Tuesday 3 February 2015
Whenever I go out for ice cream, I will undoubtedly buy two scoops. I’m indifferent about eating it in a cup or a cone, but I find it difficult to limit myself to just chocolate. The other scoop will change. Sometimes I’m in the mood for coffee or passion fruit or hazelnut.
I like to think of David here at InThinking as chocolate ice cream (caveat: I haven’t run this by David yet). He’s the base and the core of the site.
So when David approached me about the opportunity to work with him as a co-writer for InThinking, it was a no-brainer. I knew of the website and his work on it, and he knew of my passion for writing about education and literacy in particular. I had met David a few years back at a Language and Literature workshop he gave in Bangkok and I knew this was someone I wanted to work with in the future.
As is the case in the international teaching world, I even find myself at his old school, United World College South East Asia-Dover. I am teaching the IB Language and Literature and Literature courses and have taught both since the IB introduced them several years ago. I’m also teaching IGCSE.
Before the move this past August, I spent three years at International School Bangkok in Thailand, five years at Colegio Roosevelt—The American School of Lima in Peru and two years at MEF International School in Istanbul, Turkey. I’ve found myself examining, leading workshops and writing a bit for the IB as well. It’s all a bit exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
Most of all, I find that I am constantly thinking about education and how to help my students continue to grow and develop as readers and writers. I have a particular interest in reading and writing workshop pedagogy and applying it in an IB context.
For now, my focus in the initial entries will be around the Further Oral Activity. I want to work on developing a deeper understanding about not only the assessment and the criteria, but also what is possible in this presentation. It’s can be an intimidating and daunting task. It can also be a way to transform the creativity and learning in your classroom. I like to think of my writing style as practical and student-centered. I hope you find it useful and personable.
As you read this, you’ll have probably deduced that I am from the U.S. I spend part of my summer in Michigan, which is where I am originally from, and the rest of the time chasing waves, running, hiking and trying to stay active.
Although David and I come from different backgrounds and have different experiences, what you will get is the same level of commitment to the site and to you. Here is a place and a space that will push us forward as teachers and lifelong learners. Know that I am in this journey together, with you, struggling and experimenting all the time. There is something comforting in that knowledge and I look forward to hearing from you in the months to come.
So think of me as the other scoop of ice cream in the cup. Although chocolate ice cream is amazing on its own, you now get another flavor. We compliment each other and in doing so, you get a richer experience.