Other Teacher: I can’t say what I’m thinking in polite company.
Me: So what’s stopping you from saying it here?
Assistant Superintendent: Tell everyone what you teach.
Me: I teach government. In 2018. Shenanigans frequently ensue.
If you’re thinking my APUSGOV students spent the first ten minutes of class trying to guess the author of that New York Times op-ed, and the next ten minutes discussing the Kavanaugh hearings, you’re right! That is exactly what happened.
After that, we commandeered the computer lab for its air conditioning because it was hot yet again, and I do not mind taking the time to move and set up my lesson if it means my students will be in better shape to take it in. I lectured briefly on the failures of the Articles of Confederation- reviewing where we left off last class- and the drafting of the Constitution. Then gave them two foundational documents to dig into: Brutus 1 and Federalist10. We’re going to have a little Anti-Federalist/Federalist debate next class.
Fed. 10 is AMAZING to read in 2018, if you were wondering.
For World, I had to leave the air conditioning and go back to my classroom, but a thunderstorm rolled through when I was mid-teach and started cooling everything down. I was happy with how my lesson went, too. I started teaching the skill of annotation with an article about globalization, which we read and annotated together. Then we talked about the positive and negative impacts of globalization- and the fact that very little happens in isolation- and I gave them an article I got off Google News to annotate on their own; it’s about Yemen, a country very few of them had heard of, and a war that none of them had known about (a war that is definitely impacted by globalization). Their homework is to find their own news article, annotate and cite it, and come in next class ready to discuss it through that lens of globalization, interconnectedness, etc…
I was happy about the lesson because I got good participation. I started by encouraging it, and asking them not to be afraid to speak up, or to ask questions; I emphasized questions because there’s a particular fear of those. They’re risky. I was glad so many of my students took the risk.
I had lunch with Mr. T, and we talked about our classes and other stuff. He was a marine, and he knows I grew up in an army family, so he made a comment about me being able to understand a lot of his jargon. I immediately responded, “I can speak Army. I haven’t eaten enough crayons to speak Marine.” So there’s the proof inter-service banter was part of my upbringing.
I spent my prep time having a walking meeting with Mrs. T (we did three laps of the building as we discussed upcoming lessons), and marking work. Then I went to the district’s professional development center to go through mentor training. My district has a formal (and very effective) program that pairs new teachers with experienced ones, and I’m going to be paired with one of the new teachers in the English department. The Assistant Superintendent ran the training; lucky for me, she was a good sport about my occasional attempts to make the room laugh. She knows it’s inevitable.
Thank goodness people find me funny, right?