Discussing ideas in the freshness of the morning sunrise.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Character is demonstrated in many ways by a teacher. One of the most important is showing up everyday and doing your job. In my last position I have showed up every day. In the three years that I worked at Wakefield School I did not take a sick day. I have taken very few sick days in my 32 years of teaching. You can count on me to show up everyday and getting the task completed.
A second indicator of character is dedication to the vocation, to service to the students and faculty. I am dedicated to what I do. I am defined by what I do. A colleague, Mr. Thomas Bazar, writes of me “I can honestly say, like James Brown, who was considered the hardest working man in show-business; Mr. Constantine is the hardest working man at Wakefield. He always was available, or made time, for students, colleagues, administrators, parents, etc. His patience and ability to multi-task is astounding”.
I have always tried to improve myself through professional development including conferences, seminars and graduate school. I owed it to the teachers and students of my community to always be the best that I could be.
Character generally leads to excellence. I have received several teaching and service awards in my career demonstrating excellence. They include The Tandy Technology Scholar Award and the 2006 Maryland K-12 Distance Educator of the year and several service awards, from the Newport School, The University of Maryland, and the Wakefield School.
One of my primary goals as a technology integrator is to find ways to knock down the classroom walls and expand a teacher’s ability to reach students using digital tools. I worked with a Russian language teacher preparing students for a competition in Russian called the Olympiada of Spoken Russian. We set our goal to provide the students with on- line rehearsal examples of the set poetry recitations for the competition and on-line written free conversations. Essentially we were trying to make an on-line language lab with the resources at hand.
The teacher and I recorded several video tapes of her reciting the set pieces for the competition. We then placed the videos on a web site which was accessed by the students. They watched the videos and then recorded their own which they emailed back to the teacher for evaluation. We also set up a list serve for all of the students to converse with her in Russian as well as established a class network on AOL instant messenger. We were making vidcasts and podcasts way before they became popular.
The students had spectacular results at the Olympiada winning several gold medals in the competition. It achieved the results we were seeking and expanded Russian instruction way beyond the classroom. We extended both the student’s digital skills and language skills.