As a teacher, I have never felt more engaged with my curriculum!
During the pandemic, I found a podcast, Brave New Teaching, which was really like finding my people. This is a podcast created by Amanda Cardenas and Marie Morris and it is for teachers who challenge the status quo.
For so long I’ve looked for educators who are like minded and I’ve found that while there are other phenomenal teachers out there, my pedagogy was just too “new age” for most. I can respect any educator who pours themselves into what is best for kids and I understand that looks differently in every classroom. But when I listen to Brave New Teaching, I no longer feel like this crazy teacher who is excited about technology, engagement, collaboration, book clubs, etc. I realize that there are others out there like me and I am so thankful for having found this community of ELA teachers who get behind all of the same methods that I do and who are not afraid of trying new methods and strategies.
This winter I reached out to my Curriculum Director and asked her to purchase Curriculum Rehab for me to help me redesign and refocus my instruction. This was money well spent, because I was able to immediately bring ideas to my classroom and from what I can tell the students are loving it!
Some big takeaways from Curriculum Rehab for me were:
-creating an overarching course essential question
-promoting student driven inquiry to form unit plans
-creating units based on essential questions; not texts
-designing formative assessments to measure skills; not memorization
-developing classroom community and engagement
-giving students agency in their own learning
-managing the amount of grading that goes along with this type of curriculum
-using supplemental texts to enhance instruction and to create connections
-applying standards to real world interests and needs for students
Amanda and Marie will be opening up Curriculum Rehab again soon. If any of this appeals to you, I highly recommend diving in. If you aren’t in a position to devote time to a masterclass right now then I highly recommend their podcast which is updated every THURSDAY!
In a time where I see so many educators burnt out and just trying to survive, I feel like I have new life breathed into my instruction because of these tools.
I am wrapping up my first unit since beginning the Curriculum Rehab implementation. It’s taken a while to get through the unit because of all the snow days recently. Once I have data and a sense of how the unit went I will share 🙂
The Ameri Brit Mom