The class is called Ancient World History, but that is not a very accurate description of what we will discuss, study and learn. Everything that has happened helped to create the modern world. We will discuss current topics in the news, U.S. history, and how the ancient world influences us today.
Throughout the course of the school year students will have several unique opportunities to engage in what we are learning through technology. We will Skype with students from Beachwood Middle School, blog, create web pages and use a variety of other free technology to making learning interesting and relevant to your (the students') lives.
I expect and encourage you to speak your mind! Engage in debates, talk about tough issues and THINK. Social Studies is a discussion-driven class. We learn by organizing our thoughts, discussing, collaborating, and drawing conclusions. Social Studies is not black-and-white; there is no single answer to the majority of the ideas we will discuss. Don't be afraid to share what you think or to agree/disagree with your classmates. The best part about having a mind, is being allowed to change it!
Garth Holman, my mentor and close friend, teaches at Beachwood Middle School and I completed my student-teaching in his class. You will hear Mr. Holman's name often because the two of us collaborate and reflect about what we do as teachers. We will also be allowing our student to work and learn together. You will notice that he is also keeping a blog on this website. Feel free to read what he has to say. We are trying something new this year; we are going to attempt and align our curriculum so that our students can collaborate on a regular basis. Garth and I have presented at several educational conferences, talked to major universities in the area concerning technology in education and have hosted several technology workshops for schools in the greater-Cleveland area. We run a website, where we reflect upon how we teach. We also run a weekly web show that we use to connect with educators, technology experts and influential thinkers to discuss education.
Now the exciting stuff, me. I'm not just a teacher, I have a life outside of school. This is my fourth year at CMS and my fourth year teaching. I completed my undergraduate studies at Lake Erie College. After earning my B.A. in Social Science, I transferred to Cleveland State University and earned my M.A. in History. I stayed at CSU to earn my teaching licensure, 7-12 Integrated Social Science. Outside of the world of teaching, I am a husband and father. My wife Christina works for Huntington Bank. I have a step-son, Kyle, who is an eighth grader at Willoughby Middle School. My daughter, Olivia, just turn 1 in August and has dad wrapped around her finger. being a parent is awesome. It also helps me be more empathetic as a teacher. I understand that families are busy and that many times life is more important than school. If issues arise that interfere with homework/school work, please email me. Something can always be worked out!
Many of your children, my students, know me because I ride a motorcycle (word travels quick in a small school). One of my biggest passions is riding and working on motorcycles. I escape to the garage to decompress after a long week. Every year Kyle and I ride out to Washington D.C. during the Memorial Day weekend to pay our respect to the soldiers of our country. The event is called Rolling Thunder and honors the POW/MIA individuals that have fought for our armed forces.
I also love to take my family camping. My dad was a teacher, so summers meant getting in the car and heading out West. Sitting around the campfire, rock climbing and backpacking are passions that I try to keep going in my busy life. Olivia has already slept in a tent and Kyle's grandpa taught him how to gut and clean a fish before he was 10.
I will post all day-today information on this blog, including homework. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call the school or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading and I hope you, your children and myself can collaborate to make this a great school year!