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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fearless...

that is a word someone I respect used to describe my teaching in his blog. He couldn't possibly know how much that one word meant to me.

I have made some pretty bold choices in my life. Using the analogy of climbing a mountain I can say that I have faced some difficult trails
trails where the only way to ascend was by bushwhacking....
through prickers....
carrying a hay bale on my back...

Needless to say I do consider many choices I have made to be fearless (well some were just darn silly as my mom would say).

One of the biggest changes I made in my life concerned my career.
I took on the position of Tech ed teacher after too many years to count as a grade six Science/Math teacher. I remember walking into the shop the summer before I began my new position.  The "shop" was a huge smelly dirty cavern filled with years upon years of sawdust and boxes upon boxes of worksheets, student projects (pencil holders and wooden name plates) and machines that looked dangerous just to walk by let alone turn on!!!

That summer it took me four weeks to completely clean out the "shop" which meant unbolting over 50 pieces of heavy equipment from tables and the shop floor and carefully moving them in the hallway for the summer cleaners to move to another building.   I climbed a cage and nearly lost my balance plummeting to maybe not my death but definitely a broken ankle more times then I'd like to recount trying to remove years and years of "stuff".  Eight hour days for four weeks..just to make just a small dent in what I hoped would one day be a new focal point in the middle school for innovation, creativity and most importantly fun.

The curriculum for the new course was created from scratch (by little ole me). Now years after starting on this new path I finally feel like I have a firm foothold not only on the curriculum, but I am proud to say I feel like I am an expert in my area of teaching.
Floors pained by students



I have never changed my belief that middle schoolers learn best by doing and that teachers should play more of a support role than the "sage on the stage".  I have been doing PBL since I started teaching in the 90's.  It wasn't called that then...it was just called being a great teacher...

Social media is a tool...  I am not one to call attention to myself...but I will if if shows what I believe teachers should be doing in their classrooms.

I am just one of many in Holliston who are getting the job done : )