Day Twenty-Two

I got to wear my Real Madrid jersey today because it’s Sports Day. Cue tons banter with students who are Barcelona fans…

My APUSGOV class had their first unit test today, so it was very quiet (except for the coughing and sneezing because eeeeeeveryone, including me, has the September cold). My World classes were not at all quiet, but in the good way. We were discussing current issues in Latin America, and it sparked so much participation. 

I started by talking about the crisis of undocumented minors at the border; citing stats on the uptick of young people fleeing from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala; explaining what it means to seek asylum. So then we had a question: why is it happening? 

I’m giving the long, connect-the-dots, see-the-whole-board answer to that, so I went all the way back to the end of colonial rule. The homework due today took them from there through the Cold War, so I recapped that- and, man, some kids have an unexpected amount of additional info about the Cold War to contribute, which is so awesome! Then I presented info about the emergence of the drug cartels into the Cold War-fueled instability of the 1970s and 1980s. I talked my way up to the early 2000s, answering lots of questions as I went. I think the fear of asking questions is starting to fade because students are seeing how much more interesting they make the class when we’re having a discussion. And once a few quiet students find their voices, others tend follow, and I love that.

They’re continuing to look into that early 2000s period further for homework; half my students have an article on what happened in Brazil, the other half have one on what happened in Mexico. We’ll connect the remaining dots next class…