Teacher’s Blog

This update is dedicated to Hannah. That is all.

2016 is off to a great start. It’s a much better feeling to be settled into a school with a great community and students that have a lot of character. Blogging on a regular basis certainly did not happen last year but I’m hoping to find some more time this year. Picking up the additional adviser role for yearbook will take a lot of time but I’m confident that this year’s group will do a fantastic job and produce a unique, creative, and very memorable keepsake.
This summer was extremely eventful in the United States – not even just considering the election. Just three days in an many students are already showing a tremendous amount of interest which is surely a good sign for strong discussions, learning, and most importantly, cultivating a generation that can hopefully make positive change exponentially. Most impressive is the willingness to openly consider opposing views and take a fresh look at some of the major issues our country is dealing with.
If any current seniors pop on I also want to take a moment to personally thank you for your hard work throughout the year and the efforts on the Regents exam in June. We had an amazing success rate of not just passing scores, but mastery and upper 90’s as well.
I meant to do a quick write up in June after graduation but life got busy as it always does but that’s ok. If anything it has given me a bit more time to think about the class of 2016 and really appreciate the group as a whole for sticking out the year with a new teacher that was probably a bit different than their previous ones. I actually walked in to my classroom, viewed some curriculum, and had to ask myself how anyone could do better on some tasks than certain students did! I’m hoping everyone has found themselves in a good place and those who continued their education have already found success in their new homes away from home.
I’m sure June will be here before I know it. But for now it’s time to get back to work and hopefully keep building on what I’ve started at ACS.


Halfway through the year!

Well, the last month preparing for my new position has been exhausting and refreshing at the same time. Although I built a curriculum some 6 years ago for the classes I am teaching, so much has changed in education and pedagogical thinking that I’ve just felt compelled to redo much of it – and that is a GOOD thing. I can’t imagine using the same things over and over and over each year. Even if it’s new for students it would get old for me and it’s a great challenge plus an efficient way to learn more about the content.
Today I had the privilege of listening to Eric Sheninger, author of Digital Leadership, a work I was introduced to during graduate school. Listening to Eric speak about technology and integrating it into education with a purpose was reinvigorating right before students arrive tomorrow and it also made me feel like I am doing pretty good along the lines of 21st century tools.
Now the fun really begins!

Wow! It’s been a while I guess. This summer has been full of ups and downs but if I had to summarize it in one word I’d say its been… productive. Aside from trout fishing, bass fishing, catfishing (ok ok ok), and spending some quality time with my three pups, I’ve been spending time working on new curriculum based on books I’ve put off for way too long. The lessons and ancillary items should be up relatively soon but you’ll have to look for them – they’re for several courses! It’s crazy to think about the amount someone can grow professionally in one summer. I owe a lot of thanks to several school districts that offered me a lot of great opportunities this summer to come in and speak with them. Lastly, I was thinking how important it is to continue to have goals as a professional. I think it’s a great idea to have a “bucket list” for my career as soon as it gets off the ground and running… These are some ideas – comment to share yours!
1-Become dual certified in ELA, literacy, and/or Special Education within a year.
2-Become nationally board certified within 5 years
3-Win a league championship in varsity boys soccer
4-Have 90% mastery on any state exam I am responsible for 3+ years straight
5-Take on at least 3 student teachers in my career and make sure each and every one of them finds a job in a great district
6-Keep in touch with my colleagues
7-Publish educational research
8-Stay up to date on technology and pedagogy in my classroom
9-Make my students proud, not only of myself but of their accomplishments and efforts
10-Keep an open door policy

Just wanted to take a minute here and say thank you to all of those that visit this site. I know it’s been a while since I updated some pages but it does take a lot of time. Blame the trout for being so active!
Also, a huge thank you to all of the teachers and staff I’ve met this year around the area who have been really supportive. I enjoy sharing my lesson plans and ideas with you as well as talking about each school system. It really develops a well rounded sense of education since every school is different and operates under its own culture. There are many great things I will bring into the classroom from all of the school’s I’ve been in and I am sure a combination will work great once I finally get in there!

I just read a great article on www.tweentribune.com titled “Proms become platform for good deeds, social change” and since it is prom season throughout high schools I figured it was worth mentioning. The article highlights several personal stories from the United States where teens are using the event to draw attention to important issues or rise about social “expectations” to make a positive statement. One girl from New York stated “People who worry so much about what dress to wear or who to go with, that’s not what prom is about. Prom is about having a good time. You should just be surrounded by people who make you happy.” I think that’s a great message and she really went above and beyond to invite a young man diagnosed with autism to prom – not out of pity, but because she genuinely wanted to due to his great character and kindness. I’ve never been one to pay much attention to proms and the social aspects of it but over the past few years I’ve come to know a few of the prom kings and queens from my local area and one thing I can confidently say is that I believe each of them was voted by their peers for the right reasons. Kindness, generosity, and a willingness to be a good role model in this day and age is tough for some teens so having them recognized in this matter can really help younger students see the benefits of being that type of person. If you haven’t read it, I’d suggest the Tweentribune article and it’s a nice break from mainstream media’s obsession with sad news!

Well, there’s roughly a month left to the school year aside from state testing and unlike many people, I’m actually kind of sad to see it end. It’s certainly been one of those “long” years for me; finishing graduate school, earning my certification, and subbing. On the other hands every day seems to fly by in the classrooms I am in. It’s truly been fun to meet so many students and staff members from the districts I’ve been in over the past few months. In an area that’s often considered to be less diverse because of it’s demographics there is still a tremendous amount of differences between the small school districts in the radius I substitute in. Each community has it’s own histories and values that show through every day and it has made substituting a much richer experience. Because of state testing and computer training sessions I am often able to speak with the teachers I am subbing for because they are in the building. This has been really great for me because I get to share my ideas and hear theirs – I’ve already had several experiences where I get to employ my own plans or have given them to a teacher to use in their classroom.


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