Day One Hundred Nineteen

There are several upcoming disruptions to the school schedule (assemblies, SAT testing, an early release day, etc…) so I spent the better part of my prep time staring at my plan book and trying to get it all straight in my head. I think I managed it, but we’ll see. 

Mrs. T started class today in the Cavern of Learning with the weekly grammar lessons she does to build up our students’ writing skills. I’ve been taking all of our combined time for the past several days- and I’m glad she let me, but it’s exhausting, so it was nice to split the time a bit today. 

When I did take over the teaching, it was to discuss what’s currently happening in Syria, which students had read about for homework. I wanted to be sure they understood the progression of the war, and how it became so multifaceted. Then I had them take a closer look those facets, and all the forces and proxies involved, and really examine what a tangled web it is.  They assessed the strength of various alliances, discussed the dangers of allies with differing interests (ie- Turkey and the US) finding themselves on opposite sides of a battlefield, and so on. Seeing the whole board helped them understand why restoring peace to Syria is so difficult. 

Then I told them I was going to make it even more difficult. 

I introduced the war in Yemen, which involves many of the same actors and therefore influences the regional dynamics. We read a quick overview of what’s happening there, then started watching a video a teacher buddy of mine made to compile media coverage about the war. We’ll finish that next class and talk about the implications.