Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sarah Coleman My Best Teaching Day Ever

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Picking my best teaching day ever is surprisingly difficult.  I think this is because every day that I have been a teacher, I have loved what I do.  Every day I leave my job with some anecdote that makes me smile or laugh.  This isn’t to say that my job is consistently sunshine and roses.  I teach at an alternative high school, so there also isn’t a day that I don’t leave in near tears because of another difficult life struggle that one of my student’s is facing.  That being said, my best day teaching ever was earlier this year at Sun Valley High School.  I was teaching a unit on American Women’s History and I had my class doing a PearDeck I created on some basic background information on important women and events in history.  Through PearDeck, I was able to insert videos after each woman/event in order to give students a more interesting background while they took notes.  I also inserted a Blendspace so that they could further research women’s suffrage.  I have been teaching this class for years, and have never seen such engagement and interest.  As students became involved, I added some discussion questions, and even encouraged students to stop and Google for additional information on various topics.  This lesson was early in the course (2nd day) and through PearDeck, I was able to get so much information about each student, that by the end of class I knew everyone’s name and their interests.  Also by the end of class, each student had chosen a topic for their first essay, and they were actually excited to begin their research.  The end of the PearDeck included questions where they told me what they found most interesting about the lesson, and also gave them an opportunity to tell me what they would like to learn about in this class.  This provided me with the feedback I needed to modify my course to their interests.  That day was the beginning of the best class I have ever taught.  95% of the students passed with nothing lower than a C+, and the discussions, cooperative learning, and engagement that occurred was better than I have ever had.  

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