Welcome to My New Classroom

As some of you are aware I changed schools this past school year. I will now be teaching U.S. and World History (regular and AP for both) at Lumpkin County High School. I’m really excited for this excellent opportunity as well as the challenge of taking on AP level curriculum for both of these subject areas. I am currently in pre-planning mode and because I changed schools that means a heavy amount of classroom set-up. I’m about 95% finished but I went ahead and shot this video to give everyone a look inside.

Continue reading “Welcome to My New Classroom”


Today in Education: “Crawling with Outsiders and Foreigners”

Every once in a while in education the planets seem to align and the stars shine bright enough to allow for a brief moment in time where everything fits together. Today was one of those days.  Continue reading “Today in Education: “Crawling with Outsiders and Foreigners””

Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 3)

Bulletin boards can be a unique and useful tool in education if used properly. Due to a lack of funds and resources, field trips to historical sites and structures can represent a challenge. Bulletin Boards help fill that void through visual stimulation. Objects on the board can grab the attention of students, make them think and/or question, and engage them in the current curriculum. When I can, and when resources allow me to, I change the class bulletin board to draw my students’ attention to new material. This past week my U.S. History classes began their unit on the Civil Rights Movement. When I changed the bulletin board for this unit (featured image on the header), I incorporated a new item; something  my students helped create. 
Continue reading “Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 3)”

Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 2)

In a previous post I wrote about the new project I instituted in my United States History classes which deals with the Confederate Battle Flag. In short, the goal of the activity is to have students reflect on how they view the flag and to evaluate that view as the school year progresses. You can read more about that here. I began the year long project by having students write down on index cards, in three words or less, what they thought when they saw a Confederate Flag. I clarified to students that I did not mean the Confederate Flag in a classroom or in a museum where there is context, but what they thought when the saw the flag in public, on an automobile, on a state house, or on the side of the highway. I also asked students to write down a couple of descriptive words to clarify what they thought. Student responses were then copied onto a spreadsheet so that I could compile data on how students viewed the CBF at the beginning of the school year. One hundred and fourteen students responded, and here are the results. Continue reading “Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 2)”

Wrestler to Pin Cancer

One of the perks of my job as a high school wrestling coach is the opportunity to work with truly incredible kids. Take for example recent graduate and future Sooner Ryan Millhof. Ryan was a sophomore when I first joined the Collins Hill staff. He placed second in state as a Freshman, losing to another wrestler on the Collins Hill team, Sean Russell. After that season, Ryan transferred to Collins Hill arriving around the same time that I did. I could tell right away that Ryan was an ambitious person, and he remains so today. He wanted to wrestle in college and become a national champion. So far, part of that goal is checked off of his list. He signed a scholarship with the University of Oklahoma this year and is currently training with that team in the Midwest. Despite the sheer strength, competitiveness and brutality that he exhibits on the mat, off the mat Ryan is a truly kind and generous person. That is why Ryan’s recent venture, comes at no surprise.  Continue reading “Wrestler to Pin Cancer”

“What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?”

I decided to inhale my lunch today so I could blog this while it was fresh on my mind. On the first day back from Spring Break we, as a class, began our unit on the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. While discussing the States’ Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) convention in 1948, and the reactions to the decision on Brown v. Board of Education, the students talked about the use of old Civil War symbols. I posed the question, “What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?” Continue reading ““What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?””

Falling Behind

I have yet to come up with a catchy title for a bullet list of mini-posts as good as Andy Hall’s Canister or Brooks Simpson’s News and Notes. I am also still wrapped up in my incredible experience at the 37th annual Appalachian Studies Association conference at Marshall University. My next several posts will likely be about that experience, but there is a lot that I am neglecting. So, here’s my list of items that do not warrant a full post of their own. Continue reading “Falling Behind”

Live from the Atlanta Fed.: Part 6 (The Last Part)

Wel,l we wrapped up things at the Fed. with one last activity. It was a U.S. History activity but it focused primarily on Economic aspects. The activity, however, was engaging and I think I may incorporate that into the classroom at one point. We split into numerous “Expert Groups”. In these group, members went through a  primary source documents. Each group had their own document. Groups analyzed letters, books excerpts, photos, and other materials. After the groups spent a few minutes discussing those primary source documents, the speaker called time and the groups broke up and each person had to go to their “Reporting Group.” This group was be made up of one (1) member from each “Expert Group.” This means you are pulling all of the documents together into one group, with one student taking the lead as the “expert” of that document. The group will put together their various documents in order to answer questions about the era. After a few minutes on this aspect, the teacher called time, and then all the groups discussed their answers. I think this is something that every history teacher can use in their class to incorporate primary source materials. It will also put students in a position to discuss them with their peers in small groups.After the conclusion of the last assignment, we closed out the day and we were turned loose just in time to hit Atlanta traffic….

A day at the Federal Reserve Bank is always a pleasure, but I think this may be my last year. Although the workshop made me aware of numerous tools to incorporate into the classroom, it did little to advance my ability to teach History. Now if I were an Econ. teacher, I’d probably say the Fed. did more than its share. To be fair, I will take the Economic lessons, introduced at the workshop, back to the classroom and incorporate them into my History class. After all, what is history without the incorporation of the numerous fields that fall under history’s umbrella? Having said that, I think in the future I will attempt to find a teacher workshop geared more towards teaching U.S. History.