Friday, October 2, 2015

Reflection Prior to Summer Workshop / Brainstorming

Jill Fornadley
Harpers Ferry Middle School (WV)
2015 TTEC Cohort

July 15, 2015

I must admit that I am very spoiled in terms of location for the TTEC summer workshop. I live in the area, and teach a stone’s throw from the A.T. at Harpers Ferry Middle School. In preparation for the TTEC summer workshop, I decided to take a day and hike around the Lower Town section of Harpers Ferry. Obviously, I had done this before both with and without students, however, not with this particular purpose in mind.

It was very interesting and strange to walk around the town where I work as a tourist. I played the part to the hilt, too. I wore a daypack, took pictures, and bought myself an ice cream cone for good behavior. What I discovered was that if I were hiking the entire A.T., Harpers Ferry would seem like an oasis to me upon arrival. There is a river that is safe for recreational use on hot days, restaurants, bars, hostels, churches, the A.T.C. headquarters (“the psychological halfway point” between Maine and Georgia!), and even a spa!

Despite hours of exploring and months of brainstorming, I am still struggling with how exactly to meld the goals of the TTEC project with my curriculum. My current train of thought involves attempting to fit it into our civics unit, as there is a component involving obligations of U.S. citizens- i.e.: voting, jury duty, and civic engagement. I feel as though the unit I inevitably create can fit under the category of civic engagement, but creating a more cohesive plan on this front is what I hope to accomplish within the first day of our workshop.

Other potential ideas (brainstorm list):
-       Track how a bill becomes a law by discussing the history of/problems facing the Trail; have students determine a law that they deem appropriate for trail safety/maintenance etc and have them write a bill, and explain to me (via written assignment) how that would come to be. (Plus letters to Representatives, meetings with Reps?) 
-     Prejudice/Bias about teens/West Virginians (helping out to show that not all teens are disrespectful, and that WV are not "hillbillies") 
-    Appalachian cultural exchange; trail head info 

-     Health problems of the area (WV is one of the least healthy states in the US)

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
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Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald