Hello everyone, My name is Ty Barrett and this is my 7th course in curriculum and instruction (general) program. I am 25 years old and am from Sapulpa, Oklahoma, which is where I currently teach at as well. I teach at the junior high, this year teaching 8th grade US History (last year I taught 9th grade government as well). I also coach a couple of different sports, tennis and wrestling. I competed in both those sports when I was in high school and the school even still has a large banner of me wrestling hanging up in our gym. I received my undergraduate degree in history from the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2020.
On September 9th of this year I married my amazing wife Kaylyn and then we went on our honeymoon to Charleston, South Carolina, which was an especially fun city for me as a history nerd. I also have a fairly unique hobby as I train border collies to herd sheep and cattle and compete with them across the country. In 2021 I qualified and ran in both the USBCHA Sheep and Cattle Dog National Championships. I made the front page of several papers with my dog Kara in Virginia at the sheepdog finals. I am excited to use technology in this class and learn ways to become more tech friendly for the classes I teach since my school is a 1:1 technology school.
In the ISTE Educator standards 2.6b lists “Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.” I think manage is a very key word there in that while technology can be very beneficial to students, if it is not managed and facilitated well then there will likely be problems. I do this mostly by monitoring screens and give clear concise directions on how to utilize their technology. I also model this as well for my students. As a history teacher I often lecture and have slideshows that accompany my lecture and guide me through it. In order to help satisfy the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies 8th Grade, 8.2, “The student will examine key military and diplomatic events of the Revolutionary War that resulted in an independent nation.” I have given the students a project where they will create their own slideshow and present to the class about their research and learning about specific, key Revolutionary War battles. This project also goes somewhat along with the ISTE for students 11-14 “Learning Through Design Thinking” as the students in this assignment have to collaborate and design their own lecture/ presentation to learn and showcase their learning about the topic.
Chapter 1 of Dr. Gura’s book is focused mainly on the idea of creativity. It goes into how creativity is formed, how it may be thought of and even how it can be taught. One thing that really stood out to me is the quote from Sir Ken Robinson on creativity “It’s a process . . . it’s rarely the case if you are working on a creative project that you get the exact final version on your first attempt.” (Gura, p. 18) This is something that really stood out to me and reminded me of one of my most influential classes I took in college. I took a public speaking class and it helped turn me from someone who was terrified of presenting into someone who was okay with it and does it for a living to students everyday.
The professor, Dr. Brewer had us deliver 5 or 6 different speeches over the course of the class, and would have other students in the class monitor your speech and provide feedback on different parts of it. Getting better at the speeches was a process, feeling comfortable in front of the class was a process, but as we did it more and got more acquainted with other students, gained a better understanding of how to give a speech and the little details it became better and better. These speeches are like creativity in that way, that one needs to understand that it is a process and a growth that continues to happen. I do this with these presentations in my classes, I have several throughout the school year, make efforts to have students feel more comfortable in these settings, then after going through the process a few times they will get better and better. By the end they should realize that just because something is a process, does not mean that it is impossible, but by staying the course and committing they were able to come out the other side prepared. This is similar to how they should model their creativity process, without letting roadblocks appear and keep them from being creative and showcasing their creativity.
Gura, M. (2016). Make, learn, succeed: Building a culture of creativity in your school. Eugene, OR: ISTE. Introduction & Part 1 (pages 1-51)