My first teaching experience was working with a group of middle school students whose reading levels were at the third grade and below. I was clueless. The first month we read the required Ben Franklin story, made kites from scratch and flew those for about a week and a half. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
Since that August years ago, I’ve learned a few things. Mostly from watching great teachers and borrowing their best ideas. I was hired to work at ESSDACK to focus on Social Studies issues but these days you can find me working in a variety of areas.
“My first love will always be history but I’ve really enjoyed getting involved more on the tech side of education. There’s so much that we can do with new tools and teaching strategies to tap into how the brain works.”
Some of my current work includes finding ways to integrate mobile devices into instruction and working as an Apple certified consultant. I have spent a lot of time working as a co-chair of the Kansas state social studies standards writing committee and finding ways to incorporate Common Core literacy standards into quality teaching. Much of my current work revolves around helping teachers around the country integrate social studies best practices into their instruction and assessment.
I also research video games and work with districts to integrate them into the classroom. I spend time finding ways for teachers to effectively use other types of technology as part of what they do including a lot of recent work with Google Apps and Chromebooks.
Other work includes developing training on the integration of reading and writing indicators into K-8 social studies curriculum.
I recently redesigned my web site and am in the process of adding additional web 2.0 content. The most recent addition is a Tip of the Week that will also be sent via an automatic email program to interested teachers.
“What I love is the chance to work with a wide range of people and to learn new stuff. I’m always amazed at the experience and knowledge of the people I work with; keeping up is a constant challenge!”
Prior to coming to the Educational Service & Staff Development Association of Central Kansas in 2000 as a curriculum specialist, I taught for five years in the Social Science department at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas. Before that, I spent almost a decade at Derby Middle School working with 8th graders. Throughout the years, I’ve taught a variety of content including Kansas History, American History, World History and World Geography.
As a state certified standards trainer with a Master’s degree in American History, I am able to facilitate curriculum and assessment writing for schools and districts as well as research-based best practices in Social Studies.
I enjoy playing golf, surfing the Web on my iPad, reading just about any history non-fiction book, and watching my kids play sports and perform on-stage.
I’m spending most of my time on Twitter nowadays but you can follow me in a variety of ways:
1500 E. 11th
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
Although I work for ESSDACK, all of the opinions, terrible grammar, weak thinking, and poor judgment posted on HistoryTech belong to me. (I will also take credit for the occasionally brilliant post or useful link.)
I will often suggest web sites, products and materials but have not yet taken money or products in kind for doing so. But as the uber-smart Doug Johnson says:
Now there is one big caveat to all of this. If the price were right, I would probably say just about anything. I am thinking $100K would pay off the mortgage, allow me to fill up both family motor vehicles at the same time, and get the LWW that new garbage disposal she’s been pining for. Cool.
I suspect it’s good for my professional reputation that I work in education where the profit margin is so small that the temptations just aren’t that tempting . . .
Hopefully you’ve learned (or will learn) to trust what I have to say. If you ever have a question, I expect you to call me on it.