Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
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Workshop 7

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Teacher Perspectives
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Student Perspectives: JoEllen Ambrose's teaching style

Becky: Ms. Ambrose is pretty easy-going. She’s kind of fun to be around. She makes the class exciting. If someone asks a question, she’s going to answer it, even if it’s not in her lesson plan. We kind of go off on tangents sometimes, and that’s the time I learn the most, it seems, because it wasn’t in the lesson plan but it’s a very good point that we need to know. Eventually, she’ll bring us all back, and we’ll start again with the main topic. The class is really fun-filled. We do different stuff with every lesson plan. It’s not like, “Read the book, here’s the quiz. Read the book, here’s a quiz.” It’s “Read the book. Now research this and we’re going to do a mock trial.” We just did a mock trial on our constitutional rights. We pretended we were standing in front of the Supreme Court arguing a case. That taught us constitutional law and how that works. With this, we’re actually debating a criminal topic so we have to learn about arrests and stuff like that. It’s [a] very hands-on experience.

Joseph: She’s a good teacher. She knows a lot about law. It’s a pretty fun class. The people that are in it are pretty good. This last three days, we’ve done a lot of group work, which I like a lot, instead of doing individual worksheets. You learn a lot about stuff you hear about on the news, but you learn more in-depth what’s going on.

Rayad: She has a lot of energy in her teaching. She’s moving around. She does keep us interested in things and if she sees that something is boring us, if something’s not working, she’ll get at the problem. She’ll change it to make sure that we’re always interested, so that we’re always learning something. As soon as you lose interest, you stop caring, you stop learning.

Renee: I think her class is really fun. She’s a really good teacher, and she makes it interesting to learn law. There are no enemies in the class, and nobody judges people. We all get along and have fun, and it’s a really interesting class.

Robin: She’s enthusiastic and makes it interesting to learn about our government and society and how they work with each other. She makes it fun. Her questioning gets you to really examine the way you feel about a specific situation and also about different aspects and sides to the story and gets you to relate with them. It helps you realize that things are a certain way.


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