I don't know about you, but I like being busy. Maybe it's because busy usually means productive, or because busy usually means I'm working towards something, but being busy has allowed me to accomplish some pretty big things this year and I'm proud of that. It's also made my students pretty busy, and I think it's beginning to pay off...
Back Design: 11 x 13 back centered
First official day for all students!
Teachers and Students are privy to a feeling most people only get to experience once a year, the feeling of "Starting Anew!" While many people wait till New Year's to set goals for the year (of course you could realistically start fresh anytime...), Teachers and Students are given the opportunity to start fresh every August AND January! It's an exciting feeling when you plan to make the most of this opportunity (as I rightly plan to do so) and all the possibilities it presents!
This year is especially exciting because:
That's everything I'm looking forward to in this new school year. So what are you excited about this school year?
STN Seattle went by in such a whirlwind that it's hard for me to figure out what I'd like to start reflecting on. This was my 5th STN and I think I've finally hit a point where I'm pretty comfortable with the whole process. While it certainly felt like a "bounce-back" year for me as a teacher, it came at the lessons I'm beginning to learn in terms of balancing family, work, and being a professional. While my success this year is in no means wholly dependent on my students winning awards this year, I'd be lying to say that it wasn't a tangible part of why I feel like I'm beginning to get back into my stride. However, this year felt like a "bounce-back" year for me because I was finally able to return to developing meaningful student-teacher relationships with a good majority of my advanced media students. These relationships were the key to not only effective learning, but also one of the motivating factors driving the quality of our productions this year.
Most of the time when I'm talking about Advanced Media to other teachers or to my regular classes, I try to be as humble as possible and will usually breeze over our accomplishments. I don't do this because my students aren't worthy of praise (they most certainly are when they put their mind to something). Most of the time I do this because I believe that the quality of our work speaks more than the awards we've picked up could ever mean.
Most people outside of Advanced Media have no idea how hard it is to win an STN award, get their video to air on TV, or even how difficult it is to make a good video. But we do, and we should always hold ourselves to a higher standard because of that knowledge. Most people will watch our last TigerTV episode and think it was good enough. I don't think it's even close to the level I know my Advanced Media students can produce and I for one am not satisfied with being "good enough." Below is my critique and random thoughts about my class and their recent show linked above.
Media @ EMMS
Tiger Media is the video production team of Ewa Makai Middle School. Our programs include an Exploratory program for students interested in learning more about video production and an Advanced program for students who would like to extend their learning into professional and real-world video production.
About Mr. Toyota
When they say "professions run in the family," the saying holds true for my family and I. My mother, my aunty, and my grandmother were all teachers before me and I didn't ever think I'd be the one to take up the mantle. I've been teaching since 2008 and started at the age of 23 years old.
I'm a National Board Certified teacher with a Bachelor's in Secondary Education: Social Studies. Additionally, I have served in various roles ranging from an HSTA PD Trainer and Consultant, AVID Site Team Member, Club Advisory, Volleyball Coach, Event Organizer, and Chair for the CxK Media Cohort.
Basic Teaching Philosophy
There are constantly occurring learning opportunities. As a teacher, it is my duty to not only help students see these opportunities at face value, but to help them profit from these experiences.
I believe that learning is growing and that growing in the right direction is an important aspect of being successful. I can help the imperfect, I can hardly help those who are perfect. Although academics is an important part of a child's life, I understand that a child's life is even more important than school as an institution. Homework, tests, grades, and due dates pale in comparison to preparing a child for their future. I am but one person amongst a community of people that will come into a child's life, whether my role is small or large, my actions have lasting implications.
I will always strive to make a difference, to help student's grow in the right direction, to develop their passions, and to prepare them for the struggles ahead. It is my duty, my honor, and my will as their teacher.
- Ethan Toyota