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Archive for the ‘social studies’ Category

I had a great “teachable” day today because my school site was being used as a polling place. I tromped down with both classes; they learned a ton, and we had the BEST volunteer poll person helping us out. She rocked! She shared stories that her great-grandmother had told her of when people of “color” were not allowed to vote, and she spoke very passionately about each citizen’s right to vote and responsibility to vote. By the end she had my kids chanting the age they needed to be to vote (although they thought that was WAY too old!), what you had to do (register!), and what you needed to be (a citizen! naturalized! or born here!). What I loved most about her is that she looked at my mostly Hispanic class and got even more passionate–she told them that everyone counts and has the right to be heard–and then passed out the “Yo Voté” stickers.

It was great!

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I’m still testing my limits on this blog–I want it to be about teaching, and being a teacher–but, as a teacher, I exist in the world along with everyone else–even if I close my classroom door.

I didn’t know what to say about what was going on in the UK. I travel there often; I have friends there; I have friends from there that travel here often, and the idea that any one of them could have been hurt was frightening.

What will I say if something like this comes up with our current event projects? I can say almost certainly that we will be discussing Iraq, Lebanon, and the elections. I am firmly committed to presenting my students with opportunities to change and improve the world–but what can they or I do here? How do we get out of a basic “fight” or “flight” mode and really discuss what is going on in the world and what people can do?

I still don’t know what to say, but, as usual, someone in the blogosphere has said great things. Go here to check out what Chasing Ray has to say about what to do next. And then act. We must.

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