Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
School: MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS COUN, SAINT LOUIS MO
Educators often ask students to think of what they are passionate about. The idea behind this is that if a young learners can discover their true interests they may be able to better define their life goals and begin down a path that will leave them happy and fulfilled.
As I progressed through my 11th year of teaching, I applied for a new job and was asked to think what I was passionate about. The firs and most obvious thing that came to mind; family. I kept thinking over a few weeks by looking at the things I really enjoy and patterns in my career. What I discovered is that I am passionate about challenges.
Challenges keep me focused. They give me something to work on and think about when the monotony of the day-to-day life seems to slow me down. For me, challenges can appear in many forms. They can be physical challenges, educational challenges, or career challenges. But for me, they can all be molded into the same basic pattern.
1. They need to seem large. I once heard a graduation address where the speaker said "If someone tells you that the challenge you set for yourself is too big, you know you're on the right track."
2. They must require planning and preparation. The planning and the preparation are what makes the challenge fulfilling.
3. Failure must be an option. If not, then the challenge is not big enough. Let's be clear here. You have to assume you will meet your challenge, but if everybody can do it, it's not a challenge.
Here's the cool thing...once you meet one challenge, another bunch of them open up. And the process starts all over.
I have been teaching for 11 years now at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove, OR. I received my undergraduate from Oregon State University, and my MAT from Pacific University. I teach English language arts, two sections of each regular and honors. I am in my third year of flipping my language arts classes and second year of going 1:1 with ipads. Our school has also been progressive in switching all of our proficiencies (we run a proficiency/mastery model) from our state standards to CCSS, Our middle school has also instituted STEM across the curriculum! Flipping has been my answer to save the bulk of my English curriculum while still fitting in the STEM approach. I am also one of two tech coaches in our building and I am very excited to see the transformation of the staff here at our school as well as our students as we utilize technology and pedagogy to engage and instruct our students. I recently wrote a chapter in the much anticipated followup to Bergman and Sams book on flipping called Flipping 2.0. Obviously, I utilize a lot of digital media for my students, feel free to check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Cp5Xjn7ic-3BjtrBS0QVg/videos?view=0&flow=grid Connect via edmodo, Schoology, and twitter (@MrsCarterHLA), as well as here on Sophia. I have both a blog of reflection on my classroom instruction and a couple of websites to organize all videos and handouts for my students: *HLA: https://sites.google.com/a/fgsd.k12.or.us/mrs-carter-s-hla/ *ELA: https://sites.google.com/a/fgsd.k12.or.us/mrscarterela/ *Tech Support: https://sites.google.com/a/fgsd.k12.or.us/nams-teacher-tech-support/ *Flipping 2.0 tinyurl.com/flipping20 I have one five year old daughter named Molly, a loving husband, and Wheaton terrier named Winston. My husband owns his own printing and art gallery in the Pearl in downtown Portland, so to say we aren't a super busy family is somewhat of an understatement! Wouldn't change it for the world though, life is good!
My life has been a long, strange trip. I am now preparing to teach secondary science and perhaps math. I have a PhD in Molecular Biology (Vanderbilt Univ) and a MDiv (University of the South). I am the father of four inquisitive daughters, I enjoy reading, hiking, gardening, and cooking.
I'm a graduate student in the M.Ed./Intl. Lic. Science Education Program at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and a Physical Science and Chemistry teacher at Irondale High School in New Brighton, MN