A couple of weeks ago I was out of the classroom for 3 of 5 days. The first two days were spent at a conference in NYC put on by the fantastic New York Performance Standards Consortium. I'm rapidly coming to understand that as far as teachers go, I'm ridiculously spoiled. It's such a blessing to be able to go spend a couple of days checking their ridiculously inspiring classrooms. Unfortunately, while on the trip I was taken ill. Consequently I struggled through the next two days back in class and had to take a sick day on the third. Thankfully, I have a set of very well behaved classes this semester.
Disease and Society is being run as a Problem Based Learning class. This means that most of the students' work is self-directed and self-managed. As a teacher it is really cool to be able to release the students to their own curiosity and see what they come out with on the other end. Also, it makes being out of the classroom a bit more palatable as I am no longer the center of all learning. In a way, it is quite freeing. At the moment the students are working on a project that I've dubbed Tools of the Trade. An investigation into medical practices employed before modern times. Groups are investigating Leprosy, Small Pox, or Bubonic plague and creating a museum display of tools that doctors would have used during these epidemics. In addition they are producing podcasts that will serve as an audio explanation of their displays. Tomorrow students will set up their exhibits for public display. Personally, I'm very excited to see what they came up with.
The previous two paragraphs were a little background so that you are able to make sense of the week in review (1/28-2/1) written by Tyler Booker. In two years of students writing posts, this is the first time that I have had a student write something directly to me. I like it because it is a very honest and candid take on what the week was like in class. I hope that you will enjoy this bird's-eye-view of the class.
Well last week as you are aware, I hope, you were not in class for the majority of the week so we had a lot more time to work independently on our projects or any other thing we managed to do during the class period. As far as I could tell people did a range of work varying from the project and podcast recording to catching up on AP psych reading and spanish vocabulary. For the most part a pretty functioning class and a well behaved one at that. Personally I spent only a little while compiling my part of the disease project since it was a topic I am familiar with it didn’t take long to find more detailed facts to elaborate what i already knew. From there I behaved the same as everyone else listening to music, casually talking, giving feed back on what I had found and accomplished, and helping out if needed. Nothing terribly different from when you are here, but… maybe, just maybe a little more well behaved.