A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What will be this generation's Lincoln assassination?

(source: James LeGrand)
I just hung up from a videoconference with teachers and Ford's Theater. The group is imagining what a website for the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination would look like. A great conversation.

But something was said that has me thinking.

Lincoln's assassination was a defining moment in a decade of them. One of the things about a defining moment is that it gives that generation a common denominator. A point on a clock or calendar that becomes shorthand for their future.

Wreckage of USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor (source: Library of Congress)

Statement Upon Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base
Kennedy's assassination (source: National Archives)

Photograph of Neil Armstrong on the Moon
Man landing on the moon (source: National Archives)

Two men stare at two columns of light, known as the "Tribute in Light," which shine into the night sky at Ground Zero in New York City.
9/11 (source: USA Today/Chris McGrath-Getty Images)

BTW-this is the list of defining moments by the San Jose Mercury. We can argue about what is or isn't a defining moment ...but that isn't the point of this post.

What I am thinking about what my responsibility is as an educator during a defining moment. With only nine years in the classroom, I haven't had one yet. I am pondering how to use other defining moments to prepare my charges for the one on their horizon--we might not be able to see it yet, but we know its inevitable. If they can see that irretrievable sadness can be used for good. If they can see that that sadness can be survived by surviving it as a community. I firmly believe part of my job as an educator moves beyond books and data into how best to grow into young women and men this world needs (notice that I said world and not country...that is a whole other blog).  History isn't just learned; its made. How well am I preparing my students for that?

Still wondering on this. Still pondering ...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Podium Points and Kansas History

One goal I have as a Ford's Theater National Oratory Fellow is to extend oratory into other parts of The Independent School and Wichita. In a few weeks, the kids who competed for spots as delegates will take a couple class periods and teach lower school kids podium points. They are also going to begin a video project using the city as a backdrop. I also started teaching podium points to my seventh grade history class. They are presenting Kansas History posters tomorrow and so I showed them the videos below. Of course, they were put together by Ford's Theater and, yes they are excellent. 
Podium Points--Verbal (PEDTV)

Podium Points-Physical (PPEG)

Podium Points-Warm and Cool Feedback