Turning Off Your Mind & Important Discussions

As a new teacher, I need to start getting better at turning my mind off, so that I can go to sleep.  My first day of regularly scheduled classes begins on Thursday, so I worked a 14 hour day.  It’s just hard to fall asleep after that.  In honor of the insomnia of teaching, here’s a good video:

Jon Stewart – Crisis in Dairyland

On a different note, my advisory had a wonderful 1.5 hour discussion today about race and ethnicity.  We used Zora Neale Hurston’s piece “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” as a springboard.  The writing prompt that started the discussion was quite simple:  write about a time in my life where you have been very aware of your race or ethnic background.  I think this was a good “in” for students because it was a non-threatening prompt and one that can be taken a lot of different places.  Furthermore, I think this exposed for me two core beliefs I am developing:

  1. Students WANT to discuss difficult topics, especially those that are relevant to their identity and worldview.
  2. When given the opportunity and proper amount of respect, students will show unexpected levels of maturity during difficult conversations.
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