Monday, March 14, 2005

More warm fuzzies...

Another day, another reason to teach.

Today in U.S. History we were learning about WW2 propaganda. Another of my favorite lessons! I have a whole slew of posters we look at and evaluate. It is one of the few times I can do nothing but stand up front and lead a discussion for the entire period with my standard classes and not lose the kids.

Several of the posters are great examples of the attitudes towards women of the time: You can be strong, independent, but you must look like a woman and you must remember you are doing it only with men's permission and for the men. Someday you will just be a pretty gal again.

One student raised her hand and said, "Well, okay....You know those other countries in the world today, that like, won't let women do certain things and the men are in control of their families and everything else...Did we used to be like that?"

Now, a lot of people would be flabbergasted that she wasn't aware. And they'd be sad. But this is a younger generation and her comment makes me happy in two ways: First, she sees such equal opportunities in her life that she's not aware that we used to be that way. She's not aware of the struggle of women because she hasn't had to struggle herself. I think it shows we have made progress.

Secondly, if she wasn't in my class today, she might have gone on much longer in her life completely unaware of the history of women in America (true, she should have already known some of this from earlier in the course, but these kids really struggle, so let' s be positive!). Today, I can rest assured that I did in fact make a difference. I did teach someone something they didn't know!

Tip #2 is coming up... It's all about how grading can affect behavior in your class.