Friday, October 17, 2008

4th CESTL Evaluations by EDI 600-1 students

Yesterday was the CESTL conference. I had a great time! I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting my peer's research was, and how engaged I was in the faculty discussion. I thought the flow worked really well, and that the amount of presentations seen before taking a break/ length of the presentations was perfect. It really kept me paying attention, and when it came time for me to leave, I really regretted it. I wish I could have stayed longer! I enjoyed presenting my research on SES/NCLBA/Art Education, and was filled with pride when some of the faculty members told me they were impressed with my research and that I should take it further and even publish it!

I had such a good time at the CESTL. I was pleasantly surprised. I wish that there had been more details presented to us all along so that I wasn't so against it the entire time, because it really was a great addition to my education in becoming an educator. I was really proud to hear the faculty speak and they filled me with excitement on the journey ahead in becoming an educator and touching children's lives. I'm excited to step into the classroom and change and make connections.

Thank you, Dr. Boyanton, for a great time at the CESTL conference!
Sarah Lefrancois 12/14/08
I was very nervous and a little bit overwhelmed about today’s CESTL Conference at first. I get very nervous when I present or speak in front of a group of people. However, I found the way of presenting with my poster, as a more one on one presentation to be much more comfortable for me. I was able to speak more clearly, get my points across, and interact with the people I was presenting to in a more comfortable manner. I was not as nervous or shaky as I thought that I would be. I also felt very prepared and knowledgeable about my topic, which made me more confident.

I was also very impressed with how well all of my classmates did on their presentations. Everyone was very professional, well prepared, and informative. There were a lot of interesting topics shared by the students containing a lot of valuable information to help us as teachers.
The panel of teachers was also a great way for us to learn. Hearing their opinions and answers to our questions was very helpful. They all showed a lot of passion for teaching and I found them to be very inspiring.

Overall, I felt the conference was a success. Thank you for a great semester Dr. Boyanton!

Alison Greene 12/13/08
I thought the CESTL was a great and informative experience. It is extremely important and wonderful experience that students were given the opportunity to unite together in order to hold a conference within the field of education. It was an enlightening day because it gave us the chance to realize the importance of education and teaching. It gave us exposure to different methods, approaches, techniques, information, tools, and strategies that can be used within our future teaching.

I was extremely impacted when listening to Dr. Dodge speak at the CESTL conference. By the end of his speech, I was fascinated and truly impacted by his perspectives, views, and ideas within the field of education. I think it was great how he discussed the importance and dedication we have to obtain as teachers, as well as to always continue to focus on the students. Unfortunately, money, opposite teaching viewpoints, and standardized testing has a negative effect on student learning. I believe his speech motivated and substantially affected me because he related education to art, as well as music.

Being in the field of Music Education, I think it is extremely important that we incorporate the Fine Arts within the field of education. I also loved how he conveyed that we have to mold our students like a piece of artwork, such as the “David” by Michelangelo. It is truly the teacher who helps in molding, as well sculpting students from a very early age. His speech was definitely motivational, positive, and encouraging. It is unfortunate that the sculpted student has to be exposed to the outside forces of administration, politics, economic wealth, and standardized testing. However, we have to continuously focus upon how we can influence students through education in order to assist them in developing into successful learners based upon their individual needs.

I also felt that the Symposium was very successful, educational, well-organized, professional, and useful. It is a great experience to be able to hear different strategies, approaches, techniques, and instructional methods based upon numerous perspectives within the field of education. This CESTL was very triumphant because it gave students educational knowledge and substantial information. We often do not gain enough experience or informative knowledge before entering the classroom and this was a great way to improve upon those specific areas.

The only thing I would have liked at the CESTL conference would have been the opportunity to approach all of the different teachers. I know that I am not the best open-discussion individual and I probably could have approached each teacher individually. However, I would have enjoyed being able to have a one-to-one and in-depth conversation on various educational topics with some of the different educators that I heard at the beginning of the conference, as well as during the Symposium.

Overall, I was fairly satisfied with my performance and presentation at the conference. There are always different areas that one can improve on. I was able to demonstrate confidence and communicate to the audience effectively, which was one of my goals before entering the CESTL. I was also able to get my main ideas and perspectives across to the audience in a well-organized, as well as professional manner.

However, I felt that I rushed through my presentation and skipped over numerous things. Time constraints were continuously on mind and it haltered me in a multitude of ways. I feel that time management and innate anxiety diminished my ability be able to explain, give examples, and elaborate on my presentation. There were numerous examples and certain ideas that I wanted to go into depth about within my presentation, but when I was up there, I tended to stick purely on the information on the screen. If I had a better comfort level, I believe I would have been able to slow my presentation down a little bit and elaborate some of my ideas in a more proficient manner.

I was also amazed by how positive, professional, and how well the audience listened throughout the presentations. I felt a sense of community, professionalism, unity, and respect throughout my presentation. This gives one a sense of pride in their work and as if the students, as well as faculty really take ones research seriously within the educational domain. However, I would have enjoyed being able to interact or incorporate audience participation within my presentation. It would have been nice to be able to hear comments, questions, and the chance to discuss my PowerPoint after it was finished.

Overall, the CESTL conference was extremely informative, educational, and beneficial. I hope that there will be more conferences throughout my education that will give future teachers exposure and the chance to participate within the educational field. The hard work, conference, research, and presentation was truly a great learning experience. This course, work, research, and conference gave me a great deal of skills, motivation, knowledge, and an innate drive in order to propel myself to be a quality educator in order to help the new generation of students succeed at the academic level.
Jason Crockett, December 14, 2008

I really enjoyed the conference today. Although I must say before I got there I was not excited about it at all. I did not want to sit there for 5 hours. However, after doing so, it was not bad at all. I would have even stayed longer but unfortunately had to leave at 1:30.

I thought everyone who I saw presenting did a great job. I thought Dr. Dodge's speech was great. It had so many useful and wonderful things to say which I really enjoyed. I also loved the panel of professors. I like how the conference incorporated many different things. The different presenters, the professors, the keynote presentation, the posters. It made the time go by very quickly and I feel the breaks were in perfect time. The conference is something that I was very skeptical about in the beginning of the semester but now that I have experienced it, I think it was a great idea and it is full of great information that I will definitely use in my future. Meghan Woodstock 12/13/08


Yesterday, I attended the CESTL Conference with my 10-year-old daughter. I was very nervous about the whole thing. I kept thinking I made a mistake and should have signed up to do a poster. It seemed to be a much easier task with less notoriety. My daughter said, “you’ll be fine, mommy”. I was not looking forward to this at all.

When it came time for me to present my material, I wasn’t very comfortable at first, but once I got up there and started talking, everyone in the room seemed interested in what I had to say. Gradually, I felt better. When I was finished and everyone applauded, I was very pleased with myself for going through with it. My daughter gave me a hug. As a parent, I think I taught her something important today. Even though I was afraid, I went ahead and did my presentation. I think it was important for her to see me do this.

During the conference, I had an opportunity to sit with some of the students that I really didn’t talk to during the semester because they sat on the other side of the room. They were so nice to my daughter and me. I am glad I had an opportunity to get to know them. Watching their presentations, I couldn’t get over just how knowledgeable everyone was and how much work they did. I definitely learned a lot.

I especially liked the panel discussion. I asked a question and received some very valuable information that will help me in the future. I don’t know when I will have another opportunity to ask five professors their thoughts on a subject that is important to me. The conference provided me with this chance.

The main thing I learned from this experience is that I can do anything I set my mind to. I shouldn’t have any doubt that I can get my Master’s degree. “You can do it” will be the words in my head from now on. That is the main thing I take away from the conference and this class. I will have more confidence in myself after this. At first, I didn’t like the idea of presenting at this conference, but it just goes to show you that sometimes you need to give something a chance, even if it doesn’t initially appeal to you.

As far as suggestions for future CESTL conferences, I think it would be better if there were more evaluation forms available for students. We ran short of them, and I didn’t bring any paper with me. This meant I couldn’t give evaluations to some of the students. A gentleman who I was speaking to during the break had an excellent idea about asking students to donate a small amount of money for a charitable cause. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I thought that was a wonderful idea.

Thank you, Dengting, for being so supportive of me and my classmates.
Pauline Stein 12/14/08

Well, my CESTL presentation is finally over, and I am so happy to finally be done with it. However, I must admit that it was a very empowering experience. I was incredibly nervous prior to presenting and couldn’t even focus on the presentation occurring before mine, but as soon as I got up there it just flowed so naturally. The hours of practicing and perfecting my speaking and power point really paid off and I felt comfortable and confident in what I was presenting.

As soon as I finished I felt immense relief but also pride. I passed Dr. Doge in the hallway and he told me that I did a great job; it made me so proud of myself for overcoming my public speaking fears and for really taking the time to be confident and knowledgeable about my topic. I learned so much from all the other students, but was really the most interested to hear the topics that were similar to mine to see what conclusions other people found. Everyone was so well prepared and it was nice to see that everyone had put the same amount of time and effort into their projects so that the entire conference was professional and worthy of our time.

There are only two suggestions I would give for making CESTL better in the future. First of all I think there could have been better open communication with the students about what was going on, why, and how. Especially with this time of year many students made huge sacrifices to come to this conference and holding it during class time would have been much better for us. Secondly, I think there was a disparity between the effort for the power points versus many of the posters. Maybe in the future poster students would have to present as well. All in all CESTL was an enjoyable experience.
Kimberly Maher 12/14/08

Yesterday was a new and exciting experience for me. I was really grateful to have an opportunity to present in front of my classmates, as well as experts in the field of educational psychology. For me, this entire semester has been a huge challenge, and the conference has been as well. I was the eighth presenter, and at first I was anxious, and honestly a bit scared; however, as soon as I walked up and stood in front of a full room of people, I realized it wasn’t really that bad. It gave me great confidence to explain my research, and to have everyone look at me as the expert in what I was presenting. I very much appreciated being able to present when the volunteering professors, and a majority of the students were there to listen.

In addition, I truly enjoyed being able to listen to all of my classmates present their information as well. The eight hours I was there went by quickly, and they were enjoyable because I was able to learn about new and exciting research. Also, I met a lot of new people who I felt I could relate to because of our common ground and interest in education.

Also, this conference has allowed me to recognize a lot about my self. When I was an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University I studied psychology, and I always had the intentions on receiving my Ph.D in the area of psychology as well. However, after working in research at Stony Brook I felt discouraged, and felt I could not accomplish everything necessary to earn my doctorate. Yet, after completing this class, and having the opportunity to apply my interest in research and psychology to education, I have re-decided to receive my doctorate in psychology. I have realized that I am capable of accomplishing all that is required; this is because I am determined, and passionate. Thank you Dr. Boyanton for giving me this opportunity and helping me to rediscover what is truly important to me.
Cassie Dunn 12/14/08

The CESTL conference went great. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be! Getting to hear what other people had to say about their research topics was very insightful, influential, and inspiring. I feel like I accomplished a major task and I am glad I followed through with it because I was so nervous about this conference all semester.

One of the best parts of the conference was when the professors sat down in front and we had a discussion all together. They were very insightful and gave us all great advice about what is expected of us on becoming a teacher and how important our job is. Dengting, you are a very inspiring professor and I am glad I stuck through with your class because I was so overwhelmed the first few weeks of school. Now that it is all over with I am happy and most of all I am very confident in myself and in my work. The fact that I got through this course makes me believe I can get through any course in grad school. Thank you Professor Boyanton for a very fun, knowledgeable, and inspiring semester!
Helen Siaxabanis 12/14/08

When I was driving to the CESTL conference, I felt very nervous. Once I arrived and saw the setting and set up of the room I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a very large formal lecture hall; however I was pleased with the comfortable relaxed atmosphere Dengting set up for us. My fellow students, other graduate students and undergraduate students were either sitting at tables socializing and standing at their posters answering questions. Although it was early there were many smiling faces.

Dengting and Dr. Dodge began the day with great words of knowledge and motivation. I felt excited since I knew I was about to be part of a very educational and professional day. I was sitting around many experts and felt proud of what I had accomplished so far.

I was talking to my fellow students about their presentations before we officially began for the day and many of them were very nervous. To be honest, once people began presenting and stepped in front of their audience they actually were very relaxed! Everyone did a fantastic job and presented such interesting information. Everyone seemed fully engaged during mostly every one’s presentation. The presenters did an outstanding job capturing the audience and the audience did a great job giving their full attention. I enjoyed the individuality of everyone’s presentation and everyone’s power point slides. Everyone seemed to put a lot of time and hard work into the presentations and it definitely paid off!

I remember rehearsing my slides and presentation in front of the mirror at home and being so critical of myself. I was nervous it wouldn’t come out the exact way that I wanted it to. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t get any questions at the end. When I got up in front of everyone I felt relaxed and just kept saying to myself, “you host birthday parties you have no problem standing in front of people”. During my presentation I actually felt like I was having fun, I was enjoying standing up in front of everyone and sharing my information with them. When my presentation was done many of my fellow classmates said I looked and sounded so confident and was very clear with my information. This made me feel proud!

I was so proud of myself, I can do anything!
Brittany Fedus 12/14/08
What an awesome experience! The CESTL conference was just great! I thought everyone did an excellent job and it was truly an honor to be part of it. The keynote speech given by Dr. Dodge was both exhilarating and educational – and I told him so. There’s no denying the passion and dedication Dr. Dodge possesses for teaching and it came out in his speech. (I can truly say the same for Dr. Boyanton in the way she teaches.)

I have to admit, this was a very tough day for me to attend (work is absolutely insane) and I was a little worried about my state of mind going in. However, when I got there and saw all the hard work everyone put in and felt the eagerness and excitement among the crowd, it was easy to appreciate what this day was all about… and that was the desire to learn. Perhaps the best part about it, though, was that the learning process was coming as a result of listening to my peers and observing their work. It really was special.

I can say without a doubt that I would recommend this class to friends and colleagues alike. The work may seem daunting at times, but the end result is a mind full of knowledge that you never thought you’d have. And the best advice I could give them concerning the CESTL performance would be to open their minds and give everything they have because there is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you are appreciated by your peers. And, getting something back in the process makes the experience even more rewarding. Thanks for a great day!

Christopher Basil 12/14/08

I feel so relieved that the CESTL conference is finally over. This past week I was completely overwhelmed and stressed out. I was working up until the end, not only on this presentation, but I had another one on Thursday. Having 2 research papers and 2 presentations 2 days apart was crazy for me. I never thought this week would ever come to an end. Although I am really happy with the outcome. I put so much work in to this research project and I think it came out really well. I was so nervous getting up in front of everyone to present my powerpoint, but once it was over I was so relieved. Getting your positive feedback also made me feel good about it.

I really liked Dr. Dodge's opening speech. He really had some insightful things to say, and I enjoyed listening. Having the discussion panel the other professors in the department and being able to ask any questions was also a great think to do. It was also nice being able to meet them. Being my first semester back at school, I didn't know the other professors, so it was nice seeing who they are and what they stand for.

Unfortunately I had to go to work and had to leave early. Once I was there I thought that it would have been really great to stay at the conference. I would have liked to have heard other student's presentations. It was great seeing how everyone else's presentations and hard work played out. It was a great end to the semester.

Meredith Appelbaum 12/14/08

I thought the Conference today was very successful. I was definitely nervous about my presentation and I am unsure what happened to my slide show but I think I pulled it off. I felt good about my presentation and I hoped everyone enjoyed listening.

I thought everyone’s presentations were extremely informative and I gained a lot of insight on becoming a better teacher. I hope I can use all the knowledge I learned from today’s conference in my future classrooms. I really enjoyed when the presenter’s got the audience involved. I felt that kept us engaged in their research and more focused on their presentations. Overall, I think everyone did a wonderful job and it was a very beneficial learning experience.

One suggestion for the CESTL I have would be to shorten the time period for the conference or break it down into groups. I stayed until end and I thought the inspirational quotes and your presentation of our own quotes should have been seen by more. I do not feel a lot of people stayed because it got late and I really think others would have enjoyed the end as much as I did. Thank you for all your hard work and I hope you enjoyed my presentation.
Sarah Hoenig 12/14/08

The CESTL has finally come to an end and I must say I'm saddened. I was apprehensive about attending, but after getting there, setting up, and listening to the professors and peers, I was excited to be part of the event. I was extremely disappointed to have to leave in the middle of it, to take my exam, and had a very hard time concentrating on my exam, as a result. I finished, miraculously (I was so unmotivated to do it!!!), and was thrilled to return to the CESTL afterward.

I was especially happy to be able to be present for the "opening" ceremony and the "closing" one too. I was impressed with all my peers posters and especially the presentations. The powerpoint presenters worked really hard and did a great job presenting. I learned a great deal of pertinent information to carry with me through my program and into my own classroom.

I also really enjoyed our guest speaker, Dr. Dodge. It was inspiring to perceive the abundance of wisdom and passion he has for his profession. His speech gave me goose bumps and made me realize the importance of being a great teacher. The speech also made me realize, I have chosen the right field for my career and I can't wait to make a difference!

I think the CESTL was phenomenal. I have to say my favorite part was the inspirational great quotes video at the end of the conference. I found it so gratifying, I was moved to tears. There was one in particular that I cherished by Theodore Roosevelt, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Congratulations Dr. Dengting on a wonderful job!!! You worked hard and I'm happy for you the way your "baby" turned out.

Elizabeth Scott 12/14/08

After all of the time and effort spent on our research this semester, it finally culminated today with our CESTL presentations. For most of this course I tried to block out this conference, as I have a total fear of public speaking. However, this week I had no choice but to pay great attention and detail to this conference. I spent many hours revising my presentation, which I had previously revised twice before. So when the professor emailed me back a list of further edits to make, I was quite discouraged. In the end, I think the slides balanced out nicely and I was glad I kept the on-site photos and colorful background. I feel that even though I didn’t open with a joke or story, the brightness and personality of my slides grabbed the audience. Quite a few people commented that they enjoyed the inclusion of real photos and thought the colors in my presentation were eye popping. On another note, I was also concerned about my timing going in to the conference, but I think it worked out nicely- right around the 8 minute mark.

As far as my actual delivery of information, I was overall pleased with my efforts. Upon reflection, the only genuine complaint I have with my own presentation was the way in which I answered one of my classmates’ questions. Someone questioned me about the children being aware of what guided reading group they are in, and if it negatively impacts their self-concept. This was not really my area of research, and even though I have an intelligent answer to the question, I felt I failed to articulate my thoughts appropriately. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the audience asked me quite a few questions. I hope that means that my speech was engaging, different and interesting. Normally, I would be totally mortified and embarrassed to have to answer questions on the spot like that, but I really worked hard on my research and felt more than prepared to answer most any question headed my way. I do think, with the exception of the one question, that I managed to really answer all the other inquiries with a high level of expertise.

Additionally, it was also interesting to see the various poster presentations as well. I liked that we were able to have informal conversations with classmates about their studies. I actually learned from Sarah’s (the photographer) poster presentation that my old school district, Wantagh, has the lowest per pupil expenditure on Long Island. I was greatly surprised to hear this, because the quality of education there is very high, it was even a blue ribbon school of excellence. Also, my town is a middle class area and I don’t feel like my schools lacked any physical or educational resources throughout my entire career there.

Anyway, I am happy to breathe a sigh of relief that one big obstacle of this semester is finally over. We still have to hand in our SM logs and final research papers, but hopefully our professor will feel that our efforts today were enough to eradicate the final exam☺
Melissa Hofmann 12/13/08

The CESTL conference was an impressive gathering of educators and potential educators. When I first walked into the CESTL conference, I could feel the restless energy. How nerve-wracked and excited we all felt. We were finally about to share everything we had worked on all semester long. The presentations were very well done and everyone’s hard work was certainly obvious.

I personally felt that I was really well prepared to give my presentation at the CESTL conference today. Of course I was a little nervous; there were more than 70 people in the room, but having done extensive research throughout the semester, I knew I had a deep and comprehensive understanding about inclusion and its effects. Because I felt prepared and confident, I think I did well and I was proud of my performance.

The only problem I had, was that ten minutes did not seem like nearly enough time to talk about everything I had learned. Editing my powerpoint was an entirely separate and valuable learning experience. All students worked very hard all semester researching, reading, interviewing and observing in schools. The presentations and poster boards were a profound reflection of the devotion everyone put into their work. Everyone should be extremely proud of the work they have accomplished.

Lauren Romano 11/14/08

I really enjoyed the conference today. It was not my favorite idea at first but I can honestly say I made the very best of it. It felt important and social and it was a nice way to end our semester. I am proud of my research and was extremely surprised by how interested my classmates were in my poster! it felt great to hear them ask questions that I could answer in a knowledgeable confident way. My peers had important and well organized information and I have a lot of respect for all of them.

The faculty speakers were very generous to share their advice with us and more importantly to believe we were worth their time on a Saturday. It was a pleasure bringing my brother and boyfriend, after a semester of talking about this class and my work they actually got to see it and meet you! It was also fun to see the children who came to support. They remind me why I’m in school to start with. Our class has come a long way and it showed today at the conference. Its hard to believe its over! :)

Amy Weisburd 12/13/08

I have to admit that I was dreading CESTL all semester. I was scared of presenting my research in public, I was scared of speaking in public, and the length of the day wasn’t something that made me excited about either. Walking in on Saturday morning I expected the worst. I was complaining and my mood was shot before I even drove up to campus.

However, once I walked into the Long Island room and saw that it wasn’t at all what I had expected. The room was set up with tables which gave to a very informal comfortable feeling. About an hour into the presentation I found myself actually really enjoying myself. The closer that the time came for me to present, I was getting very nervous, but all of those nerves just went away as soon as I went up in front of the room. My eight minutes came and went and before I knew it I was asking if anybody had any questions.

I really did enjoy my time at CESTL and as much as I thought I would want to leave as soon as possible I found myself having such a good time that I didn’t want to leave; and ended up leaving only because I had to drive my brother to a birthday party. Thank you again Dr. Dengting for a wonderful experience.

Vanda Dreyer 12/16/08

I was really impressed with my peers. Watching as all of the students got up in front of everyone and spoke confidently, clearly, and beautifully really made me envious of them. I think that EVERYONE that presented a power point did an absolutely incredible job and I wish I could present so freely and effectively.

The posters that everyone made were also amazing. Some of them were so creative. I LOVED Alison Greene’s poster, it was something that I had never seen before. I was glad that I got the chance to ask her how she did it because I can definitely use those skills in my future teaching career. I wish I could have spoken to more people and that more people came to speak to me, but I think overall everything went well.

I'm confident about my work and I am glad I was able to share. I was again very impressed with how well everyone did and I think that EVERYONE should be so proud of their work! The panel was interesting and I thought the feedback and advice was really beneficial.

Lauren Sichel 12/13/08

I was very proud of all of the students performance at CESTL. I was amazed to see how every one rose to the challenge and did what needed to be done. Even though I am going through some personal matters at home it was nice to get away for the day and work through it. I think that this was a great idea that Dr Boyanton had and I hope other teachers follow in her footsteps.

Before the conference I know that a lot of students in the class did not want to attend the conference. However, I did not hear one bad word being said at the conference and most people were happy to be there. Thanks Dr Boyanton for pushing us to do our best and on a personal note thank you for being so understanding to the problems I am having in my personal life. Alexis Trudel 12/14/08

I believe that I was well prepared for this conference; I thought I did a pretty good job in completing my presentation within the time limits set. When I was preparing my presentation slides, I found Prof. Boyanton’s input regarding the presentation slides extremely helpful.

I found the individual presentations very informative, and I look forward to incorporating the suggestions and knowledge gained from the presentations in my own classroom. I found the presentation regarding parent’s involvement with their student’s education very practical.
I firmly believe that parent’s involvement in their student is of paramount importance.

In my future endeavors as I teacher, I would not hesitate to seek/involve parents in their child’s education.

I thought that this course was excellent and I learned many teaching approaches and strategies I could incorporate in my elementary classroom. I thought one of the most effective things of the CESTL presentations was how the topics were linked, for example, presentations regarding motivation, behaviors were scheduled consecutively. This was particularly effective because the contents were related and, they complimented one another.

I thought the most profound quote at the CESTL closing, was “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” - Eleanor Roosevelt. This provides a great and excellent example by which teachers and students alike should approach their education. On a personal note, I use this as a guide to bring the highest level of integrity in my personal life. The other quote that was very interesting was the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “we must become the change we want to see in the world”. I believe this is the reason I am pursuing a career in education --- I want to have a positive impact on children’s learning.

As the presenters awaited their turns, nearly all expressed how nervous and terrified they were to be in the “spotlight”. It struck me that most adults always express this unfounded fear because they really did not appear nervous when they were giving their presentations. As a result of this observation today, I plan to incorporate public speaking in my elementary classroom lessons. SL 12/13/08

The CESTL Presentation was very nerve-wracking for me to prepare for. I am not a good public speaker. However I was surprisingly happy with my performance. After hearing people present, I became less nervous. I wasn't sure if I was going to sound prepared enough or start babbling. Thankfully I didn't. After seeing how a few people did their presentations I became more confident. I was making a conscious effort to not start giggling or say "umm" a million times. (these are things I do when I am nervous). I think I did a good job.

Overall, I would say this course allowed me to think more intuitively. I discovered who I am as an aspiring teacher. I also learned a lot and received a lot of good advice from my peers. In the future, the CESTL needs to be explained and clarified in detail at the very beginning of the semester. There were many aspects of it that left the class as a whole scratching our heads and thus becoming very stressed out.

This class overall was a very good learning experience for me and I will use and apply what I learned in the future.
Lauren Russo 12/14/08

As I have been throughout the semester, I was excited and motivated to attend tonight’s class, and was looking forward to seeing the professor’s presentation about conferences and techniques on giving good presentations, in hopes that I may be able to adopt some helpful tips for this Saturday’s event.

However, I was sad to find out that tonight was the final class of the course and that, in general, this course has almost come to an end. I felt that I made a certain connection with the professor and my classmates because of the positive feedback I obtained throughout the course which helped me get through the work loads and because of the learning and growth that we all experienced together as a group. I think that from the first day, when we participated in the name game, that exercise we did helped create this certain spirit which helped break the ice between us and helped set the tone for the rest of the semester.

It was very encouraging to have someone I look up to give me that critique along the way; it strengthened my motivation to give this course my best shot. When you know someone is listening and truly rooting for you, it makes you aspire to do more and to strive to be your best. As such -- among other important things within the course -- I learned such a great deal about motivation in this course. I am especially thankful to have had Dr. Boyanton as a professor for the topics covered under Psychological Foundations of Education because of the methods that were used in conveying and instilling the material.

I know I still have a long way to go in obtaining the knowledge that will equip me to do my job well as a future teacher, but I walk away from this course with a good base of that knowledge and, more importantly, the basic attitude and the self-efficacy to get through the remaining semesters in my endeavor to become a teacher.

I have really enjoyed this course while learning a great deal via classroom discussions, lectures, participation and activities within the classroom, via the research project itself and through my observations, as well as all the assignments that we needed to do, including the journals. It was especially beneficial that we have had reflections and extended discussions on what makes a teacher great, because I think this is such an important topic and goal for us all to try and achieve. We don’t strive to be good teachers – we strive to be great teachers!

The journals were perfect ways for us to vent and analyze our thoughts and feelings about all that we have learned, as well as about our experiences in the context of motivation, education, role models, etc. I have always believed that there is a lot of knowledge and understanding to be gained through self-reflection and this course provided different avenues of the type of learning that comes from reflection, observation and analysis. In being given a chance to write and share our experiences, it validated that what we have experienced and felt are critical to our understanding of the world around us and of ourselves.

I am thankful that this course was recommended to me; the professor did an excellent job of keeping the students engaged and learning throughout the semester. Of course, the experience would not have been the same without the timely and thoughtful feedback that the professor always provided to us during the course. Feedback is so critical to a student so that he/she knows how she is doing – it is also a reinforcing mechanism, as well as a way to guide and confirm things that we have learned, or thought that we may have learned.

As prospective teachers, we have also gained a valuable lesson on what great teachers are, by observing a live example. Of course, there are all different types of personalities and styles of great teachers in the world, and Dr. Boyanton provided an excellent example of a great teacher with her own unique style and personality. Passionate, authentic, caring, professional, effective, creative, purposeful, intelligent and humanistic in approach. These are all core qualities of a great teacher. Evdoxia Gounelas 12/8/08

Congratulations on the first successful CESTL at Long Island University! Great concept. Thank you for a memorable course experience!

Evdoxia Gounelas
December 13, 2008 10:26 PM
I would elaborate a bit more on this past Saturday’s CESTL conference. In my opinion, all of the presenters I witnessed did a fabulous job on their presentations. Everyone seemed extremely well prepared and knowledgeable in their subject area. I’m sure most students put in an exorbitant amount of time practicing, and it showed. You could absolutely tell that some students enjoy the spotlight and excel in the realm of public speaking.

I particularly enjoyed one of the male presenters, who had planned on showing a video clip of a comedian. Even though the internet wasn’t working and the clip could not be viewed, he was still funny in how he told the story about the comedian. I thought that idea was highly creative and truly grabbed the audience’s attention.

I also wanted to note that I calmed down about the whole public speaking aspect of the day immediately after seeing the setup of the room. I had envisioned a huge auditorium with a stage and a packed audience. So when I arrived, the cozy, intimate setting let me breathe a sigh of relief. At first, I was worried that we would have to stand at the microphone podium. This was a concern for me because I did not prepare anything in writing and I planned on using my slides as a prompt. You couldn’t see the screen from the podium so I was a little bit nervous at first. However, the second presenter, Pauline, did it without the microphone and that put me at ease right away. When it was actually my turn to speak, I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I thought I’d be. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely anxious, but it was totally manageable.

The only minor hiccup in the entire day for me was that when I first arrived on campus, I proceeded to the Winnick House near the admissions office. I knew it seemed rather deserted but I parked and got out anyway. Soon, I realized I was absolutely in the wrong area- good thing I had my campus map in the car! Finally, I was able to find the student center without too much further delay. I think it might be helpful for next year’s students to have explicit directions to the building, and note that it is not the Winnick House, but the student center. For commuters like myself, who are not too familiar with the grounds, this would be helpful. Other than that, I have to say the conference seemed to go fairly smoothly and kept to the outlined time schedule very well. I think we should all be very proud of our hard work!
Melissa Hoffman 12/15/08

I'm really proud of the work I did at the CESTL and on my research project. I can't wait to continue it further with the head of the art department, Donna Tuman. She's invited me to attend a conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about art and the No Child Left Behind Act I can't wait to attend!

I was also proud of my peers who participated in the CESTL conference. I can see all of our excitement to learn and our passion. I was so engaged at the conference, and thank you for scheduling it so smoothly, professor Boyanton. I was very impressed!!

Thanks for an interesting semester, professor, and good luck in semesters to come. Happy Holidays.
Sarah Lefrancois 12/21/08

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