I’m tired. Really tired. 3 baseball games into the week. My kids are getting half a Mom this five weeks, but they know that times are tough, and we need the extra cashola. We are taking a trip at the end of the summer to celebrate!
Today, my students and I watched Glory Road, about the first African American NCAA players, in 1966, from Texas Western. My goal was to get them pumped up about oppression, injustice or censorship. We start reading Fahrenheit 451 tomorrow, and then they are researching that topic. They liked the movie, especially when they found out that all the other English classes were typing essays. (I do have to have them type their essays. I do.) We then played the decision game. This is where you pick the side of the classroom you’re on, based on your opinion.
- All racial groups should stay with their own people. (Movement all across the room, to the sides)
- Gay and lesbian couples should not be allowed to marry. (More movement–I was surprised; it was about half on each side of the spectrum.
- Teachers are the reason we have to take Summer School. (More surprises, some of them actually know that they did it to themselves.)
- All teachers lie. (Of course everyone agreed that all teachers lie. Heh.)
- It’s okay to put anything on your MySpace, even if it hurts someone. This one shocked me most of all. They all thought that they could have carte blanche to put whatever on there, regardless of how it hurt someone. I told them the story of the girl who committed suicide, thinking the MySpace was a boy, and it was a rival’s mother.
One student shared that it wasn’t fair because someone wrote some stuff about her that wasn’t true, and she believed it was not right for people to write anything they wanted. She was sharing a personal experience, that I thought would be well received. It wasn’t.
Everyone started laughing at her, teasing and making fun of her. The lesson was over. Sadly for me, and for the student who shared. We talked after class, and she was okay. I was not. I felt that I led her right to the slaughter.
Here comes my rant about Summer School. 900 students go to this High School in summer alone. 900. 900 who mostly failed their regular school year, who for whatever reason did not complete their work, finish their research reports or essays. Want to cut the state budget? I say, get rid of Summer School. It’s just nasty. We are teaching kids how to fail, and then again how they can make it up. We are sending mixed messages, and educators have no one to blame but themselves.