Since submitting final grades at Louisiana State University in 2015, I have dedicated myself to helping others share their life chapters. Because this writing teacher believes that those who teach, do, I've been writing some chapters of my own, as well--and writing for publication.
I am a late bloomer and a life-long learner. As such, I often feel myself on the cusp of a new adventure. My latest adventures include teaching gifted/talented students in Albuquerque's South Valley, where I live and love.
During the 21-22 academic year, I taught the following classes at Polk Middle School:
STEAM. This elective—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math—addressed content standards in a practical and real-world context, including a concentration on gardening via the Polk gardens. Students learned to keep science journals. Favorite activities included a unit on the brain and addiction and “Food Fridays.”
Leadership. Course goals were to gain a better understanding of our individual leadership styles; articulate the strengths and weaknesses of leaders based on what is known about leadership, including self-analysis of personal leadership behaviors; and study the habits of mind, skills, and values of leaders.
Journalism. This elective was an introductory course inherited mid-semester from a teacher who transferred out of Polk. In my half of the semester, the course emphasized daily writing in the form of obituaries, letters to the editor, informational articles, persuasive articles, etc. My goals were to improve student writing and to teach students to produce. Students entered the classroom, located their class folders, opened their Chromebooks, and wrote.
Yearbook/Gifted Seminar. Students in this course produced the Polk Middle School yearbook. One gifted student was tasked with photo editing and another with editor-in-chief responsibilities. All students who participated in this course gained skills in page design, copywriting, editing, and photography. In the end, we produced a 45-page yearbook that reflected limited activities during the COVID Pandemic.