After a fall hiatus, I'm back and I have some updates for you! I finally finished my "Creating Your Own Thematic History Curriculum" deck - presentation version, titled as "Not Your Typical History Class: A Thematic Approach to Teaching History." The in-depth deck will arrive in 2020. This will be a busy winter break. I will be sharing the presentation version with you in the coming week! Stay tuned!
Also, I'll be presenting on thematic teaching for the first time this weekend at CTA (California Teachers Association) New Educator Weekend South in San Diego. My session will also be recorded. I'll provide the link once I'm hear it's live. Looking forward to the presenting what I've learned to others and get feedback!
I do apologize that I dragged this out for months. I started working on the deck back in summer 2019. As the 2019/2020 school year approached, I diverted my attention to other areas, beginning my 4th year in the classroom. And it sure has been busy!
The other day a colleague asked me, "Don't you ever slow down?"
Every single year I volunteer myself for more things. I sometimes get teased by colleagues whenever I show up in the teachers' lounge since I'm rarely there. Oddly enough, even though I'm busier than ever before I actually manage my time a lot better. I have been able to set aside time to cook, exercise, and engage in a few side projects. I'll share those with you in a future update.
Now that I have entered Year 4, I am pretty comfortable with my curriculum that I no longer have to subject myself to hours every evening lesson planning. (Grading is a whole another story.) I still make revisions and adapt materials and activities to my students' needs and wants. For example, this year my World History class has more reading and group/independent activities than previous years. My Economics class has a much larger emphasis on investing. Previously, I only spent maybe a week on investing; this year I spent at least 3 weeks on it. These are important things. I've had a few parents thank me for teaching their children these important skills. And my Government class will have a focus on local government and the 2020 election. I just don't have to spend as much time as when I had to create lessons from scratch. I remember those days during my first year. I would get home at around 6PM and work from around 7PM until 12AM just to design a 100-minute block lesson for the next day then wake up at 5:30AM.
Looking back, all that hard work paid off. I am now able to deliver to you a thematic history curriculum design guide!
Self-Care & Tribe:
If it's anything that I learned the last 3 years, self-care and finding yourself a supportive tribe will keep you alive. I lacked the latter the first 2 years, but the tribe got me going. I wouldn't be where I'm at today without my tribe. Will write more about this later.
Until then, good night.
Keep your eyes out for an update!
I'm Jayson, a high school social science teacher with a strong passion for social justice and public education issues.