This summer, we could feel the energy growing around teachers building curriculum about the BP oil spill. This episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers one example. This conversation is part of our ongoing series of podcasts focused on collecting stories, ideas, curriculum, connections, and resources that will help us teach about the Gulf oil spill this fall. Our guests include:
Even though you’re busy this summer with countless poolside BBQs, it’s never too early to plan ahead for Fall semester curriculum.The Virtual Team Challenge is an entirely FREE online, multiplayer business simulation that takes place in the animated 3D world of New City. The team objective in the simulation is to help the mayor stage the most efficient oil spill recovery effort. Top-performing teams are eligible for prizes for themselves, their teachers, and local charities! Virtual Team Challenge will run this Fall from October 12 – November 24. See our article in The New York Times to read about one NJ teacher’s success with the program. Virtual Team Challenge comes complete with lesson plans and in-class exercises which form a curriculum that highlights general business acumen, business ethics, negotiation skills, decision-making processes and accounting while placing a special emphasis on important life/career skills such as teamwork, communication, professionalism and research methods. Register now at www.virtualteamchallenge.com.
Teachers from the Gulf join us as well. Even though on this show we feature teachers and resources from "elsewhere," it is always a welcomed moment when we can hear from our new friends from along the Gulf Coast.
Oh, if you listen to the end, you'll catch Bill Fitzgerald who had just put up Voices on the Gulf hours before this webcast.
If you haven't joined us at Voices on the Gulf and at Youth Voices, please consider joining now. These are the best ways for keeping up with the work of this community of teachers represented on this podcast this fall.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
The series of podcasts about the Gulf oil spill that we started at the beginning of June continues on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.
We are joined by Alicia Blair a 5th grade science teacher from Mississippi who has been an important voice on many of these podcasts this summer.
It was also a delight to listen to Ann Dobie, author, professor, and former Writing Project Director from Louisiana.
Ann Brewster Dobietaught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirty-eight years, where she is now professor emerita of English. She directed graduate studies in rhetoric and the university’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. She is the author or coauthor of six college writing textbooks and author of numerous articles on literature and composition. She is the editor of Something in Common: Contemporary Louisiana Stories,Uncommonplace: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisiana Poets, and Wide Awake in the Pelican State: Stories by Contemporary Louisiana Writers. Ann received her doctorate in the teaching of writing from Columbia University.
Biography on http://anndobie.com Given our interest to work with teachers in the Gulf to collect the stories of students there, take a look at this description of Ann Dobie’s newest book, Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter, which was published in 2008.
Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and businesses across the Gulf Coast and changed the face of southeast Louisiana forever. However, nearly a hundred miles northwest of New Orleans, in Lafayette, Louisiana, a different story was unfolding. As men, women, and children waited on their roofs for rescue, executive director Greg Davis hurried to prepare the Cajundome in Lafayette as an emergency shelter.
The workers and volunteers in the Cajundome provided food, showers, and medical care to more than eighteen thousand evacuees that came to Lafayette. From the first busloads of newly homeless to the disasters caused by Hurricane Rita, “Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter” shares personal accounts of heartache and joy, tragedy and triumph. For the first time, here is a collection of the stories of the volunteers and evacuees. Their heroism, courage, and despair are etched into these stories as they endured the first few weeks in a hurricane-ravaged world.
Retold here is the bravery and leadership of Donald Williams as he took charge and led a convoy of handicapped and elderly to safety. Readers will also be captivated by the unforgettable story of the Prevost family as they climbed their way to the roof of their home and their heartbreaking journey to dry land on I-10. The author includes her own personal accounts of what really happened in the aftermath of Katrina and the bravery and selflessness of countless people who struggled to make a difference.
We are excited about the number of teachers who have joined us this summer for this exploration into how we can be good neighbors with our friends in the Gulf Coast. Al Doyle, a NYC teacher of gaming, joined us from the woods of a summer camp in Maine, and a new teacher Rebecca from Pennsylvania, had some things to say as well.
Some of the things to listen for in this podcast are some of the reasons we have been working with Bill Fitzgerald at FunnyMonkey to build an extension of our Youth Voices site. Two quotes from this podcast help define our mission for Voices on the Gulf:
I think sometimes when your there at that Ground Zero, if I can borrow that phrase, it's a little overwhelming. But I talked with several people and got together with our [Writing Project] director, and we just had a real brainstorm. And we went back again to our experience with Katrina. What did we end up doing? Not that we ever planned any of these things. It was more the spontaneous improv sort of thing. So we went back and we looked at the things that had been successful, and thought about what we would like to do for the oil spill. This time planning, with the goal being: We want to publish! We would like to do that this time.... This whole experience that we've had this summer in trying to brainstorm how to bring student voices out has really inspired us to take the initiative, instead of waiting until we see it through like we did with the hurricane, to make those efforts.
--Alicia Blair, high school science teacher and member of the Live Oak Writing Project, University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast
In Louisiana after Katrina and Rita our [Writing Project] sites published any number of anthologies of student writing about those hurricanes, and about what it meant to live through the hurricanes, but even more so, through the clean up and the rebuilding. I have no doubt that that's going to happen again because our teachers always capitalize on those things which are happening in students' lives and their families' lives, and use those as sources of writing and a kind of catharsis. I have no doubt that it will happen.
--Ann Dobie, professor emerita of English, University of Louisiana, director of the Louisiana Writing Project State Network and former director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana
Diana Laufenberg, a history teacher from Science Leadership Academy who joined us on this topic 3 weeks ago will try (from her family’s farm) to join us again.
Natasha Whitton, one of the three teachers from the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project two weeks ago, hopes to join us again
Andrea Zellner, a biology and English teachers from the Red Cedar Writing Project in Michigan will be with us again!
AND NEW to our webcast: Catherine Tibbs, a former high school English teacher who works for the Live Oak Writing Project in Mississippi joined us. (She is also invited colleagues who will be heard on future podcasts. Catherine wrote this on a Monday late in June :
I don’t know if you know this or not, but oil reached the MS beaches this weekend. We had been fortunate so far to avoid this mess. From what I understand from the media, the manpower was not coordinated in the Gulf to skim the oil that is now reaching us. Isn’t that always the case?
Also new to the podcast is Jeff Mason from Penscola, Florida, a biology and technology teacher. We met a Twitter, and we look forward to a continuing connection. (Jeff came on the webcast last week as well, so look for more from him on future podcasts.)
We hope you will be able to join us in this ongoing project. Help us know how to respond as teachers—and with our students—to this monster that will continue to reek havoc for weeks? months? to come!
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers -- the third in our summer series on the Gulf oil failure -- Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim are joined by Chris Sloan and Andrea Zeller. We talk about building curriculum around the Gulf oil spill and other topics, wondering how to keep student self-motivated inquiry at the center of our work while also introducing topics such as the environment, art history, obesity, AP English, or the earthquake in Haiti and other current events.
Chris Sloan teaches at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, and he is a member of the Wasatch Range Writing Project. He teaches digital photography, media studies and AP English. Chris, Paul and Susan and their students have been working together on a school-based social network, Youth Voices for the last six years.
Andrea Zellner has been a frequent guest on TTT this summer, we are delighted to say! Andrea is a former high school teacher in Michigan, who taught both English and Biology. Currently Andrea works for the Red Cedar Writing Project.
Susan Ettenheim teaches at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York City. Susan and Paul have been doing Teachers Teaching Teachers together for almost five years. Susan teaches computer arts, art, and digital photography, and she is the librarian as well. This year Susan is also teaching a Caribbean Art History course for the Virtual High School.
Paul Allison teaches at the East-West School of International Studies in Flushing, Queens. He is also the Tech Liaison for the New York City Writing Project. Paul teaches English and he started a school/community garden this spring.
We hope you enjoy this conversation between four veteran teachers. Just as we build on each others ideas, we hope you build on ours and let us know what you are thinking in the comments below.
We invite you to join us each Wednesday this summer to listen to teachers from the Gulf and to hear how teachers are planning to bring these issues into their classrooms this fall.