I asked my APUSGOV students to start class by looking up some information about different bureaucratic agencies to get a sense of their scope and function. They actually started class by checking Snow Day Calculator (71% chance of a snow day tomorrow), but then they got to it. We chatted about the power of the executive branch, unelected bureaucrats making policy, patronage, regulation and deregulation… The words, “Fight me, bro!” were used (jokingly) when a tangent about OSHA got heated, and there were many remarks about the current Cabinet. And, of course, since doing research on government websites right now means lots of pop-ups about the shutdown, we had to talk about that, as well.
I ended up talking about it in one of my World classes, too, because one of the APUSGOV boys had written “Shutdown Day 16″ on my board, and a couple of my Block 4 ninth graders asked if I could explain what was going on. I gave them the cliff notes version and took a few questions. I like that they asked!
My actual lesson was about Rwanda. I started showing Shake Hands With the Devil, which is an extremely powerful film. I’ll finish it next class, and have much more to write about it then. I can already tell that it’s captured the attention of some of my toughest customers, so I’m feeling good about it.
Afterwards, Mr. T and I had lunch (Mrs. T left cake in the prep room for us!) and did some grading. Mr. M and Mr. F joined us for a bit. Sometimes, I like to sit at my desk by myself and grind out the grading, but it was good to keep company with them today (even when they started talking about ice climbing because they’re all kind of crazy). In many of my recent entries, I’ve alluded to the fact that some bad stuff happened in my district last week- which is all the detail I can give- so morale is low. We’re getting by, though.