In this episode I interview middle school teacher Will Gibbs. Will was a participant in the North Carolina Outward Bound Educator’s Initiative in 2009-2010. Now, six years later he has completely changed how he teaches his students with a focus on a caring classroom. The results are impressive. What he does in the classroom can be done in nearly any context with teams including adults or younger kids.
What You’ll Learn
- How and why Will Gibbs spends 7 days on building community before starting the curriculum.
- How to build trust and community amongst students and team members.
- The value of a virtual campfire
- How to get students to not commit one of your pet peeves
About Will Gibbs
Will began teaching at the ripe old age of 22. He started in a computer lab as a technology teacher at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach, moving into the history department shortly thereafter. He is now in his 11th year at The Episcopal Academy outside of Philadelphia, PA. There, he is the Middle School History Department Chair, a classroom teacher, and coaches soccer, squash, and lacrosse… along with dozens of other roles taken on by Independent School teachers. Will is a 2009-10 participant in the Educator’s Initiative with North Carolina Outward Bound. Upon finishing the program, Will has redesigned his entire pedagogy and is continually searching to improve and push the boundaries.
Resources Mentioned in the Episode
- North Carolina Outward Bound Educator’s Initiative
- The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA
- Padlet collaboration tool
- Book The Caring Classroom by Laurie Frank
- Will Gibbs Twitter handle: @mrgibbs34
- Will Gibbs Email: wfgibbs at episcopalacademy dot org
The Weekly Challenge
This week, follow Will’s advice and make one change to begin developing a sense of community and trust within your classroom or team. How did it go? What were the results? Share in the comment section below or send me an email.