Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ahh yes...

my first day back at school. the end of the endless summer. the workdays before the kids arrive. hmmm...
i really do love teaching. it is a part of me. i think back to a lot of the other decisions that i made when i was 17 and i shudder. but the decision to become a teacher worked out pretty well. here i am- a scant 22 years later. walking in to another year of school. and while i'm sorry to see summer go because i enjoy it so much, i like the beginning of school. not so much the work days, because i never seem to get a lot of work done. but i like school because of the kids. i like to challenge them and i want them to challenge me. i live for the moments when the light bulb comes on for them. i like to joke with them and i like to push them to think. i want them to examine their world and i want them to find out something about it and themselves. i want them to learn.
and that's why i do it. that's why many teachers do it. i could complain about the salary, i could complain about the district, i could complain about the state. but the bottom line is that i work with a lot of people who care. and because they care, and because i care, we push everyday for kids to become better people. and while i know that i don't reach them all, i hope i reach enough of them. 22 years ago i thought that i was invincible and could change the world. today i'm out here still trying. so bring on another year. bring me your problems. bring me your heartaches. bring me those days when we wonder what the heck it is that we are doing. i'll take them all. i'm still out here trying to make the world a better place-one kid at a time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

day 3 in williamsburg

I'm sitting here at my table in the ap world history training and we are looking at the dbq (the document based question) that is a part of the ap world history test. As we talk about it, I am struck with just how important it is that we, as teachers, teach thinking skills. Now that may seem like a no-brainer, but really thinking skills are often lost in the greater quest of content. We spend so much time worrying about content that we often don't take the time to teach kids how to think. We do this because of high stakes end of course testing. The majority of tests that our kids take are based on their ability to answer content specific multiple choice questions. So teachers worry and fret about getting content across to kids. This emphasis on content can be counter productive though. Kids may be able to regurgitate facts and figures for these tests but the current state of end of course tests doesn't really push students to develop thinking skills and that's sad. The ap test, however, often does test thinking skills. How do students think? How do we want them to think? We want them to analyze, to evaluate, to recognize bias. There are skills there. Skills that can be learned and taught. But we probably don't do enough of that.

more to come later.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

more williamsburg

i'm sure that one of these days i will come up with a coherent thought about our experiences at ap camp. between now and then you can continue to read crosson's blog about the experience. it is here: crossonedu.wordpress.com

i will tell you guys that we went to jamestown today and it was pretty cool. pics and funny video to follow at some point.

i promise we are learning quite a bit. i just find it difficult to put it together when i am in the middle of it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

williamsburg ap world history training

so, i'm here in williamsburg, va being trained in ap world history. there are two of us from my school here. myself and our english teacher. he is getting training in english literature. i was going to post a lot about what we are doing but i decided to let him tell you about what was happening. he has a new blog and he typed out today's entry on his itouch. it took him a while. small keyboard and such. go here to check it out: crossonedu.wordpress.com

i'll post some more of our exploits tomorrow and i'll let you all know how things are going. until then, you are going to have to get the goods from him.

short and sweet but i'll be blogging more as we go.