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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Let the Countdown Begin!

A fellow educator once told me that teachers often end up wishing their lives away. We wish for the weekend to come. We wish for the next holiday to come. We wish for the winter break to come, then the spring break, then summer. Finally we wish for retirement.

I try not to do that, especially wishing for summer at the end of the year because I do not want to ever stop being a teacher. But when we get to the last two or three weeks of school, it is hard not to be conscious of the fact that soon the much needed long break is going to finally arrive.

Too many teachers go into a kind of holding pattern during the last two weeks. When you teach high school, especially seniors, it's hard not too because seniors have so many distractions and interruptions happening.

I'm going to try to teach a component on research during this time. I want them to have some experience with things like documentation and using sources before they leave my classroom. I especially want this for those going off to college.

I plan to give them most of the material they will need to write the essay. The essay will be on Immigration since this is such a hot topic in Oklahoma and in the United States. I will see what I can get done with them. At least, they won't be sitting around waiting for it to all be over. Doing nothing is the worst thing a teacher can ever do.

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