teacher problems

The Mesopotamians & Jumping the Classroom Shark

The MesopotamiansPop culture connections are a blessing and a curse in the high school history classroom. On the one hand, YAY ANYTHING THAT REINFORCES CONTENT IN UNEXPECTED WAYS! – even if it’s strange, inaccurate, and fictional {I’m looking at you, Hollywood}. On the other, it’s difficult to anticipate when such things have jumped the shark in relation to teen culture. Just to keep things really frustrating, some of the most promising and engaging sources are so far from school-appropriate that no amount of editing will make them OK, no matter how much I want to use them anyway.

Do I Really Look Like A Guy With A Plan?

Dilbert Planning

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring… Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16, English Standard Version)

Becoming a Hard@$$

Drill SgtI was 29 years old when I did my student teaching. The first day I was with my new mentor, he asked me at lunch if I’d been paying attention as I sat in his classroom while he talked through whatever that day’s topic happened to be. I said I had. “Great,” he told me. “How ‘bout you take over after lunch?”

"Tank Man"

Some of you remember this guy. This moment.

Tank Man (During)

It was June 1989. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had been in power for forty years, following decades of civil war against the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was declared in 1949 with Mao Zedong as its unquestioned first-among-equals; he ran the nation in ways both brutal and strange.