CLAYTON — One day last year while sharing a language arts project with a teacher across the hall at Northmont Middle School, Garrett Carter was surprised by the reaction he received.
“She said, ‘Garrett, I would pay for this,’” Carter said.
Thus the seeds of a new classroom book, “Not an Oxymoron: Standards-based Fun in the Classroom! 30 Projects and Activities for Middle School Language Arts.”
“I didn’t set out to create the book,” said Carter, a 2003 Northmont grad who was an honor student at the University of Cincinnati and about to enter the University of Dayton’s Law School after receiving a degree in criminal justice. “But I graduated six months early and I had a long down time.
“My mom’s a teacher at Trotwood and she said they had a long term sub job open. I took that job and said, ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing.’”
Carter returned to UC to earn a master’s in education (with a 4.0 GPA) with a focus on curriculum and instruction.
Returning home, he accepted a job at Northmont.
“I never thought I’d be back here teaching,” Carter said.
“But I really like what I’m doing. Ultimately, I want to be a principal or be in higher education.”
His book — self-published but sold on Amazon — was compiled over two years and influenced by new state-initiated core standards for all schools.
“These are state standards, not from the federal government,” Carter said.
“About 40 states will be implementing these over the next two years. It used to be a fourth grader in Wisconsin might be learning something totally different from a fourth grader in Ohio. This fits everyone across the country.”
Carter’s book contains what he calls innovative and different activities that are meaningful to kids.
“They’re coming to school already stimulated by Facebook, by watching television, by using the computer,” Carter said.
“We have to meet them where they’re at.”
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