How I’ll Spend My Summer Break

Well, classes are done, grades are turned in and my seniors have graduated. As a teacher, that means I have the next two months off to think about all the things I did wrong last year and the few things I got right.

I’m currently sitting in a tiny hotel room waiting for my roommate to show up. Both he and I have never met, but we’re among more than two dozen teachers who are attending one of the summer modeling instruction workshops that are held around the country each summer. These are intensive three week workshops that allow teachers to learn about modeling instruction first hand by playing the role of students and then taking the reins and leading classes through a cycle. The experience was nothing short of transformative for me the last time I attended back in 2008. This year, I’ve come back for the advanced workshop, which allows groups of teachers to work together over the three week period to develop an entire unit in the modeling instruction framework. The topics are chosen by the participants and my group will be working on either simple harmonic motion or rotational motion. We’ll decide tomorrow.

I’m going to do my best over the coming weeks to blog regularly about the experience. I know a lot of teachers are curious about modeling instruction but are unable to make the time commitment that it requires. If my record of the experience can help a few folks see what a workshop is like and how awesome they can be, then maybe we’ll get a few more teachers signing up and ultimately adopting these methods.

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