Year 29 is over, grades wrapped up, classroom straightened out, and kiddos graduated! Time to celebrate all the teachers from coast to coast, and applaud a job well-done during this extraordinarily challenging year. You & me & all the rest of us: we did it!
Reposting from 2018 when a “plague on both your houses” was just a emotional line shouted out in desperation and not a world-wild reality that carved out even more distinction between those billionaires holding power and the rest of us dealing with all the fallout of a collapsed economy, a non-stop pandemic, and the Republicans still causing havoc. Regardless, I must say, as Shakespeare’s words fill my classroom and the minds of my students once again, we reach for hope. Will we ever attain those lofty hopeful aims? Will the old white men clinging to their past power ever step aside and allow for a new dawn and vision for a more diverse America, a more sustainable Earth, and a truthful assessment of our current challenges? Let’s say yes, for tonight, let’s find that thread of faith that leads to hope and believe in a perhaps. Yes, let’s.
As I embark on a Shakespeare unit with my students, nine graders reading Romeo & Juliet and AP Lit reading Hamlet, we start with questions. Questions Elizabethan thinkers might have pondered in 1598; questions we still ponder in 2018. I am struck with our timeless preoccupation over destiny: Are we the masters of our own fate? I ask students to think and write about their beliefs on this topic. Certainly, these teens, like those penned by Shakespeare, want to believe they are, indeed, in control of their outcomes, while I, I who have screamed up at the Heavens in distress, frustrated by the unpredictability of chance, those ‘why me’ moments; “O, I am Fortune’s fool” situations. As if we are pulled by strings invisible to our own hands. Just when we want/need/hope for a different outcome we must settle for what is… but as I look across…
View original post 628 more words
In the early light, is there anything that holds more promise than a school building? Students arrive via bus or car or bike or foot, teachers too, all bringing a tangible energy, filled with all the opportunity in this day. I always smile driving up the hill to this grand building, the original section completed in 1928. I have spent nearly 3 decades working here, discussing story and craft and everything in between with students from 9th grade to 12th. This year that hopeful energy is even more palatable, because we are back full-time and in-person doing whatever is needed to keep our community safe, even graciously donning a mask. Heroes if you ask me as sacrifice has become the norm.