Between 2010 and 2012, I worked as a high school teacher for a public alternative school near Saginaw, Michigan. I created lessons for at-risk students who had difficulty working in the traditional classroom. I taught American Government, and I created several elective classes, including a class on practical law that centered around the Street Law curriculum, and a class on food and culture that included weekly cooking projects. I frequently included useful technology tools into my lessons, including PowerPoint presentations, student response system quizzes, web 2.0 tools and online games. I student taught at a middle school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I was challenged to make ancient history exciting for 6th Graders. This is where I first encountered problems with standard teaching materials and pacing guides. In order to supplement the curriculum, I started to include extra activities and group work to make the material more meaningful. My most successful lesson included an internet-based activity on life in Ancient Greece that used an amazing resource from the BBC. (The website has changed since I used it, but it is still a great source of information on life in Ancient Greece: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks/ )
While my teaching style is evolving, I would say that I most admire the strategies put forth by Sir Ken Robinson on the importance of creativity and authentic learning experiences in the classroom. Sir Ken has been an outspoken supporter of teaching creativity, and his Ted talk (viewable here: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html) uses humor to show the importance of kids taking chances.
I received a grant from the Saginaw Community Foundation for $360 plus kitchen supplies to teach weekly cooking lessons in a class about the politics and culture of food in America.
Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Certification Social Studies Eastern Michigan University BA - Political Science University of Michigan
I was born in Michigan, but I spent most of my school-aged years living in Las Vegas, Nevada. I now live near the shores of Lake Michigan with my wife and our two guinea pigs.