Category: day sixty-one

Day Sixty-One

My APUSGOV students think the franking privilege is baller.

They also think it was very mean that I asked them to read Article I of the US Constitution aloud first thing in the morning, but I responded by dramatically flailing and crying, “BUT IT’S THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL!!!!!!” So they grudgingly laughed at my antics and got on with it. 

We read through the article, and I asked and answered questions about it, and then I explained how Congress is structured, salaries and benefits for members (this is when we got to franking), current public opinion, that sort of thing. I also showed the School House Rock “I’m Just a Bill” because next class we’ll dig deeper into that process.

And I wanted the song stuck in all their heads.


World/English went waaaaay better today than last time. We started by having a heart-to-heart with the students about what wasn’t working, which really helped, as did assigning their seats so that they had fewer distractions around them. We have smaller classes on A days than B days, so we were really able to spread students out and give them quiet spaces to work, and it made a huge, positive difference. A lot of students who were behind got caught up today, and some even ended up getting ahead. 

Having two of my seniors in the room was pretty helpful, too. When I told the freshmen they were there to make up a really hard test, there was almost instant silence because they’re nice kids and they empathize.

Afterwards, Mrs. T jokingly asked the two to come take tests every block.

I spent Block 5 prepping lessons for APUSGOV, and being a guinea pig for one of the geometry lessons Mr. F was planning. I’m happy to report that I can, in fact, still do geometry.


Day Sixty-One

Fridays are dress-down days (if you pay a dollar to the “sunshine fund”), so I went to work today wearing the super basic outfit of boots, skinny jeans, and a striped shirt. I’m also tall, blonde, and wear my hair in a ponytail all the time, so I truly rock the stereotype. 

And I got mistaken for a student. Twice.

The second time it was by a coworker who knows me really well. She just didn’t recognize me without professional attire. I am, for the record, 34 years old. So I suppose I’ll take it as a compliment that people think I look young. 


I’m teaching about the Rwandan Genocide in World because it’s a deeply consequential part of modern history, and it’s hard to discuss some of the current goings on in Africa without having any knowledge of it. So today I started showing the movie Shake Hands With the Devil, which is about the UNAMIR mission and told from the point of view of its commander, Romeo Dallaire.

I wrote about doing this last year, and don’t want to be repetitive, so I’ll just say it’s an amazing movie because students react so much to it. They gasp, they yell, they cover their eyes and peak through their fingers, they get angry. And when I pause it ten minutes before class ends and ask, “What do you want to know?” the questions and comments pour out. 

Sometimes I feel the strain of watching such a brutal film class after class, and then talking mo about the brutality, but then I think about what people actually lived through. I think about what Dallaire lived through. And I know that showing this film and teaching about what happened during that terrible spring of 1994 matters. 

This isn’t something that should be forgotten. 

I had to shake off my somberness to present a summary of NCSS at our Ninth Grade House meeting during Block 5, but it was there in the back of my mind (alongside the planning  for next lesson). I think the presentation went well, though, and some of my colleagues did their own presentations after mine, which were also informative and positive.

I had to dash to practice right after the meeting. The sprinters did 400m repeats, then I put them through the infamous Friday Core Workout (I make it up on the fly; this time it was wall sits, jumping jacks, leg lifts, mountain climbers, and superman). As we stretched out afterwards, I learned one of the girls had been accepted to the school where my college track coach is now coaching- and had talked to him about me!- which is cool, and there was a bit of a Christmas carol sing-along, followed by chatter about Christmas weddings (my brother had one, so I got to chime in on that).