Friday, August 31, 2012

Watch this YouTube video my friends and tell me what you think about it.  My non-teaching friends.  Have you considered these things? I wonder. What are the answers?

With love, Miss Bee

All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.

Dr. Maria Montessori ~ Happy Birthday

Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society. - Maria Montessori, Education for a New World

Dr. Maria Montessori was an education genius! Today is her birthday.  Celebrate with a montessori teacher!
A little about Dr. Montessori:

She believed that children should have an education that:
  •  prepared the most natural and life-supporting environments for a child
  • observes the child living freely in this environment
  • is continually adapting the environment in order that the child may fulfill his or her greatest potential physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • "follow the child"
 She lived a life of virtuous responsibility from 1870-1952.  She would have been 142 today!

Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants - doing nothing but living and walking about - came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing? Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.

Stay safe, avoid the rain where ever you are. Keep your chin up looking to the stars! It's gonna be a good day.  Peace,

Miss Bee 

All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



     It was so nice to have an introduction to the synchronous discussion at the beginning of the week.  We got the opportunity to tool around in Elluminate Live and each of us had the opportunity to perform a mic check.  This proved to be an excellent chance to work the bugs out and to settle some nerves and first user jitters.

     The readings this week were very informative giving us a general overview of National Educational Technology Standards that will prove beneficial to all of us as we embark on our new assignments.  These standards remind me of the ultimate purpose of our online training and that rests squarely in the success of my students.  I found it very interesting to learn the various ways that individuals from all walks of life view technology.  I also was enlightened to learn who believes they are literate technologically speaking and who isn't.  The goal I believe is to familiarize ourselves with all of the technological advances that exists in the educational realm where we teach.  For instance, if I teach elementary special education some of the technological advances useful to a high school career development teacher are not going to be as beneficial to me.  It is also very important to be aware of the educational technology initiatives happening currently in my school, our district, and in my state education department.  I can open myself up to research and training opportunities through professional development in webinars, podcasts, WIKIs, web sites, and blogs just to name a few.

     This week my eyes were opened wide to the vast array of ebooks.  As I began to search I realized just how expansive this technological market really is.  Given our illiterate population and the need for kids everywhere to get their hands on books of all types I was a little disappointed that this is not a free source.  I do understand the compelling and over-riding business need as well.  In my own family I find that our preschoolers and toddlers who need enrichment and could benefit from ebooks like this because they fall between the cracks of public education qualification for preschool and the vast expense of private preschool.  It also seems to be quite expensive for the Ebook program we viewed at and  I do realize that public libraries everywhere are getting on the ebooks scene but many, including our local library, has an inventory that is not very expansive in scope and choice.

     I like the concept of technological explorations as a classroom component offered in our online course.  Otherwise, I do not feel that I would look at the resources nearly as indpeth as is required by our assignment.  Thank you for that opportunity.  With respect to technology explorations, my hat goes off to Mr. Langhorst's American History classroom website and his podcasts.  They shed new light on my idea of a podcast.  Once I had a chance to view, the creative juices started flowing.  It is an attractive proposition that I will surely pursue for my own teaching opportunities.  I will also be considering podcasts for my not-for profit endeavor.  I can already see many uses for this technological tool.  Immediately I will create a welcome podcast for my parents and students in my PSR class for students with special needs.  I hope I don't have any challenges!! In the event that I do, I will consult others in my class and my instructor to see if there are steps I have missed and if there is anything more I can do to resolve any technological issues. 

    I had created a blog many years ago and that's exactly where it stopped, at it's inception.  How horrible? I really should've realized how beneficial blogs are.  Not only are they beneficial to my readers, I hope but they are very therapeutic to me, a release, in a sense.  I was so eager to share my blog with my friends and family right away.  I can use everything I learned this week immediately in all of my classroom experiences.  I believe one of the greatest educational technology tools we have is word of mouth in sharing one anothers' technological resources.  That can only serve to strengthen us.  When we are strengthened, only then can our students build academic and technological muscle.

     Enjoy your week.  Be safe my friends and loved ones in Louisiana (home for me) in the path of that nasty and ugly Isaac.  We are praying for your safety.

     Until we meet again, my peace and blessings to you.  Miss Bee

 All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It All Starts Here ~ We All Need a Philosophy to be Philosophical About Something

As I begin my endeavor to obtain dual Master Degrees in Teaching (Special Education) and Theology I want to digress a little. The current state of our educational system is that it is a great system founded on solid principles deluded by illusions of grandeur.  We've lost sight of what's important. I reflect back on the theory of education employed by John Dewey. Dewey wanted, and so do I an educational system that is allows our students autonomy with time to explore, learn, and solve. The focus of students in the classroom should be on community and society as a whole. How can what we do in the classroom make where we live a better place? That is my goal to discover. The university is my playground.  Let me begin my blog with my philosophy on education:

The purpose of education is to teach, train, and nurture children to want to become enlightened adults.  It is my desire to invigorate the minds of young people through motivation by building on achieved success, accepting children where they are, and pushing them past their potential.  I intend to create and implement strategies that are adequate for meeting the needs of the community of the 21st century.  My desire is to work in an urban public school setting where my mission aligns with the school district's mission.  It takes a special person to work with children whose needs are immediate and serious.  Children need to know and understand the trust between student and teacher.  I understand that there is no one answer to all of educations' problems.  I also realize that meeting students where they are is critical in maintaining an educational equilibrium.  Children expect adults to provide them with guidelines for appropriate classroom behavior and to enforce fair, impartial, and equitable distribution of those guidelines.  It is my responsibility to demonstrate ethics that mirror the expectations of the students I teach.  I must be diligent in keeping myself trained on the latest developments in educating the whole child.  I intend to solve problems with persistence, patience, and understanding.  I am a part of the community solution.

If you know a child who is being educated, you decide if they've been trained.  Measure they willingness to be involved in their community and if they had fun in school.  Then you'll know they learned.


All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. John Steinbeck