Monday, June 28, 2010

My First Post

I think I actually did this last summer and then decided that I didn't have the time (which I didn't) and deleted the whole blog. But of course one of Dan Meyer's posts got me thinking again about how I needed to contribute to the world around me. So I am going to give this another shot and see how it goes. I can already tell you a few things.
  1. I teach low-level algebra to high school kids that don't want to be there
  2. I tried Standards Based Grading this year and loved it! (more to come)
  3. I won't be teaching in five years (given the current state of affairs)
This comes from a few important happenings. First, our system just laid off about 170 teachers many of which are friends and colleagues and although I somehow survived the cuts, I strangely wanted to get pink slipped from such an awful situation. Next, my wife went back to further her degree so in about 1.5 years there won't be a need for me to put up with the bull$%*^. And there is some incentive to teach for at least 10 years. Since I got into this as a second career, I have loved and hated it, but mostly loved.

Further, we keep expanding the school year and the school day and the money spent like that's the problem. Pretty soon the kids will be sleeping over at the school, you know since the parents have to drop them off at like 6:30 in the AM to get to "work." And last, I have, what I think, is a killer idea that I want to share here. I don't know that it does any good as far as engagement or kickbacks, other than to make you feel like you just did something really cool.

So with that being said, please see my Pirate Math Adventure at my site. Brief intro and background: Each teacher at the MS I was at had 1 month on a particular bulletin board on our hall. This was right when Pirates of the Caribbean was big so I was going to use that theme no matter what. Long story short, I got an email about turning in our extra locker cards one day and when I got mine out, I had one left and it hit me: the combo and the locker number could be solutions to algebra problems.

And so began a school wide scavenger hunt that only a few kids (like Dan's Scavenger Hunt) really got into but it is still by far the coolest thing I have ever pulled off as a teacher. Thanks for getting me into the game Dan!

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