This week’s adventure in teaching and learning took us on the road again, as the student teachers began their second placements. One of the social studies student teachers is working with someone who is a seasoned cooperating teacher, while the Spanish student teacher is working with a “novice” (in other words, she will be his first student teacher). And, while I didn’t have to worry about technology giving me any hassles, I did have to deal with something that I haven’t had to think about in a while—what it’s like teaching when the temperature inside the classroom exceeds 80 degrees.
For the U.S. history survey class, we launched right into the Great Depression and New Deal this week, including an examination of foreign policy during this era (and why the United States decided to make nice with Latin America during the 1930s after decades of military intervention). The American Revolution class spent the entire week watching 1776, which we will finish in class on Monday. History of Pennsylvania had a short week, as Tuesday’s class was cancelled because of family illness, and Thursday I covered the entire Civil War in 50 minutes (okay, it was just the Civil War in Pennsylvania, but it was extremely hot in the classroom). I forgot to set up the camera for Friday’s lecture on Foreign Policy During Isolationism, so I’ll have to do that next year (since it seems likely that I will be teaching one section online next spring, and they will have the video version of most of this semester’s lectures to watch along with a couple from next spring semester).
Other than that, it was a bit quiet. No committee meetings this past week, and advising won’t get too busy until next week as students start to prepare to register for Fall 2012. This, of course, gave me adequate time to proofread the essay that will appear in the Spring 2012 issue of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies and to finish the external review for Bloomsburg University’s History Department, which is due by the end of this month. Other than that—just getting ready for the next round of course exams, which will be due the first week of April. Monday and Tuesday I will make the last two student teacher orientation visits of the semester and continue scheduling the first teaching observations. Tuesday and Wednesday will include book discussion presentations. Next Thursday and Friday I will be receiving the rough drafts of research papers to grade, so don’t be surprised if next week’s blog includes some rather curious ways my students express their thoughts (in other words, they will find out how spell check isn’t always their friend). I’m stocking up on the purple pens, because I will be engaged in a grading frenzy the next couple of weeks.
And now, the photo of the week: This sign was not present outside the Pennsylvania State House when the Continental Congress debated whether the colonies should declare independence from Great Britain.