I hope to discover, share, and learn about how I can reach all of the students in my classroom and beyond through my work on this website of resources, book reviews, and reflections.

Blog posts will vary from reflective writing with thoughts, perspective, and opinions to research-based responses with sources, citations, and data.

Please reach out to me if you would like to talk about teaching, a blog post, or a resource I have shared. I look forward to the professional dialogue about our teaching profession and dedication to students.

About Benjamin K. Woodcock

I always knew I wanted to be in a profession where I would have the opportunity to educate. Interests and dreams ranged from DNR officer to educator of young people.

I graduated from Michigan State University and earned bachelor’s degrees in English, history education, and social sciences education, along with a minor in music.

During the summer of 2015, I completed the Red Cedar Writing Project Summer Institute to become a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant.

As of May 2019, I graduated from Michigan State University with a Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum. This program enhanced my practice as an educator and allowed me to pull back the curtain to learn about how and who curriculum is made for. Check out my portfolio of graduate work to see what I learned and accomplished.

I began working with students when I was a camp counselor at Interlochen Arts Camp between 2009 – 2011. I have sought out multiple opportunities to be in middle school and high school classes throughout my time as an undergraduate at MSU. I completed my teaching internship in Clarkston Community Schools, taught middle and high school English for three years in Webberville Community Schools, and currently teach at Okemos High School.

As an educator, I believe that each student brings valuable prior knowledge into the classroom. This prior knowledge is the key to success in my classroom.

Students walk into the learning space that teachers create with experiences, thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, and questions that need and deserve validation. 

It is imperative that teachers value students in multiple ways and understand where they are coming from in order for the student to discover and develop who they are as people. Providing students with affirmation furthers the relationship between student and teacher, which is meaningful on multiple levels.

Research states that teachers who tap into this wealth of prior knowledge from students:

  1. Makes the content being delivered in the classroom relevant to the student
  2. Values students’ backgrounds
  3. Helps students build on what they already know from previous experiences to learn new information

(Emdin, 2016; Marzano, 2004; Washburn, 2010)