Friday, October 17, 2008

2nd CESTL Evaluations

Evaluations on the 2nd CESTL

2nd CESTL Evaluations by Undergraduate Students

Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
University of Texas at Brownsville

Wow!!! I cannot explain with words what I felt in yesterday‘s presentation. Sincerely I was very nervous and the truth I did not want to participate, but I told to myself that I could do it and that someday I had to do it and this was the moment. When I was waiting for my turn I tried to control my nervous, but when was almost my turn I was trembling. Finally I did it and then I felt very relaxed, it was not too bad.

I think that this presentation was a wonderful experience for all of us that participated. First of all we learned about many topics and then we beat the nervous of talking in public. At the end we all were very proud of ourselves and we were very excited because we did it. I really like the experience I never thought of being part of such event. I enjoyed every presentation even thought at the end we were a little hungry and tired. I wanted to stay until the end because I was in the first ones and everybody listened to me and I thought in the last ones and I think they deserve the same respect, so I was there until the end.

Thanks Dr. Boyanton for always be there supporting us and having high expectations in all of her students. I enjoyed a lot this course and I will be happy to recommend you, but not as an easy class as a learning experience to grow academically and personally. Thank You very much for your patience and for all!
—Nanyka, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

I really enjoyed attending this conference. I feel that I really learned a lot. I think that this was a very good learning experience and I looked forward to more opportunities like this one. I must admit that at the beginning I was a little nervous and not too excited about having to present in front of a lot of people, but when I got there I realized that there were only other classmates and also a couple of other students and I began to feel a little more comfortable.

I feel that this will serve as a great experience and that it will help us in the future as teachers. This also helped me to realize that I am capable of giving a presentation in front of many other people. Overall, I had a great time, the only thing was that I did have to leave a little early, so I missed about three presentations at the end, but I am sure that they were just as great as the others. The only thing is that I am sorry for my fellow classmates and others that I did not get to see there presentations, because I know that they put lots of work and effort in preparing. For the next time, I will make sure that I am able to stay until the very end.
—Kristy, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

This Saturday’s Teacher Conference was a very rewarding experience. At first, I must admit, I was very nervous and anxious to get it over with. Then, I realize that my peers felt the same way and for most of us it was the first time presenting with a bigger audience than just the normal classmates. By now the presentation had become a beneficial challenge I had to overcome for my own good.

I realize that this challenge was not only going to help me practice my communication skills in presentation but also share the work I had done through the semester. I’m sure it was an achievement for everyone to share their findings in their research and to have a taste of what is like to be a real teacher in an everyday classroom. The presentation was most importantly a learning experience where you interchange knowledge with others by giving and receiving.

Finally, I feel like my professor really cares about her students for the dedication and the amount of hard work she inputs. There are not many professors that actually take the time to give feedback in order to see their student’s improvement, or that dedicate their weekend to education. This Saturday Professor Boyanton demonstrated she has high expectations for every student. In my personal opinion she has helped me become a more efficient and productive individual. This class has given me the confidence to believe that nothing is impossible if you have the determination to work hard for what you want.
— Jessica Arriaga, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

Oh my God! I can't believe we finally did it!!! I believe that it was worth all stress and hard work we all went through. To be honest with you, I was really scared and nervous before I did my presentation, I was not sure I could do as well as my peers.

When I was in front doing my presentation, I saw that some of my peers were really interested on what I was saying, that, made my nerves calm down a little. Then when I saw the “timing guy” telling me I had only two more minutes, oh my god! Freaked out again! Again, I looked at my peers and I continued with the presentation, unfortunately, I didn’t have time for questions.

When I went to my place, Sandra came up to me and congratulated me, I felt so good! She showed me once again, that people can really make you feel great again, and right there, I gain some much confidence on myself and I know that I can fulfill my goals. Then, a girl from another class came up to me too, and asked me some questions about my research; she told me that her daughter had just been diagnosed with autism and told me that she really liked my presentation, I felt so good! When the presentations were done, some of my friends and I were leaving, and a lady from another class came up to us and told me that, she really liked my presentation, and that I covered so much information and explained it in a way that it was easy to understand. Right there, I felt in heaven! It is amazing how ones’ self-esteem can get really high after getting some amazing feedback!
— Karla Araujo, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

The CESTL conference was a great experience for me. This conference had many different insights about this conference. Some people were nervous, stressed, anxious, and excited. I know that I was so nervous to go up and speak in front of fellow classmates and other students from other classes. I was calm throughout the conference, but when it came around my turn I became nervous. When I was presenting I was concentrating on trying to cover all the information and trying not to look nervous. When I finished speaking I felt relaxed and proud of myself because of all the hard work I put into this presentation.

It was a long day filled with a lot of information by other students. Many of people were tired and exhausted including myself, but everyone was very respectful towards one another and listened throughout the conference. All of the presentations were very interesting. There were a few presentations that were about the same information and what I saw very interesting was that everyone had their unique style of explaining their information. I really enjoyed this conference and will use the information that I have learned and apply it in my future as a teacher.
—Suki, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

This past Saturday, I took part in the 2nd Conference of Elementary-Secondary Teaching & Learning (CESTL). It was definitely a new experience for me and I enjoyed it. I got to see what other future educators look like…and noticed that ‘hey, they are just like me…chasing their dream of one day becoming a teacher.’ It was quite inspiring to be among them and see how far they too have come in their pursuit.

The conference was held because Dr. Boyanton feels it very necessary to educate us on classroom teaching and learning at both the elementary and secondary school level. I thought that I learned a great deal that day and noticed that teachers have to be very organized and well prepared to meet the needs of their students. This is the technology generation and we must be up to date with that. My particular topic was on the best conditions conducive to learning and I found great research ideas.

I think I did a good job conveying my findings to those in attendance. They seemed to appreciate the data they I relayed and I liked the positive feedback that I received in return. Furthermore, I now saw how my observation hours were relative to my research data. Also, how my own self reflection has helped me discover who I want to be as a teacher and facilitator. After all, teaching is a profession and we must act professional to make sure that our students get the right message. This again is what has been expected of us this entire semester and I’m glad to have had this experience. Over all, I had an absolute blast this semester and am looking forward to finishing it off on a good note. Thank you very much for the knowledge and the opportunity!
— Maricela Gonzalez, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

The conference turned out to be a success. Many students including myself were extremely nervous about it but deep inside of us we knew we were going to do well. Dr. Dengting's encouraging words helped tremendously.

What gave me the most confidence was that Dr. Dengting answered my e-mails so rapidly, gave me input, and corrected my mistakes on my power point. Once that was done I just had to worry of what to say in front of everyone. I will never forget this experience I have no doubt it's going to help me in the future. Oh! my favorite part was when Dr. Dengting announced to everyone that there wasn't going to be a final exam. BLESS HER HEART!!!! THANKS FOR BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL TEACHER!!!!!
—Rosario Chelf, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

The CESTL, was an experience that I will never forget. I felt so many emotions at one time, fear, nervous, and anxiety. However, it was an experience that I will not soon forget. I have done presentations in a classroom but not a public one, it was something out of the ordinary. I know I need to get out of my "comfort zone" and this was good experience. I hope no one noticed how nervous I was because I was. When my presentation was over I said to myself that was not bad at all.

Dr. Dengting I want to thank you, for your great expectations for each of us, you always want us to raise to the next level always challenging us to do our best and be the best.
—Sandra Canales, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

I loved your dance presentation that was such an art that was awesome. I could see that you are so proud of your culture. Which to me is such a beautiful culture.
—Sandra Canales, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

WOW! I was amazed at the dedication and knowledge all my peers showed on Saturday. I was actually impressed, very impressed!!! I think we all did a great job. My motivation has been down in the dumps lately and I had to push myself to do this powerpoint presentation, which I am so glad I did.

I was okay until about two presentations before mine, that is when I started to get feel nervous. I had a few questions, that I was interested in and they were answered with a presentation Dorothy, from the other class gave. It was something I had already figured out for myself and when she said it, it confirmed my own personal belief. I strongly believe that teachers are there to help reinforce what our parents should instill in us; morals, values, and respect. Parents should talk to their kids and ask them how their day was and get out your homework, let's see it. Loved your ppt Rhiannan. Our kids need to know, now more than ever, that we expect more than just the minimum. Set the bar high and let them know that it is possible to reach it, all you have to do is strive for the best.
—Valerie Green, EDCI 4322-01, April 27, 2008

I felt so confident and comfortable from beginning to end of presentation. I was very surprised that my peers were very curious and asked me several questions about my topic. I can see that the students were eager to learn about my topic. My biggest challenge for me was responding to answering the questions to my peers. I wasn’t nervous at all because it helps me and my knowledgeable experience through observations and interview with the teacher. I was satisfied with my performance, because I made all my presentation perfect, even though, with power point it needs to be edited with the background and texts.

At the end of the class, I looked up at the grades scoring evaluation paper from my peers. I felt so proud of myself because it was well done and I had work so hard. I have learned many things through this semester. I am grateful to have Dr. Boyanton for teaching us many things during her lecture class. I am ready to be confident to become a professional teacher in the future and to work with my passionate students.
— Anabel Martinez, EDCI 4322-01, May 1, 2008

I really enjoyed the conference at the “castle” Saturday. All of the presentations were very good and professional. Even though it was seven hours long, and my back was hurting, I was engaged the WHOLE time.

Preparing for the CESTL was one of the most enjoyable assignments I have ever had. Sure, it was a little stressful, especially that last week of trying to make sure I was ready for it. I rehearsed my presentation so many times with a stopwatch, but I was still so nervous that I was going to mess up on my timing. But I think that is why it was such a success.

What I liked about the assignment (and the class in general) was that Dr. Boyanton gave us a lot of autonomy. She let us choose our topic, choose our approaches and methodology, and left us to present it the way we wanted to. So many times, teachers give too many guidelines and rules about what should be done. Yet, Dr. Boyanton allowed us the freedom to do the assignment the way we wanted to. This can be a risky way to give an assignment, but the fact that she had us present our research at a conference that was open to the public, really motivated me in making sure my presentation was top-notch. I believe that is why it was such a great conference.

The conference, for me, was fun, exciting, nerve-racking, and an overall great experience. The thing I liked most about it is with all of your great ideas that you shared, I feel better prepared to be a teacher. After Saturday, I have never been so excited to walk into my own classroom for the first time! Thanks, guys, for your presentations, and thanks, Dr. Boyanton, for giving us this opportunity.
—Eldon Clark, April 27, 2008, EDCI 4322-60

Oh, how I was dreading the 26th of April! But, in the end of the day the Conference was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had worked very hard on getting my power point together so that I could express what I wanted in the small amount of time given.

It was good to be with my friends at the conference they made the day go by so much faster. Had we not had the bonds we made I don’t think I could of done the job I did because even though I was working the room with my eyes and gestures I was really just focusing on them because they make me comfortable. I wanted to thank you for your very warm introduction of me at the conference for a moment I felt as if I was the guest speaker…Thank YOU! I will admit that being first was a bit harder for me but on the positive side of everything I in a way set the bar of what was to be expected for the rest of the conference. I thought that my classmates did an excellent job presenting I was really impressed with how Carolina checked her shyness at the door and went up and blew the group away!!

Let me close on a positive note and that is that I enjoyed myself with my friends I learned a lot and hear some very interesting things on Saturday and to be real honest the cherry on top was your ribbon dance!! I loved it!! I thank you for showing us and giving us a taste of your culture because as you know I am fascinated by other cultures. Thank you for a wonderful experience over all at my first conference where I was a presenter.
—Ry*, April 26, 2008, EDCI 4322-60

The CESTL conference went great! Dr. Boyanton did a great job in organizing the event. Even though I did not stay for the entire conference due to work issues I was able to witness some of the presentations and they were great. Ryan’s presentation was very good and it gave a good start to the conference.

I do not know all of the names of the presenters outside our class room but the young lady who presented about the DREAM act and her personal story was compelling. I also liked the presentation from the lady who said she was from Singapore; unfortunately I cannot remember her name. There was this other lady who also spoke excellently and her synchronization with her power point presentation was extraordinary. Claudia’s presentation went very well also and I really appreciated her encouragement.

All the presentations were educational and I learned a lot from them. I wish I can someday get over my nervousness and be able to present the same way they did. I guess it is all about practice and dedication. I also read through the program and saw that Jefferson and Dr. Boyanton were performing, I really hate I missed the second part of the conference but I have already missed work too many times and I could not push it any more.
— Omar Gonzalez, April 27, 2008, EDCI 4322-60

The CESTL last Saturday afternoon was one of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences I have ever attended or been part of. The fact that many of us had never presented in front of so many people, some of which were already teachers, is a positive for us.

Now at first I was very nervous but I got over it because of the environment created by our classmates and the other students (graduate and undergraduate). I liked the experience and hopefully I can attend with consistency if there will be more of these conferences.

In the case of my presentation, I was not unsatisfied with it but I felt like I could have done better, especially in the getting my audience attention. Also, I felt confident of the research and rehearsal of my presentation but when I got up there it was a whole different ball park. I could not concentrate on what I was going to say to I turned to my sense of humor to help me with my speech. I think that since it was the first time I present in front of so many people, I was not a very effective speaker, but I will get the opportunity to do better.
-- Roberto Ramirez, April 29, 2008, EDCI 4322-60

Today I had to present my presentation on learning styles to my fellow classmates, at first I was a bit nervous but not too much, however when I arrived to class to insert my drive my presentation was not on it. I panic and then became very nervous. I ran in heals to the library to resave my presentation and then I ran back to class. My heart was racing and felt as if it was going to pop out of me. I tried to gather myself and my thoughts and began to present.

Overall I think I did okay however I know that I could have done better if that incident had not occurred. I should have doubled check to make sure the information was saved before going to class. My classmates enjoyed the presentation and commented me and told me that I did well. I was glad that they enjoyed it. I think it was a good that my classmates got to evaluate me because they gave me good feedback that I will surely take into consideration.
—Ally, April 29, 2008, EDCI 4322-60

My experience, how can I describe it, was TERRIFYING! I think I have everything under control and then I went up there and my mind went blank. After the presentation, I felt bad because I missed out on many things that I wanted to say yet at that time I just wanted to get it over with. I just hope I can overcome this fear before I finish my classes. I tend to start to balance the positive and negative effects and how they are going to affect me in my teaching career. I come to conclusions of whether I am in the right field.

I think my main problem with speaking in front of an audience is "the audience". For example, the conference terrified me because there was going to be people there that were more educated than me and that makes me feel inferior. The classroom makes me feel more confident because we are almost on the same level of education. Even then, there are peers with such a dominant vocabulary and knowledge of information, like Rhianna and Ryan. I would not want to be in a conversation which described or influenced some one because there language is so proficient. I again am faced with that language barrier that sometimes interacts as an obstacle in getting the material across.

I also want to comment on the fact that the class was SO supportive. They were aware of my anxiety and they we encourage me not to worry and that everything was going to be ok. Then after the presentation, my stomach was in a knot and I just wanted to leave the class for some fresh air, and they all commented that I had done a good job. It made me relax a little. I wish them all the best and that continue to be just the way they are.

I am so happy to have taken this class. It had A LOT OF work but I really think I learned a lot while having fun. I loved the interaction there was and you always kept us motivated to keep on learning.
—Melody Barrera, April 28, 2008, EDCI 4322-60How did the students felt about participating and presenting at the 2nd CESTL conference? Please hear what they have to say...
When I look at the undergraduates and the work that they have done, I can easily believe that the extent of work they had put in must have been far and above what was required of them. They have shown me a face of Brownsville that I do not see. I think there is much hope for Brownsville, Texas for I believe they represent the cream of the crop. They are not only intelligent but also passionate that when they become teachers, they will do what is best for their students. Perhaps more than anything, they seemed to have come away, from their research, with the memory of what good teachers are like and how they too can become good future educators. When this group of young people starts their career, I believe as they become more confident of themselves, they will become movers and shakers in the field of education, or wherever they choose to be

What did I take away from CESTL beside the relief that I have one less assignment now? In the course of preparing the power point slides, I learnd that one is never too old to learn. I think when there is a curiosity and a lack of shame that anyone can be my teacher, as long as he/ she has the skill, I do not possess, I will live to be a life-long learner. Indeed, I was so impressed by some of the slides the undergraduates have that I wish I could find out how they had done it; especially the ones who added voices into the presentation.

What else have I gathered that I can use in class if I were a teacher? That element of flexibility and surprise. Dr Boyanton’s announcement at the end of the conference was a wonderful surprise. I was caught off- guard and I think the immediate sense of relief was so great that I could have danced all the way home. I think in the class after a very strenuous assignment, teachers who have the autonomy and control over their classroom practices should do just that. Then, we can sit back and watch our students dance.

I would like to add these 2 compliments to the following undergraduate presenters. I compliment:

1) Ryan for his exuberant presentation. I think the exuberance he exhibited established the tone for the conference.
2) Nilda for the personal experience that she shared. It was very poignant and showcased how immigrants , illegal or ohterwise struggle to get to where they are. I salute her hardwork and determination and wish her all the best in her future.

Dr Boyanton, please share these with them and the first part of my journal where I believe that with their passion, the undergraduates can do great things for Brownsville.

Thank you, Dr Boyanton.
—Dorothy (Wai King) Hung, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

I really enjoyed the CESTL project, except for the fact that I had a headache because I didn’t eat a meal within those 6 hours. For future CESTL conventions, snacks and drinks should be decided upon by students (students should cooperate to bring different food items). OTHER THAN THAT, I really liked it and wish all the students could have been there. I felt kind of awkward at times because I was at the graduate table…considering that I had just been an undergraduate a semester ago . I felt proud to be a graduate though…still do!

I liked the techniques that most people used during their presentations. I really liked when Dr. Boyanton ribbon danced ( is that how you say it?). I want her to teach me!!!-> that way I can use it as an incentive for my students whenever I have a classroom of my own. Since I will have elementary kids, I’ll say “if you behave, I”ll do the ribbon dance!” I think that would work, don’t you?
Okay so to sum up the CESTL experience, I really think it brought our class closer together because we were able to sit together and then discuss how each classmate did on their presentation. Dr. Boyanton, are we going to see what was filmed of the conference??
—Mayra Garcia, EDCI 6304, April 28, 2008
CESTL was quite an experience. Although most of us are already in the classroom, there was a lot of information that we heard that served as a refresher. I for one admired everyone's cooperation throughout the entire day. There was a gentleman that came up to our table and mentioned that our table was intimidating. What's funny is, we didn't feel as though we were. They must have been looking at Hector with the timer in his hand that made them nervous!! Ha! Ha! Thank you Hector for keeping us all in check!

I really enjoyed everyone's presentation. A lot of hard work and time went into the presentations. I think that everyone at the conference walked away with new information. I personally had a great time! Thank you Dr. Boyanton for showing us a little bit of China with your dance routine. Moving that material back and forth must take a lot of muscle, I admired that. Thank you also for putting the conference together and having us be a part of it.
—Nora, Lamas, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

I was amazed with all of the presentations because everybody seemed to have worked hard on it and everybody was dressed professionally. I was quite satisfied with my performance because I was not nervous because I had practiced my presentation in front of my younger brother. He came up with my opening statement and was timing me. I was so proud of myself that I was able to answer a question that an audience member gave me. He asked about why Juan behaved in a strange way and I even explained that his behavior ceased when his teacher moved the podium closer to him.

I loved Kim’s presentation because she was not reading off her slides but explains with great detail. Everybody looked like they tried their very best. I loved Carlos PowerPoint presentation with the diagrams and their explanations.

Although it was long, I spent a memorable Saturday learning about various educational topics ranging from learning strategies to high stakes testing. I would love to do this type of research conference again.
—Emily Fierros, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

I am very glad to have participated in this conference. I was very nervous. This is the first time that I've ever been in a conference, I've attended several conferences. I enjoyed sharing my findings with everyone. I hope that they enjoyed my presentation. I practiced with one of my colleagues then I practiced at home with my family. High five to everyone! Everybody did a fantastic job!!! Tell your undergraduate class that they did a wonderful job and that I am very proud of them!!!

Mrs. Dengting thank you very much for everything you've done for us, I've learned so much. I never imagined that I was going to ever do a qualitative research and now I am so happy that I did one.
—Griselda Garcia, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

I would like to start off by saying "Thank you" to all! I know we had and have so much to do, but we showed respect, consideration and made the best of the time together. I was impressed with the undergraduates' work, and hope that they are as committed when they become educators. The presentation showed countless hours of work and at the end of the day I was glad I stayed until the end.

I have to admit I was very tired at the end of the presentation due to the time given and really not being able to eat a meal other than snacks. I think we would of benefited from a 20 -30 mini break to get something to eat. I think perhaps in the future the conference can start earlier and give a lunch break or just eat there. I think most of us were pressed on time and the fact that it was a Saturday it was difficult to finish a conference so late. As teachers we are used to 8:00 am – 3:00 p.m. in-services, but are ok with the idea because we still have the afternoon to be with our family.

I think if we would have started earlier I would have had time to talk to the undergraduates more. They looked like a very interesting group. I know they felt a little intimidated with us there, but I am glad we were all in the same group. I still remember Ryan coming to our table and saying “This is the table that I am worried about." Because I heard him I said “You will be fine." I am glad I was able to experience this event.
— Aracelie Gutierrez, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

I am glad to have been a part of the CESTL this semester. The work that I put into everything (paper and ppt) was well worth it. I have a new perspective on my teaching practices as far as motivating my students. I plan on using a lot more cooperative learning next year beginning with the first week of school.

I remember being in the same shoes as the undergrads were yesterday. I was impressed with their work, and know that I would have felt the same way as they did. I was very impressed with the last presenter, Eldon Clark. He has a big future teaching Math. I can tell that by his demeanor and confidence. He will one day make a difference in a kid’s life. Please share that with him. There were quite a few of the students that will make a difference one day in a student's life. I could tell by the effort that was put into their ppt and oral presentation.

Lastly, I would like to personally thank Dr. Boyanton for her teaching. I learned a lot from taking this course. I have a new perspective on my teaching strategies and my students.
— Analicia Springer, EDCI 6304, April 27, 2008

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