Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 5: Patriotism & Foreign Policy  
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Workshop 5

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Teacher Perspectives
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Student Perspectives: Alice Chandler's teaching style

Alex: Ms. Chandler is a great teacher. She really does a lot of work and she has certification for teaching dyslexic children as well so [she] knows how to work with students with [a] variety of learning habits. I learn a lot from her because she caters to my needs. To take it from an artistic standpoint, I learn a lot more effectively.

David: Her teaching style is really incredible because the only things we’ve learned from the books are the amendments and the constitution. She’ll bring in cases. We’ll read from the newspaper and old documents and everything like that that’s incorporated in the chapters in the book. I really like a teacher who doesn’t stick to the book. She’s really liberal in nature and I really like that. It’s amazing to me how she uses government and arts in the same classroom. I never thought anybody could do that. Like how does government relate to the arts. I found as an artist that I have more importance in America. And I found as a U.S. citizen, I feel more accepted and more important. I think the way she teaches is a form of patriotism because she makes you proud of being an American.

Leo: It's exciting to be in Ms. Chandler's class because you never really know what's going to happen. She may plan a lecture on the constitution, but we might get off course and go into something like entertainment law. We do have a genre of studies that she wants us to know by the end of the semester, but we kind of trail off sometimes into different sections of government that still have to do with what we're talking about. Our questions kind of overwhelm her and she loves that we're interested. So she's not going to say we need to keep on track. She's going to answer them. Being in her class is different than being in other history or government classes because she gets excited as much as we do when we discover something new or when we open a new door. She can relate to us in a lot of ways because she remembers how boring it can get. So she tries to entertain us. She attempts to include our arts in the curriculum.

Myra: Ms. Chandler is a very caring teacher. She is always interested in our performances and in our other classes and in this school. We have 10 classes per semester. When again in my life am I ever going to have to take 10 classes? It just seems like a lot, especially senior year, struggling to get everything done. Ms. Chandler is one of the most understanding teachers when it comes to that. She does a lot of in-class assignments so that we can spend our out-of-school time working on other classes or social life if there is such a thing. And she is willing to compromise. If, for instance, the show choir goes on tour, those students get an extension on projects, and she takes those different aspects into account. Also, she incorporates the art and she takes it seriously and just doesn’t brush it off, as this is just the academics and those are the arts. She ties them in together.

Selena: We always learn in her class by just taking issues that we feel are important, bringing them to the table, and discussing different things. If we don’t understanding something and it’s off the subject, she’ll go out of her way to help us understand. We recently did book reports. My book report had to relate some form of government to our art. The book I chose was “A Taste of Power” by Elaine Brown. She was chairman of the Black Panther Party. I really got interested in learning the Black Panther’s goals for achieving their 10-point platform. Ms. Chandler suggested that I do something on the Black Panther Party for my end-of-the-year project. She’s always making suggestions and giving us things to read. She doesn’t really teach out of the book either. She might use the book as a reference point or something. We have this book that we use sometimes. It’s not like everyday we’re just going into a book, sitting down and writing stuff out of the book and that’s how we learn. We actually learn by her asking us questions, seeing if we know this. If we don’t, we’ll open a newspaper and find out, see what’s going on in the news today. Or we’ll talk about cases and the Supreme Court or something like that. I like the way she teaches because I really don’t learn well from the book. I learn well from actually getting hands-on experience or seeing things that are really happening.


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