Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 8: Rights and Responsibilities of Students  
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Workshop 7

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

Student Perspectives: Course value

Ashley: It's teaching me to do things on my own and become more independent. It's teaching me that to learn I have to go out and find out information--that I can't expect the information to always be given to me, and that just because it's not given to me that it's not there.

Dana: In the very beginning of the course, I was a little skeptical. I was a little confused. I didn't know how I would take to learning the different cases. I felt as if I wouldn't be able to draw any connections between myself and what occurred. I felt that it would be boring. Right now I would say that it's my best class. I see that with nearly every case we've discussed I was able to draw some kind of connection to it. I'm glad I had an opportunity to actually dive into the Constitution and decipher the different limits and laws and how they relate to me as a person and as a student. I'm no longer confused. I know exactly why I had to learn these cases. I'm just really overjoyed that I took this course. I've always been a shy person. When it comes to speaking I'm always the last person to actually step up to the podium, but I felt that the mock trial would give me an opportunity to voice my opinion, to let other people know that there's a different side of me than this shy person. [Also] I heard that [constitutional law] deals with law and how it relates to students. I see a lot of events happening in my life as a student here at Banneker and I wanted to learn all about that. If the administration is doing something wrong, I want to know, "Is that something they can do?"

Kayeen: It's really been amazing. We've covered so many topics. We've had teachers from American University and Georgetown University come in and teach us different things. We've been in contests. I myself won the moot court competition a couple of months back that was sponsored by American University. I was the only winner from this school, and one of four winners from the city, so that was a great experience in and of itself. I found that being able to understand cases and brief the cases and advocate them, I have a really good knack for that. I'm now very, very seriously considering getting into law. In a lot of the simulations we did, it gave me more of the hands-on experience of what it would be like if I was actually in this profession. It's strengthened my drive to want to be in the law profession and maybe in politics. It's made me want to be in a position where I can use skills I used in class to make a difference.

Otis: The first thing this class has done for me was to make me aware of my rights as a citizen and as a student. A lot of the rights I didn't know I had. It also allowed me not to fight everything because I did see that some stuff I didn't have the right to do. Taking this class has also helped my public speaking skills. For example, our class has been in two competitions, the moot court competition and the mock trial competition, and I competed in both, coming in third place in the moot court. Being on the second team in the D.C. area to win really helped the confidence level. You can do things. You are able as a student to speak and be heard.

Troy: My mother is a teacher. She'd tell me things that went on at her school and I'd tell her things that went on at my school. Now, we can go over [whether] the things that are going on in our respective schools are right or not. At first, I didn't really want to pursue law because that was the career choice that was being pushed upon me by my grandfather and my father. My cousin is actually a law professor. Once we got into the class and I was able to do some of the competitions, like the moot court and the mock trial, I was told that I looked like I had a knack for the thing. I felt like I might be good in it, so I was able to pursue it a little more. I've always wanted to pursue a career in which I was able to be a speaker. This just kind of gave me a greater confidence in my role. Having an opportunity to speak out at several venues throughout the year has let me know that I do have this God-given ability to speak to people and hold [an] audience and convey points in a manner they can understand.


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