Friday, August 14, 2015

Thoughts before the sport commences

I've been in my classroom at least four hours a day, Monday through Wednesday this week. Technically I don't need to be there until Monday but I'm in a great grove in totally revamping my class. I'm looking to dump my Economics semester/AP Comparative Government semester and combine them into a sort of International Economics/Comparative Politics year course. The ideas are there but the work is sizable. I use a lot of the same excellent stuff in regards to simulations. However now I need to advance the slant. Now Factors of Production need to include details of the AP6 countires. Now markets need to also emphasize corruption, and shadow economies that exist away from the normal economic structure.

Usually my morning starts around 8 a.m. with a small physical restructuring of the classroom. Then I go hunting for about 90 minutes. I take the list of AP Comparative Government teachers from the AP Reading and hunt for their websites. I then borrow/steal/appropriate information and lessons from them and start adjusting them for my class. I do the same thing with Economics. Then I spend a couple of hours planning our written calendars. Then I spend about 45 minutes at the copier, filling out paperwork for basketball, hunting for a freshmen basketball tournament, and talking with colleagues.

Unfortunately my vibe gets killed the moment I get my professional development schedule. Two days that, usually, I never get back. This year it's some kind of "Evidence Based Writing" workshop for about 1/3 of the time. Sounds great right? Except that I was taught this in the credential program and we do something similar over and over and over and over and over again. I couldn't teach any AP History or Government course without doing evidence based writing. Maybe I'm just being negative. The rest of the professional development is something called PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support. This is apprently being implemented in our district. I talked to three different people about PBIS and I got almost the same reaction; a smirk, followed by "Oh, you are going to LOVE that."

Right now I'm at an Economics teachers conference in San Francisco conducted by the Bay Area Financial Education Foundation and the California Council. Like the California Council on Economics Education the resources available to teachers are amazing, including a new Economics simulation book that is totally aligned to Common Core. Sure I was up by 4 a.m. for the drive to the city but being on the bay at sunrise and simulations on Comparative and Absolute Advantage are sooooo worth it.


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