I spent two years in the Marine Corps (1968-1970) and then taught middle school in Loveland, Ohio for thirty-three years (1975-2008) My subject areas were American and Ancient World History. I have devoted the years since retirement to writing a book about teaching called: Two Legs Suffice: Lessons Learned by Teaching, based on my experiences with 5,000 teens. The book has been extremely well reviewed on Amazon.com
I found that there were all kinds of tricks to keep teens interested, including drilling a hole through Jenny's textbook. (It's a long story.) I found if I worked hard to find and present material in interesting fashion, I always had a chance to keep students engaged. Beyond a doubt, I would argue that motivating students was the key to success.
I sold older versions of some of these materials to Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1989. They paid for my work but never published it. So I started over and made my materials better. I was chosen "Educator of the Year" for my building in 1990 (the first year the award existed, but did not accept), again in 1997 and 2002. I am Facebook "friends" with more than 1,300 former students.
I was a malcontent in school and finished 104th in my graduating class. My disdain for school helped me understand unmotivated students once I had a classroom of my own. A trip to Parris Island in 1968 changed my attitude. I learned more about motivation in the Marines than in all the years before and all the years since. I graduated from Ohio University in 1973 with a BSEd. I earned a Masters in American History at the University of Cincinnati in 1976.
In keeping with my focus on motivation, I once told students I would ride a bicycle across the United States if they helped raise $5,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In 2007, we collected $13,500 and I pedaled from Avalon, New Jersey to Yellowstone Park to Tilamook, Oregon, a journey of more than 4,000 miles. In 2011, I pedaled my bicycle from Acadia, National Park to Yellowstone, south to Salt Lake City, across Nevada, through Yosemite and on to San Francisco. This time I rode 4,186 miles and raised $10,000 I have four children and an beautiful wife.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Specialty, Science, Social Studies - History, Civics, Elections - Voting, Government, Native Americans, U.S. History, European History, British History, Geography, Other (Social Studies - History), Religion, Gifted and Talented, Critical Thinking, Psychology, Character Education, General Science, Criminal Justice - Law, Writing, Holidays/Seasonal, Black History Month, Summer, Informational Text, Women's History Month