1. Start the year off doing a lot more work with what it means to be a digital citizen
I teach social studies; at the heart of my subject is the idea of citizenship. I plan to do much more with explaining the idea of a citizen and of digital citizenship in my students at the beginning of the year. I think that a greater understanding of our rights and responsibilities as citizens and digital learners will help my students feel more freedom to find their own knowledge. I also think that it will help students get more out of my class, In order for me to give students an open learning environment is if they understand their role in what we are doing.
2. Location, Location, Location
The more I teach social studies and talk about the modern day world with students, the more I see the need for the fundamental understanding of geography. Not longitude/latitude and the compass rose; I ‘m talking why do we live by rivers, how does building a city change the flora and fauna, how does cold weather effect the spread of disease and the fact Africa is not a country. GoogleEarth is an amazing tool and students absolutely love using it. I plan on talking geography at least one day a week. Distances people must travel to trade or fight, finding natural resources, etc. I want to become the geography teacher of the future. Utilizing technology (GoogleEarth, USGS, NOAA, etc)
3. Its not the Destination, it’s the Journey
My favorite quote as a motorcyclist, it’s the first patch I sewed on my leather jacket. This is applicable to the 7th grade too! All my students and myself will end up at the same point come early June. I will leave all my students at the shores of North America during the Age of Exploration. I want my students to focus more on their individual learning process, I want them to become conscious of how they take tests, how they learn and how they discover answers. I want to create thinkers, not just 8th graders.