Tag Archives: Classroom

Episode 50: Bring Yourself Into Your Career | 4th Grade Teacher Karen Krupnick

As a 4th Grade Teacher Karen Krupnick was an excellent teacher who always brought something of herself into the classroom.  Her passion for teaching transferred itself to her students and, as a former student myself, know she changed the lives of her students.  Learn how you can bring yourself into your career in Episode 50 of the Defining Success Podcast!

Karen Krupnick on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn Bring Yourself Into Your Career

Karen Krupnick

Karen Krupnick was my 4th grade elementary teacher.  Karen Krupnick has been a teacher for 40 years and has taught over 1,200 students, including myself.  She fostered the creativity of her students by teaching lessons that were outside of the box.

Karen had no idea she was going to be an educator.  She graduated college as a French teacher and it took a while before she made a decision to become a teacher.  A friend of Karen’s began teaching preschool and Karen decided to give it a try.

Teaching has changed completely from 40 years ago.  When she first started, there was a lot of experimentation in the classroom.  It was a time when you tried new things and when she left teaching it became a test-oriented environment.

State standards have changed the classroom many times over.  The new common core is looking to change the way teaching is done.  The one thing Karen enjoyed about teaching was that she was able to bring something of herself into the classroom (bring yourself into your career) and could teach her classroom in creative ways and now that is definitely not encouraged.

When Karen went into teaching most teachers said they went into education because they could share their passion with their students.

One of the most valuable things Karen learned about teaching was the never-ending progression of students.  Because of their different gifts, Karen came to appreciate people in a whole different way.  She found the uniqueness of the human being to be very interesting.

Karen loved teaching math and she learned many things she could bring to her students and she loved doing integrated units and bringing all subjects into these units.

The Great Race to Nome Karen Krupnick Bring Yourself Into Your Career

The Great Race to Nome

The Iditarod is a sled-dog race in Alaska where somewhere around 100 dog-sledders make this long trip along Alaska and it was immediately fascinating to Karen that human beings do this.  At the time Karen was first introduced to the race, there wasn’t a lot of stuff out there.  Students could calculate averages, do mathematical equations, read on the subject, and communicate with participants in the Iditarod.  As a result, Karen created curriculum and wrote a book on the subject which 1,000’s of teachers were using in their classrooms.  Recently; however, the state standards have forced administrators to say that this was not important and were discouraging teachers from using it in the classroom.

As technology evolved, students could do live chats with the mushers.  And students could also chat with classrooms that were located at checkpoints along the Iditarod trail.

Karen wishes people outside of education understood that the teacher’s job never stops at 3pm.  And that they’ll never understand how much time teachers put into their job over the summers.  It’s painful as a teacher that so many other professionals diminish the efforts of teachers and it would be nice if they only knew how much time, effort and commitment most teachers put into their job.

Being a member of the team to educate your child is extremely important.  Making sure they’re doing their homework and understanding what goes on in your child’s day is very important.  Good, quality parenting is always part of the education process.

One of the things Karen missed was picking up her kids at her line in the morning.  She loved seeing their energy and feeling their energy and loved questions.

Karen Krupnick

Karen Krupnick

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Should teachers bring a piece of themselves into the classroom?
  • What do you think is the best way to educate children?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Iditarod.com – “It takes so much more than a field of willing mushers and anxious sled dogs to run the Iditarod Trail Race. With an annual budgetof almost two million dollars, the Iditarod Trail Committee depends on a hard working force of volunteers and supporters to raise the necessary money all year around. An annual sweepstakes isheld. Various items are sold at fairs and benefits. Banquets are planned in both Anchorage and Nome. This volunteer force and the loyal supporters from both the private and business sector make the race possible each year.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is being able to get up every morning and be glad that you’re going to your job.”
  • “If you love where you’re going and what you’re doing than you’re a success.”
  • “Be yourself and study the things that you love. Don’t choose what you study because of what anybody else tells you.”
  • “Be yourself.  Bring something of yourself into your classroom.”
  • “A career goes home with you.  A job, you leave behind at the office.”
  • “Good, quality parenting is always part of the education process.”

Special Requests:

Rate and Review the Defining Success Podcast in iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909

 

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode #15: Exposing People to Their Passions | Principal Collin Miller from Sparks Middle School

Teaser: Collin Miller is extremely hard working and extremely passionate about education and works hard to improve the lives of his students. His passion shines through in Episode 15 of the Defining Success Podcast as he shares what he’s doing to improve the lives of the students that step foot in his school.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

 

Exposing People to Their Passions Collin Miller Sparks Middle School

Principal Collin Miller from Sparks Middle
School

Recap:  At 33 years old, Collin Miller is one of the youngest administrators in Southern California and was recently nominated as a new administrator of the year by the HLPAA. He started as a teacher at Sparks Middle School and he’s now the principal at the school he originally started working at.

Collin graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in TV, Radio and Film and got a job with a multimedia company and he wasn’t sure if that wasn’t his passion.  The only way he knew he would go anywhere in the industry, he knew he would have to move to Los Angeles.

He had a friend who was a second grade teacher who gave him the opportunity to teach a five-step lesson plan on soccer and he knew he found his passion.  He then took all the necessary steps to become a classroom teacher and quickly moved into the classroom and up the ladder to administration.

When you’re young you have people you look up to and Collin had some great mentors who helped guide him to become an administrator.  Collin loved exposing people to their passions and building relationships with them.  He teaches in a low income area.  As a teacher he saw how resilient many of his students were.  As an administrator the same goes for building relationships with students and growing them.  Collin now feels like he has the same opportunity to work with teachers and help them become better in the classroom.

One of Collin’s goals for Sparks Middle School is to help get more parents and partners involved with the school.  Collin works really hard to get his students college ready. One thing Collin stresses to his students is that “Success is the only option.”

Principal Collin Miller from Sparks Middle School - Exposing People to Their Passions

Principal Collin Miller from Sparks Middle School

I was actually fortunate enought to attend a career day put on by Collin at Sparks Middle School where I taught students how they can use the Internet to achieve their goals.  Collin worked really hard to put on the event in order to show students how many job possibilites there were out there.  Too often students don’t understand what options they have when it came to a career choice and his career day was designed to open the eyes of many students at his school.

One of Collin’s favorite things is to get a yearbook and have student’s sign his yearbook and his personal reflection is reading what student’s say and is his best evaluation of himself for that year.

One of the challenges Collin faces is that you’re always looking for what’s in the best interest of the students.  And that’s challenging because we have feelings and mistakes are made and he always tries to learn from his mistakes and not make the same mistake twice.

Collin considers himself to be a great motivator and is very passionate at what he does which sets him apart from some other educators.  Learn how Collin works tirelessly exposing people to their passions.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do we work on exposing people to their passions?
  • What can we do to help our schools and educators?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Sparks Middle School – Sparks Middle School is located in Hacienda – La Puente in Southern California.  Collin Miller is the school principal.
  • The Tutoring Solution – The Tutoring Solution tutors students in Corona, Chino, Ontario and across Southern California.  Visit our website to learn more about our Share Your Passion scholarship gven to students who complete an essay about their passions and how they are using their passion to help others.
  • Welborn Media

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is being involved with something . . . and seeing a greater result.”
  • “Living every day like you couldn’t have done anything else.”
  • “We want students to own their future.”

Special Requests:

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode #6: Blog Writing to Learn | Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein discusses how she uses blog writing to make her a better educator, to continue her learning, to share her learning with others and to communicate with other leading educators and education professionals. Pay attention to how Erin has used her blog to make positive change in her community and her classroom.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Recap:

Erin Klein has been a classroom teacher and has developed her own blog which has been successful in its own right.

Erin has taught 1st grade, junior high school and now 2nd grade and she loves it.  She used a website for her classroom highlighting her students work and her website became so successful in her school that she got recognition by her district.  And then was asked to give presentations to other teachers and she began to blog as a resource sharing site to share her students work and share resources with other teachers.

As a teacher, Erin feels that the blog helps her become a better teacher and gives her an opportunity to share, get feedback, and offers an opportunity for self reflection.  She knows that maintaining her blog has helped her become a better teacher and by sharing she has helped other teachers become better.

A recent activity Erin Klein did in her classroom that she shared with others is  “If Our Characters Had Instagram,” where students are encouraged to act as if they were a character and then encouraged to think of what types of pictures they would take and share on Instagram which has taken off and teachers all over the world have been downloading her If Our Characters Had Instagram lesson plan.

Erin uses Twitter and Facebook to connect with educators.  She loves using Twitter more so than Facebook because, to her, Twitter is more of a professional outlet.  She loves the ability Twitter gives her to connect with different types of educators all over the globe.

Blog writing is important for Erin because she uses it to share resources and reflect on what she’s doing in the classroom and it also gives her a way to connect with the parents as to what’s going on in the classroom.

One thing Erin didn’t expect when she began blogging is the amount of businesses that would contact her asking her to use their product in her classroom.   Some products she’s recently used in her classroom is the Sifteo Cubes and the Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen, which she says her students love.

Erin would like to see a lot more student choice in the classroom, more teacher-driven content, more creativity, more student voice, more projects, more top-level blooms taxonomy, more mobile and technology apps (used less by particular district approved apps).  Ideally, she would like to put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.  Putting teachers in a more facilitative role and putting the learning into students’ hands.

Learning is a priority to Erin as she’s always looking for opporunities to learn and grow.  She encourages teachers to ask administrators for things and don’t take no as a final answer.  If she feels something is in the best interest of her students then she wants to ask why and that new teachers are so often told no and that that kills the creative process.  Erin does recommend being professional, but still challenging administrators to accomplish goals that she feels would be in the best interest of her students.

Erin equates success and happiness to each other.  Monetary value doesn’t mean success.  Many people she knows who some people would deem successful are often very unhappy.  She thinks if people are happy doing something they love, regardless of money than they are successful.

Engaging Discussion Question(s):

  • Where do you see the future of education going?
  • Where would you like to see education going in the years to come?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Kleinspiration – “Erin Klein the technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association, a national A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, Really Good Stuff Monthly Blogger, Edutopia Guest Blogger, Edudemic Guest Blogger and Magazine Contributor, National Writing Project member, and award-winning EduTech Blogger.Klein has most recently appeared in the Scholastic Instructor Magazine and co-authored Amazing Grades with experts from 13 countries around the world.”
  • If Our Characters Had Instagram – A lesson plan designed by Erin Klein which can be used in classrooms from Kindergarten to High School – If a character/historical figure had Instagram, what kinds of pictures would they take?
  • Sifteo Cubes – “Sifteo Cubes are a magical new interactive game system built on the timeless play patterns of legos, building blocks, and domino tiles.”
  • Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen – “Record everything you hear, say, write and draw. Wirelessly sync notes and audio to your personal Evernote® account where you can replay, organize, search and share your interactive notes any time and anywhere.”
  • The Tutoring Solution’s Share Your Passion Scholarship – The Share Your Passion Essay Contest is open to all High School students. For students to be eligible for one of their scholarships they had to write an essay from the prompt:  “What are you passionate about? Why are you passionate about it? How do you plan on using your passion to help others?”
  • Welborn Media
  • #EdChat – Join the Discussion on Twitter.

Success Quotes:

  • “Put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.” – Erin Klein

Special Requets:

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail