Why I love teaching, part 1
No matter how much the detritus of red tape and smug yet ignorant policymakers grates upon me, I love my job.
We were talking about George Fitzhugh's apologies regarding slavery-- in particular, his claim that slaves were the freest people in the world. It kinda reminded me of someone claiming that Katrina refugees actually had gotten a better situation as refugees in Houston than living in their homes in New Orleans slums....
So I decided to go multidisciplinary on them, and asked them if this statement could be interpreted as Orwellian. This of course necessitated that we explore what was meant by Orwellian, so we talked about 1984 and also Animal Farm. I told them that Animal Farm was an allegory, and some didn't know what that meant, either, so I described it, and one of my girls said, "Oh, like Plato's story 'The Cave!'" And she could even talk about what some of the symbolism was! And then a bunch of them wanted to read it too.
Now, I know some will criticize that this discussion had nothing to do with getting the kids ready for the APUSH exam. But I disagree. Learning how to interpret and learning how to make connections ARE what it's all about.
It was cool. And that's why I love teaching, part 1.