Winter 2015 l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e - 9 “ Teachers were influential in shaping my life because they showed that leadership often involves putting others’ interests above your own. I often watched my teacher-coaches sacrifice many personal hours to help me achieve my academic or athletic dreams.” – Michael Lindblad ’94 A former student describes Lindblad as engaging, passionate, selfless and challenging. “He dedicated time and energy to the success of his students, challenging us to pursue excellence regardless of circumstances,” said Crystal Galarza ’13. “He always showed such enthusiasm. He cared about seeing us grow academically and in character as well. He taught with such joy that it made me excited to learn.” Galarza said Lindblad always believed her college dreams were possible and his unwavering commitment helped when she enrolled at Linfield. The life experiences he shared from his Linfield days sparked her desire to learn about other cultures and views, so much so that she is pursuing a master’s in intercultural communication. Having fun is central to Lindblad’s teaching. He turns learning into a game where students try to predict their essay questions and play a form of Jeopardy to review material. Students create art, play music, write and sing songs, make films and dress up like historical figures, bringing history to life in relatable ways. The classroom walls are a testament to the passion and creativity Lindblad brings to teaching, with a vibrant assortment of art: posters, sketches, collages featuring a variety of historical figures, a three-dimensional miniature phone booth, and even a timeline of the life of South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar. “When I was in high school, we just opened the text book and worked through questions,” he said. “I swore that if I ever taught, I would make it fun through projects, debates and discussions.” Lindblad’s classes feature animated discussions and a heavy dose of writing that allow students to practice literacy skills while learning about history. He encourages students to take ownership of their learning by participating in student led discussions that can be absolutely wild. Although it is hard to predict the direction the conversation may go, Lindblad noted that eight out of 10 remain on subject and he only allows himself one comment per topic. “Too many teachers are leading discussions where they are interjecting too much,” he said. “Students need to be able to express their learning about social studies by selecting their own way to do it and by collaborating in professional real- world settings.” A case in point is an innovative humanitarian program Lindblad implemented at GHS. Each year, students select a project and then go out into the community to raise funds for a local, national or international need. They learn how to create flyers and business plans, how to dress professionally and present themselves effectively so local businesses will take them seriously. The project forces students to become global citizens by making connections between what they learn in class and how it applies to their local community, state and the world. They have raised funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, made dresses for children in Haiti, collected food donations to help soup kitchens, organized a concert to help victims of the Japanese earthquake, and organized numerous other projects. “It’s getting them to think beyond Gresham or Oregon and think about Latin America or Europe or someplace else and to develop empathy for other people,” Lindblad said. “That is hard when you are 16 or 17. “The most important thing I can teach my students is to chase their passion,” he said. “Find something they love in their life and go after it. And then thank the people who helped them along the way.” The art of teaching For Tim Love ’07, teaching is an art, not a science. Whether it’s using stuffed unicorns, creating geography games, or building a wall-sized map of the world with clocks from various time zones, Love is constantly finding ways to help make social studies interesting and relevant in his seventh grade classroom. His methods may sometimes be unorthodox, but he gets results. And for that, he was named the 2014 Oregon 7-12 Teacher of the Year by the Oregon Council for the Social Studies. When Tim Love ’07 steps into his seventh grade class at Duniway Middle School in McMinnville, he’s part magician, a bit of a gamer, a salesman, very much an artist and writer, and definitely an entertainer. He uses stuffed unicorns, a wall-sized map of the world, complete with clocks from a variety of time zones, and field trips to places like Medical Teams International to bring learning alive for his students. He was named the 2014 Oregon 7-12 Teacher of the Year by the Oregon Council for the Social Studies.
2015 Winter Magazine
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