…posted that is. I was jacked about Batman and wanted to write about it more but lost steam when school started. Those Middle School brats can just suck the life out of you…in a good way of course. I actually love my job even though there are days I’d rather be elsewhere. But I suppose that’s the same with everyone. This year started off with a bit of a quick change when I was given a class with over half the students having some kind of learning assistance need. Surprise! The nature of our school and the surrounding area lends itself to a higher percentage of disadvantaged kids so it’s not unusual to have more students with issues, but over half a class is pushing it a bit far.
So, changes were made and are being made and we’ll see where they go.
I must say that starting with the Roman Empire and The Hunger Games is a brilliant stroke of humanities genius (in my humblest opinion). I’m in no way a genius because it’s the combination of two subjects I love and now the kids love them too. I simply mated them and made them produce engaging offspring (although the birthing process did still have its ugly gooey parts). We just finished the story today and are finishing up the assignments tomorrow but it truly has been an adventure. Students are reading and some are writing and those who cannot write (yes, there are 13 year olds who struggle with writing things down) are verbalizing answers like Socrates in the forum…to exaggerate a little.
The odds were in my favour and we have pushed through and onto something else. Reading a novel like this reinforces the need to teach about things students will respond to both emotionally and mentally. In Grade 8, the academic process is pretty thin and education becomes about kids connecting to things they like then engaging their minds to think about these things on a more expansive level. We read about teenagers battling to the death in an arena then we talk about what it means to struggle for survival, or watch a spectacle on tv, or how one person can fall in love with someone while the other can pretend to. What does it mean to be emotionally closed off or get mad at someone who is trying to give you praise? How is it ironic that a person who has had to scratch and claw for basic necessities is suddenly given all the food she could eat, as she goes to her almost certain death. These are interesting things we think about when we read and if a few students think back to these days in grade 8 and say, “hey, that was a great book we read,” I’ll be happy.