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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

How Do We Make the Abstract Ideas of Edutopia Concrete?

How Do We Make the Abstract Ideas of Edutopia Concrete?

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Hi! My name is Karen, and I taught math for three years at a school in Harlem. Now I'm switching to teaching English in CA. I like the ideas I'm reading here, but I'm wondering how to put them into use right now, especially since I'm not in the classroom. Perhaps I should create some sample lessons? Ask local schools if I can try teaching a lesson? Let me know if you have ideas. :)

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Jason Flom's picture
Jason Flom
Director-Elect in Tallahassee, FL

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

With his signature brevity and simplicity, Yogi captures that age-old challenge -- implementation. In your case, Karen, the question is particularly challenging being that you do not currently have a class to tinker with.

Several ideas that may lead to ideas that may work:

1. Put together a series of lessons you want to try and then volunteer with an after-school program once a week (or more if you have the time). There are tons of students who would enjoy having an organized event to look forward to.

2. Depending on which lesson you're game for trying and your access to kids, you might consider "babysitting" for friends/family and try out your ideas on them. (I babysat my way through college and often found that the "baby" being "sat" was a fantastic litmus test for determining if a lesson would engage the students, plus it always gave me a chance to find the holes.)

3. Depending on your winter break plans, there are probably day camps looking to hire experienced teachers to keep students busy and engaged. Because you are eager to try new stuff out you may find you have a competitive advantage over other applicants. This way you can put money in your pocket while also trying new plans on for size.

4. If you have a blog, write about the ideas that are most inspiring to you, perhaps with broad brush stroke lesson plans. Your readers may really appreciate access to the concepts you're exploring on Edutopia (plus, the reflective process that accompanies writing about a topic will help you explore new perspectives, which may well lead you down new roads).

Good luck!

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