- You have a MA in Economics. Why did you not continue on with your forensic economics job?
- You like painting and film. Why not become a full-time artist or filmmaker?
- You have a degree in art history. Why not work in a museum?
- You love education. Why are you not teaching in a classroom?
Yes, I could have gone on any of these paths. However, the one thing that would not let me rest, at least in the last 4 years, is the idea of writing a California history curriculum. Five years ago as my children and I studied California history, I did not find the right teacher guide and resources to purchase from any source. I know California history is very beautiful and rich. None of the resources matched what I felt about the story of the Golden State.
Magic in Learning
Why couldn’t I find the right curriculum?I believe that all education should have moments of magic. There should be situations where a student is struck, challenged, inspired, and taken in by the content. This may not happen every week, but if the curriculum allows space for individual discovery, these moments will appear like gems for students.
I do research the standards. I do not advocate junking what kids “should know by a certain grade.” Quite the opposite: As a writer of curriculum, I aim to exceed the standards. Why not challenge kids above their supposed “level?” As long as context is there, young minds are capable of learning so much!
Curriculum Whirling Around in My Head!
An additional aspect to my personal thought process — I am a person of a great many interests. I end up reading a lot about a subject, writing a blog article or doing a painting, and then moving on. Writing curriculum, and my goal of writing one curriculum a year, allows me to focus in on a topic, publish my work, and then write another. If someone saw the inside of my brain, it would look like an 100-mile an hour cyclone; so much is going on in there. I have found it helpful for me to get a process going where I can output the content into a book, and then move on to the next.
Starting Carrier Shell Curriculum was hard. But I believe in what I do. When people around me hear what’s on my mind—my strange areas of knowledge, the way I go deep into a topic for a while—they are supportive of my work.
California Out of the Box
I hope that my curriculum, California Out of the Box, as well as my new one (Title TBD), will be a source of magic in your student’s life. Please let me know if you have those experiences!