<![CDATA[Fabulously FCS - Home]]>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:17:43 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Hearing From the Experts...]]>Thu, 21 Jan 2016 22:18:09 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/hearing-from-the-expertsI've determined that I will only be the expert on a few things in my classroom. Those things do not include music, pop culture, or even how my students learn best.  I can try and tailor my curriculum to fit each and every student, and I can work to differentiate my lessons to engage my kids.  At the end of the day, though, I need to hear from the experts themselves: my students.

Maybe it's my lack of experience or my own desire to be heard, but I've realized this week that I ask the opinions of my students A LOT!  Which led me to the conclusion that students LOVE to give their opinion.  They love to tell me which Pandora stations are on point and which ones they never want to listen to again.  They also like to have a say in how and what they are going to be learning--I know, HUGE shocker--and I love to hear what they have to say!  I want them to have a vested interest in what they are learning, not only for my sanity, but so they actually learn.

This doesn't, however, mean that I guarantee to do everything that they suggest.  They're teenagers, which means that they are going to have some pretty off the wall, crazy ideas.  Some days these outrageous thoughts are the inspiration I need for a new project or lesson, but there are definitely times when I wish they would be serious about the things they're suggesting.

But the best thing is when they come to class, I pass out or explain what we're doing, and they can say, "Hey! I/We helped you come up with this!  This was my/our idea!"  At  that point, they are very invested in the work they are going to complete, even if that initial reaction might fade some.  It's that original surge of pride that keeps me asking.  After all, they are the experts on themselves, and why wouldn't I want an expert's opinion?
<![CDATA[Say Yes to FCS]]>Wed, 09 Dec 2015 16:55:45 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/say-yes-to-fcsFamily & Consumer Sciences.  I am sure that to most people those words mean very little.  They might conjure up an image of their 'Home Ec' classroom from high school, or they might not trigger any memories at all. But to me, those words encompass what I do.  I get the privilege of teaching kids practical skills, concepts, and ideas that they will be able to use and think about for the rest of their lives.  As a teacher, what else could you ask for?

So WHY did I chose to teach FCS? My first thought is, "Why not?" Why wouldn't I want to teach something that is practical, hands on, applicable, and lifelong? Why wouldn't I want to be a teacher that can go on field trips to the grocery store, take a walk to look at houses, or even go to the mall?  Why wouldn't I want to build relationships with students, be the only teacher who sees their potential, or see them blossom within my classroom? Honestly, how could I say no? 

Why wouldn't I want to teach something that is practical, hands on, applicable, and lifelong?
Practicality is one of my favorite perks of teaching FCS.  I get to  help my students develop their communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills; skills that they will use every day, whether in school or on the job.  I also teach them how to eat properly, how to interact with their family, and how to deal with issues that could arise in the workplace.  All of it is has so much application outside of the classroom!  Quite frankly, students want information that they can apply outside of school, and I get to be the person that gives them what they want--talk about a great way to become a favorite teacher! :)

Why wouldn't I want to be a teacher that can go on field trips to the grocery store, take a walk to look at houses, or even go to the mall?
A shopping trip...need I say more?  Once again...it's so practical!  It's all about giving them real world experiences and getting them prepared to be successful there!  And if I get to enjoy some food and do some shopping in the process, who am I to complain!?

Why wouldn't I want to build relationships with students, be the only teacher who sees their potential, or see them blossom within my classroom?
At the heart of my love for teaching lies my students.  I do what I do because of them; even when they don't listen and make me want to pull my hair out!  I am lucky to be an FCS teacher because I get to teach fun things.  We get to cook, sew, and build blanket forts--yes, that really happened!  I get to create a classroom environment that is quite nontraditional.  I get to put my students in an academic environment where they can thrive, an experience that might be brand new to some.  I get to tell them how well they are doing and show them that they have potential.  These are the things that make being a teacher absolutely, 100% totally worth it.  If I can walk away from education and say that I have made a difference for just one student, I will consider my career a success.  The students make teaching the content easy. When they're enjoying what they are doing, they don't even realize that they working hard and learning in the process!

If you've made it this far, you're probably wondering why I chose to write about this topic.  Well let me fill you in!  There is a huge shortage of FCS teachers right now, not only in Nebraska and the Midwest, but across the country!  So if you have ever given thought to becoming an educator, I challenge you to think about becoming an FCS teacher.  Yes, I pointed out the best of the best in this post, and yes, it definitely has its days--but what career doesn't!  But if at any point in your reading you thought to yourself, "That!  That's what I love to do!" or "Yes! I want to be able to experience that!" then I do believe I'm talking (or technically writing) to someone who would make an outstanding Family & Consumer Sciences teacher!
Think about it.  Do some research.  Ask Questions!
NASAFACS provides some AWESOME resources to potential FCS teachers, so this page is a great place to start!

<![CDATA["She seems like a 'cool' teacher..."]]>Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:32:11 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/she-seems-like-a-cool-teacherAs a brand new, straight out of college, 22 year old teacher, I can relate fairly well to my students.  I had Smart Boards in my high school classrooms, I had a school-issued laptop, and I spent a lot of time in front of a computer completing assignments.  I also enjoy sports, binge-watching Netflix, taking naps, waking up as late as possible, and jamming out to Frozen songs.  I am only 4 years removed from high school, and yet, here I am again, teaching students that are less than 10 years younger than I am.  Sound challenging?

Well, it definitely can be!  Today as I was standing in the hallway greeting my students as they came to class, I commented on a student's haircut.  Another student, who I don't have in class, immediately responded with, "She seems like a cool teacher," and I was a little embarrassed.  Not because I don't want to be seen as a caring, engaging, passionate educator, but because I don't want to be pigeon-holed simply as a "cool" teacher.  

I love what I teach, and I love my students, but sometimes I worry that I am not strict enough, don't expect enough, and don't have enough control.  If students really perceived these expectations and rules in my classroom, then they wouldn't see me as "cool."  Or would they?  Can I still be "cool" with these practices in place in my classroom?  Maybe I can, but when I was in high school I never would have said that my "cool" teachers were strict, always had control, or had high expectations.  Those labels were reserved for my BEST teachers, not my FAVORITE teachers.

I struggle with this because I don't want to be the "cool" teacher or someone's "favorite" because they can goof around, have fun all the time, or get by with doing very little work in my classes.  I want to be the teacher that they know has high expectations, doesn't put up with messing around, but still promotes a lively classroom climate.  Above all, I want my kids to realize that I have high expectations for their behavior, actions, and work, which all stems from them putting forth effort each and every day.

As a teacher with a whole three months of experience, maybe this goal is too lofty.  Maybe I shouldn't be worried about it.  But I am, and I honestly think that it's worth my time, effort, and energy to worry about it because it really does matters.  My students are the reason that I am in education, and they should be the reason that I set goals and want to become a better teacher.

So here's to setting high expectations and creating an exciting, yet controlled learning environment.  As Karl Menninger once said, "What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches."  In other words, here's to becoming the new and improved "cool" teacher; the teacher who is more concerned with how and why I teach and what is best for my students.
"students-in-class-with-teacher-reading" by Ilmicrofono Oggiono under CC BY 4.0
<![CDATA[Why Are We Doing This?]]>Fri, 06 Nov 2015 18:13:34 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/why-are-we-doing-thisThis week, I presented a large final project to my high school students.  The immediate crowd reaction was AWFUL!

"But Miss Greene, why are we doing this?"
"We never had to things like this last year."
"Can't we just cook and call it good?"
"Do you think I'm ever going to remember all of this?"

These are just a few of the awesome comments I got after passing out the instruction page & points breakdown.  Of course, I had a pretty good idea that they were going to react this way.  I knew that they were going to be upset over the fact that I was going to make them exert some effort and do some critical thinking.  But heaven forbid that I, their teacher, have expectations of them, my students!

I knew that most of their comments were said in an effort to get me to rethink my decision to assign this project, as if that is EVER going to happen! But they really made me dig deep and think about WHY I was assigning this project for them to complete.  So I went back to their questions and tried to come up with some answers.

"We never had to things like this last year."
Ahh, the dreaded comment spewed to all first year teachers.  I usually just brush this one off and remind them that I am not their teacher from last year. It is also not a valid argument because, once again, I AM NOT THAT TEACHER!  End of story.

"Can't we just cook and call it good?"
Yet another comment that most, if not all, FCS teachers have heard at some point in time.  My simple response is, no we can't just cook and call it good.  We cook to reinforce what we are learning.  We don't cook for me to teach you to cook; you need to take Mrs. Gibson's classes if that's what you want to learn! Sorry Mrs. Gibson! :)

"Do you think I'm ever going to remember all of this?"
No.  I don't think that you are going to remember all of the little things I teach you, like which vitamins are fat soluble and which are water soluble.  But I guarantee you will be able to remember that milk has calcium and phosphorous in it, which is why it's good for your bones.  And if I were to ask them what disease they would get if they didn't consume enough calcium, they would be able to answer with a resounding "Osteoporosis!"  And that's enough for me to feel good about what I'm teaching and what they're absorbing.

"But Miss Greene, why are we doing this?"
As a first year teacher, I feel like I struggle with this question a LOT!  I think it's compounded because of my subject area.  I am VERY lucky to teach Family & Consumer Sciences, an area where there are no standardized tests to prepare my students for and no standards or benchmarks that they HAVE to be meeting for me to keep my job.  But this freedom, or lack of accountability, is its own double edged sword.  Not having these benchmarks or goals to hold me accountable makes it very hard for me to focus on exactly what I want my kids to walk away with.  It's hard for ME to answer the "why are we doing this" question, but I have come up with a pretty general, temporary answer.  I know that a more definite answer will come as I spend more time in the classroom, more time looking at the scope and sequence of my courses, and more time analyzing what my kids NEED to leave with.  But until then, my students and I will have to be content with the best answer I have: Because it's important for you to know.

I do have to say, that after a few days of them really digging into the project and putting forth some effort, they have stopped complaining and really taken ownership of what they are doing.  Yes, sometimes they completely lose focus or ask me a question that is clearly answered in the directions, but at least they are engaged (for the most part) in what they are working on.  If I can keep them hooked, keep them interested, and keep them excited, then they can start to see the importance of the information.  And that's when they will be able to answer the age old question, "Why are we doing this?" without any response from me.]]>
<![CDATA[Social Media & Student Relationships]]>Tue, 03 Nov 2015 03:36:35 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/social-media-student-relationships Kids are the reason that I am in education.  I love seeing them blossom in the classroom, on the field, on the stage, and on the court.  I love running into them outside of school (most of the time), and I love interacting with them on social media.  Yes, I know what I just typed, and yes, it is true!

If you would have asked me two or three years ago if I would be using social media in the classroom, I probably would have been offended and spouted off something about how unprofessional it would be for ME to communicate with MY students via any social media platform--probably pointing out that if I had seniors in high school, a majority would only be four years younger than me, so how could that be professional?

But now? Now I know better. How can it be unprofessional of me to COMMUNICATE with my students in a manner that they seem to prefer? Of course certain rules and stipulations of professionalism have to be adhered to. If they are, then I don't think there is anything wrong with teachers interacting and communicating with their students on social media.  In fact, I believe that it only grows the relationship I have with my kids.  And like I pointed out before, kids are the reason that I'm in education.  The relationships that I have built with my kids are what I am the most proud of as an educator.  So, I am always looking for ways to grow and develop these relationships, which is why I have enjoyed interacting with my students on Twitter this year.

​Case In Point:
I love that my kids want to reply to my tweets, favorite & retweet them, and tweet to me.  I love that they do these things even if it doesn't relate to the classroom, and I love it even more when it is related to what we're talking about in class.  I love these things because it speaks volumes of the relationship that I have built with my kids.  And if they remember nothing else from my classes, I hope that they can at least look back and say, "Yep, she really did care about me."
I LOVE this picture! I love their focus and determination, and I love the creativity they used during this lab. But most of all, I love that I got to share this amazing picture with them, their parents and peers on social media!
<![CDATA[The Opinions of Others]]>Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:25:21 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/the-opinions-of-othersA couple of weeks ago, one of the greatest people I know passed away.  My friend Joey was truly an inspiration to so many people.  He not only battled and beat cancer twice before turning 21, but he never let that get in the way of achieving his dreams.  I feel so honored to have called him a classmate and a good friend.

I found out about Joey's death at the end of the day on a Monday--talk about an awful start to the week.  It was also the last week of the term, so I was working on putting together finals, getting caught up on grades, and simply trying not to pull my hair out.  It seemed as if my kids decided that it would also be a great week to just be CRAZY.  By Friday, I had had enough of my high school students, so I decided it was time to remind them of all the things they have to offer--and to remind myself, because there were some of them that had pushed me to my breaking point. 

So, I got out my stack of white note cards and had each student write their name at the top.  I picked them all up, and then randomly passed the cards out, so that my students wouldn't be worried about who had their card. Then, I gave them 30 seconds to write something positive and meaningful about each of their classmates.  To keep things interesting, I also put a card in the mix for myself--at this point, I needed to be reminded of the good things I had been doing.  Each card was passed around until it was full of positive comments.  

But, because these are freshman and sophomores in high school, of course there were some interesting comments on each of their cards.  One of my male students' card read, "You're annoying, but nice."  He was definitely a little put off by this comment, and I can't really blame him.  But the point of this activity was not for students to point out the flaws or imperfections of their classmates nor was it for them to write lies.  So we had a little discussion about other people's opinions of us, and it included these points:
  • Should other people's opinions be the ONLY things that dictate how we act or dress or what we believe?  Absolutely not!
  • Should we think about how other people view us?  Yes! We spend our entire life trying to make a good impression.
  • Can we change as individuals?  Yes! Especially when you are only 14 or 15!
  • Should we try our hardest to get along with our peers?  Yes!  Like it or not, these are going to be your people for at least the next 4 years of high school, so you better be able to tolerate them and vice versa.

​Looking back now, I realize how Joey-like this activity was.  Not only was Joey "one of my people" in high school, he was also someone who never let the opinions of others get to him.  He definitely marched to the beat of a very unique drum, but I believe that he used the comments and opinions of other people to make him into the truly extraordinary individual that he was, not to define or limit him.

That's what I was hoping my students would understand.  Yes, you might be labeled as the "annoying, but nice" kid, but does that have to define you forever?  No.  Maybe you want to be the annoying kid--that's fine, but is that really how you want to be personified for the next 4 years?  Instead of being the annoying kid, maybe you could be the kid that follows directions or is always willing to help others.  Instead of letting the opinions of others dictate your static behaviors, let their opinions create a dynamic individual. Someone who understands the importance of a leaving a good impression, but who is not afraid to stand up for his beliefs, have a unique fashion sense, or even a slightly eccentric hairstyle.  
My note cards full of great things from my students. I taped them just below my computer to remind myself that my kids do have a positive opinion of me--or at least they're really good liars!
A picture of my friend Beth, myself, & Joey, taken during our freshman year of college. It's almost impossible to miss his radiating smile & his crazy red afro, which are only two of the many things that I will miss dearly about Joey.
<![CDATA[Here Goes Nothing...]]>Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:31:09 GMThttp://missgreene15.weebly.com/home/here-goes-nothingAfter a full nine weeks in the classroom, I can honestly say that teaching cannot be described with fewer than 2,483 words, if not more!  It is extremely rewarding, totally exhausting, everything in between and then some!  I have definitely lived and learned over the past two months, so I have decided to share some of those trials and tribulations with you all through this website!  I hope that I can provide some "ah-ha" moments and ideas for you, and I look forward to gaining some great insight from you.

So ​bear with me as I try to keep my life together long enough to remember what worked and what didn't as well as what got kids to their "ah-ha" moment.

I know that one thing doesn't always work for everyone, but sometimes you just need that one thing to get you started on something amazing.  I have had this happen with my students more times (already) than I ever expected!  I give them a basic assignment with pretty basic guidelines, and then they go above and beyond to create something truly unique.  

So I hope that my ideas, epic fails, and amazing successes can help you create something that is truly unique and exactly what you've been looking to implement.

Another warning, I am still very much in the building and creating stages of this project.  So please bear with me as I update, tweek, and continue to add (a lot) more content, resources, and information!

I look forward to learning with you!
​Chelsey ]]>