Grade & Subject: 7th Grade- ELA, Math, Science, History
BA- Social Science & Economics
In progress: Masters in education
Growing up, my parents taught me to love truth and justice. It was our family tradition to enter into countless debates on just about any subject. Living in this environment showed me how to reason through claims and how to recognize and deconstruct different perspectives. I am thankful to my parents for this exposure, as it has heavily influenced the viewpoints I bring with me to the classroom and try to impress on my students.
Another significant impact on my views of education was my father’s participation in the Vietnam War. Learning about Vietnam from my father’s stories, as well as from history and fictional books, through songs, and by traveling there, taught me that truth must be vigorously sought. We all have our underlying biases; because of this, truth-seekers must work hard to avoid their own confirmation bias, as true justice can only emerge from that which is true. There is a lot of misinformation out there, as well as a lot of unsubstantiated beliefs and half-truths that have a dramatic effect on how teachers teach and how kids learn. I think it is incumbent that teachers teach their students how to think, not what to think.
Our middle school team is in the midst of a transition to personalized learning. Implementing these new changes is a real opportunity to make a difference in how our kids see and interact with the world. In short, personalized learning empowers students to take control of much of their own learning by giving them choice and honoring them as people with existing knowledge, talents, and interests. Working in this environment- one where we are attempting to marry the best of standards/skills based education with the best of constructivist pedagogy in a student-centered classroom- is both challenging and rewarding.