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James Sturtevant Hacking Engagement
60 min2020 DEC 6
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144 Middle School Science Teacher Shane Neiffer Explains HOW to Make Your Class Enthralling

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Last week was exhilarating. My wife and I had become determined to install a subway tile backsplash in our kitchen. I thought to myself, There’s no way I’m going to pay someone to do that. I’ll learn how and do it. Of course, I went to the greatest educator in the world–YouTube. I watched a number of how-to videos, gathered my courage, and then installed that backsplash. It was a profitable and empowering exercise. I love my new backsplash and the experience gives me confidence to take on more such challenges.Are you willing to gather your courage and try something new in your classroom? Covid has forced us to adapt and take risks and wouldn’t you agree that there have been experiences over the past few months that have evolved you as a teacher? I’ll wager that when this crisis abates that you’ll find yourself teaching differently than before Covid. Times such as these afford you the opportunity to try new things and take risks. And this, dear listener, is where Shane Neiffer makes a glorious appearance. Shane is a middle school science teacher in Eastern Pennsylvania. She’s developing a sparkling reputation as an innovator. She takes a subject that many students dread–Science and makes her class the one her students are gabbing about around the dinner table that evening. In this episode, we’ll talk about exactly HOW she does it. It’s one thing to hear about someone doing something, but it rises to a whole new meaningful level when they demonstrate. Think back to my subway tile backsplash example. Without YouTube, I’d have been lost. That is the magical thing about what Shane has done for you in this episode. You simply must navigate to my show notes and then access the link to Shane’s Resources. This doc is a student engagement roadmap. She indicates the objective and then provides the tool to fix it. She’s compiled 30 different tools that can be utilized to achieve the various objectives she has listed. This is a powerful resource that I’m going to apply in my classes next semester. I challenge you to take a look and NOT find something that you’re going to use tomorrow. That is why in the title of this episode the word HOW is in all caps. Shane, like YouTube, gives you the how. This is a magnificent resource for Covid and beyond. If you’re an administrator and you're looking for PD for your teachers, Shane would be an excellent choice. I definitely see instructional coaching in her future. But after having said all those wonderful things about her, I would be remiss if I left out the most important part–she’s a really neat person. I’ve known her for a grand total of two weeks and I feel like I’ve known her most of my life. This woman is a technocrat and a highly engaging person. That dear friends, is a wonderful combo. I love this interview!