Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Up and Running

Hello again.
Last time I posted, no one else had accepted an invitation. Now that a few of you are here and have posted or commented, I thought I might let you know a little about me. I just finished my second year of teaching English at a small high school in southwest Missouri. There are 300 students in grades 7 - 12. I grew up in a small town in Kansas, so I relate well with the students. For many of you who teach in a in a school this size, you are aware of the pros (small class sizes) and cons (lotsa preps.) I also think smaller class sizes provides plenty of opportunities for experimenting.

My first exposure to blogs came at my writing project site's summer institute. I hesitated to try a blog in my classroom at first because there were a myriad of problems to overcome. The hardest rule to get around was the rule banning email for students. Eventually, I just ignored it. Once my principal saw what we were doing, he just smiled and walked away. He came back 5 minutes later and told me to send him an invite. I think I now monitor 20 blogs. Some are classroom blogs, and some are student blogs where they do there journaling. I encourage you to look at the blogs listed under my profile. I think you will see some amazing things. Anyhow, I am excited to share with all of you who are interested what I have learned about blogs when we meet.

In the mean time, I thought maybe it might bew nice if we posted a little intro and share what we hope to get out of the Holocaust Education Seminar. I have read only one book that deals with the Holocaust, but have seen many of the movies listed in Jennifer's welcome letter. My students live pretty sheltered lives out here with agriculture the main source of income. I'm always on the lookout for material that will get students to see outside of their small world. Last year my senior English students studied the genocides in Darfur and Sierra Leone. Even though I have felt a connection to the Holocaust, I did not even consider the Holocaust because I felt it was ancient history. I studied it in the 60's.

After seeing the opportunity to apply for this seminar, I realized my attitude towards the Holocaust was really the problem that survivors desire to combat. I started to see the possibilities. There is such a wealth of primary and secondary source material available, my reasoning seems pretty stupid now.

What I hope to get out of the seminar are these basic things:

1. Further insights and understanding of the Holocaust

2. I would like to figure out a way to truly comprehend the enormity of the Holocaust

3. Effective teaching practices that allow my student to learn about the Holocaust

4. Develop friendships and connections with other teachers

5. Do a little sight seeing.

So, if you feel like it, post a little intro and tell us what you hope to get out of the seminar.


Danielle said...
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Danielle said...


It's good to know that there really are people out there (who aren't in my district) who understand what "lotsa preps" truly means. I have seven and on some days, it feels like 107. The Writing Project events I've been a part of have always helped me feel refreshed - like I can do it.

I know this will be an amazing opportunity that will not only be a refreshing new look at an important subject, but an eye-opening experience for all subjects and texts that I teach.