Part of being a blogging nerd and getting excited about teaching has meant that I’ve done a fair bit of looking around at some really good blogs out there on teaching and education, and would certainly recommend that you check out a few.
The first blow-your-mind amazing blog I found is Dan Meyer’s dy/dan blog. Dan’s all about Maths education, and while I’m still only a wannabe Maths teacher (I’d love to teach it someday but I’ll need some study first), his approach is inspiring. Dan’s all about “what do you do with that” and the video of him at a conference running a session on “Be Less Helpful” is long (about an hour), but worth every minute.
Dan’s “which checkout is faster” lesson got featured in places like the New York Times, Good Morning America and tonnes of other media outlets essentially just because it asked a genuinely interesting mathematical question. Take a good look around his blog, especially if you have any interest in teaching maths because the guy is amazing.
Take for instance, Shakespeare and Hamlet in particular. Why oh why would 9-11th grade students want to read this play? I thought about it for a while and then with the help of my good partner in the English department, Ben Jarman, we came up with a few ideas. Hamlet has in it themes about: not trusting your parents, death, a ghost, lots of fighting, love, and a search for identity. Clearly some of those themes can be debated and looked at from a variety of different angles, but Ben and I decided first to look at those. Next was the idea and task to get students, before we even picked up the text, excited about learning and reading this amazing work of literature.. Now Ben wanted to, as he called it, “Get the Hamlet fire burning” and really get students excited about what they are learning from the beginning. I agreed with him that this was important, but struggled with exactly how to reach our students. Ben had some great ideas and he thought about really just talking to the students about the material and trying to “light the fire” that way. I thought that was good, but then I tried to consider what else would make this exciting to a student in today’s world. So I considered some sort of exciting Keynote presentation, but then I realized that even that, however cool it may be that it would not be the most exciting thing I could produce. I looked to a resource that I used a few times while student teaching – Animoto.
What I produced was this video: Hamlet Introduction Video
Fifty Nine Minutes is worth having a really good look through, and while Mr Ruggles is less prolific than Mr Meyer, it’s very worth keeping an eye on.
Thirdly I’d recommend getting onto the Edublog Awards site and having a look around for yourself. There’s some very cool blogs nominated on there and you’re bound to find a blog that has some level of interest for you.