Things I’ve learned: I’ve got a lot of things on my mind

When I started to think about this blog, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to talk about. So I started to draft a post.  I heard that’s what you do when you are developing an idea.  So the bullet points started.  And then I added more bullet points.  And a couple more. And the list kept growing.  So this is what I came up with over the past few days.  I’ll cross them off as I go.

Or I will look back and laugh.

  • How can I plan and be responsive to my students needs and interests.  In other words, how to reconcile unit planning with inquiry based learning.
  • What exactly is inquire based learning?
  • The Teaching Fairy:  Why I go back to the classroom after a lesson that bombs and/or students drive me up the wall (amazing how insane students and bad lessons are directly related)
  • My new integrated humanities (Individuals and Societies) course that I’ll be teaching next year.  And why I geek out about it.
  • I sincerely love history and geography.  I like the nitty-gritty details of these subjects and get really dorky when talking about it (don’t get me started about American Presidents and cliff slumping).  But if we live in a world where content doesn’t matter as much as accessibility, communication, and evaluation of sources, how do I share my passion for the stuff that I think is cool. Even if they can find it on google.
  • My education philosophy.   I’m pretty sure I have one.
  • How my educational philosophy has changed.  And how is hasn’t.
  • Why is there is a red squiggly line under the word “summative” and what exactly is the purpose of assessments.
  • Adapting DP* assessments for MYP** students
  • Adapting MYP assessments for DP students
  • 1:1 integration***  – how to make computers more than expensive pencils. But also recognizing MacBook Pros are pretty powerful pencils.
  • Is being a techie just a way to avoid being bored?
  • Why I’ve been lucky to teach both DP and MYP. And how I have struggled teaching both.
  • Lesson I learned from ______________________.  (Fill in past student name).
  • How do I make sure I’m not just putting worksheets on a website and calling it innovative.
  • Anyone have good ideas for for getting kids to stand up and move in humanities/social studies class?
  • The Rate My Teacher link that comes up when I google myself.  My digital footprint has nothing on my real-life impact on young people who matter.
  • When will I really implement cross-curricular, cross-school, cross-world projects?
  • This was supposed to be a two-year gig. So why I am in year 10 (!) of teaching.
  • Using Twitter in the Classroom. What happens when my students tweet about why Abraham Lincoln deserved to be shot.
  • My love of my iPhone.  I realize this is cliche so perhaps I’ll write in haiku or limerick.  You can’t be an elitist Apple snob if you are writing in limerick.
  • How can stop my overuse of ellipses? And parentheses.  And overly short sentences that are written for effect rather than content.
  • What I want to be when I grow up.
  • What I want my students to be when they grow up.
  • Implementing MYP…thinking forward and backward without getting dizzy and/or lost.
  • Food, beer, travel, Japan, television.  I’ll try to weave these into educational posts and make them thematic. Or maybe you’ll just get random posts about Northwest IPAs or my frustration with Japanese packaging.
  • The purple pen…why I like writing on papers, but hate giving grades.
  • My life as a former high school teacher, now teaching middle school.  This post may also be known as “Getting Over My Intellectual Snobbery while Dealing with Colognes from Aerosol Cans.”


Trying to translate edu-speak.

*DP = Diploma Program.  It’s the pre-college curriculum developed by International Baccalaureate.  Grades 11-12, exam based.  For the Americans, its kind of like AP (but different).

** MYP= Middle Years Program.  Also developed by the International Baccalaureate.  Usually grades 6-10. Less content driven than the DP.  Very project based, cross-curricular, student centered.

*** 1:1= One Computer for One Student.  This is the common term for when a school provides a computer for every kid.

About Rebekah Madrid

MYP Humanities Instructor. International School Teacher in Japan. Google Certified Teacher. Apple Distinguished Educator. National Board Certified Teacher. Traveler & TV Watcher. This is where I write my thoughts about all of the above.
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4 Responses to Things I’ve learned: I’ve got a lot of things on my mind

  1. Clint H says:

    I, too, overuse ellipses… and parentheses for that matter (not that it does matter)…

    I can’t wait to watch this space grow. I’m sure we can try to sort out some sort of collaborative effort between students. Or we could collaborate on a comprehensive micro-brew list.

    And I love your edu-speak translator. Sometimes teachers forget just how much jargon we use!

    • I’m excited to see how this grows too. The only reason I did the edu-speak dictionary for my mom who will probably read this and I realized half of it wouldn’t make sense to her. And I already caught about three more terms that could use “translation” Thanks for stopping by and commenting. And I’ll work with you on cross-country lesson planning and/or microbrew lists anytime. Both are important.

  2. Alex says:

    I think I currently identify most with your 5th point… (ellipses and parentheses aside). I know a lot of facts about history, and I love to share them, but I realize that filling my students with facts is not my job. So I have to consider how best to impart the attitudes of curiosity and independent inquisitiveness that will help my students feel the desire, and have the skills, to look up the pertinent facts to help them address any situation in the future. I’m not sure I am currently an expert at imparting that skill set, and want to be better at it. That’s a huge challenge to me.

    • Alex- I’m always struggling with giving them freedom to explore and take ownership for their learning and a real belief that I know things they won’t stumble to own their own. So me “telling them things” isn’t to stifle them to really give them more options about things out there to learn about. But I never feel that I get it right.

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