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My years in education have afforded me the opportunity to wear several hats. As a teacher in the private, public and charter school settings, I have enjoyed tremendous satisfaction teaching History, English, and Writing to a wide variety of students with equally diverse learning styles, academic abilities and personal interests. I have taught GATE students, ELL students, as well as students with IEPs and special needs.
It has long been my view that all learning is contextual and that it is sustained by who we are, what we already know and how we as individuals learn. If we are to produce learners who are autonomous, inquisitive thinkers who question, investigate and reason, a process oriented school which promotes student centered learning, critical thinking, and problem solving is required. We should seek to create schools which advance the notion that teaching strategies should be dictated by how individual students learn and continue to deliver the curriculum to the student, not the other way around.
As a result of my mastery of content, ability to engage student interest and dedication to academic excellence, I can claim a proven record of continually increasing academic achievement. During my last three years at View Park Preparatory Charter School my students’ CST scores were the highest of all instructors not only in terms of their raw scores, but also in their greatest incremental improvement. Furthermore, my students produced the highest marks among all ICEF schools participating in the California mandated writing prompt.
I played little league and high school ball. As a third-baseman I was known for quickness and an accurate arm. As pitcher I was a hard thrower with pin-point accuracy.
Baseball is truly an All-American game. I believe credited to one Abner Doubleday. Though their are some similarities to the British game Cricket, it remains the great American pastime.
The game is simple. Two nine man teams play on what we refer to as a diamond. Alternating between offense and defense each team has the opportunity at home plate to hit a pitch, get on base and ultimately get the a runner to go around the bases to reach home thereby scoring a run. After three outs the teams switch places. There is no tie in baseball. This means that the game doesn't necessarily end after nine innings. It is a great game requiring many skills but even players without great innate athletic skills can learn to have fun participating.
I am not a rated player but have won several tournaments. I learned how to play as an eight-year-old and have continued to play as an adult. Though I admit to playing the White pieces better than the Black, over the years I have learned to become a more patient and defensive player.
The rules are simple but far more complicated than checkers. The object, to capture or trap the King, is only easy when a player learns how to use all of his pieces in concert. This comes after several years of winning and losing.
The game can be divided into three sections; Opening, Middle and End Game. Experienced players usually "open" with King or Queen Pawns and then try to develop the rest of their players while controlling the center of the board. The Middle game is characterized by both players jockeying for position, setting up some line of attack and trying to exploit his opponents mistakes. The end game can be a fast and furious bloodbath or a slow grinding game of attrition with each player trying to promote a Pawn. Either way someone usually wins with stalemates being less frequent.
Anyone can learn to play this game but it takes time before it becomes great fun. However, the rewards are tremendous. Building logic skills, thinking ahead and predicting your opponents moves in a cause and effect fashion and developing an ability to focus for long periods of time are highly useful skills. These and so much more can be achieved by mastering the Game of Kings!
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