Updated: Feb 23
I spent this past week looking over my first and only book I authored a decade ago, Energize the High School Classroom. I always considered it my original teaching playbook. It consists of a collection of ideas that can be implemented in the classroom, regardless of curriculum. The activities are categorized as community relations, motivation, student trust, real world, peers, fun and professional growth. Some ideas are student based and others are teacher initiated. It is a playbook, intended to add immediate fun and relevance to learning. It is timeless in that the ideas can still be used. In my 23 years of teaching, my belief is that "real-life" activities in the high school classroom supercede ANYTHING else that can be taught, period. It is the foundation of my teaching.
The goal/purpose of the book when I wrote it, was to provide us teachers a "spark" for ideas, activities and discussion with our students and colleagues.
Based on feedback I received over the years, many ideas were used, others tweaked, and the book often led to the brainstorming of more fun and relevant activities for the individuals and groups that read it. The concept of us teachers sharing and collaborating with each other is always crucial to our success. The explosion of social media since I wrote this book, has provided us teachers more material and forums to share then ever. So awesome!
What excited me about revisiting Energize the High School Classroom this past week, was that it is still a valuable playbook for us teachers. I spent the last few days rereading all 75 ideas and I added some more online links to use as references. Obviously social media, Google and the internet is more popular then when this book was published. The new additional resources can be found under the ETC Links/Resources page of my current website, richmondETC.
Authoring this book help my career and I have since had many more life and professional experiences to learn and grow from. It is no coincidence that the people I have met and opportunities that followed are a direct result of my mindset to continually embrace lifelong learning. This W.H.O.L.E. Mindset, means I will continue to focus and educate myself on improving my wellness and health, embracing future opportunities, which in turn will mold the lifestyle I want to have. Balancing these five areas will continue to help me be the Champion of my life.