Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tis started

The end of the second day with students and boy am I tired.  Maybe it’s the euphoria of the job.  Maybe it’s the energy expanded in the theater.  Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t get my mind to stop rolling at night, thus making my sleep less restful. 

*****

The last few days of American Government have been hooks and writing.  I want to see where they are in their participation and their ability to write, and write critically.  The first day’s hook was the first 9 minutes of the movie Minority Report. 

It’s a tad sexy, a bit who-done-it, and the scene ends with Tom Cruise saying “You’re under the arrest for the future murder of Sarah Marks.”  Confused?  Watch the clip (and the movie on your own if you haven’t seen it).  The question I present to the kids is should the man be arrested for a murder that was supposed to happen?  Then we dove tail in the role of government and how people are tracked that “may” commit crimes.  The second day is simply “what’s more important; liberty or security?”  We discuss that, look at the National Security Agency data center in Utah and talk about government surveillance , and then tie that to the Social Media policy in the athletic program.  We’ve addressed the fundamentals of law and morality near the end of the week, and by the time all is said and done, the kids have written what amounts to about three pages of work. 

*****

Class sizes: 28-34-37-16-27.

The 28 and 16 are both Economics/AP Comparative Government, and the APUSH is the 37.  The 34 and 27 are American Government/Economics.  51 students signed up for APUSH  in May.  44 came and picked up the summer assignment.  37 remain.  35 finished the summer assignment.  2 did not but wish to remain in the class, a trait that I greatly admire.  They start in a big hole but the challenge will be better for them in the future.  The Comp Gov classes are overrun.  Those students in the 16 class couldn’t fit in the other class because of competing AP classes, so another class was created to fit them.  For the record, I don’t like having only 16 students.  I like classes of about 25-28.  Those are perfect numbers.

*****

Every year teachers get a feel for the overall personality of their classes.  Those that tell you otherwise are lying.  Each class develops a persona usually based on the type of students in the class.  My classes are extremely well behaved and very inquisitive.  The management end of teaching is almost too easy *knocks on a Redwood tree*

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