Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A short conversation with...Josh Stumpenhorst @stumpteacher

I recently discovered a website named Teachmeet New Jersey: Fresh Ideas for Education. The site introduces educators to its readers by conducting short interviews. I really like that idea so I asked a few people from my PLN to answer a few questions about education. Enjoy.

Josh Stumpenhorst

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching 6th grade Social Science and Language Arts for 8 years. I am still working towards my approval by the Jedi council.

Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?

When I first started teaching I was more concerned with “getting through the day” as I think is very common for new teachers. As I have become more confident in my content I am now more focused and dedicated to finding better ways to engage students and push their learning. My philosophies on grading, homework, and even classroom management have changed.

If so, what led to this change? Was it a gradual process or a specific event?

A big piece of this change has happened in recent years through conversations with colleagues and attending conferences with other educators. Through these conversations, I have been able to expand my perspective and evolve my perspective on education. It is through this collaboration that I have been exposed to other ideas and have been willing to try new things in my classroom in an effort to constantly improve the learning of my students.

Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?

Twitter has accelerated my evolution at a staggering pace. I have only been active on Twitter for about five months now and am blown away daily by the connections I have made and the learning I have experienced. A few examples would be some of the “chats” I have participated in that have changed my philosophies as well as instruction. One specific example was a conversation I had with the #ecosys folks about Dr. Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Theories of education.

Twitter has allowed me to connect with educators that I never even knew existed and would certainly never had contact with. It has given me access to conferences, conversations, and collaborative opportunities that are constantly evolving my teaching and in turn my student’s learning. I now have taken the number of teachers that I can share with and get resources from to an exponential figure.

As I recently tweeted, “Anyone else feel like they took Morpheus’s Red Pill since they started using Twitter and Blogging?” This is so true as it has opened a world of learning and collaboration that I never thought possible nor existed.

Josh's Blog


  1. Thanks for sharing. I find these "conversations" interesting and helpful in a way. I would like to see one other question answered as a new teacher: What's the best advice you have received as a teacher (or can give to a new teacher)? I know this is an oft asked question, but I find all advice from good veterans helpful.


  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Lisi. I think that I may eliminate one of the questions and add yours. Great suggestion. Thanks.