Writing and Research Self Assessment

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Tim Everson

M.Ed. Intl Falls Cohort

Writing and Research Class

Self Assessment

My name is Tim Everson and I am a member of the International Falls Masters Cohort. I am currently teaching full time at Falls High School and teaching night classes at Rainy River Community College.

I attended Winona State University and earned a degree in Secondary Mathematics Education with an emphasis in Computers. I graduated in May of 1989. After graduation I landed a teaching job at the Winona Middle School where I had done my student teaching. I taught 7th grade math and also some Basic Language programming. While there I coached basketball and football. I taught there until June of 1992 when my contract expired. I was filling in for a teacher who had taken a 5 year leave of absence and was returning.

I then moved to Sauk City, Wisconsin and began teaching in the Sauk-Prairie School district. I taught 7th grade math and Microsoft Works word processing at the middle school and pre-algebra at the high school. Going back and forth between buildings kept me very busy. I also coached basketball, volleyball, and football while there. While in Sauk City, I met my wife and was married in August of 1994. We decided that we wanted to live farther north so in June of 1995 I accepted a teaching job at Falls High School in International Falls, MN where I am currently teaching.

When I started here at Falls High School, I was teaching 8th grade math and Exploring Computers which is a basic computer users class. I had to learn the Windows operating system since I was used to DOS. I also started teaching a class called Surfing the Internet at Rainy River Community College in January 1996. I learned a lot of information about computers in a very short period of time. Looking back, this is where I started thinking seriously about teaching computers full time and not math. Last year I took over all the computer classes at the high school. The person that had taught them before me was taking the position of Technology Coordinator for our district. This change forced me to learn Visual Basic, Adobe Pagemaker, and I took over the yearbook which is done entirely on the computers. At the same time I increased my class load at the college to include a basic computer users class and a Windows 95 class. All these changes caused me to keep learning more about new computer software. I didnt have any formal training, I just had to learn as I went.

Last year a group of teachers from our district decided that we wanted to get our Masters Degree. We found out that there were enough teachers interested to form a cohort group here in the Falls. We finally decided on a school and this fall we started our program with UMD. I am starting to think that I may want to get involved with school administration of some sort and would like to get my principals license after completing my Masters Degree. Since we started the program I have become very eager to learn more. Im excited at the thought of how more education will open many more doors for me in the future.

Right now I am interested in making my assignments in my classes at the high school more real life like. Im also interested in integrating the ideas of Glasser into my classroom to help my students develop a feeling of what quality work is and then striving to produce it.

A major issue facing teachers today is the Graduation Standards. I have been teaching for 10 years and have seen OBE come and go. It makes me wonder if these standards will soon disappear much like OBE. I do feel that some type of reform must take place. Its just so hard to get teachers to change, myself included. Change means more work. My goals as stated in my portfolio include integrating technology into the classroom, working on interdisciplinary projects with other teachers, and getting my students parents more involved with their education.

I will be working with two other cohort members on the research project. We want to do something that involves computer technology in the school. At first we thought about doing something that involved the question of why more boys are involved with higher level computer classes than girls. We are starting to question if this is really what we want to research. We have a unique situation here at Falls High School. This fall we acquired enough computers to have 2 in each classroom. Up until this fall, only a few classrooms had computers. The past two years, our district has been wiring the buildings so that we were ready to go online once we got the computers. Well now its happening. This year we will not see that much change, but next year should bring some interesting change as more and more teachers begin using the computers in their rooms. I know of a number of teachers who are already making plans to purchase software that is specific to their disciplines. This should be a very exciting time for both teachers and students. What a perfect time to do a research paper on how computers enhance or hinder education. Finding a narrow enough topic that we could research and survey seems to be a problem right now.

Since I was a math major in college, I didnt have to write many papers. Actually, I was only required to write one complete term paper in my Comp. II class. I have done quite a bit of writing to prepare handouts for the classes that I teach at the college and at the high school. I have also prepared paper work to get our school accepted as a Learning Academy by the state. I am looking forward to getting started with this paper as soon as possible.

I may be reached at:

e-mail: teverson@isd361.k12.mn.us

phone: (218) 283-2571 ext. 111

-- Anonymous, January 07, 1999

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