TOTW – Jon Smith

Name: First/Last

Jon Smith

Where do you teach?

Alliance High School in Ohio

What grade and subject(s) do you teach?

I am a Technology Resource Teacher (TRT). Formerly a special education teacher of 5th graders.

What are your thoughts on teachers sharing and/or collaborating on assessments?

I believe that teachers need to share information on assessments. In today’s day and age it is ridiculous that people continually reinvent the wheel. We should be freely sharing and collaborating on assessments. That being said, teachers need to allow students to be part of the assessment process as well. Teachers also need to rethink what assessments look like. We need to be focused on more product based assessments where kids are demonstrating what they have learned in a project type of style. Students need to be assessed on their ability to collaborate with others and use higher order thinking skills.

Click here to see the full interview.

Meet Jon

Jon: My name is Jon Smith. I am the technology resource teacher at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. I just finished my first year doing that job, formerly was a special education teacher in Cantan City School for 12 years.

Jon believes that technology brings out the best in his students

Jon: There are some simple things like the predicative text in technology that has, I think, a profound impact on what kids can produce. The audience for the students is an audience of one – it’s their teacher. If we are lucky, it’s their parents, maybe a couple of friends, that’s about it. So I think with technology, we can expand that audience immensely to the world. There is stuff out there that I don’t know how to do, and that’s okay because we learn from people like you, me, and everybody on Twitter. The kids too, we can learn from the kids.

Which is why he is our teacher of the week

Jon: We don’t give enough credit to kids as to what they can do, and especially students with disabilities. If you take certain tools and you do it in your own way and on your own time with the kids and you really look at what they’re good at, you can really make some powerful changes.

My first piece of advice is don’t be scared. You have to have confidence in yourself to know that what you think is right and that what you think can make a difference with kids will make a difference with kids.

Check back next week for our fourth Teacher of the Week!