Tuesday, August 2, 2016

End of the Semester Party: Hope for Tomorrow

Today we celebrate the end of the semester for two webclasses of AMH 2020. 

I plan to share the best papers with you in the following posts, starting with the service projects because now is a GREAT time to blow everyone's timeline up with stories of kindness, hope, compassion and service.

But first, I want to talk about me.

This summer I changed the format of how I run my webclasses so they integrated citizenship and self-directed learning.

 Besides "what you would expect in a history class," I asked my students to do two things: 1) give themselves to the community in an act of service/citizenship and 2) look around, find history, and take me on a history field trip with them.

At the beginning of the semester I modeled participatory democracy by asking the classes to come together and set makeup policies, late work policies and extra credit policies.  The discussions were enthusiastic and important. By the second week of classes,  everyone knew what was going on, what was expected of them and when it was due. 

After that, I stepped out of the way as some students dashed towards the A they knew they would earn, looked around for the students who needed a little more guidance and and encouragement.    Some students never actually purchased the required book they needed for the class, and doomed themselves to failure from the beginning. 

Meanwhile, because my Mom reads my blog,  and my Mom deserves to ready happy things, I wanted to share an email that I just received.

I never get email like this from webclasses (I DO get food, AMC giftcards, lucky rocks, books and love from my regular classes) so I might print and frame this. 

I have been taking classes at TCC for who knows how many semesters, still trying to achieve the same dream. Every semester I search high and low trying to find an "ok" professor , rather it be online or in the classroom. I think it is very important to have a positive , knowledgeable professor. And every semester, I either miss by a few, or a lot. However, this semester I had the opportunity to be your student. Let me tell you Dr. Soldani, I HATE history , and I've always had. This is actually my second time taking this class , as I dropped from being extremely unexcited about the class and the professor. Despite having anger towards this subject , from the day I read the syllabus and messages , I knew this would be a different class, and I was instantly excited. Thank you for being a human first and a teacher second. You have been the most understanding professor I have ever known. You put your class around the students by being gracious , yet stern . It has made it enjoyable. Thank you for asking us to come together and set rules and make exams that can help all of us during emergencies or any of such. I'm not usually one to have tons of emergencies but everyone does not have the same life as myself and you were accepting towards that. I feel as if you are the professor I wouldn't mind seeing in the grocery store or walking your dog . Needless to say, I really enjoyed the class. I learned about topics I've been so closed minded towards all of my life. I am grateful to have had you as a professor and I honestly wish I could have had you for every one of my courses. Thank you again for the pictures of you cooking, giving us updates on what you're currently doing and being an amazing professor. I would have never dreamed of getting anything above a C in a history class. Thank you Dr. Soldani .

Ok, now that I got that over with, get ready to read about some service projects ;-)