I struggled with my mini-documentary. I'm pretty sure a lot of the struggles were due to the emotions running high as I reflected on my journey. I am not one to shy away from a camera, but something about this assignment was different. I'm not used to talking about my work, or myself, in such a way that it is wholly about...me.
When my sister filmed me near the creek, she asked me questions, and I was able to answer them with no problem, and not a hesitation. I talked fast during that session because people were constantly coming by with their kids and dogs, and I didn't know how much time I would have between questions. We stopped filming because it was midday and my niece needed her lunch and nap, and more people were coming by. So we were on time constraints. And our time was up.
A few weeks later, when the weather was nice, I filmed myself in a mustard field near my home. I used three different cameras, and two microphones. I did NOT want to have to do this more than once. It was Easter Sunday, and the lack of my dad and my grandma being alive, really hit me in the feels. I tried my best not to cry on camera, and then thought, "well...it's part of the journey, I guess. Maybe I'll use it, maybe I won't."
I ended up using part of it.
The other struggle I faced were cars, runners, and many bicyclists coming right past me. With all my filming gear, they probably thought I was some wine country vlogger making a video for my fans. I was more worried about what I was saying, or crying, when they came by. Some were kind enough to yell out "Happy Easter!" That made me feel good.
Once I got my broll and aroll done, I had a difficult time deciding how my story would unfold. I thought about how movies that hit me in the feels seem to have a flow of happy, sad, happy. So my original movie had that as the lineup. After receiving feedback, I decided that the sad should be at the end, so as not to take away from the project. I think it turned out perfect in this way. I'm happy with my work. It makes me want to make a REAL documentary (but not about me).
Transliteracy has influenced and informed my thinking around my Capstone Project by making me more aware of what is available to me and my students. I have learned about new websites and techniques to keep my students engaged, and ways to deliver information.
Students should have a seamless transition from home to school when it comes to technology. Many students have tech devices at home which allow them to stay informed of national and global news. Our teaching strategies must reflect that. We can't not allow students to bring their personal opinions and resources into our classrooms! I remember feeling as a student how "out of touch" my teachers appeared to me. They were in their 50's and 60's when I was in kinder! We used a record player that sang us the alphabet songs. Meanwhile, I'm at home recording my music from the radio onto my boombox. We weren't given "voice and choice" back then. I wish we had. I think it would've changed how I felt about math growing up!
In regards to my capstone, I tried to have interesting visual and audio in my documentary. I wanted the website to not be too wordy, but not be all pictures. I added links for people to explore outside of my capstone website and made sure those links were embedded in the reading portions of the pages. To break up the monotony of the reading, I used my logo colors and bold letters to highlight interesting key words or phrases, much like when I read an online article or magazine.
I hope to use my new skills to foster my students' transliteracy skills now and into the future.
I have LOVED the 703 class! I felt like I was learning something I could use RIGHT AWAY. I have been making video tutorials for my colleagues and students for a few years now. I taught myself through asking questions on Google, forums, and friends. I've always enjoyed making short videos and a few times during my career, would wonder if I chose the right profession? But, I know that this skill is merely a hobby and should stay as such.
My favorite part of the class was also my hardest part--the documentary. When I make videos, I'm usually not in them. I do the voiceover, but have other things or people in the visual. I didn't think I'd have a problem talking in front of a camera, but I did! I realized that I would think a lot before speaking and it slowed my speech down tremendously.
I also loved learning different broll techniques. My favorite shot was when I put my tripod on my tall desks and looked down as I took down my posters. It gave me a different perspective and wasn't "up close and personal" like some of my other shots. I can't wait to share the information with my students when we get back to in-person teaching so they can liven up their videos.
I liked that I had the creative freedom to tell my story. At first, I wondered if I should mention my family members who had passed during my journey. I didn't want the documentary to be about that. But as I worked, I realized, that it actually is a big part of my journey. We were in a pandemic, my grandmother was slowly dying, and our childhood neighborhood burned down. Planning a super private funeral held in the middle of the ashes, signified the tremendous loss I was feeling. It made me miss my dad, which in turn, took me mentally away from my family, and my schoolwork.
I ended up continuing on. I love learning, and I'm not a person who easily quits. I put my priorities into perspective and chugged along. I really believe that once I was fully vaccinated, my spirits lifted. I was able to see my family in person again, went hiking more often, and got a new bike! I'm happier and glad I continued, even if I had to crawl.
I'm here. I'm done with my capstone project. I'm done with my documentary and my capstone presentation. I'm ready for the next thing--to graduate!
It's been a rough 2020-2021 school year. COVID brought everything to a hault. I had to learn new curriculum, a new position, a new principal, and all this over Zoom. I spent my nights and weekends pouring over readings, research results, data, opinions, facts, technological advances, and all while teaching during a pandemic. I found that juggling my two positions at work along with a master's program, dying family members, my childhood neighborhood destroyed in the fires, being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, and pet owner was almost too much.
What did I give up to make sure I was able to continue on? I realized that blogging was what I gave up. It seemed like the one thing that I could do later that would ease my burden. So here I am, at the end of my journey, writing my last blog posts.
Although difficult at times, this program was well worth it. I feel empowered to try new things in my classroom. I feel better prepared for what lies ahead when technologies change. I have people from my cohort who I know struggled with the some of the same things I did, and I can rely on them for future support.
My advice to anyone beginning the program-- Do your best. If you have to crawl over the finish line, you are still moving forward. Ask questions. Do the work. Struggle, learn, grow. Make connections with people outside your comfort zone. And trust the process.
As a student in the Touro Innovative Learning program, I'd like to share their values.
Life-long learning has always been important to me. I am always looking for new ways to be creative, whether musical, artistic, or technological. I'm so happy that Touro has teamed up with NapaLearns to allow local teachers to continue their education. The Innovative Learning program is an excellent way to bring teachers into the 21st century. I am now more confident in keeping up with what my students are interested in, which helps me make my lessons more engaging.
framework to round out a students' knowledge base, thus preparing them for their future. It doesn't minimize the importance of one idea, but sees all three as equally important in the scope of a learner. Sadly, I find that many teachers across our country often do not spend enough time in the center of that diagram. And part of the solution, is being open to change.
For me, I thrive to know more. I want to read everything, watch everything, and share knowledge with others. I want my students to be "in the now" and "in the know" with new ways to learn and share information. I use all kinds of technology myself, why shouldn't they? Using apps like TikTok are fun and engaging, so I design lessons that incorporate Flip Grid as a way for my students to mimic TikTok to respond to content. I ask students what specifically they are into, so I can better gauge my audience and tailor their lessons to suit their needs.
When coaching, I also am thinking about how teachers can use the technology. I make sure that my professional development sessions have a lot of time for teachers to explore what I'm presenting. I want them to go back to their classrooms with at least one tool they can use the next day.
Wait wait wait! Our district has a mission statement?! I mean, it makes sense. A district SHOULD have one. It helps keep all the stakeholders and future stakeholders up to speed on what needs to be done.
But from what I see, this "About NVUSD" page is not a mission statement. It's a laundry list of goals. There is a "tagline" about transforming student lives, but not a mission statement.
Having worked at two different charter schools within this district during my career, I have helped to create a school's mission statement. It's not an easy task. Everyone's voice needs to be heard to narrow down the focus. And although the tagline seems narrow, it's really quite broad. And very brief. It's more of a commercial, really.
Our district has created new logos a few times over the past few years. I don't quite understand the rationale behind so many identity changes, when the mission statement is this muddled.
I'm also quite confused as to why there is a graphic with a bunch of words. Were these words uttered? Written? Why are they significant? What are they in regards to?
Clear as mud in a hurricane.
One weekend, it was a sunny day, and we had a family hike planned. I loaded up my son and our dog to meet my sister, her family, and my mom for a socially distanced hike. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather.
Oh the things I want to do for my capstone project video!!! I really wish I had good B roll from my classroom. Sadly, I do not, as I teach virtually and do not record my students. So that's one thing with which I am struggling. However, I think I can solve that with B roll from the program I use for making videos.
After watching the film noir style video, it inspired me to be me. It's totally something I would've done. However, I'm not sure I could have pulled it off as successfully with a serious side. I'm thinking of making my video be more of a "training video" from the 80's to early 90's. I had to watch many training videos when I worked 6.5 years in a big box office supply retail store in the late 90's to mid 2000's. And my research was on professional development. I'm a huge fan of the sci-fi tv show Lost. In the show, there are training videos from the 70's to train the characters to use substations from the Dharma Initiative. This is is my inspiration. So I drew up what the station's logo will be. Here it is!
My audience will be fellow educators who are coaches. The "training" will be information on why coaching is important and how it should be done during their educators' school day to make it most effective. Some important facts I will include are that professional development needs to be engaging, timely, current, and done within the school day.
PD, or Professional Development, can cause educators to loudly sigh, roll their eyes, or even fall asleep. But does it have to be this way? Do educators have to feel that "PD" is synonymous with "wasting time"? Or is PD even neccessary?!
Maybe what PD presenters should be asking themselves are, "Is the PD I'm attending effective? Is the PD helping student achievment? Does this PD work within the educators' daily schedule? How often will the PD be revisited?"
As a magnet coach, I don't want the eductors I'm leading during a PD to roll their eyes, sigh, or fall asleep. I want the session to be relevant, respectful of the educators' time, and inspiring. I want my sessions to be experienced by the educator in a way that also demonstrates how students learn. I know I shut down during a PD where someone talks at me. And I want time to explore the new ideas, ask questions, and have meaningful discussions with my peers during the PD. I want people to be excited about the information I'm going to share with them. So it made sense that my research should be based on professional development and how it affects student agency.
What I didn't expect during my research, was how the pandemic would greatly affect professional development. I teach virtually from home. So I really had to up my Zoom game and make sure that what I presented had all the elements I mentioned before. I also learned that no matter how much I make my PD's accessible to all educators, there are still factors I may not have accounted for. Like...an educator's willingness to adopt a new way of teaching.
I'm not sure I will continue the research specifically. If I do, I would definately do things differently. I woud like to try doing the research when the pandemic is no longer an issue. I want to see if there is a correlation between our school's first trimester teaching in a pandemic, my first time being a magnet coach, the educators being in a less stressful teaching environment, and compare the data.
Sarah Magallano teaches 5th grade. She also coaches teachers on integrating art & engineering into their lesson plans.