Educational transparency

Attended back-to-school night at Dances With Mermaid’s middle school. The setup had the parents starting at their kids’ homerooms, then going from classroom to classroom at 10-minute intervals. The middle school has three levels, and the class schedules were clearly programmed by some Jack LaLanne wannabe out to give everybody a good aerobic workout. Lots of parents puffing and blowing in the stairwells and hallways, but what the hey — I needed the exercise.

The teachers made a really good impression. I was particularly taken with the social studies teacher, whose enthusiasm for his course — and the wit he showed in explaining it to us — has me expecting good things for the year. That’s assuming the Cholesterol King down in Trenton doesn’t escalate his anti-public-schools jihad into an actual shooting war.

At one point the teacher gestured toward the window and explained that he’d drawn a map of the Roman Empire across the glass. We couldn’t see it at night, but during the day it would be clearly visible as a transparency on God’s own overhead projector.

“So that way, when the kids get bored and stare out the window, they’re staring at the subject,” he said. “Even when they’re not paying attention, they’re still getting an education.” Cool guy!

Now that I think on it, most of my favorite grade-school teachers were in either science or social studies (aka, history). Since I graduated from college with an English degree, I wonder what that says about anything.


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