Hello! Ready for some changes…
My name is Susanne Kershaw. I’m from Layton, Utah. I’m just finishing up my 14th year. I teach at a junior high, and for the past 7 years have mostly taught 8th grade math. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, but decided to go back to school when my youngest daughter started kindergarten. She gradutated from college yesterday! So I didn’t start teaching until I was almost 40 years old. I am always looking for new ways to teach and reach my children, from my forays into teaching a flipped classroom to being one of the first teachers in my school to embrace standards-based grading. A few years ago I took the Empowered Problem Solving course by Kaplinski and wanted to make some changes. I was excited to try task-based learning but wasn’t willing to completely restructure how I’ve taught for so many years. So I just tried implementing tasks now and then, and worked on more exploring with my warm-ups. The teacher I team with hadn’t taken the course and has not been on board with the changes I wanted to make. So I just kept doing what I’d been doing with a task squeezed in when possible. But frankly, each year, as the school year gets busier and busier, it’s really easy to slip back into my old habits and routines. After taking this course I think I finally have the courage to take the plunge. I’ve reached out to some teachers in my district who have embraced interleaving and they have been willing to share their resources. I’m a little terrified, but also excited. I will branch out on my own with my honors classes (sort of a pilot program), but continue to teach in the old way with my regular 8th grade course where I have to team. I’m really hoping to get support from this community as I try to figure out the best way to make this work. I’m hoping to get task ideas, activities ideas, and basic structures figured out over the summer so I’ll be ready to go strong in the fall.
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