Teaching 
geoffreycarpenter.com

Objectives

To encourage a joy of learning that will inspire a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

 

To address universal themes and foster a greater understanding of both our shared humanity and our uniqueness.

 

To teach the social and historical conventions of literature and explore the values of classical and contemporary literature.

 

To examine how works of literature can help us understand particular cultures and the human condition in general.

 

 

To help students become proficient in written and spoken English and to learn the conventions of grammar.

 

To encourage students to write about literature in order to gain a greater mastery of critical thinking skills.

 

To teach inductive and deductive reasoning.

 

To encourage students to write creatively, using forms and conventions they have learned from their reading.

 

To utilize a variety of writing assignments that allow students to exercise the full writing process in choosing topics, determining rhetorical aims, selecting the tone, and determining audience.

 

To urge the students to make discoveries as writers, where writing is recognized as a process through which meaning is made.

Philosophy

     Over the years, I have enjoyed incorporating innovative and effective pedagogical approaches into my teaching repertoire, and I continue to place a high priority on staying current with proven practices. I employ a variety of process-oriented exercises and strategies designed to promote critical reading and writing skills. My approach is deeply informed by constructivism, and in my classroom I stress that the writing process actually involves the making of meaning rather than attaching words to preconceived notions. By extension, reading is best taught in conjunction with writing, as the two processes inform one another.

    Learning must take place in an environment conducive to the free exchange of ideas, so I strive to create an ambiance of trust, respect, and appreciation that allows students and staff to interact in a caring manner. Academic excellence is not attained without rigor, and I ask students to set high expectations for themselves as they grow, experiment, and learn. Ultimately, I feel it is my responsibility to help prepare young people to be successful and responsible citizens both in and out of the classroom.

Methods

    Those who come to observe my classroom will never find me seated at the head of the room before rows of passive listeners.  I prefer to arrange my desks in a circle and join my students in structured discussions about the topic at hand.  Preferring the Socratic method to lecturing, I try to lead my students to construct their own knowledge in an environment that encourages curiosity, innovation, and trust. 

     Ideas for compositions are generated through our readings and in class discussions.   While I suggest a general topic for the essays, the students are free to pursue subjects that are particularly inspiring or interesting to them.

We begin writing weeks ahead of the due date, starting with discovery drafts, incorporating more and more revision as the paper progresses.  I have found that creative and critical thinking can conflict in the early stages of writing since close editing often inhibits the generation of ideas. Therefore, I encourage students to use alternative methods of brainstorming or free writing followed by clustering, outlining, and other organizational strategies.  Students share their drafts in small groups, and, with feedback they receive from me and their peers, they revise these papers in intensive writing workshops.

     I actively practice differentiated instruction, and I am constantly looking for ideas and approaches that will enable me to meet the specific needs of each individual.  In fact, this challenge—the task of continually adjusting to the changing demands of different learners—is what makes the teaching profession most rewarding to me, since no two days are ever the same. My lesson plans reflect the larger curricular objectives of any given unit, but with a degree of flexibility that allows for genuine learning that derives from enthusiasm and student-generated momentum.  Ultimately, as a teacher I am necessarily always a student, and the constant sense of discovery and self-reflection is what makes teaching so rewarding to me.

Videos of Geoff Teaching

Youtube Link: available on request. 

webinar_3.JPGwebinar_2.JPG

Storyboarding Workshop: Grade 9

storyboard.JPG

Webinar with Lima, Peru on digital portfolios. 

Youtube Link: available on request. 

webinar2.JPG