Last night, in between helping students with their independent, online curriculum, (always my first priority) I was able to read a few and write a few tweets to contribute to an #edchat.  One of the issues we discussed was how to continue to collaborating and sharing in our awesome #edchat group and beyond.  One of the ideas discussed was to blog about ideas, struggles, innovations, best practices, etc.  Since I was one of those tweeting this as a good idea, I figure that I better be blogging myself.  So here is my first education blog.  I'm pretty new to this, so I think I'll give try to give some brief insight into who I am and what I do, as well as a few random educational thoughts.

To begin with, my name is Rick Jackson.  I teach at an evening program at an Alternative High School in Michigan.  I am currently the only teacher in the program.  The students use a web-based online curriculum program to learn and complete classes.  I am there to maintain order and to help on a one on one basis.  I graduated with a major in US HIstory and a minors in Sociology and Education from a small liberal arts college near St. Louis, MO.  I went back a couple of years later to finish the requirements to be a certified teacher after I was sure that's what I wanted to do.  I'm currently in a Master's of Teaching Mathematics at an online university.  In addition to the part time evening position, I substitute teach nearly every day.  

I consider myself a constructivist at heart and always seek to meet the needs of my students.  I think we should begin with where our students are.  I hear a lot of lip service about putting the student first, but I'm not convinced that everybody means it.  I believe in building a collaborative relationship with your students and then helping them become passionate, lifelong learners.  I was inspired by EdCamp Grand Rapids a week or so ago and hope to have an opportunity to really put some of what I learned into practice.  My situation is such that I am not in a classroom where I can do too much.  I'm pretty locked into the format we have, because of the nature of my program.  That said, I am playing around with small things and trying to keep myself growing, so that I can hit the ground running when I'm given the opportunity.  I hope to continue collaborating with fellow educators for the betterment of our students and educational system.  Feel free to let me know what you think.  Thanks.
11/17/2011 08:54:29

Looking forward to reading your thoughts on teaching, Rick. I also fancy myself a constructivist, but I'm pretty sure I don't put it into practice all the time. It will be helpful to read your thoughts so I can improve my teaching practice. (interpretation: high expectations, buddy!)

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