Today is the first day of summer school. I've only been teaching for three years. Every summer I've taught eager students who are well behaved.
This year I'm teaching all the students I failed during the school year, and at least one student who is interested in enrichment.
Every student who failed last year decided to fail. Not a single one tried, and then failed. This gives me hope that they can both pass and learn this summer.
That is... if we can get them into the classroom.
Dog Days /
The dog days are over The horses are coming, so you better run.
The BP rig disaster in the Gulf is insane. I feel as though I am watching the decline and fall of the American Empire. Corporations control our lives under the thin illusion of democracy. We are in the worst America of my lifetime.
I became politically aware in the late 80's. Ronald Reagan was running a hot war against communism in South America, and no one seemed interested in hearing it.
I find it amazing that Reagan ran a secret illegal government under our noses. What is more amazing is Bush and Obama running an illegal government right in our face. Wallstreet has publicly owned both administrations and Bush's most horrible policies have been embraced and expanded by Obama. When I bring this up to most people they look at me stunned. They have either never thought about the impact of Obama's policies, or they are convinced that McCain would have been even worse. Even worse than the Bush administration.
Obama's term has already been devastating, and I don't think we have the political will to change it.
I'm trying a new strategy for surviving emotionally in America. I have decided to just live in the wreckage.
Last year I played videos at the beginning of class as a way to encourage students to come to class on time. The videos were 2-3 minutes in length and covered a variety of topics. Students would fill out a reflection worksheet, and this would count towards their grade. I just found some of the responses while cleaning out some old folders from last year.
I liked the fact that instead of the regular rapping and singing he was screaming. I feel the same way he do.
They is a mess. He got pimples on TV!
I did not like the lyrics I could hear, or they haircuts, or that he say he the devil.
I did not like the name of the group.
I liked the name of the band.
The song made no sense, they seem crazy.
I liked the girl in the beehive hair and the Nazi outfit.
The lead singer is so ugly.
Why they look so dirty?
I like how loud they were.
I can't understand the lyrics, and the drummer was off beat a lot.
I liked that they tried to pursue the audience.
They singing a song about attacking people.
Today is the last day of the second session of camp. I have only three weeks left of teaching out here in suburbia.
The biggest difference from the school year is the lack of discipline problems. When students are well behaved and respectful of each other it is possible to create an environment where they can't help but learn. I think that some of my students believe they are goofing off. I want to create spaces that gently direct students through projects and learning.
I want to fight less.