Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More Memories Courtesy of Mark Z...

Thanks to Facebook and its "Today in the Past" feature, I found my own same day account of February 15, 2013. Clearly I understood how uniquely incredible that class period was in the moment. It would have been a day that stuck with me even if it hadn't been my (as of now) last high school teaching experience...

"I had to stay home yesterday.  So the debate about understanding LOVE through literature and science was pushed to today.  It was going horribly.  I couldn't understand why.  Come to find out, five students were upset when the sub read my note to them which said the debate would happen today and we wouldn't be going to the student-written Black History Month play as I had intended.  They reasoned that the play was just as connected to our curriculum and a one-time-only experience-- we could have done the debate any other day.  So they got 28 of the 32 students to agree to sabotage the debate by not speaking during it.  A comment by one of the four non-saboteurs outed the plan, and a remarkable, constructive discussion about fairness, race, and a need for increased awareness of the lived experiences of others occurred.  Over half the class predicted when they agreed to the plan that I would "flip out" if/when I found out about it, but they could not have been more wrong.  I can't remember the last time I was so proud of my students.  Even though an e-mail to me yesterday might have avoided all of this, I am so glad that these students have learned to stand up for themselves and each other for causes that really matter to them.  That is what I told them before they left.  

So we didn't debate love.  We didn't see the play.  Instead life imitated art, and a play dealing with race & focused on one form of love, compassion, debuted right there in my classroom.  Days like today are the reason I chose this career."

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