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Professional Portfolio

Posts by Jon Anscher

Education is a hot topic in today’s tumultuous economy and fast-paced technological society. It’s hard to go through life now without being bombarded by evangelists shouting about the future of education in our country. Everyone has an opinion and most are willing to sell you on fear of what will happen if we don’t follow their plan. I’m not going to lie: having been a teacher for the past seven years, I have many strong opinions about education. Today, I just want to share with you the direction I see English class taking in our country.

This semester, I came to an assignment in the English class in Aventa that required students to create a webpage. Some of my colleagues, when presented with assignments like this, allowed students to create a powerpoint instead, however, I wanted more out of my students. We live in a digital age, where delivering content on the web is going to be a reality for the majority of not all future workers.

Last year, I wrote an article about the open enrollment challenge course program. We’ve been through an entire season now of running Discovery Challenge, the open enrollment program for the Bellevue Challenge Course, so I thought it appropriate to do a followup of my thoughts on these programs. Naturally, my view of these programs has morphed as I’ve managed and facilitated our open enrollment program. Last year, I focused on the idea of growth through self discovery. As I’ve experienced a variety of groups and days on the challenge course, I’ve come to recognize several traits of a powerful open enrollment challenge course program.

A little over two years ago, I took on a new role at work in which I quickly found myself buried. I was overwhelmed everyday, and I simply couldn’t keep track of everything coming across my desk. I knew that I needed to do something or end up going insane. As I trolled the web for a better way to organize my world, I came across David Allen and his book, Getting Things Done. This book offered a paradigm for dealing with all of the pieces of information that life throws at you every day.

We live in a time with many threats to our hiking trails and outdoor education: climate change, increased traffic, and decreased resources. The No Child Left Inside movement has raised our awareness of the importance of outdoor education for our youth. So given the threats to this important commodity, I wanted to take a moment to share a story about a hike in the Israeli desert that had an impact on me.