Though this process began in the school year, yesterday I just finished laying down the text for one of my seven chapters. The weather has been so nice out that I have been sitting on my patio and typing away on my iPad, today will be no different. I am trying to stay in a routine this summer; wake up at 5:10am, workout form 6-7:30, shower and coffee by 9.
After finishing my first chapter, it is a good time to reflect on what made this one write so easily. First of all, I did choose to complete one that was one of the easiest content wise. For the first chapter that I wanted to write, I wanted to make the process easy for me so that I could acquaint myself with Adobe Illustrator, how I want my pages laid out, and quite frankly just be able to get one under my belt.
My subject content (Human Geography) revolves around a ton of vocabulary concepts, terms, and geographical models. I understand that not all subject areas are like this, but since I have a fundamental framework to start with, I am focusing on defining and explaining those key concepts in my illustrated text. What makes geography such a rich subject is that you can find examples for these concepts literally anywhere. My first chapter stopped at 46 pages (Illustrator calls them artboards), and I do not want to focus my attention on creating a textbook with outdated examples. As a full time teacher, I simply will not have the time to rewrite the to make this accommodation. It is my hope that the book explains the key concepts and that the role of the teacher is to enrich the concepts with application to real world scenarios/examples both local and global that their students will enjoy. After all, I find that the textbooks for my subject area often try to incorporate both, unfortunately, they end up sacrificing half of the key concepts and or become outdated by the time they get to the student’s hands (my district is on a 5-7 year book cycle). Textbook companies are starting to adopt a yearly subscription model, ensuring that the books are kept up to date. So far, I have not had personal experience with this, but I do think that it will have it’s place in subjects that are more time sensitive (biology, geography, sociology, psychology, business, consumer’s education, driver’s education, just to name a few).