Self Efficacy Survey

For my final semester at the University of Cincinnati, I am taking a course called Improving Attitudes in Education.  No, this isn’t about getting the grumpy Geometry teacher to stop gossiping in the teachers lounge.  It’s a call all about addressing the negative attitudes that our students can have about different aspects of their education experience.  I chose to focus my studies on why students may be hesitant or completely resistant to engaging in classroom discussions.  One thing that we talked about in this class is self efficacy, the strength of the belief in one’s ability.  Thinking about the many factors that contribute to students lack of engagement or willingness to participate, I created a 10-question survey on SurveyMonkey.com for my students to complete about their views on classroom participation.

Here is the link for the survey: Classroom Participation Self Efficacy Survey

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The Rosie Project and Back to School

16181775 (via Goodreads.com)

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

My Review: I was initially drawn to this book because of its title; it contains my middle name and what self-centered person wouldn’t want to read a book that may have a connection to themselves?  Regardless, that was about where we Rosies parted ways.  This was a sweet book, an easy read that kept my attention for the 8ish hours that it took for me to finish it.  I completed the last few chapters while waiting for my highlights to set in the hairdresser’s chair at my local salon.  I enjoyed the narrator, Don the quirky and rigidly entertaining professor who approaches emotional situations the way that most people complete 1,000 + pieced puzzles: look for clues for what is an acceptable fit.  Simsion’s direct and light-hearted writing style made the story enjoyable, and despite being a little too predictable, it was a the perfect story to read before jumping back into denser titles, such as “Beowulf” and my weekly reading assignments for CI7010001: Improving Instructional Effectiveness.

My Rating: 

Three Star Review

Back to School Days

Am I ready?

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Of course we all would prefer to be able to set our own schedule, filling it with only the bits and pieces of life that we love, but that’s not realistic.  I’m not dreading going back to work, or even back to my masters program coursework, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t put up a little bit of a fuss.  Trying to get teenagers to enjoy dissecting and analyzing a text for its deeper meaning when all they want to do is destroy language through texting and emojis.

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If all I did was look at the negatives about going back to school, I would barely be able to drag myself out of bed.  Not only is it my responsibility to my family to help provide a good life for us, but there are more things that I am looking forward to than dreading.

1.  Seeing my students…most of them.  And I’m sure they’re looking forward to getting back to their routine as well.

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2.  Reading some amazing essays and poetry and novels with my students and watching them discover the literature for the first time.

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3.  Fresh starts.  I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting about my instructional practices, pacing, assessments, etc since being on break.  With the beginning of the 2nd semester two weeks from now, I will be able to start implementing some of the changes that I think will provide a greater learning opportunity for both the students and myself.

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4.  April 25, 2014

That date marks the University of Cincinnati’s graduation ceremony.  It will also mark the date in which I will officially be done with my masters degree.

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Murphy’s Law and Running Issues

Morning Workout: 4 miles @ 31:24 

This morning’s run was ok.  I felt like it could have gone a lot better, mostly mentally.  I’ve been trying some new things in my commencement back into running after being dead down with the flu for a week and a half.  One things is breaking my reading dependence while running distances longer than four miles.  I made a new 5k play list, as well as started listening to podcasts via my iPod nano.  It’s been going ok thus far, except for this morning.  Something must have been going haywire in my iPod because after hitting the “Start Run” button, the volume would automatically be set to zero, or mute.  I turned up the volume with the buttons, but as soon as I found the desired sound level, it would automatically slide back down to zero!  WTF!!  Not only was this supremely irritating, it was also DANGEROUS!  I was clipping along at my 7’40″ pace at 5am on a treadmill.  I’m not bright enough to pause my workout and fix my technology issues at a standstill.  Thankfully, it only took the first mile and a half for the vulgar threats I was making to sink into the nano and the volume stayed where I told the $!@#* to.

Some may call that Murphy’s Law – whatever could possible goes wrong does at the least opportune time.  That may not be a true M.L. situation, but these are:

 Thanks for these truisms/Murphy’s Law quips, Alissa.

In non-running-but-no-less-a-Murphy’s-Law-example news, just when Dear Hubby and I both have the time to devote to watching both our teams, Michigan State and the Cincinnati Bearcats play in the Sweet Sixteen, our satellite dish went out, rendering us totally helpless and unable to watch the games.  Or maybe it was a blessing since both teams were knocked out of the tournament.

Have you fallen victim to Murphy’s Law lately? If so, what?