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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.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The First Weekend

I spent most of my weekend relaxing, but also preparing for the next week and the rest of the year.

Saturday, Cat, my wife, and I went on a date. We were finally able to see the final Harry Potter movie, afterwhich we went to a nice Italian restaurant. Cat teaches English also at another Oklahoma City school. (We steal ideas from each other on a regular basis.)
In addition to some great together time, I began reading a book on education entitled Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education written by Clark Aldrich. Can't say that I'm all that impressed with the book or the author's program. He takes the standard line that our schools, as they now exist, were designed for a more linear Industrial Age and don't fit today's non-linear world. Many of his recommendations seem to be more doable for home schoolers. (In fact, he seems to feel that only home schoolers are doing a good job of educating.) Aldrich recommends having children work with live animals, and not just pets! He also calls for children to work as apprentices or interns to get real world experience. One could do that if one had one or two children to education, but it's not really something I can use in my line of work.

Next week I begin to add more content to the curriculum. I'll still be working on the Rituals and Routines, but the 11th graders will be working on study skills like note-taking and graphic organizing. The 12th graders will start on early British literature. Beowulf here we come!

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