First, if you’ve been here before, you’ll notice that the blog has changed name and design. It probably won’t be the last time. Blog206 was my erstwhile class blog that never really went anywhere anyway, so I doubt the half dozen students that took advantage of it will miss it.
The new name comes from a seminar that Rob Evans gave at our school my first year at Westminster. I stuck that term in my hat, and pretty much went back to teaching in my good, old comfortable style, with little variation for eight years or so. Last year, I started getting the itch to take more chances, frustrated that while the kids continue to learn Spanish at a decently high level of proficiency, it’s mostly due to their raw intelligence and motivation. I wasn’t offering much in the way of compelling salesmanship or relevance.
Last year’s participation in the PLP was a big first step in changing the way I do things, and on the whole, I probably deserve a B- for my attempt. Most of my growth pertained to my job as language lab director. I was a proficient developer of other peoples’ tech-based activities. My own teaching remained largely a kill-and-drill enterprise.
So, the Golden Plunger comes out. The Golden Plunger refers to that grand idea that falls on its face. My goal is to posit a number of creative and collaborative approaches to my teaching. I’m ok with failing, as long as I get it right a couple of times.
I’ve really enjoyed being exposed to expert voices in our readings and in what little blog surfing I’ve done in the last month. However, although I did a lot of reading during this past month, I didn’t take time to reflect on it here, hence my two brief posts. On a number of occasions I’ve felt the urge to blog, but immediately looked at my watch, and feeling crunched for time because of an upcoming class, sports practice, or family outing, I decided I didn’t want to just “knock something out”–I wanted to sit down and really dig into my reflection. As a result, I wrote very little.
So here’s what I’ve decided. In order to get my fingers traveling, I’m going to blog when I get the notion (don’t expect Wallace Stegner-like prose); however, in order to respect my reader (in the case of this month, Matthew), I will try to be as relevant as possible. So, I won’t give you Wallace Stegner, but I promise not to give you James Joyce, either.