On the Job Training

My name is Marshall Schmidt, and I am a third year master’s student majoring in biomedical engineering.  But, I really enjoy the teaching aspect of STEM.  Therefore, I am also studying to teach secondary mathematics while I finish my master’s thesis at KU!

The GK-12 program fits perfectly into my background in STEM – I hold a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Wichita State University – and my future plans to be a secondary mathematics teacher.  This year, I am working with eighth grade math classes at Turner Middle School located in Kansas City, Ks. The school’s students are ethnically, socioeconomically, and academically diverse, making for an interesting learning environment in each class.  

While I still consider myself a student (I’m a 20th grader), the middle school classroom has changed significantly in the past 15 years.  Now, students use a facebook-esque application on their school issued iPad, Edmodo, to take quizzes, access assignments, and submit homework in each class.  This advent in technology expedites students and parents access to grades and receive direct feedback on their work.  However, the iPads are also a source of inevitable distraction for students, which also contribute to abbreviated attention to the teacher’s lessons. Working with the classroom teacher, I have helped brainstorm project ideas, such as mapping routes using Google Maps in New York City to better understand line segments, angles, and speed.  

It would seem that teachers and students, much like the rest of us, are still learning how to most appropriately utilize technology in our lives.  Thus far, my impression of teaching is that it requires immense patience with students, diligence to plan well though out lessons, and creativity to spontaneously change them when needed.

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2 Responses to On the Job Training

  1. Robert C Everhart says:

    I am amazed at the technology available to the students at Turner. I generally think of the KCK schools as lacking resources, but they seem to have similar access to technology (or more if you consider google fiber) than many higher-dollar districts. It will be interesting to see how they use it!

    • abarnds says:

      I agree – I am very impressed by the availability of a wide range of technologies in the Turner classroom. It is definitely different that the resources I have so far seen in my school in the same district. I am curious as to how long Turner has had such resources – and if over the course of the year your teacher will scale up (or down) the use of such devices.

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