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Welcome to My Blog

I think I, like many of my colleagues, had a preconception of what an open enrollment ropes courses would be like. I spent one summer working with an open enrollment zip line, and the customers we got were oft focused on “fun” and nothing else. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that when talking about the rules and goals for the day, fun is always among the top three. But a program solely founded on fun seems to lack a depth that I feel obligated to deliver. So, when presented with the opportunity to manage Discovery Challenge: an open enrollment ropes course experience at the Bellevue Challenge Course, I tried to get my head around what I was here to offer that would give this program the relaxed fun nature it needed while taking it beyond just a recreational activity.

My biggest reason for starting this blog has to do with my passion for learning. I find it to be a travesty that so many kids become disillusioned about education and come to hate learning, but my greatest disappointment with education is finding teachers who have forgotten that learning can and is meant to be fun. I always strive to make my assignments as interesting as I can, to choose readings that I think will be the most engaging for students, but that only goes so far. The question comes, how can I instill or revitalize the desire to learn and to create among my students? How can I get them to be so excited about writing, that they begin their own blog? How do I teach them that their words can be as infectious as the great writers we all admire?

Presence as an online teacher is very important. I have worked 3 years now at this online academy, and we have grown a lot over those years in terms of how, when, and how often we contact our students. When I first began at online, we had a vast number of students as a teacher and usually knew almost nothing about them. I couldn’t even have told you whose paper I was grading at any point in time. As advisors we knew our kids somewhat better, but we knew the ones who came in much more so than the ones doing their work out in the “cloud.” This led to a very low success rate of our students.