Selck teaches cutting-edge humanities courses at Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, California. She holds her students to a high standard (especially when it comes to writing). She inspires them with interesting topics (like "entrepreneurship and the Gilded Age"). Selck also offers her students opportunities to reflect on what they've learned. For example, her students keep a classroom blog and Twitter account. Recently students published their letters to social enterprises and notes from their lessons.
We chatted with Selck, one of our Global Ambassadors, about becoming a teacher and measuring "success." Here's our conversation:
Ashley Selck (AS): Basically, I hated school. My educational experience was mind-numbing, which didn’t motivate me as a student. I never had that one teacher that made class interesting/exciting. When I had my own children I realized how vital an engaging educational setting could be to a child’s academic success. As a stay at home mother to three young children I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of my time volunteering in the classroom. This is where I fell in love with encouraging children to love learning.
AS: My number one goal as an educator is to create an engaging classroom experience where my students can contribute to inquiry work, where they are talking, questioning, analyzing, and creating masterpieces in small teams to demonstrate their learning. Essentially, I want to provide an enjoyable environment for my students to learn.
PPS: We're always looking to learn new things- #neverstoplearning! What are your favorite education-related blogs or websites?
PPS: You're co-hosting a webinar with us on Thursday, January 21st about teaching 21st century skills with technology. How do you define 21st century skills? Why are they important?
AS: I strongly believe that the following core competencies need to be taught in order for our students to thrive in tomorrow’s world: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, and compassion. Our students utilize technology to text, post, share, and chat. When they are unable to do this in an educational setting they will become disengaged. Therefore, 21st century skills and technology need to be part of the 21st century classroom.
PPS: Besides PenPal Schools, what educational technology tools do you use (and love!)?
AS: I love Skype in the Classroom (mystery Skype calls are a great way to teach geography).
PPS: What benefits does PenPal Schools bring to your students?
AS: I use PenPal Schools to teach current world events. The World News course has greatly benefited my student’s knowledge about the environment, poverty, technology, war and conflict, and government.
Connect with Ashley Selck on Twitter and check out our "Teaching 21st Century Skills with Technology" webinar to learn more from her! Are you an educator who would like to be profiled on our blog? Apply to be a PenPal Schools Global Ambassador!