Schools and Technology avoiding Wall-E

I know that Wall-E was just a Disney cartoon where two robots find life on Earth. But, we should learn from this movie. We should look at what not to do when it comes to the use of technology. Honestly, there has been no movie that dealt with a world of technology that was to the right of the people. Technology in the end always hurt the people. As educators, we should use both “old fashioned” ways of doing things and using technology as a form of finding more information.
One of my classmates, Michelle, stated “How long could one possibly go without looking at their cell phones? As cell phone policies are starting to change in schools, we as teachers need to incorporate the use of cell phones for research in our lessons.” This idea would be good. However, there is one problem, not all students in schools today have smartphones. The idea of using cell phones in classes can become discriminating against students who are experiencing economic hardships at home. Instead of using a smartphone in the classroom, the teacher should use computers. Computers would be better for research because then the student would understand fuller on how to cite the information. Or the teacher could have the research be old school and the students were only allowed to use books when looking for information.
“The recent change in learning style to include technology is making a difference in the students learning and how much they are retaining.” This was said by Jessica. This statement is correct in the fact that many students are getting better grades because of the technology that is available to them. Personally, I know that technology is the reason that I am getting the grades that I am.
Mia stated, “technology cannot take the place of a teacher who nurtures and demands the best from their students.” This is true because every student can look back and see what teachers they liked when they were in school. Not only because they were a nice teacher, but because they wanted that student to do their best.
No student should rely 100% on technology. It can cause problems if we rely too much on it. We do not want to become the people in Wall-E. What I mean by that is they rely on technology for the necessary things in life, such as walking and talking. We have to use technology sparingly.

My Dream School!

My Dream School!

I have watched many different movies over the course of my life. Some of them were good and taught me a lot and others were horrible and taught me nothing. In my initial building of my school, I had just stated that the teachers would only be learning through movies. Mia, one of my classmates, asked me “in your dream school play-time was not something you discussed, what are your thought and feelings on how you would build play into your school?” I read this for the first time, and I thought “Wow, from the way she is looking at my school, the students are just always in the classroom watching movies and not getting the exercise they may need.”

My dream school play system would be simple. It would be an open campus. What I mean by this is the students do not have to stay in one building all day. During lunch time, the older students can leave to get lunch. However, the only rule would be that if the student has a car, they cannot use it. Yes, if the student wanted to go and get lunch then they would have to walk to where ever they wanted to eat. The amount of time for lunch would be an hour to an hour and a half. Depending on how many people went out to eat. With this much time, the students can do whatever they want to, however, the catch is the student have to stay outside. When the weather is not cooperating the students will not be allowed to leave, and the students will have indoor playtime in the gym or gyms in the school. Another thing that I would adopt in my school is the fact that the Japanese schools have a way of doing things that would help build character. At the end of each day, they are the ones who have to clean the school. Michelle, another classmate, stated, “I bet the students in Japan respect their school more because they know they will be cleaning the classroom, halls, and school yards.” The students would appreciate the school, and feel like they are close to the school and their peers.

Movies that can teach:

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind (Subject: American History): This movie can teach students about what it was like during the civil war. Yes, it is a long and old movie, but it is a beautiful film that educates about the civil war. The teacher could ask questions about what was going on during the film and connect it to other things dealing with the Civil War.

Osmosis Jones Poster

Osmosis Jones (Subject: Biology, Health): In this film Chris Rock is a policeman who is a blood cell which needs to help a cold pill find his way to where he needs to be in the humans, Bill Murray’s body. I have watched this movie during a Biology class. The funny thing about it is the fact that it was the first movie that I watched in school where I said “hey! I own this film!”

Of Mice and Men Poster

Of Mice and Men (English, Literature):  Have the students watched the movie first. Then have the students read the book. At the end when they are done reading the book have the students compare and contrast the differences between the movie and the book.

Kiki's Delivery Service Poster


When Marnie Was There Poster

Kiki’s Delivery Service            When Marnie Was Here

Any Studio Ghibli Movie (Culture):  Any of these movies can teach the students about the culture of Japan. They can be both very educational and breathtaking at the same time. The teacher can tell the students to talk about what differences exist in Japanese culture compared to American culture.


Works Cited

IMDB . (2001, August 10). Osmosis Jones. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from Internet Movie Data Base:

IMDB. (1989, July 29). Kiki’s Delivery Service . Retrieved April 12, 2016, from Internet Movie Database :

IMDB. (1992, October 2). Of Mice and Men. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from Internet Movie Data Base:

IMDB. (2014, July 19). When Marnie Was Here . Retrieved April 12, 2016, from Internet Movie Data Base:

IMDB. (2015). Gone with the Wind: IMDB. Retrieved December 5, 2015, from Internet Movie Data Base :

TWM. (2016). Home Page. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from Teach With Movies:






Are Assessments Good or Bad?



The picture presented above is from a comic titled “Tiger” by Bud Blake. The quote is talking about assessments in education. The fact that even if we make all students have the same type of assessments, not all will benefit from it. Some students, like me, do not do well with assessments or final exams.

The word assessments are “The evaluation or estimation of nature, quality, or an ability of someone or something.” Three types of assessments exist in the United States education system; formative, interim, and summative.  I am not the type of person who is going to come right out and say “Assessments should no longer be in the educational system.”  Everyone has the right to have their opinions. As the title of this blog states, Assessments can be both good and bad. My opinion about assessments is that we should not measure our teachers based on the scores of all of their students. We should evaluate teachers based on their teaching ability.

Formative assessment “occurs in short term as learners are in the process of making meaning of new content and integrating it into what they already know.” An example of this would be classroom discussions. Module 5 discussion forum was a very formative assessment. It was talking about what we would say if the president of SUNY issued a policy making all similar courses have a standardized final. The policy stated that it was going to change two things: “1. whether the student will pass the course. 2. All professors will be evaluated by standardized scores of their students.”

Most of the students in this discussion board felt the same way I did. The policy should not be used because it would not be fair for the students or the professors. One of my classmates, Ryan stated: “Even if standardized testing was a complete look into how much a student has learned or how much they know, we could not possibly know that from the results in one year.” This quote is very true because there are students out there who are extremely smart but they get flustered when they come to a test. I have had courses in college that I have loved because they did not have a final exam. However, these courses had a final project, not an easy one but one where you had to put in everything to get a good grade on the project. Mia stated in her discussion board for Module 5 “As a student I do not feel like standardization reflects my intelligence.” This is a true statement because again a student can be smart when writing or speaking but when it comes to the testing of the subject, they do not do well. Julie stated in her discussion board that “students are better without test grades and labels.” Every student has labels throughout schooling. Labels are a hard thing to get rid of, and when a student gets into college, they want to get rid as many labels. If the student has to have standardized testing with similar courses then they are going to have more labels than they had in grade school.

Interim Assessment “takes place occasionally throughout a larger period.” Example of this would be Chapter tests or an assignment that a student is assigned every module. I have had courses in college that only use this type of assessment form. Some courses did a good job with offering the interim assessments, where all students can pass the test. Other classes made it feel like the professor did not want anyone to pass the tests.

Summative Assessment “takes place at the end of a large chunk of learning, with the results being primarily for the teacher’s or school’s use.”  Midterms and final exams are the most prominent examples of summative assessment.  However, even though I mentioned the term “exam” it does not have to be a typical exam. This can be a research project that makes the student use all of the resources they acquired during the course. Some students do better on the exams when they get to choose the right answers. Others do better making PowerPoints about what they learned during the class.

Are assessments good or bad? That is the question that everyone is asking right now. The answer to this question is yours to answer. My opinion of this question is the fact that some assessments are good, assessments that are easy to understand. The use of discussion boards and other writing assignments are a good source of assessments. The assessments that are confusing to understand are the ones that should be re-looked at.


MCISD. (2016). Three Types of Assessments. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Monroe County Intermediate School District:

McKenzie, D. (2013, March 2). Assessing For Learning. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Library Grits:




“McFarland USA” used “Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd

McFarland USA                                                                                                           

Over the break, I watched “McFarland USA” ( This movie in, my opinion, used the “Learning to Fly” metaphor in education, Both the movie and the song listed are talking about how education and diversity are essential. Jim White (played by Kevin Costner) is an average white American in 1987, who gets fired from his coaching job in Boise, Idaho. He gets transferred to McFarland, California. He gets the job and is made that school’s gym teacher and life science teacher. He notices that some of the students love to run. Or rather, certain students look like they can run forever. He starts an original cross-country team. This movie shows teachers how they should react to diverse students. The teachers need to understand where the students come from to make a difference in the pupils’ lives.

In the music video for “Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd, there were many different metaphors for teaching. This was what the discussion board was about for module four. While I wrote it the first time, I did not understand what I was supposed to write about. However, looking at all of the other discussion boards I realize that I did not elaborate on what I thought the field, the person trying to fly and the medicine man meant, in regards to education. The field was represented the different obstacles that each student faces themselves and attempting to overcome them. Being able to fly is the individuality of both the teacher and the student. The medicine man in the “Learning to Fly” in the music video represents all of the adults that can influence the student to help them to fly or to learn.

Jim White was able to teach all of his students to fly. There were obstacles that each of the students had to go through, and they were different. Most of the students the Jim White coached were those who worked in the field. They would be up at four o’clock, going to the fields, then they would go to school, and when they got home, they would go back to the fields. These students thought the idea of being on a Cross-Country team was stupid because they thought that they did not have time to do any recreational things. All of these students that Jim worked with were different, but when they were running they were running as a team, and nothing else mattered. These students had the field to fly; they had many medicine men in their lives including their coach. In the end, they all had the urge to fly to get to their goals.

There were three discussion boards sections that I thought was imperative for both the movie and the song. Ryan stated, “it is important to keep the students motivated and to work through frustration.” In McFarland USA, this was vital because they had a low at the beginning of the movie, however even though they had that low they still wanted to move forward and achieve their goal. Another statement made in the discussion board was made by Jessica, and she stated: “’let students fly’ is to let them be who they are and show them how important individuality is.” This was another thing that was very prevalent during this movie. Jim White taught his cross country team that they were a team, but they were also individuals. The last statement that I thought was fascinating was made by Mia. She stated, “He (the person in the video) was yearning to see things from a different perspective like when students yearn for a deeper learning; this is why he climbed to the top of the mountain.” There were students on the cross-country team who were not the best runners in the world. However, Jim White looked at the student and encouraged him to do his best and in the end, he did.

Both the movie and the music video are inspirational for teachers. They both state that to have a good relationship with your student, the teacher has to get on the students level. Or like “Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds” states “teaching is an act of love.” All teachers should love their students because sometimes they may not get the love they need. If a student knows that they are loved by some adult in their life, then they are more likely to succeed. Students have a higher possibility of completing their schooling if they have the backing of the adults in their lives. The cross-country team in McFarland USA had a lot of backing from the adults in their lives.


Floyd, P. (2014, July 18). Learning To Fly (Official Music Video). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from YouTube:

IMDB. (2015, February 20). McFarland USA. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from Internet Movie Database:

Nieto, S. (2013). Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds. Portsmouth: Heinemann.





Defining Good Teaching!

According to this website,, ten factors can help a person become a good teacher.

  1. Passion

The students are going to know if the teacher does not like the subject that they are teaching. There was an excellent quote that was on the discussion board for this module. It was “Young adolescents intensely value teachers opinions of them. They’ll move mountains for teachers who they sense respect them. (Wormeli, 2014)” This quote shows that passion is crucial for being a good teacher because if the teacher does not have passion, then the students will not be able to move mountains, they will only move mud hills.

  1. Substance and Training students as consumers of knowledge

This sounds very complicated. However, it is not. This is saying that to become a good teacher the teacher needs to learn things outside of their subject. What I mean by this is, yes they need to learn about their subject. But it benefits the students when they teacher knows about pop culture, to teach students. A student would learn more if they could relate to the subject. This would help many students feel like they belong in that class.

  1. Listening, questioning, being responsive and remembering that everyone is different

Teachers can quickly go from good to bad teachers in a matter of seconds because of this one. Every student needs to be thought of as a member of the class. They should not be isolated. There are going to be times when there are a few students who want to be separated from the class. However, it is the teacher’s job to understand all of the pupils in the classroom and not ignore any of them.

  1. Not always having a fixed agenda and being rigid, but being flexible, fluid, experiment, and having the confidence to react and adjust to changing circumstances

During this modules discussion board that talked about best and worst teachers, there was a clear divide. That divide was whether Earth Sciences teachers were their best or worst. The people who said that their Earth Science teacher was their favorite stated that they were free to talk. And they got help when they went and asked for it. These teachers were flexible in the ways they were teaching. They had many different ways in which they taught students. For those who hated their Earth Science teachers, they had very little communication with the teachers. They would ask for help and never get it. These teachers were the opposite of flexible and they were very strict on what they wanted and when they wanted it. Personally, I have experienced both types of teachers. I learned better with the first type of teacher. The type that was flexible and knew what I needed and how I should study for tests.

  1. Style

No two teachers are going to have the same teaching style. That is good because then the students will not get bored easily. Leblanc states that “good teachers work the room and every student in it. (Leblanc, 1999).” Every teacher and student want to have a classroom where they are not forgotten about. Everyone has had at least one of these classes during their schooling process. These types of classes are the best because everyone is included in everything and the teacher is liked as well.

  1. Humor

Teachers should not take themselves too seriously. This does not mean that the teacher should act like a student. But, a funny teacher is better than a teacher that has no emotions. Everyone knows that if you have a funny teacher, the last thing that you want to do is make them mad. They become like a different person, and it may take a long time to have the funny teacher back. But, the excellent teachers know how to bounce back after not being a funny teacher.

  1. Caring, nurturing and developing minds and talents of students

A quote that I found on the discussion board relates to the caring about the students as well as the teachers themselves. This quote is “Good teachers…can weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects and their students so that students can learn to weave for themselves. (Palmer)” This quote is very important for teachers because they need to remember that each student should try their best. A teacher that uses this and has become a good teacher is Rodger Wallace from the book Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds. The book states that he openly talks to his students and cares about them.

  1. Strong and visionary leadership, and very tangible instructional support resources, personnel, and funds

This goes right along with my teaching metaphor. A teacher is an author working on a bestseller. The authors book is going to be the about whatever story they have created in their minds. The author is never really done with the book until they can step back from it and it the book does not need any more tweaking. Teachers are similar to authors in this sense because they both have an end goal. They either want to have the best outcome when the book is done or when they school year is done.

  1. Mentoring between senior and junior faculty, teamwork and being recognized and promoted by one’s peers

A new teacher depends on their peers when they are stuck. If nobody will help the new teacher out then, it is more likely that he/she will leave the school after their first year of teaching. Connections are splendid for new and old teachers because more brainstorming moments can come from it.

  1. Having fun

Having fun with both the teacher and student level is imperative. If everyone has fun, then there is going to be more learning going on. Both for the students and the teacher.







Leblanc, R. (1999, Spring). Good Teaching: The Top Ten Requirements. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from Colorado State Univeristy :

Palmer, P. J. (n.d.). The Courage to Teach . Retrieved February 23, 2016, from Western Oregon University :

Sonia, N. (2013). It’s Whom You Teach, Not Just What You Teach. In N. Sonia, Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds (pp. 40-44). Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Wormeli, R. (2014). Motivating Young Adolescents. Educational Leadership, pp. 26-31.




Philosophies in Education

When a person is teaching students, they have to be flexible and change their philosophies when they do not work. This is because no one class, or one student, will learn the same way. So the teachers have to understand what makes the student learn and what methods of teaching confuse the student. There are five philosophies that teachers can adopt, and the teachers do not have to use just one.

Idealism is when the teacher thinks outside of the box. Idealist teachers are different from other teachers because they want the students to not only learn the subject, but they want the student to love the class. Idealistic teachers use the textbook very sparingly. They believe that textbook teaching is not that good because the students cannot remember the material years later.

Realism is when the teacher only sees reality for what it is. These teachers do not see the world through world covered glasses, and they tell the students how it is. They do not believe in sugar coating the harsh things that need to be said. This type of philosophy in a classroom might be hard for some students.

Pragmatism is the belief in the scientific method. Pragmatists believe that to succeed the student has to fail at least once.  The teacher should not make the student fail to succeed.  There is a lot of experimenting going on in this classroom.

Existentialism is when a class is comfortable enough to have relevant discussions at a deep level. This type of classroom is very important for a student to be in because if they do not have this type, then they will not understand how to communicate with others at a deep level.

Postmodernism is when a teacher is just focused on what is going to happen in that school year. These teachers do not look at what has happened in the class. They also do not see what is going to have in the future. Postmodernist teachers look at the class that they have that year, and they try their best to do everything they can so that everyone in the class has everything that they need to succeed for that year.

All of these philosophies are important for students and teachers both to understand. Students need to understand that with each of these philosophies that they need to change how they study. Teachers of each philosophy need to understand that there are going to be other teachers out there who do not teach the same way as them.