Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Beginning of It All

Well, I am entering into the 21st Century and the realm of Social Networking.  While I have been a Facebook junkie for two years now and a Twitter user for one year, I have never delved into the world of blogging.  After all, I am certainly not a professional writer (as these blogs will show) and I never thought that most folks would care much about what I had to say. So why spend time writing. However, as the past year has gone by I have come to the conclusion that I do have opinions about things education related and perhaps some people will relate to the topics I  bring forth. So here goes another step into the Digital World. A World connected by social and professional networks. I think the ride will be enjoyable.

So a little about myself.  I am a 47 year old chemistry teacher working for a private school located in downtown Dallas, Texas. I have been teaching at this school for 10 years and have been teaching overall for around 13 years. I have recently become a convert to the Flipped-Mastery method of instruction that was pioneered by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams. ( I won't go into a description of the model now as their website does a better job of explaining than I could ever do here. But in short, it has revolutionized the way I now think about education. I was frustrated, bored and disengaged from the learning process until I accidentally stumbled upon these two professionals and their vision for how teaching students can be done in a way that motivates students. The model takes the role of the teacher and transforms it from being one who disseminates knowledge and performs daily through lectures to one that mentors students, helping them to become actively engaged in their own learning rather than being passive observers. I am teaching them to take responsibility for their own learning. I probably spend as much time now teaching them how to learn as I do teaching them chemistry. Chemistry is the tool I use to engaged them in the learning process.

My goal in writing this blog is to share my triumphs and frustrations, my ramblings as I choose to call them. I hope to point fellow teachers to resources that I believe will be a help to them and to openly discuss various topics that impact us in the education field. This blog is not intended to be a one way communication. I welcome and encourage comments and open discussion on the topics presented. I believe in order to improve ourselves and grow as professionals, we must have open dialog. We must become Educators of 21st Century Students.


  1. Great start to your blog Brett. Glad to have you be part of the blogosphere. :)

  2. Wonderful start Brett. Thanks for having the courage to put yourself out there like this. I've been following you on twitter for a while and I'm always interested in your views, especially about the flipped classroom. Looking forward to more! -@arundquist

  3. "I probably spend as much time now teaching them how to learn as I do teaching them chemistry. Chemistry is the tool I use to engaged them in the learning process."

    I can't tell you how much these two sentences made my heart sing. I am a firm believer that content is a means for teaching, not the whole pie. If a student memorizes well enough to pass a test, but cannot recall that same content or apply it or use it to shape her thinking, was it really learning. Mastery is messy, difficult work--but unlike the memorize-regurgitate-forget loop, mastery enriches and invigorates instead of depleting the desire to learn.

    Congratulations on the start of your blogging journey. I found your link through a RT on Twitter and wanted you to know you're being heard in Massachusetts. Cheers!

  4. Welcome to blogging! You're off to a great start. I look forward to reading about your experience (particularly with the flipped classroom)

  5. Congratulations on entering the blogging world. I too am spending more time on teaching my students how to plan their own learning.