Matt Baldwin » Biography

Biography

Mr. Matt Baldwin
Education:  Maryville College '04 (B.A. History)
Clubs/Activities: Environmental Club, Video Game Club, School YouTube Channel
 
Please find Virtual Learning Information in the files below:
 
 

Posts

Last Week! 5/11/20

Well, we're finally here.  This is the last week of posting assignments for school.  What a long, strange trip it's been this year.  I know this year hasn't really gone the way anybody thought that it would, but I'm glad that we all got to know each other a bit and spend some time together this year.  You all were a different group, and you'll always have this COVID 19 pandemic that makes you unique, so maybe that's one positive we can try to take from all of this.  No other class (other than 2020) has had to deal with something of this magnitude in our lifetimes.  It's a story you can tell your children or grandchildren one day.  With that in mind, here are two things you can do this week.
 
1.  Write a letter to your future self about the last 8 weeks of your senior year.  How do you feel about all of this?  What will you remember?  What is important right now, and what are you missing?  Are there lessons that you've learned during this time that you think will be applicable later?  Overall, just try to summarize the whole process and pass on some knowledge to help remind your future self of who you are right now and what you've overcome.
2.  Write a letter to SHS.  I don't mean the entire student population, I'm talking about the school itself.  What would you tell the school about your time there?  Will you miss it?  Are there things that stick out to you?  Do certain smells (*cough* freshman academy *cough*) make you think of anything?  Fond memories, sad memories, happy memories?  What would you say to the gym, or the cafeteria (*FREE FOOOOOOD*)?  Did you enjoy your time at SHS?  Did you not enjoy it?  Tell the school these things in your letter.
You can email these to me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us if you so choose.
And that's about it from my end.  I'm sad to see you all go and under such circumstances, but we'll all catch each other down the road sooner or later.  I will certainly see you all at the graduation parade next week!  Be well, be good to each other, and remember that SHS will always be home for you and show that Wildcat Pride wherever you go!
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Week of 5/4/20

May the 4th be with you!  Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!  In honor of that, and to take a slight deviation from our COVID-19 coverage, both of this week's assignments center around Star Wars.  The first article relates to the economics of Star Wars, while the second relates to the lessons in governance that we can learn from these movies.  See?  Social Studies; government, economics, history-all of that-can be found in pretty much anything if you want to look for it.  Considering some of these things when watching these movies can add another layer of the story for you to peel back and enjoy.  The assignments are below:
 
Discussion Guide
This article is about what Star Wars can teach us about starting a business.  It's from a town in Virginia, and this is from their City Hall, essentially.  Why would a town use something like this to talk about small businesses?  Could it be because people might be more likely to read an article or think about advice if it is connected to something that they are interested in?  The second part of this one is a link to a blog on a Disney Food Page about May the 4th merchandise.  Why would a food blog about Disney be talking about Star Wars and its merchandise availability?  Why is there even a Disney Food Page?  How has Star Wars basically made their own holiday with May the 4th?  40 years ago, this was just another day, and now it is treated like an international holiday.  Are there, in fact, lessons we can learn from Star Wars about economics and small businesses?  Ideally, we would have done this when we did our "Shark Tank" entrepreneurial project, because there are some concrete lessons in being an entrepreneur and taking risks. Try to apply those lessons now.
Response:
 Please do a (by now) standard 3 paragraph response to the above.  The first paragraph should summarize the information, and the next paragraph should be your response to it.  The third paragraph should be your thoughts on it, and you can include your thoughts on Star Wars.  If you're not a fan, what does this make you think?  If you are a fan, do you like this?  Do you agree with the assertions put forth?
 
Discussion Guide
This (brief) article is about some lessons we can learn in governance from the Star Wars franchise.  The whole series is basically about an uprising, and what it means to rule and lead, and how people do those things.  This is, essentially, a political story.  It's easy to forget that against the backdrop of outer space and Jedi and lightsabers and baby Yodas, but at the end of the day, Star Wars is about politics.  Additionally, think about all the planets involved-how are they each governed?  Some have monarchies, like Naboo, while others are essentially run by crime lords, like Tatooine.  How would you describe these planets if you are a fan?  Are some more desirable than others?  Why or why not?  Are these things you consider when you watch the movies?  Does this make them more or less interesting to you, whether you are a fan or not?
Response:
Please do a (by now) standard 3 paragraph response to the above.  The first paragraph should summarize the information, and the next paragraph should be your response to it.  The third paragraph should be your thoughts on it, and you can include your thoughts on Star Wars.  If you're not a fan, what does this make you think?  If you are a fan, do you like this?  Do you agree with the assertions put forth?
 
When you are done, please email me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us  Please stay safe and healthy and I look forward to seeing you all at the Senior Parade!
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Week of 4/27/20

 
Hey everyone:
It's almost May!  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.  This week, TN Governor Bill Lee is allowing some businesses to reopen.  We will be looking at this in the following 2 videos:
 
 
Discussion Guide:
Please watch the above (brief) video about Gov. Lee re-opening some of the state's businesses, and read the accompanying article.  Think about what this means for Tennesseans, and what it can potentially mean for TN's economy.  Is this too soon?  Does the potential economic windfall offset the potential increased spread of disease?  What happens if the number of COVID 19 cases spikes in regards to this?  Will the state be forced to close down again?  Or will the state government just continue with business as usual?  What are your thoughts and plans on this?  Do you plan on going back to stores and resuming life as we knew it?  Or do you plan on continuing to practice social distancing?  Who will enforce these rules, and how?  Is it a fine as a punishment, or is this a criminal act if you violate this?  For example, restaurants are supposed to stay at 50% capacity and require workers to wear protective gear; what happens if and when this does not occur?  Is the state going to go into every restaurant and business and check and make sure they are compliant?  What happens if these businesses aren't compliant?
 
Response:
Please write 3 paragraphs for your response.  The first summarizing the information that you've just consumed; the second addressing the discussion guide, and the third with your own thoughts and responses.  When you're done, you can email me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us
 
Next, please check out this article about current projections from Vanderbilt regarding COVID 19. https://www.wkrn.com/community/health/coronavirus/vanderbilt-releases-new-projections-about-covid-19-spread-after-economic-re-open/
 
Discussion Guide:
After watching the above video, please consider the following questions:  If May 1st is both the best and worst case scenario, is it worth the risk trying to re-open the state's economy at this stage?  Why or why not?  Vanderbilt is a highly regarded and respected medical institution; if the scientifically and medically trained experts warn against re-opening at this stage, why does Governor Lee think that he knows better?  On the flip side, is the medical community being too cautious with their findings-after all, that's sort of the nature of the medical profession, erring on the side of caution.  What can you do during this?  How does this make you feel?  Are your practicing proper social distancing, or is it not that big of a deal to you?
 
Response:
Please write 3 paragraphs for your response.  The first summarizing the information that you've just consumed; the second addressing the discussion guide, and the third with your own thoughts and responses.  When you're done, you can email me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us
 
Please consider these things, and think about this whole ordeal.  This is not a joke, and this is not some stomach bug floating around school, this is a big deal.  I'm sorry that this has taken your senior year away from you.  Please be safe, healthy, and good to each other.
 
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Week of 4/20/20

 
Hello everyone:
I hope you had a restful weekend.  As we continue on through the COVID 19 pandemic, please practice social distancing and appropriate health habits.  The sooner everyone gets on board with doing that, the sooner we can get out of this mess.  With that in mind, here are a few things to consider this week:
 
 
Discussion Guide
Please watch the above video (or part of it, it's 45 minutes long) and read the accompanying article.  This video is discussing the number of COVID 19 cases in TN, especially in the Nashville Metro Area.  Take a look at the number of cases per age group.  The 20-40 bracket seems to be the hardest hit, why might that be?  In fact, those two brackets (20-30, 30-40) make up the bulk of the cases.  What could be the cause of that?  What can these groups of people do differently to help limit the spread of COVID 19?  
 
Response
After watching and reading (and considering the discussion points), write a standard 3 paragraph response.  The first paragraph should recap the video, the second should address the discussion guide, and the third should be your thoughts and suggestions.
 
 
Discussion Guide
Next, please watch the above video from Knox County Mayor Glen Jacobs.  Mayor Jacobs (whom some of you know as Kane from WWE) has outlined a 6 week "re-opening" plan for Knox County.  Do you think that this is appropriate?  Is it too soon?  Is it enough?  Does this seem like a reasonable course of action, and how will the government express its sovereignty (ability to enforce rules) during this?  
 
Response
After watching the video, I would appreciate a standard 3 paragraph response.  The first summarizing the video, the second addressing the discussion guide, and the third should be your thoughts on the matter.  When you're finished, email them to me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us
 
If you'd like to see more of Mayor Jacobs, don't forget to check out Monday Night Raw LIVE on the USA Network tonight at 8/7c.  Please be good to yourself and others.  Stay safe and healthy.
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School Closure

 
 
Hey Everybody:
This is certainly an uncertain and difficult time for us all.  First and foremost, I am terribly sorry and heartbroken for you all that your senior year has been taken from you by this whole situation.  You're not getting to experience the same milestones in the same ways that other students have before you, and that's not fair.  For what it is worth, in my experience, every senior class wants to be remembered for something or wants to be special.  In your all's case, you will have one of the most unique stories to tell regarding your senior year and what has transpired.  Hopefully in the years to come, you will be able to find some positive memories from this time.  
With all of that being said, today I would like you to discuss the video above regarding Governor Lee's decision to close schools for the remainder of the year.  When you're done with that, please:
 
Discussion Guide
Think about how this makes you feel.  Are you angry?  Sad?  Happy?  Elated?  Melancholy?  What does this feel like to you?  And then:
 
Response
Write as much as you want about your feelings regarding this.  Take some time to vent, complain, celebrate, whatever.  Use this as an opportunity to organize your thoughts in front of you, and get some of those negative emotions out.
 
When you're finished, feel free to email me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us Once again, I know that this isn't fair-quite frankly some of it sucks-but know that your school family at SHS has, is and will always be here to support you.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, thoughts, or just need a sounding board.  Be well, and I hope to see all of you down the road soon.
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Update COVID-19 Model for TN 4/13

 
 
Hey Everyone:
I hope you all had a relaxing Bunny Day weekend.  I know it's not the same as usual, but I hope that the Bunny brought everyone some delicious candy.  I know I've eaten about 3 bags of Robin's Eggs already.  As we prepare to enter another week of Distance Learning and Social Distancing, here are a few reminders:  1.  Get your English and Math stuff done, especially if you're in dual enrollment!  Those are still graduation requirements, so please keep up.  2.  ETSU is offering FREE, that's right F R double E FREE tuition next year, IF you meet the requirements!  If you have any questions or plan on going there, please contact myself or guidance for more info. 3.  This is incredibly difficult for us all, so please keep that in mind as you interact with each other via social media and whatnot.  I hate this for you all and I know that it's awful that so many of you all are losing the 4th quarter of your senior year.  It's not fair; I get that.  Please know that the staff at SHS is committed to providing you with some semblance of all the hallmarks that other classes have had, we just need some time and for the restrictions to be lifted.  Now that we've covered that, let's look at what we can work on this week.
 
Please watch the above video.  It contains an update on the COVID-19 model for TN.  After you've watched this (short) video, please consider the following:
 
Discussion Guide
What is this video saying?  While it offers some (potentially) good news, the best case scenario for a peak of COVID-19 cases is in Mid-May.  This certainly places a strain on you, and graduation, and all of that.  How does that make  you feel?  It is important to remember that during this time, the sooner everyone does what they are supposed to do, the sooner we can get back to some semblance of normalcy.  Basically, can you keep social distancing for another month?  How do you feel about that?  Is this working for you, or is this entirely taxing on you, both mentally and emotionally?  Does the information in this video give you hope that we will be out of this soon, or do you see this as more of a "glass half empty" situation?  
 
Response
Summarize this video in about 3 paragraphs, with the first being a summary of the video.  The second paragraph should be your thoughts on the situation.  Finally, utilize the third paragraph to give me suggestions about what we as a school can do for prom, graduation, and the like.  I'm not sure that anything is set in stone yet, but if there are some good ideas, I don't mind to run those up the flagpole and see what happens.  When you're finished, please email me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us  Thank you so much, and I will post another video this week.  Be well, stay healthy, and please contact me if there's anything I can do to help.
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Economic Impact on TN 4/8

 
 
Hello all:
Hopefully everyone is staying safe, healthy, and positive during this frustrating and frightening time.  If you are failing classes (or fear that you are), it would be a good idea to check in with your teachers, especially if it's a dual enrollment class like English or Math.  Don't forget that TN Promise has a webinar meeting that you are REQUIRED to view if you want to continue to receive those benefits.  If you have any questions, you can email guidance or myself.  As promised, here is another video (a short one this time), along with the link to the TN Department of Human Services page mentioned in the video.  Please watch the above video and do the following:
 
Discussion Guide:
Are you or your family members being impacted directly by this virus?  If so, the above will guide you to some resources that may be available to you to help during this time.  Is providing economic assistance enough?  Do you think the government is doing too much?  This is an event on a scale that we have not seen since the Great Depression; do you think that the government has learned from our previous conditions on what it can be doing now to help more people and prevent widespread economic depression?  Think about these things as you watch this video.  Feel free to access the Dept. of Human Services page and check it out; is this "user friendly"?  Do you think that enough people not only know about these services, but how to access them?  How can the government keep people informed?
 
Analysis
Analyze what this statement says and means to you.  Write 3 paragraphs please; the first should recap the video, the second should be your thoughts and feelings, and the third should be suggestions about what responsible citizens can do during this time.
 
Send it to Me
As always, my email is baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us  Please send me your thoughts, if you are so inclined.  I hope everyone is staying healthy and as positive as we can during this time.  Be well.  

Week of 4/6 Shelter in Place

 
Hello everyone:
I hope you had a relaxing Wrestlemania weekend!  Starting today, you should expect a phone call (or contact of some sort) from your first period teacher this week; next week it will be second period, and so on.  In an ongoing effort to keep your skills sharp, here is something that you can work on this week.  I will post another video later this week as well.  The above link is a video from Governor Bill Lee about the Shelter in Place order for TN.  The video is about 30 minutes, but the first 6 or 7 minutes when the Governor is speaking is all that we're really focusing on.  Please watch the above video, and then:
 
Discussion Guide
Think about this video, the governor's statement and how it makes you feel.  Does this frighten you?  Does it make you feel safer?  Some medical experts think that Governor Lee should have issued this order weeks ago, while other people think this is the right time.  What are your thoughts?  How does this impact your everyday life and activities?  Are you already practicing proper social distancing habits, or does this change how you behave on a daily basis?  What should we, as responsible citizens, be doing during this time?  Is there more that we can do?  What are some positive and productive things you can do at home to keep a sense of regularity during this time?
 
Analysis
Analyze what this statement says and means to you.  Write 3 paragraphs please; the first should recap the video, the second should be your thoughts and feelings, and the third should be suggestions about what responsible citizens can do during this time.
 
Send it to Me
As always, my email is baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us  Please send me your thoughts, if you are so inclined.  I hope everyone is staying healthy and as positive as we can during this time.  I will have another post this week.  Be well.  

Assignments Week of 3/30

Welcome back from your extended Spring Break!  Once again, in attempt to maintain a sense of normalcy during these trying and anxious times, I've got some assignments you may choose to do.  If nothing else, it will help keep your brains in some type of school shape for when we return (whenever that may be).  You may email these to me if you so choose, and once again my email is baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us .  Hopefully these activities will help you gain a better understanding of what's happening, and what the economic and governmental ramifications could possibly be.  Furthermore, while it may not seem this way on the surface, this is an excellent test of your own skills in regards to those attending a traditional four year college.  Are you disciplined enough to do the work on your own, or do you need more constant and consistent oversight?  Often times, college classes will provide you with online assignments, and every college that I've ever known requires a great deal of paper writing, whether it is a research paper or composition.  Being able to summarize and react and reflect to information is a key component in achieving success at the collegiate level.  Perhaps we should look at this as an opportunity to test ourselves before we head off to college next year.  For those joining the military or going to a vocational or two year school, think about how some of this information affects us.  While a number of salaried employees are still receiving paychecks (as they are already budgeted for), a great number of hourly workers are suffering during this time.  While a majority of salaried employees often get paid whether they are at work or not, this is not necessarily the case for hourly employees, whose livelihood depends upon whether they were at work that day or not.  Furthermore, as this situation continues, think about our friends and family members in certain industries, whether it be manufacturing (like J-Tekt or Denso) or the food service industry (El Jacal, Applebee's) a number of these people are struggling.  What should they do, or we do, in these times to help support these people, both socially and economically?  While there are some cooks and managers still working to provide curbside orders, what about the servers?  These people depend upon tips to make a living, and when you're not serving, you can't make tips.  Consider some of these things while you complete these assignments.   
 
Economics
The Role of Government The student will understand the roles of government in a market economy are the provision of public goods and services, redistribution of income, protection of property rights, and resolution of market failures.
E.33 Explain how government responds to perceived social needs by providing public goods and services. (E, P)
E.34 Describe major revenue and expenditure categories and their respective proportions of local, state, and federal budgets. (E, P)
Government
Standard Number: 4.0 Governance and Civics Standard: Governance establishes structures of power and authority in order to provide order and stability. Civic efficacy requires understanding rights and responsibilities, ethical behavior, and the role of citizens within their community, nation, and world.
 
One major issue that is contributing to a great deal of our collective anxiety regarding our current situation is rooted in financial issues.  For many people, living paycheck to paycheck is a reality of their existence. What this means is that there are a number of people who (for whatever reason) struggle to pay their bills and save an adequate amount of money-in other words, their paycheck is spent (on bills, mortgages, car payments, rent, groceries, etc.) before they even receive it.  As opposed to looking at this entirely negatively (which is what most of us find an easy thing to do), what if we looked at this as a time to reassess how we spend our money, and what we spend it on?  The government is acutely aware of this situation for millions of people, and has offered advice on how to handle these trying times.  Check out this information page from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a federal department dedicated to protecting us, the consumers) and see if you agree or disagree with their suggestions. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protect-yourself-financially-from-impact-of-coronavirus/ Once you've read the article, think about what the CFPB is suggesting, and whether you agree or disagree with what they're saying.  Do these suggestions make sense?  Is this enough and adequate, or should the government do more?  Is this an exceptional circumstance that requires broader action from the federal government?  Or should individual states be handling the bulk of these issues?  Write an essay with your response-standard length and scope (5 paragraphs).
 
Secondly, here is a lengthy article from the NY Times about the Covid 19 virus and the federal government's (in particular the CDC's) timeline and response to this.  Read the article and summarize its contents in about 3 paragraphs.  Additionally, take about 2 paragraphs and offer your own response and insight.  What do you think about this, and how does it make you feel? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/us/testing-coronavirus-pandemic.html
 
Finally, here is an article from the Atlantic Monthly regarding the Covid 19 outbreak, and the ways to potentially end it.  The Atlantic Monthly is regarded as a highly respected and academic publication, and offers next level analysis and interpretation of data and information.  If you so choose, read this (again lengthy) article and respond to it.  Do you think these are logical and reasonable conclusions that are suggested within?  Once again, give me 3 paragraphs summarizing and 2 on your own thoughts. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/
 
Hopefully, these assignments can give you a better perspective on what is happening, and how the economy is being affected by this situation. Stay safe and healthy, and hopefully we will all see each other again soon.  Be well.
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Assignments for the Week of 3/16

Hey everybody:
I know these are trying times.  In an attempt to keep a sense of normalcy like Warren G. Harding, here are some assignments that you may choose to work on while we're on this extended break.  
 
Econ:
Please continue to work on your budget projects.  You should already have your information, but in case you need a reminder, here are the steps:
1.  Go to yourfreecareertest.com and take the quiz.
2.  Select a job from your top 2 recommended categories (i.e. Education, Science, Business, etc.) and one from your bottom category.
3.  Go to bls.gov/ooh and look up those careers.  Show the information from the "at a glance" box.
4.  Select a job, then fill out a budget sheet (you all took pictures on your phones).
5.  Begin working on a presentation (paper, PowerPoint, scrapbook, comic, drawing, video, whatever) about what your life will be like in 10 years.  Basically, you're coming back for your ten year reunion, and I want an update on what your life is like.  You can email this to me if you like at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us
 
Government:
1.  Watch this (short) video about the U.S. Government's response to the COVID19 crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj5gl4XXnkQ&t=58s
2.  Write an essay about what YOU think about the government's response to this.  Do you think that the government should be doing more to help people?  Less?  Do you think the government is doing an adequate job?  Consider looking up Presidential candidates' responses to the crisis.  The essay should be a standard one:  5 paragraphs (Intro, Body/Argument, Conclusion).  Here is Joe Biden's response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj5gl4XXnkQ&t=58s
 
3. Write a short response (2-3 paragraphs) about what YOU think this means for the future of our country.  Does this situation make a compelling case for Universal Healthcare (i.e. Medicare for All)?  What does this reveal about our level of preparedness for major outbreaks like this?  Should more funding being allocated to FEMA and other organizations during times like these?  Respond with what YOU think, not what you think I want to hear.  Ideally, we would've had this conversation in class as a discussion, however, given the circumstances, we'll do it this way.  You can email your responses to me at baldwinm@monroe.k12.tn.us  
 
For all the students, classes, teachers, parents, families, and community members, please stay safe and use common sense during this time. Stay healthy and safe.