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Join us on Teaching in Purple to find your purpose and passion in the field of education. Discover inspirational stories from future teachers, faculty, staff and alumni from Grand Canyon University. Peek inside the classrooms of today to shape your classroom of tomorrow. You will look great in purple!
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Category: Teaching and Instruction
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By Katherine Kolidas
Alumni, College of Education

As a recent graduate of the class of 2018 Master’s in Early Childhood Education and Teaching of Grand Canyon University, I cannot help but reflect back to that day a few years ago when clarity came over my thoughts and I decided to become a lifelong teacher. It was a decision that took months of soul searching, careful thinking, deep conversations with fellow teachers and volunteer work that helped me to uncover what I was truly meant to do: teach.

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When families support a child’s education, it helps the child to be more successful in school and beyond. Generally, parents start out fairly engaged in the school community. They chaperone first grade field trips, attend musical concerts and fill out beginning-of-the-year paperwork on time. But, as a child gets older, that participation is at risk to fall off. Ask any middle school or high school teacher how many families attended the last set of conferences and you’ll probably hear a pretty low number.

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By Christine Marsh
Education Administration Major, College of Education

This morning, one of my students asked how many boys were in class, and a different student answered before I had a chance, said what the number was. The first student had asked how many boys were in my fourth-hour class and I answered that I thought that there was an equal number of boys and girls in that class. A third student said, “What about the others?” I was unclear what she meant, so I asked her to clarify and she said that some students do not use male or female pronouns.

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By Amanda Ronan
Contributor

With so many distractions and other outside influences, it sometimes seems like school is the last thing on teenagers’ minds. Secondary teachers understand that their students are dealing with many stressful life events; for some students, it is pressure to measure up in school or in athletics. Other students are worried about what they will do when they finish high school. Still others are dealing with issues like teen pregnancy, homelessness and drug addiction.

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Teachers spend 7.5 hours in the classroom each day, followed by an average of 90 additional minutes for afterschool mentoring and staff meetings, followed by another 95 minutes of grading papers and preparing lesson plans at home. That is according to The Washington Post, which highlights the selfless dedication of hardworking teachers who genuinely try to make a positive difference in students’ lives. But no matter how dedicated you are, there is no question that time management and other strategies can help you stay on top of grading. Here are some suggestions to grade faster:

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By Stephanie Knight, EdD
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

What gets you out of bed every morning ready to tackle the day?

Is it that beautiful sunrise as you awaken? Perhaps it’s that drive-thru frothy cappuccino you grab at early o’clock on the way to your classroom. Call it prayer, reflection or meditation, making time for this to set your attitude on gratitude may make Monday meaningful and the rest of the week positively progressing towards an attitude set on what is good in this world.

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By Meredith Critchfield, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Education

Most of us know how important it is to use groups in the classroom. Some of us have even tried creative grouping and collaboration strategies like those by Kagan. The world is shrinking more and more every day thanks to technology, making communication and collaboration more important than ever before. Rather than letting technology intimidate us, though, we should embrace tech tools to help improve communication and collaboration in the classroom.

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By Stephanie Knight, EdD
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

Have you ever heard yourself utter one of these statements about a student?

“My student is just not motivated.”
“I just can’t get this student to want to learn.”

However, it is true that all of us are motivated to do something. Students, for example, will spend hours playing video games, texting friends or maybe skateboarding. There is more to it than what appears to be laziness.

Sadly, the answer to a “lack of motivation” from a child usually appears as a behavior problem; then, it is dealt with accordingly as opposed to finding the root of the issue. Fortunately, we can control our classrooms. So let’s do an inventory of ourselves to see how we are doing in our classrooms to meet the needs of these so-called unmotivated students:

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By Stephanie Knight, EdD
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

When students move on from your classroom, with what do you want them to leave? More knowledge? Good grades? These are noble goals, but what about embodying a love of learning? We will examine what is each facet of learning (learning as curiosity, learning as opportunity, learning as reflection) and how to make this happen in all classrooms. Hopefully, it can trickle up, creating a culture of learning at the school.

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