I finally bit the bullet and started a blog. I figured after years of reading great ideas and reflections, I should try to add my 2 cents worth. Let me introduce myself and my plans for this blog.
I'm Eric Biederbeck. I teach 6th grade math and social studies at Essex Middle School in Essex Junction, Vermont. I've been in my current position for the past nine years. When I started, I worked in an interschool loop team which involved my beginning with students in 5th grade and moving with them to the Middle School for a year in 6th grade. After that year, I would go back and pick up a new batch of 5th graders. I did this for a few years but the grind of moving back and forth from one school to another took its toll. It was difficult to know the rules and procedures of each school as they tended to change a bit in the year I was gone. I also always felt like I was losing stuff or I didn't have the things I would need because they were stored in my other classroom or school. Therefore after two loops, I moved to a straight 6th grade position. I became the math and science teacher on a two person team. This led to four great years of working with 11 and 12 year old students. I loved working with this age group and I found that my teaching partner and I really worked well together. Then last year, because of changes in the school, we added a third partner and I went from teaching math and science to teaching math and one section of social studies. I was a bit bummed because I loved teaching science (the science curriculum for 6th grade was life science with a focus on several of the biomes of the world) but I was also excited about teaching social studies. The year went well with another fantastic group of 6th graders and our new teaching partner fit in well with our team. We are looking forward to an even better year when we start up again in September.
That gets me to this blog. I plan on using this blog as a way to reflect on things as the year progresses. Because I teach three groups of math, I'd imagine a majority of my posts will revolve around math concepts, ideas, and activities. I'll probably spend some time reflecting on the way social studies goes too as it is still quite new to me. I'm also in the process of looking at homework and at grading and I'll spend some time looking at how my new ideas in these areas are working. Of course I'll spend some time reflecting on the everyday stuff that happens in a middle school as well.
As it is summer (for another 6 weeks for me!) I'll probably not be posting as regularly as I plan to during the school year. I am working on such things as how to set up my classroom most effectively, how to send out a better team handbook, and other such things so I will post on those ideas during this summer.
I'm looking forward to putting this stuff out there and seeing what feedback I get. Thanks in advance!