The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Worth the Wait...

Tonight was our exhibit. Our sophomore students presented a progressive art exhibit with their visual arguments.

This is a project that started 3 years ago when I saw another teacher's work at the Partnership for Global Learning conference. I agreed to pilot the unit the following year- taking her unit and adapting it for my standards and my students. It has grown each year. This year, I really felt the students needed an outlet to display this art, so the exhibit was born.

We also decided to let them vote on the topic this year... and they chose sex... which was awkward, awkward, awkward. I never imagined myself spending so much time talking about this topic in English class.

But there it was, and there I was, and there they were... and well... yeah.

It came out well though. Ultimately, the students learned a lot, and not just about sex, hahaha. There were some beautiful moments tonight. They were actually using the language of our unit, and it was beautiful to hear. I felt like I was successful. Like when one group asked their audience, "So what do you think of our montage and our claim?" and Cristina answered, "I loved how you juxtaposed the music with the pictures perfectly, especially at the end." (Yes, she actually used the word juxtaposed). Perhaps even better was when Carolina pointed out that Tony and Saul's "claim had a great structure, especially how it came around the show that the guy ended up sad again in the end," and then Saul came back with, "Well, we just wanted to show that being pro.. promiscuous.. (looks at me to confirm his pronunciation) is not beneficial in the long run." I was so pleased. I had used that word to clarify their claim when they first presented it to me, and when I realized they didn't know what it meant, I asked them to look it up and then discussed it with them afterwards. Clearly... they learned it.

Despite the very long day it was for us all, it was worth it. Two food trucks came, The Surfer Taco and The Chunky Chiller, and the "gourmet food" atmosphere really made it feel like a special event for the students. While waiting for my chocolate muffin and ice cream dessert from The Chunky Chiller, a student said to me, "It went so well! As we were explaining our views on the way media portrays women as objects, so many of the parents were nodding their heads and agreeing."

It was truly an awesome event.
Here is a taste.

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