I left work early today (3:45) because I had an eye doctor's appointment... I love going to the eye doctor! I've been having some vision difficulties and I think we got those figured out, so that makes me excited. I'm getting new glasses in a week or two, but they won't look new. They still had the ones I have so they're going to be the same as these. Wow, fun and interesting, right?! The same glasses that I've had for the past three years -- again.
So I'm not at school doing work (although I'm attempting to write a lesson plan about Peter the Great and Russia).
I'm watching "Battlefield Detectives" and today's subject is the Battle for Stalingrad during World War II. Yep, it's my freetime. and I'm learning all about Stalingrad.
Today I had (in my opinion) a really good lesson in government about foreign policy and national defense. **Warning: if you aren't interested in history, do not read further.**
Yesterday we were talking about isolationism and how the US adopted this view for the first 150+ years of our country's existence. About half of the class started asking why we don't still have this philosophy. Why did we have to take the lead and become a country that goes on the offensive? Why can't we stay out of other countrys' businesses? etc. I answered their questions the best I could and thought about it yesterday evening.
I have a really good animated presentation about Hitler's rise to power during the 1930s and 40s, and it shows how much of Europe he and the Nazis came to control -- when the rest of the world didn't want to get involved. It scares me everytime I see it and really think about how powerful the Nazis were.
By the time we were done looking at it and discussing it, all of the students had changed their minds. They all wondered why we didn't get involved sooner and said that it's good we are more cognizant of what's going on around the world, and that we care.
It's not my goal to change their minds and agree with things the government does; it is my job, however, to help them to think critically about issues and understand them better.
Once I'm on the topic of school, this week in US History we're studying FDR and all of the New Deal programs he (and his administration) came up with... the students are making newspapers from the 30s, and they're looking great!