So I went from being hot mess to teaching ninja in a 24-hour span. Like, yesterday I felt like I could hardly make words come out of my mouth in a coherent order, but today I was on fire.
What’s hilarious is that I was mostly winging it.
Last class, my World students examined different things (a Powerpoint, a National Geographic documentary, and two readings) in order to learn how decades of destruction have impacted Afghanistan. I knew I wanted them to use that information to talk about the current war, but I didn’t decide exactly what I was going to do until about ten minutes before my first class started.
First, I had students get in small groups to compare their findings on their assignments. Then, as a class, we discussed the living conditions in Afghanistan at the start of the US invasion, and the US efforts to improve those conditions as part of counterinsurgency. I fielded some great questions about why the results of those efforts have been so mixed. I told Laura’s story, too, as I do every year because it highlights how fragile the situation is. and by the time we finished chatting, students really understood why the country’s instability is prolonging the conflict- and how hard it is to make an unstable place stable again.
We also discussed ways in which the situation in Afghanistan is a destabilizing force in Pakistan. I showed a quick news report about the Pakistani Taliban, and my sharp-eyed students observed a significant difference in development in the western regions where the Taliban have entrenched themselves and the eastern regions they often target. There are massive and unfortunate inequities, and when my students asked why, I told them that would be our next lesson.
Stay tuned till after spring break, kids…
It was a GOOD class both blocks. I’m so pleased.
And I’m pleased that my candidate visit went smoothly during Block 5! Remember I was worried no one would show up because I had to reschedule it after the snow day? Most of my APUSGOV students were able to make it, and they brought friends, so we had a full room. And they had a lot to say, so it was brilliant! One thing I love is that a sophomore who was in World last year was bitten by the political bug this year, so she joins this room full of seniors engaging in complex, political conversations with the candidates, and she gets right in the middle of them, too. It’s so cool to watch.
Eighty minutes of Q&A later, the afternoon bell rang; they may have kept going if it hadn’t. The candidate was so complimentary of the students- as he should be, they’re amazing- and so glad he’d gotten to talk to them because they give him hope for the future. I said that’s what’s so great about seeing them every day. It’s good for the soul.