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First week of school in the US; TGC unit plan uploaded

21 August 2013

I’ve uploaded the unit plan from the Teachers for Global Classrooms course, along with five lesson plans in that unit, to the unit plan page (click the tab above). For my first time doing it last school year, I think it went pretty well. I’m not changing the unit plan very much for this year, just a couple of the Web tools and providing some more specific rubrics. The biggest difference is going to be timing: last year, this was an end-of-the-year project, but this year, it will be done during the first half of the school year, so students will still be in school if and when the organizations and governments they write to write them back.

We started the new school year on Monday, and there isn’t a lot about the job that bothers me right now. I walked down the hallways at my school during planning week admiring the shiny, waxed floors, the bright lighting, and the central air conditioning. I remember in Jorhat, Rathindra accessed my school’s website and projected it on the wall for students to see; they saw the school and said it looked like an amusement park or resort hotel. I guess they convinced me because I was more focused on classroom appearance during planning week than ever. Usually I start by working on my syllabi and leave putting things on the wall until the end. Not this year. It all got done on time, even with some late nights working at home, but I didn’t feel the stress I usually do.

I’m still seeing things through the lenses of my experience in India. During class sometimes I marvel at how much space each of my students has. Without planning for it, topics brought up in class connect with what I saw. I don’t get a voluminous “Good morning!” from my American kids, and I’ve given up on hearing the “sir!” that always followed the greeting from Indian students, but, hey, it’s a different culture here. Not better, not worse–each set of behaviors comes from its own set of beliefs, sets that come with their own rewards and costs.

I’m not saying everything’s hunky dory: the newspaper class got switched to a room which doesn’t have the technology–yet, I’m told–to put together a newspaper, so my plans to take the stories my students in Jorhat wrote and have my U. S. students make a PDF of newspaper pages have been waylaid indefinitely. The time difference would seem to make Skyping with Jorhat difficult: their school runs from 10:00 p.m. to 4:10 a.m. our time. I want to keep up and build the connections we made, but right now I don’t know the best means of doing that.

So mainly I’m just telling stories. It must have been a full experience during those three weeks in India because I feel like I could talk about it for three weeks and still not cover everything.

That’s it, it’s late. Go ahead and click on the “Unit Plan” tab above and check out the unit plan and lesson plans. I’m interested in your feedback, and if you can think of ways to adapt it for your curriculum and your school, I’d love to hear about it.


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One Comment
  1. Ronald Holley permalink

    Very fun read. Thanks for putting this together! 🙂

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