In more than two years of blogging, I’ve learned a ton. I will continue to blog once TLC opens, and each of the students at TLC middle school will write their own blog to improve their writing skills, reflect on their learning, and also develop a portfolio of their work.
I’ve compiled a “greatest hits” of four of my top blog entries for prospective families to check out to get a sense what sorts of things we will be learning at TLC, as well as the approach I often take in my learning — I hope you enjoy!
1) Empathizing with South Sudan — Back in October, I arranged for a group of middle-school age students I was teaching in a global current events class to meet a remarkable junior at Duke University, Nyuol Tong. Nyuol is from South Sudan, the newest country on the planet, and at age 20, he has started a school back in his home village in South Sudan.
His life is a remarkable story. To prepare for his visit, I had my students read about his story in a magazine article and come up with questions to ask. Nyuol visited with us for an hour. This is the sort of engaged learning about the world we will do often at TLC middle school, bringing in visitors from around the Triangle.
(update as of Jan 8: Nyuol just posted on his Facebook account this 2-minute trailer of a documentary that describes the building of a school in his village of Ayeit — Nyuol speaks on camera at the end of the trailer)
2) Blogging 101 — This post, my 101st, explains the rationale behind blogging. To quote that post:
I don’t blog in a vacuum, and I’m using “blog” as shorthand for all the ways we can connect with the world — through blogging, tweeting, emailing, and even using Facebook to organize (as my good friend Ken Okoth is doing as he runs for a seat in Kenya’s Parliament).
3) Malala Yousafzai — This courageous 15-year old blogger from Afghanistan who writes about how girls should have a right to an education started blogging when she was 11, and was recently been named as a runner-up for Person of the Year in Time Magazine. I wrote about her, and how she’s now one of my heroes, shortly after she was shot by members of the Taliban in October 2012.
4) Cool Science — should we air condition the tropics? — This post explains how we would approach science at TLC. It also gives a nice example of how a complex problem is best addressed in a multi-disciplinary way.