state public education system.  When a child leaves a traditional public school to attend a charter school, the funding for that student follows him/her to the charter school.  So why do we send children to public charter schools?  They have the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for improving the children’s learning, at least for now.  For more information  go to


Work cited:

Oakes.J.,Lipton, M., Anderson, L., & Stillman, J.(2013). Teaching to Change the World(4th ed.).  Boulder Colorado.

Simon, S(2012).  Public Schools Are The Next Big Thing for Private Equity and Venture Capital. Voice of Detroit. Aug 2,2012

TheCenter or Education Reform.  Just the FAQs-Charter Schools.  Retrieved from:

Thomas, P.L.(2012).  Politics and Education Don’t Mix.  The Atlantic.  April 26,2012


Self Assessment:  A I have fulfilled all requirements.