After spending approximately a week with my fellow teachers, I am blown away by how wonderful these people are. They are all enthusiastic, caring, encouraging, energetic, and looking to make a difference. I know that I am going to be learning a lot from them and my students.
So far everyone seems good for bouncing ideas off of. The returning teachers are especially willing to share their past experiences with me. But even with all this encouragement, I am still feeling a little nervous.
I have a working 6 week plan, but know that it will change a lot.
In planning to teach Civil Rights history, I have to pick an approach. I have looked over the lesson plans from the teachers for the past two years, and they both look great, although they are very different from each other. I find that I want to look at the Civil Rights movements of many cultures in the US rather than just focusing on the Black Civil Rights Movement because almost everyone has been struggling for civil rights and I want my students to relate to these struggles as much as possible. I also don’t want to overwhelm my students with too much information. I heard that depth is much better than breadth. Some other advice I received was to have a question or two to guide the class. The two questions I chose were:
- Why do people struggle?
- What do they do to fight against it?
I think that these questions can be applied to almost any struggle and subsequently any movement. My hope is that the students will be able to continue to apply these questions to present situations as well.
Yesterday, I practiced teaching a lesson to the teachers in the department. It went surprisingly well. I hope this foreshadows my future teaching experiences. My mind is constantly on my classes, and my lesson plans never feel complete. I can tell that this will be an intense summer, but I am enjoying it so much. I can’t wait to see my students tomorrow!