Bond with James

Saturday, July 22, 2017

High School Science Teacher Vlog #5 | #iteachtoo Teacher Tag

Join me as I participate the in the #iteachtoo Teacher Tag, created by my fellow teacher YouTuber, Too Cool For Middle School.  The #iteachtoo teacher tag is a series of 10 questions, posted below, that participants answer about themselves to help their audience get to know them better.  Play along and share a little about yourself in the comments section so that I get to know a bit about you; especially if you are a secondary teacher. 

How did you get involved and can I join? 

--I came across the #iteachtoo Teacher Tag through the YouTube recommended list.  I noticed a lot of videos with the #iteachtoo tag and wondered what was going on.  After watching a few, I realized that it was a collaborative opportunity, created by Megan, of "Too Cool For Middle School", that allowed people to participate in voluntarily. 

Prior to this, I had not really shared information about myself similar to the info that I shared in my #iteachtoo video. So, hopefully, you were able to learn a little more about who I am as a person and a secondary science teacher!

#iteachtoo Teacher Tag questions

1. What do you teach and where?

2. How long have you been teaching?

3. Did you always know you wanted to be a teacher?

4. What is your typical #teacherootd?

5. What do you usually bring for lunch?

6. What is one of your favorite books about teaching?

7. What is one of your favorite teacher movies?

8. Who was your favorite teacher?

9. Who are some of your favorite teacher YouTubers/instagrammers/snapchatters, etc?

10. What is one of your best classroom management tips?

11. What is one reason you decided to become a teacher?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

High School Science Teacher Vlog #4 | My Student Teaching Experience

Join me as I share my student teaching experience, as well as my experience as a collaborative teacher (host) for student teachers. What was your student teaching experience like? 
[See below for additional info]

Additional insight:

While my student teaching was 15 years ago, the experience is still fresh in my memory. Perhaps I remember it so well due to my anxiety and the fact that I basically taught the two courses unsupervised.  Regardless of that particular situation, it still was a great experience.  I was fortunate enough to complete student teaching assignments at various primary and secondary schools; however, my semester-long experience is the event that I speak about in this particular video. 

I also had a few stints as a (host) cooperating teacher for several student teachers.  I shared my last experience - which was 7 years ago before I left the classroom for various instructional leadership positions.  In all cases, I made sure to allow my student teachers the opportunities to experience the life of a teacher (or at least as close as possible in order to make their transition a little easier). 

If you're thinking about becoming a teacher or about to start your student teaching assignment, then, as I repeated SEVERAL times in the video, take advantage of all the opportunities and commit yourself to the experience.  Best of luck on your teaching journey and I hope I was able to provide an alternative insight to a topic you may have already come across. Have a great day!


Feel free to share in the Comments section (here or on my YouTube channel). Also, if anything in the video resonated with you, then make sure to Like and/or Subscribe so that you can receive weekly vloggin updates!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

High School Science Teacher Vlog #3 | My Decision to Return to Teaching

I decided to make this video because people always ask me why I made the decision to leave higher positions and return to teaching. I returned to the classroom during the 2016-2017 school year and taught science (biology and environmental systems) at a Title 1 high school.  Prior to that, I was a campus assistant principal (at the same school) and prior to that, I was a district-level science instructional specialist for high schools. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

High School Science Teacher Vlog #2 | Curriculum Design: Backward Planning

Join me as I discuss my poor curriculum design process as a new teacher and how I eventually developed those skills; which helped me later on in my career (as a district instructional specialist and campus assistant principal). 
If you are unfamiliar with the Backward Design process or wish to advance your career as an instructional leader (administrator, department chair, or instructional coach/specialist), then I recommend reading the book, Understanding by Design, by Wiggins and McTighe.  Furthermore, the framework serves as an excellent curriculum model to assist you in the development of your yearly curriculum.

The book goes into much more detail than what I shared in the video. For example, the book describes how teachers should unpack (and repack) their learning standards.  It also talks about mistakes of curriculum development - coverage and activity-oriented design; which is referred to as the "twin sins" of traditional curriculum design.  The book is also packed with K-12 examples and a few templates (additional templates are available in supplementary UbD resources).

Purchase the book, Understanding by Design, by clicking here.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

High School Science Teacher Vlog #1 - Summer Update

Join me as I begin my YouTube teacher vlogging adventure! The purpose of my vlogs will be to share with others the weekly life of a high school science teacher. Whether you're looking to become a teacher, or you're a novice teacher or a veteran teacher, hopefully, you will find something of value from each vlog. Perhaps with enough time and experience, I can turn it into a daily vlog. Subscribe, and Bond with James, so that you don't miss updates!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

High School Science Classroom EoY Tour (2016-2017)

Below you will find pictures and a video showcasing my classroom as the 2016-2017 school year comes to an end (EoY = End-of-Year). The video was shot two weeks before the end of the school year.   

Here is a picture I took two weeks before the start of school (top) and a picture I took two weeks before the end of the school year (bottom). Check out the videos below for more features and an explanation of the setup.  

EoY video

I also included the Beginning-of-Year (BoY) video below if you're curious to see the changes.  Small warning: I shot the BoY via Facebook Live and my reception was poor at the very beginning.  This will explain why the quality is not a clear when you start the video. 

BoY video

While I enjoyed how my room turned out for the '16-'17 school year, I will be switching rooms for the upcoming year as one of our teachers took a position in another district.   

I am going to take time over the summer to move rooms and begins working on the new area (so that I don't have to worry about the Back-to-School rush and hassle).  

If you're interested in more, you can find frequent postings on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Classroom Control - Building Rapport With Secondary Students to Avoid A ...

An out-of-control class is a nightmare!  I've had several throughout my career. So, how can you reclaim your sanity; or at least have more positive days than negative days? 
I created this video in response to a video meme by BoredTeachers and Nicholas Ferroni.  The video made me laugh, however, as I scrolled through the Facebook comments, I had noticed that the clip made other people uneasy.  I also noticed that were several people that had requested advice for how to deal with a situation similar to the meme. I responded in the comments, but then decided to create a response video after recalling my 5th-period class during my first year as a teacher. 

In the video, I share strategies that I've employed over the years to help me combat a disruptive class (as displayed in the Facebook meme).  If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section here or the video YouTube channel