Mr. Fatolitis's Science Classes
2011/2012

  

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George P. Fatolitis, M.Ed., NBCT

 

Science Instructor

 

Clearwater Fundamental Middle School
1660 Palmetto Street
Clearwater, Florida 33755

  

School  (727) 298-1609             Fatolitisg@pcsb.org

  

 

 

 

  

  Science is EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado: March 2012

   

  

 

MY MISSION:  

As a Science Teacher at Clearwater Fundamental Middle School it shall be my mission to instruct my students in the skills and concepts outlined by the National Science Teaching Standards, Florida Science Sunshine State Standards and the Pinellas County Student Expectations for eighth grade while preparing them for future studies through real life applications.

   

 

  

MY TEACHING PHYLOSOPHY:

 

The philosophy that I subscribe to in the teaching is focused on the professional aspects of the actions teachers take to assure that every student has the opportunity to achieve the highest student learning level possible.  I make it my professional goal to acquire the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and commitments that allow me to practice teaching at the highest quality level.

  

  

1) I have committed myself to the students of Clearwater Fundamental Middle School and their learning.

  

  

a)  I have demonstrated through before and after school tutoring sessions, dissemination of information through modern technology and easy to understand hand-outs to making knowledge accessible to all students and their parents.

  

b)  It is my belief that all students can learn.

  

c)  I’ve practiced the skill of treating all students equitably, recognizing the individual differences that distinguish them from one another and taking account of these differences in my practice.  I adjust these practices, as appropriate, on the basis of observation and knowledge of my students’ interests, abilities, skills, knowledge, family circumstances, and peer relationships.  Students are encouraged to accomplish projects in their primary language and/or culture.

  

d)  By becoming a Nation Board Certified Teacher and a member of many professional Middle School Science organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association, the Florida Association of Science Teachers and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Aerospace, I came to understand how students develop and learn.

  

e)  Graduate level classes and Pinellas County Professional Development courses reinforced my belief that research based strategies and theories of cognition and intelligence should play an important part in my practice.

  

f)  I believe that the influence of context and culture are directly related to behavior and that by incorporating these factors into my lessons will develop students’ cognitive capacity and respect for learning. Equally important, I will foster students’ self-esteem, motivation, character; sense of civic responsibility, and respect for individual, cultural, religious, and racial differences.

  

 

2)  I believe that teaching is a journey and not a destiny.  I am a lifelong learner who continues to gain knowledge about the subjects I teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

  

  

a)  Through formal and informal education processes I have developed a rich understanding of the subject(s) I teach and appreciate how knowledge in my subjects is created, organized, linked to other disciplines, and applied to real-world settings. While faithfully representing the collective wisdom of my culture and upholding the value of disciplinary knowledge, I have developed an appreciation for the critical and analytical capacities of my students.

  

b)  I believe that I must continue to command specialized knowledge of how to convey subject matter to my students. Over the years of teaching I have became more aware of the preconceptions and background knowledge that each student typically brings to each subject and of strategies and instructional resources that can be of assistance. My instructional repertoire allows me to create multiple paths to teach the subjects I teach while challenging my students to pose science questions and solve  challenging problems.

  

 

3) I am responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

  

 

a)  I believe that I must create, enrich, maintain, and alter instructional settings to capture and sustain the interest of my students. I strive to make the most effective use of time in my instruction.

  

b) I believe that collaboration between all shareholders is the key to engaging my students and adults to assist me in my teaching.  By making use of my colleagues’ knowledge and expertise, and them doing the same, we will all benefit the achievements of our students.

  

c)  I believe that by commanding a wide range of instructional techniques, and know when to employ them, can offer each student the opportunity to succeed.

  

d)  I believe that by engaging groups of students to ensure a disciplined learning environment and how to organize instruction so as to meet the schools’ goals for students they are adept at setting norms of social interaction among students and between students and teachers.

  

e) I believe that through a complete understanding of how to motivate students to learn and how to maintain their interest even in the face of temporary setbacks, students will learn in a positive atmosphere.

  

f)  I feel that only through alternative assessments can the progress of individual students, as well as the progress of the class as a whole, can be measured. Multiple methods for assessing student growth and understanding can clearly explain student performance to students, parents, and administrators.

  

 

4) Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

  

 

a)  I believe that I should be a role model of educated persons, exemplifying the virtues they seek to inspire in students—curiosity, tolerance, honesty, fairness, respect for diversity, and appreciation of cultural differences. I believe that I must demonstrate capacities that are prerequisites for intellectual growth—the ability to reason, take multiple perspectives, be creative and take risks, and experiment and solve problems.

  

b)  I believe that by drawing on my knowledge of human development, subject matter, and instruction, and the understanding of my students I can make principled judgments about sound practice. My decisions are grounded not only in the literature of my field, but also in my experience.

  

c) I believe in and engage in lifelong learning, which I seek to encourage in my students.  The goal of both formal and informal professional development are to strengthen my teaching, examine my practice critically; expand my repertoire; deepen my knowledge; sharpen my judgment; and adapt my teaching to new findings, ideas, and theories.

  

 

5) Teachers are members of learning communities.

  

 

a)  I am a strong believer that all teachers contribute to the effectiveness of the school by working collaboratively with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development, and staff development. They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of school resources in light of their understanding of state and local educational objectives. Together they are knowledgeable about specialized school and community resources that can be engaged for their students’ benefit and can share their skills and resources as needed.

  

b)  I believe that all teachers need to find ways to work collaboratively and creatively with parents, engaging them productively in the work of the school.

 

 

MY PROFESSIONAL GOALS

  

 

1)  It shall be my professional goal to have 85% of my level one and level two students increase one level in math and reading based on the 2011/2012 FCAT scores.

  

2)  To participate in 4 formal and/or informal classes that deal with the latest science discoveries and changes as measured by LMS transcripts or certificates of completion by the presenters.

  

3)  To mentor other teachers in technology, subject content, the National Board Certification process and other areas of need at Clearwater Fundamental Middle School, the District or individual teachers from other schools. 

 

4) To complete my doctorate level studies in Educational Leadership to qualify me to teach at a college or university.

  

 

MY BACKGROUND


I was born in Youngstown Ohio and moved to Florida when I was 10 years old.  I graduated from Tarpon Springs High School in 1976 where my interests were emergency medicine and space exploration.  During and after high school I attended St. Petersburg College where I first majored in Emergency Medicine Technology then Marketing.  For 17 years I worked for Winn Dixie food stores working my way up to the position of Store Manager.  I retired from Winn Dixie in 1988 and went to work as a manager for Florida Choice Stores. In 1990, Florida Choice Foods was bought out by Kash-n-Karry and in 1991 I returned to my first career choice in the fire service. 

 

After the buy-out, I attended the Fire Academy, Florida State Fire College and St. Petersburg College to become a firefighter medic.  I continued my education and became a fire inspector and arson investigator.  When I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors Degree in Fire and Safety Engineering, I became Fire Marshal  for the City of Cocoa Florida. 

 

In 1999 after returning to Clearwater I worked for the Department of Children and Families as a Child Protective Investigator and attended St. Petersburg College moving me towards a career in education. Soon I became a teacher at John F Kennedy Middle School in Clearwater, Florida and now at Clearwater Fundamental Middle School. 

 

My hobbies include traveling, kayaking, camping and meteorite hunting along with collecting space exploration memorabilia and learning about our earth and universe.  I also enjoy continuing my education in both a formal and informal setting.

 

I’ve worked at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as an Education Specialist developing curriculum and consulting.  Today, I teach 8th Grade Science at Clearwater Fundamental Middle School in Clearwater Florida.  

 

My education includes business classes at St Petersburg College, Emergency Management classes at the Emergency Management Training Center in Emmetsburg Maryland, earth and space studies at the University of Alabama Huntsville and at numerous NASA facilities.  I hold a Masters Degree in Education Leadership from National Louis University and a National Boards Certification in Science. I am currently working on my Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership at Capella University, graduation date is in the summer of 2014.  

 

My wife Linda is a Director of Florida Blood Services and my son Nick is attending Palm Harbor University High School in the Medical Magnet Program.  Through building an outdoor classroom at Clearwater Fundamenatal Middle School, Nick has become one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in the state of Florida at the age of 12. I also have two other children who are grown up and successful in their own way and three grandchildren who I enjoy spending time with.