If you need to reach Mr.Wood – call 616-402-8668 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Course and Classroom Philosophy – 2017/18
- Foreign Exchange Students – Introductory letter.
- Senior Current Issues –syllabus
- Government – syllabus
- Economics –syllabus
- Office Hours: I will be available Monday thru Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 / Friday until 3:30 (in room 112) or by appointment for student or parent, for any problems that might arise in this course or classroom.
The buddha came down from the mountain… The wise man asked, “Are you a God?” “Are you a man?” The buddha said, “I am Awake.”
In the end, this is what it’s all about. Are we really awake to the events of this world? Do we get it; our role in the world, out on the street with our friends, at home with our families, or sitting at these desks at Oakridge High School? Are we really awake? You and me? If we are, then the obvious next step, “Is what do we plan to do about it?” What role will we play in making this a better planet? How do we insure that we take on the responsibilities that being a citizen in the richest country on the face of the planet in the history of the world, entails. What does that mean to you and to me?
For me it means that I provide an environment in this classroom where everybody has the opportunity to succeed. I’ll do my best to present a curriculum where you are inspired to seek the truth, wherever that route may lead. I will make sure that you are intellectually challenged. I intend to force you to stretch your parameters – to think past the limits of how you thought before, to foster discussion and to provide you assignments that will force you to bring your thinking, whatever the class, into the real world. I will also be available every night after school and by phone and by email, to help insure that if you really want to succeed, you have that chance.
Your responsibility also stretches beyond your individual needs. The key to learning is to question; the success of your search depends on how well you listen. For that to happen everybody in this classroom must feel free to share his or her opinion without inhibition. However, that “freedom of expression” comes at a cost. You absolutely must respect all others rights to think and to share whatever they feel necessary to explore the issues of the day. This kind of inquiry takes not only a value for the rigors of education, but also for one another’s belief systems. Our studies will force you to roll up your sleeves and dig in, sometimes into uncharted waters. You’ll have to keep an open mind and understand that our goal is not to work towards any test but to grow academically and intellectually. That takes scholarly sweat and emotional discipline. In the process, we will not waste time on drama that leads in any other direction. If you cannot adhere to guidelines that allow such learning possible, your behavior here will not be welcomed; nor will any such detrimental actions be tolerated.
Finally, each of us must take our studies outside of this classroom and carry our wakefulness into action. Because we live in a nation that has such an influence in all corners of the globe, we have a responsibility to learn all that we can about the world. We have an obligation to seek the truth and to act on it. In this nation, with free public education, you can go and be and do whatever you truly desire. Don’t take that opportunity lightly. Most teens living in the world today go to bed at night hungry. Many live under the constant watch of death and disease and war. They don’t have all the wonderful opportunities and great responsibilities that await you.
Welcome. Our task is vital. The possibilities are endless. And the time is definitely now.
A Final Thought about me (Mr. Wood)… My primary directive is to provide an environment in which all kids can excel. To do that, I provide a fairly solid structure to the classroom. Since I expect you to conduct yourselves appropriately in my classroom, and since some individuals struggle with self-control, and since I will land on the side of the many in regard to the educational rights of the few, there is a tendency for various students to struggle with their adjustment to my style of teaching. This transition can sometimes be a bit contentious. Rest assured, I will not provide you an unlimited chance to “get your act together”; that becomes disruptive to those who follow the rules and who seek a solid education.
However, the links below may help. In 2013 some personnel and professional challenges spurred me to ask for letters of support from past students. Many kids and parents rallied for me. 125 individuals wrote letters on my behalf. Below, I’ve linked five of those letters, in hopes that you might better understand past students’ relationship with me.
Some of the letters involved kids at the top of the class. One of them posted below was written by Gladys Mosher, the mother of Angelina Mosher 2009 Valedictorian. Another is from by Liz Kepner, Oakridge High School’s 2000 Valedictorian. Kelly Carlson was Salutatorian of the same class.
Many however, came from “B” and “C” and “D” students. In fact several were from students who had flunked a marking period, a semester, some even an entire course. Three letters (Cassie Vandermolen c/o 2005, Sarah Pennell c/o 2013 and Randy Lavassuer c/o 2013), are from Oakridge graduates who struggled early to adjust to my teaching style. Each was successful in the end, because they persevered not only with the material but with me. Each of these young people knows full well the value of an education, and I admire them all for their effort as students, and for allowing me to post their thoughts here for you to read.
Please consider each of these individual circumstances as you make your way through the 2015/16 school year.
Thank you…Mr. Wood
- Liz Kepner – OHS c/o 2000
- Gladys Mosher (mother of Angelina Mosher) – OHS c/o 2009
- Cassie Vandermolen – OHS c/o 2005
- Sarah (Pennell) Tufflemeyer – OHS c/o 2013
- Randy Lavassuer Jr – OHS c/o 2013