The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

Please tell the other members of the network a little about yourself. Nothing is too short and nothing is too long. Just let us know who we are so we can turn this network into a true community.

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Anyone with your experience will surely have a lot to offer to any group. Looking forward to seeing you around the network!
Hello, colleagues.

I teach English at Desert View High School in Tucson, AZ, and this will be my third year in teaching, as well as my third at Desert View in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

I am mostly interested in how this Ning can help me participate in meaningful dialogue about how to make learning relevant and authentic for students who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood, at the beginning of the last big push toward their futures. I want to know what I can do to get all of my students on board with feeling like they are capable of and ready for and actually belong in college. Our demographic is predominantly Title I and Hispanic, and many students come to us without a lot of confidence in their abilities, but full of desire to achieve. How do we close that gap, and help them to set high standards for themselves, make goals, and fulfill their dreams?

I am also in a school that is undergoing a huge amount of professional development and training across all the core content areas and we are experiencing huge learning curves...the moment is really ripe for that critical mass to swing towards positive lasting change, and I am part of the school leadership team that is helping to make that a reality. I see myself as someone who can pass on information and ideas effectively to others, so I hope to bring on more team members to this dialogue, as well.

However, I don't have a lot of time--any suggestions for how to work in meaningful activities on a daily basis for students?

I also have done the Southern Arizona Writing Project in Tucson, AZ, part of the National Writing Project. I am a Teacher Consultant for SAWP and am very interested in writing across the curriculum, writing to learn, and having students create their own writing portfolios, so writing is huge for me.

I graduated from the University of Arizona with a MFA in Creative Writing and hope to get a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition within the next five years, as well to publish a book of poetry.

Finally, I have 5 year-old daughter and a border collie who keep me very busy and make me smile!

I'm looking forward to the dialogue!
I love the passion and enthusiasm for what you do! Any interest in coming to teach in Salem, VA? :)

You might check out the Summer Homework Assignment forum discussion. It's about meaningful activities that could be done daily to inspire/motivate students.
Hi Taylor...
Great enthusiasm!!!!
In your introduction you state that I want to know what I can do to get all of my students on board with feeling like they are capable of and ready for and actually belong in college. You ask for suggestions for how to work in meaningful activities on a daily basis for students. I don't have activities for every day of the school year to help fulfill your objectives. I do, however, have about 25 activities that might be helpful to you packaged within my Games To Explain Human Factors: Come, Participate, Learn, Have Fun program which would be applicable for an English (technical writing) program and my I'm Awesome, But I have My Limitations program and my Activities To Facilitate Career Development and Gaining Meaningful Employment program. I would be pleased to send you the Powerpoint Presentation(s)/Instructors Manuals if you would like to send me an email containing, your name, school, school address, school phone, subjects taught. I also require an email address that can accept a few notes containing files of 5 meg each. (I use email for sending the materials. The school address, etc is for authentication purposes as I send only to teachers and other qualified professionals.) I also offer consultation by phone on the presentations at no charge... and if you prefer, I do in service school workshops for students and faculty and will partially subsidize these to accommodate schools budgets (especially in these days of lean budgets.)
Please let me know how I can be of help to you. I admire your enthusiasm. Don't loose it!!!!
Ron
Hello all. I teach French in Texas. This will be my 23rd year of teaching and I am looking to the beginning of school with great excitement.

One of the most important things I can teach my students is how to be an active learner. I want what they learn in my class to transfer to all other areas in their lives. School is not just a place to learn the facts. Students have to be taught how to be successful and what causes them not to be successful. They have to learn how to pick themselves up when they fall, assess, and move on to improve. They also must be taught to learn to value diversity and to accept that their way is not the only way of thinking and behaving.

Teaching is my passion. Guiding students to see their full potential is the most important thing I can do. I truly believe in being the change I want to see in the world.
Great objectives!!!! Ron
"Guiding students to see their full potential" - I like that. Each of our students is here for a purpose. How awesome that we get to help connect young people with their purpose. If you have any good ideas for how you accomplish your goals, you might want to describe some on the Summer Homework Assignment forum.
Hello,
I'm a business owner and video producer. I remember nearly 30 years ago what a pivotal year 9th grade was for me. It was a time for me to make very specific choices in my life. Those choices I made set up a directional course which impacted who my friends were (both positive and negative influences on me), organizational habits I never developed correctly and limited college choices.

Although I did go to college, I never completed it and I think earlier influences from High School and a lack of mentoring had something to do with it. I turned my life around but it has been a hard road to travel with a lack of formal education. I think I now have my masters degree from the school of hard knocks.

I would be happy to share my perspective to those students who may be struggling to make smart choices in their life.
Awesome - great story. You might have some good lessons/stories to share on the Summer Homework Assignment forum. I could also see you doing some blogging on a topic of your own, such as "What I Wish My 9th Grade Teachers Had Done For Me". You would bring a great perspective to this network and could add some ideas that teachers could take right into their classrooms. Or what about a video about "What I Wish I Had Known As A 9th Grader"? Just some ideas of how I could see you contributing. Thanks for joining!
Greetings from Cabell County Schools in Huntington, West Virginia! We have been partnering with Solutions, Etc. for staff development for our freshmen academies in our two district high schools. Our freshmen academies began four years ago and serve as the foundation for "restructuring our high schools from the bottom up". In addition to our freshmen academies, both high schools as well as our career technical center went through an extensive needs assessment and planning process with the International Center for Leadership in Education. Our high school restructuring efforts are supported by a committee of over 100 people including teachers, administrators, counselors, parents, community organizations, business partners, and students. This committee is known as the R3 committee for our belief that Rigor, Relevance and Relationships are the keys to successful high schools. In addition to the R3 committee, each school has a leadership team composed of teachers and administrators who will lead their school to implement the plans for improvement that they themselves designed. We are very proud of our high schools and career technical center and their commitment to providing our 21st century learners with the engaging, rigorous instruction. Our first step in restructuring was to implement freshmen academies four years ago using the Solutions, Etc. model. It provided us with a solid foundation upon which to build.
Hey, Jen Kramer here with my first post...
This year I am a freshman transition, just like the students! After having spent years teaching middle school, I am moving up to 9th grade. Any insights the community can provide would be wonderful!
Welcome to the world of 9th grade! We hope you'll find a lot of good ideas on the network.

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