Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Making Civics Real Workshop 1: Freedom of Religion  
Home    |    Workshops 1-8    |    Tools for Teaching    |    Support Materials    |    Site Map

Workshop 1

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
Other Lessons

Student Perspectives: Kristen Borges’s class

Desjohnna: We do activities in her class and it’s easier for us to understand what she’s saying when we’re having fun with it. Instead of just lecturing us about it and sitting in front of the class and talking about government, we get to actually experiment with it and do mock trials so we can become more a part of it. We are learning while we’re having fun. She always wants us to get up, get in groups, and talk about things so that we can learn more. We take notes, too, so we can write it on paper and see it.

It’s easier to remember the stuff when you actually do it instead of just reading it out of a book. You actually get to experience it hands on. You understand it more and you understand what it’s really all about.

She made it so you wanted to actually read and figure out information and think more instead of forcing you to do it. She said okay, if you do, then you can debate for your side. And it was like, okay, I want to sit down and find some good arguments to make the other team think more about their case and I actually want to learn about the Constitution, what things I can use against them. I don't think in [Kristen Borges’s] class that I’ve ever had to argue something that I don’t believe in. She basically lets us choose what side we want to be on. She might ask us to find some ways we could argue a side that we didn’t want to be on, but she wouldn’t really make us argue for that side.

I think she’s more of our friend then our teacher. She doesn’t try to act like she’s better than us. She tries to come down to our level as a teacher instead of just lecturing us. She kind of is a friend, you know. She doesn’t really act like a teacher, I guess.

Destinee: She is such an incredible teacher. She’s got this specific way of learning that makes it so that it is not boring and she relates to us more than just on a teacher or student level. It’s more like she actually cares about what she’s doing and she can laugh with us. She can ask you direct questions without making you feel like you’re being put on the spot. There is a lot of energy in her class. I personally like it because you don’t have to sit and be bored and read. I’m more of an artsy person. I like to act out things.

Ina: She’s a cool teacher. She’s funny. She’s got a sense of humor. She’ll catch attitude quick. You can’t make her angry that quick. She’s always happy. She’s always up-going. She challenges us. But she doesn’t just throw it at us. Like if we don’t understand it, she’ll go back, tell us, explain it four, five, six different times, then she’ll move onto something else. She’s my favorite teacher in the school.

Jesse: She’s nice and funny. We both like the same music and stuff. She plays the guitar, bass, and drums. She wants us to do hands on and get in groups instead of just taking down notes. It’s more fun so you learn more. When you just have to sit there and listen to her and take notes, you kind of get bored and tune out and don’t learn anything, but when you’re doing this all the time, there’s something to do to keep you busy. We keep doing more fun projects. Each one keeps topping each one, so it’s like, “What’s going to be next?”

John: Ms. Borges is a great teacher. The way that she teaches class is really fun. Like what we’re doing right now. We’re not just reading out of the book and jotting things down. We actually experience it first-hand. A lot of my classes [are] all bookwork and notes but Ms. Borges mixes it up. I seem to pay attention more. When it’s bookwork I just try to jot it down and get it done with. When we’re working in groups, I listen a lot.

Kurtis: Ms. Borges is a good teacher and she teaches you a lot of things that you need to know. She’s hard sometimes, but she gets her point across and that’s good. I think that that prepared us a lot. She cares about your life and how far we go in life and how we do. I like that sometimes she gives you one-on-one attention if you need it.

For the whole year we’ve been learning about the Constitution. We’ve only been working on textbooks maybe twice. She lectures but she makes it fun. We can ask questions in the middle of a lecture, so it’s not like just sit there [and] be quiet all day. It’s kind of like we’re involved in it, too.

[When Ms. Borges went from group to group] I think she was trying to make sure we were on task. I think she was trying to make sure that we were getting prepared for tomorrow. We would say something and she would think about it and maybe throw something in like “How about this?” or “How about that?” She’ll help us out like that.

Thomas: In the beginning of the year I thought I’d fail the class but it wasn’t that hard at first. Then we started gradually getting a little harder and I just kept up with it. It’s hard to describe but some teachers, they just don’t know how to teach. They just tell you to pick stuff out of the book or write stuff down and think of something. The way Ms. Borges teaches, I would have no other teacher. She can be funny at times and she helps you--doesn’t tell you the answer but tells you how to do it and where you can find the answers.

Zev: It’s a lot better than the way [other teachers] teach, ‘cause a lot of teachers just kind of say, “Alright here’s a book, now you get to do bookwork, write it down on paper, answer these questions.” With Ms. Borges, it’s a lot more fun. She helps us and we do a lot of group activities. We don’t do very much bookwork, like we might have two assignments out of the book this year.

Back to the Top


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy