My Philosophy When I started teaching, I had behaviorist leanings. I wanted to be the "Sage on Stage," and as a result, I think my classes were boring. Over the past six years, I have focused on becoming a Constructivist, with student driven projects becoming the focus of classroom activities. I enjoy mentoring my students as they work through a project and make discoveries of their own. I especially like the relationships I build with my students rather than having to be a policeman keeping them silent and working at some less than challenging assignment.
My Community Morgan Hill is a small town that has been in transition for the past couple of decades. It is caught between the movement of middle and upper middle class families to Morgan Hill from Silicon Valley, and the remaining small farmers and accompanying migrant farm workers. Morgan Hill has spent quite a bit of money lately improving itself, building a community center, police station, aquatics center and is preparing to build a new library. The school district has recently opened a new high school (it's second) and an elementary school. The school district covers the Coyote Valley, where San Jose has big plans for a community of 30,000 people, almost the size of Morgan Hill itself.
My Environment The Charter School of Morgan Hill has several important visions which drive classroom activities. These are Project Based Learning, Technology Integration and Parental Involvement. We are a school of choice and draw students predominantly from Morgan Hill, but families also come from Gilroy, Hollister, Aromis and San Jose. This year we are near our maximum size, approximately 475 students. However, our school does not have a demographic which is representative of the surrounding school district, and have a predominate community of caucasion, middle class families.
My Roles and Responsibilities I teach History to 7th and 8th graders, and a technology elective class. All 7th and 8th grade classes have 28 students each, for a total of 112 7th and 8th graders that come through my class each day. In history, I use the TCI curriculum History Alive, which I really enjoy using - it is very hands on, although not necessarily Project Based Learning. I have been adding in additional projects into the curriculum and stepping away from of the more traditional units. In technology, I teach some of the basic programs, including word, powerpoint, photoshop, dreamweaver and imovie.