So I’ve been teaching my APUSGOV students about the Civil Rights Movement, which is a fantastic thing to get to do. My lessons are protests, politics, and policymaking- nice and alliterative, right?- and I’ve been using a lot of primary sources. Today, for a change of tone, I invited a professional storyteller to tell stories of the era (and beyond), which was awesome. The handy thing is that his daughter is in the class and I’ve been close to their family for years.
That was a great way to start the day.
And then there were debates!
I was nervous, at first, because I was all by my lonesome (Mrs. T had to stay home because her son has a fever), and- as I’ve written- this set of students didn’t use the prep time nearly as well as the set we had yesterday. Some arguments were brief, and one group reeeeeally struggled with rebuttal, so the lack of prep did show. But mostly? They pulled it off. And the final two debates of the day were really fine: evenly matched, highly informative, spirited, engaging… It’s telling that the bell rang during closing statements and not a single kid moved; they waited until the debate was done, applauded, and then got up to go.
I graded everything during my prep time- while it was fresh- and then went to practice. It was a cold, windy day, so Head Coach and I just had the sprinters and jumpers do 300m repeats. We need to do more technical stuff, but it’s a good workout, and it warmed up their muscles, so it’ll do.