27. Mindful Time with Brian Aikens – My Best Lesson: Social Studies
I’m really excited to get this post and episode out to you! When I decided to start this podcast I reached out to some people I know and asked for recommendations for guests. When asked, the first person that Stephanie Howell recommended was Megan Ferne. Megan is entering her 22nd year of teaching. She taught for 6 years at Sheridan Middle School in Ohio and then has spent the rest of her career at Ridgeview STEM Junior High in Pickerington, Ohio where she currently teaches 8th grade social studies.
Although I was excited to get Megan on my show and Stephanie thought she would be a great guest, Megan did not share our enthusiasm. Megan, like so many of us, was intrigued by the idea, but wasn’t exactly sure what she had to offer in coming on the show. I completely understood Megan’s thoughts but continued to pressure, just a bit until she finally relented. I think you’ll agree with me that it was great she did, because Megan has a ton to offer.
Megan’s advice is simple–do things that help you to grow, even though they often make you uncomfortable. What makes this especially powerful coming from Megan is that she lives these words. Megan has continually pushed herself outside of her comfort zone by presenting in district professional development sessions, presenting online about her favorite topic–EduProtocols, and helping Stephanie to found Gold EDU. I think you’ll enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it!
- Be Engaging: I know that this seems obvious to many of us, but it’s something that needs to be repeated often. Throughout our conversations in person and through Twitter, one thing is clear–Megan’s primary goal is engaging her students. By stepping out of her comfort zone, trying new things and constantly looking to integrate student-interests in her work, Megan is creating a class that engages, excites and includes her kids and that cannot be overlooked.
- Just Try It: Like many of us, Megan was extremely hesitant to try new things at times, but her willingness to step outside of her comfort zone has made her a better teacher. By doing things like presenting at PD and online, Megan is not only sharing her ideas and expertise, but also learning from those she connects with–look to do the same and you’ll reap the benefits too!
- Number Mania: One of the specific, actionable things I took away from our conversation was the Megan’s use of the Number Mania EduProtocol. I’ve included this link to a fantastic video made by Andrea Early & posted to YouTube by Merlena Hebern (one of the authors) about Number Mania for you to check out. I’ve also included an example of the Number Mania I will be having my students to do help introduce them to the protocol and each other at the start of the year.