I started this blog as an English education student at Colorado State University in 2005. My initial goals were to learn more about educational technology and it's use in the classroom. It has evolved to become my own form of professional development; writing and reading education blogs makes me a better teacher. My purpose on this blog is to write about the science of teaching English language arts.
In spring 2006 I taught eighth grade English and seventh grade study skills at Boltz Junior High School in Fort Collins, Colorado as a student teacher. I returned to school in the fall to complete a linguistics class. In spring 2007 I was a substitute teacher in grades K-12 for Poudre School District.
In July 2007 I departed for South Africa where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Schools and Community Resources Project. I helped teachers implement the government's Outcomes Based Education and Revised National Curriculum Statement, improve classroom management and instruction, and share American culture with South Africans. In other words, I played soccer, ultimate, or blob tag [pictured] with a bunch of kids every Saturday. You can read more about the projects Jennie and I completed at our Peace Corps blog, Jennie and Ben's Excellent Adventure.
During the 2008-2009 school year I was a temporary language arts teacher at St. Helens High School in St. Helens, Oregon, about 30 miles north of Portland along the Columbia River. I taught 9th grade language arts and 11th grade American literature half-time and continued to substitute in Portland area districts for all subjects and grade levels. Last year I taught a literacy workshop course at St. Helens High School to incoming freshmen for three periods each morning and began my graduate degree in education and reading at Portland State University.
This year, I teach three periods of literacy to 7th and 8th graders at St. Helens Middle School.