© 2015 scootermkrad

Module 5_Art and Science of Teaching_EDUC210_mKatErwin

Song of the week…

Where to begin this week…

I mentioned in both my post and my See W that I believe one who teaches must find a balance between the finesse of teaching as an art and methods behind the science of teaching.  In my own experience, the teachers I learned the most from were able to present a lecture and at the end of class, I wondered where the time had gone and I felt that I learned a lot.  I always said that I wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher yet I am not sure why I never pursued it as by the time I reached college, I had no aspirations to go to school for education.  I do believe that if I were a teacher, I would teach to the learner.  Throughout my education in dentistry, I have taken pride to mentor my fellow classmates as I had a strong foundation in dentistry prior to my formal education.  Lisa Lee is a great example of how a teacher learned as much from her students as they learned from her.  “Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck.” -John Steinbeck  If I were to ever become a teacher, I want to be a teacher that matters.  The examples that Lisa Lee used in her Ted Talk, remind me of my Kindergarten teacher that I believe I have mentioned  multiple times.  I recall when my mother was hospitalized while I was in Kindergarten and my dad was responsible for braiding my hair, which you would think he would be great at because he is a machinist by trade…fine motor skills…not the case.  When I arrived at school, Mrs. Wilkens, re-braided my hair so that I would be presentable.  Thirty six years later, I remember that as if it were yesterday.

The three posts I enjoyed the most this week were tip-tapped-typed by Karen, Matthew and Megan.  I had not seen the movie “Dangerous Minds” that Karen referenced in her post but I have seen clips of the film.  I think it is a great example of self-fulfilling prophecy.  This requires both ability to facilitate the art and science of teaching so that students that may flourish.  By instilling a growth mindset, students are bound to succeed.  I felt that Matthew was brave to say that he agreed with ability grouping as most of the class did not agree with it.  I was able to relate to Megan’s post the most as I had similar experiences during my own schooling.  Attending a small school myself and having a mother who taught special education, I saw the labeling and grouping that took place within the school.

Differentiation is the topic in the readings this module that I found the most interesting.  Teaching to students with different abilities while keeping the students challenged.  Below is a reflection of the reason differentiation, grouping and labeling had an impact on me this week.

Since returning to Southern California, I was able to reconnect with a family I knew while living in Hawaii.  At the time of the families departure from Hawaii, young Liam was 2 years old.  Liam was a quiet boy who I perceived as being shy and a bit introverted, as he never warmed up to me despite seeing me quite often.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I went to visit a now 4 year old Liam, his little that I had never met and his mother who I consider to be a dear friend.  Prior to my visit, I was told that Liam was diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum.  I had no idea what to expect and did not want to ask too many question.  When I arrived, I was greeted by Liam with a “Hi Auntie Mary!”  After spending 5 minutes with Liam, I could see the signs of his autism.  Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with Liam and his family as his mother is currently on bed rest awaiting the arrival of baby #3.  I welcomed the opportunity to observe Liam in both his home, school and therapy environment.  Currently Liam reads on a college level with full comprehension and he was never taught to read, nor plopped in front of a television or given an iPad for hours at a time.  At age two while at a neurologist appointment, he picked up a magazine and began reading.  While observing him, you can see that his brain does not stop working, it is always engaged.  Constant redirection comes along with the mind that never stops which can be exhausting after a short while.

I began to wonder how Liam will function in the mainstream classroom when it is time.  How will the teacher teach to him and keep him engaged.  He currently attends school with 5 other children who are also on the Autism spectrum.  The main focus during his 3 hours at school, involves completing tasks without having to be redirected and learning to socialize and engage with fellow classmates.  I felt a little sad to watch the group of six, sitting at a table eating a snack and there is no usual little kid chatter that you usually see in a classroom.  It weighs heavy on my heart because I want to have a better understanding of how autistic children learn among their peers and more so because it left me feeling helpless and I wonder how his parents cope.  They are so patient but you can see how it wears on them as the hours pass by.  According to John’s Hopkins school of education, “differentiation” instruction has proven to be effective in both special education and inclusion classrooms.  Teacher can deliver lessons in shorter increments.  Unfortunately, many school districts to not able to offer further training to teachers or paraprofessionals.  Since Autism was first documented by Leo Kanner in 1943 both the diagnosis and perceptions have evolved.  It was added to IDEA in 1990 and autism spectrum disorder has had more attention and focus as it relates to legislation towards education than any other diagnosis.

Self Assessment:

I feel that I have earned a B-

I added tags this week for the first time and a video that makes me feel happy.

Also I submitted on time, I went back to edit as I was conflicted about my reflection on Autism.  It has been weighing heavy on my heart and my mind this week but I was unsure if it were appropriate for this week.

I always feel like I can do better.  This class really challenges me, which I appreciate but it is still a challenge.

All Clips. (1964). [My Fair Lady]. Retrieved from http://www.allclip.net/my-fair-lady-1964/

ASCD. (2014, July 21). Handy Visual: Differentiation Is Vs Differentiation Is Not. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/07/handy-visual-differentiation-is-vs.html

BBC Active. (2010). Methods of Differentiation in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/MethodsofDifferentiationintheClassroom.aspx

Daily, M. (n.d.). Inclusion of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Exceptional%20Learners/Autism/Articles/Inclusion%20of%20Students%20with%20Autism%20Spectrum%20Disorders/

ElevatED: Stem Pre-Teaching Society. (n.d.). Growth Mindset | ElevatED. Retrieved from http://teachelevated.org/growth-mindset/

Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. (2000). Differentiating Instruction: Meeting Students Where They Are, Teaching Today, Glencoe Online. Retrieved from http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/di_meeting.phtml

Lee, L. (2013, November 11). Getting at the heart of teaching: Lisa Lee at TEDxCrestmoorParkED. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJM6WUNDnhA

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Self-fulfilling – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-fulfilling

Oakes, J., & Lipton, M. (2013). Teaching to change the world (4th ed.). Boston [Mass., MA: McGraw-Hill College.

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. (2014, April 30). A Teacher’s Guide to Differentiating Instruction | Education.com. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Teacher_s_Guide/

Victoria’s Educational Blog. (2012, November 18). Collaboration in General Education Blog: Differentiation in a Classroom. Retrieved from http://collaborationingeneraleducation.blogspot.com/2012/11/differentiation-in-classroom.html

Weimer, M. (2013, January 16). Teacher-Centered, Learner-Centered or All of the Above | Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/teacher-centered-learner-centered-or-all-of-the-above/



1. You cite and comment on three different classmates’ discussion posts (each missing reference is considered one attribute).  Karen, Matthew, Megan

2. You will cite and comment on three different module resources (at least one must be the textbook). Each module resource will count as one attribute.

3. Reflective= you will relate the readings and other resources to your own experiences and understandings.

4. You refer to one outside source beyond the module (counts as two attributes).

5. You present your synthesis with clarity, enriching it with links to researching articles, video talks, blogs on module content

6. Posted by due date

7. Appealing

8. Proper grammar

9. Proper spelling

10. Visual appealing

11. Citations are linked within the text, or in the bibliography

12. Categorize (module #)* (not evaluated until module 2)

13. Tagged with key words* (not evaluated until module 2) 14. Self-assessment Example self-assessment: I earned a


  1. medin119
    Posted March 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm | #

    Mary Katherine, A teacher that can get a student at a young age to realize the value in learning and a solid education is doing a great service not only to that child, but also to society in general. http://www.schooldee.com/importance-of-teachers-in-our-society.php

    • scootermkrad
      Posted April 10, 2015 at 1:37 am | #


      Thank you for responding to my blog. I didn’t know we were able to see each others. Also thank you for the link.


  2. relationalcontextofteaching
    Posted April 5, 2015 at 3:13 am | #

    May I suggest a wonderful gift your can give Mrs. Wilkens? If you can write a thank you note and mention the braids, well I know it would make her day. I had a teacher in college who changed my life, and I searched how out two years ago…she is almost 90 and she responded with a wonderful letter of appreciation.
    My daughter works in a kindergarten with several autistic children. She comes home exhausted, but she also is thrilled when she records the progress each makes. I am know several autistic teenagers who are autistic, and the dedication of their parents and teachers has made all the difference. These children can offer society much. Here are a few you may recognize: Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michelangelo, http://autismmythbusters.com/general-public/famous-autistic-people/

    • scootermkrad
      Posted April 10, 2015 at 1:35 am | #

      Dear Dr. Gusa,

      I send her a thank you note every year at the beginning of the school year to remind her how much I appreciated what she did for me, having had the biggest impact on me in my life. I also attend her open houses…she still has some of the toys that were in the class from 1978. I am glad that you too had a teacher that had an impact on your life as well. I was thrilled to read that your daughter is a Kindergarten teacher. I agree…each visit I spend with Liam, I feel like he teaches me something and to watch how dedicated and patient his parents are is quite amazing.

      Thank you for your feedback and the link to the article.


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