Hardin Co., Ky. teacher turns speed dating into lesson for middl - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hardin Co., Ky. teacher turns speed dating into lesson for middle schoolers

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East Hardin Middle School teacher Brooke Whitlow is headed to the White House. East Hardin Middle School teacher Brooke Whitlow is headed to the White House.
GLENDALE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A teacher in Hardin County, Kentucky has turned speed dating into a lesson for middle school students, and it has earned her a hall pass to the White House.

When Brooke Whitlow heard a radio ad for speed dating on the way to class, a bell went off in her head. She thought rapid-fire questioning would create a perfect lesson in interview skills.

On Tuesday morning, her students are busy, adapting a speed-dating format to learn interviewing skills by giving each other quick questions and answers. By the end of the day Tuesday, the East Hardin Middle School teacher posted a picture to the class' Twitter account, keeping the dialog open with kids and parents at home.

"It's just more up to my generation," said Makenzie Simpson, a student.

Whitlow's work on social media caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, and our country's second lady, Jill Biden. On Wednesday, she will join them for a roundtable at the White House.

"Being able to go to the White House in this capacity and talk to such influential people -- it's just an incredible experience," said Whitlow. "That's once in a lifetime."

The social studies teacher will share how she pushed herself out of her element. Now teaching tech ed, a 9-week life skills course, where she's writing her own curriculum.

"A lot of creation," Whitlow said. "We do stop-motion animation, movie production, podcasting, all sorts of cool things.

"I'm blown away, honestly, the last two years in this tech ed class have not been that fun," said Simpson.

The class blogs, tweets and instagrams daily lessons, developing digital responsibility and an online relationship that benefits other classes.

"In other classes, you have given directions," said Quani Martin, a student. "On this, it's your own mind."

"I like to be able to communicate with my classmates and get their opinions on projects and stuff," Simpson said.

D.C. will learn how a rural Kentucky educator took the problem many teachers face and made it her solution.

"With the generation of students we have in middle school right now, they are very connected, and that's what's relevant to them," Whitlow said. "And so I think in our schools -- we need to be more open to allowing those avenues of instruction."

Whitlow is one of  20 teachers throughout the country selected for White House visit. She is supposed to have tea with second lady Jill Biden. The trip coincides with National Teacher Appreciation week.

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