If the seniors at our school didn’t have to take my Economics and Government course – it’s a graduation requirement – most wouldn’t. This isn’t me lacking confidence in what I teach. It is me recognizing that the name of my class isn’t prefaced by two critical letters: AP. Economics and Government isn’t an advanced placement class. Thank goodness. Thank goodness because AP courses are nothing like what the College Board (their creator) claims them to be – “rigorous college-level curricula and assessments to students in high school.” In reality, although they may be rigorous (depending on how you define that term), AP courses are unlike any college course I ever had. Typically, college course
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.