Friday, April 17, 2009

Why is it worth know knowing what you plan to teach?

By Leslie Hudson:

Take out a sheet of paper and write on it –democracy “for the people and by the people” and the word power; place your pencils down and let us begin....

Good morning and welcome to Introduction to Political Science 101. In this class we will learn about the different political theories and how they helped shape governments around the world; we will compare and contrast these world governments with the United States government and learn about the US democratic process. Also it is my great hope that each and everyone of you will leave this class valuing your selves more as US Citizens and Residents and use the knowledge gained here to improve upon how you see your American dreams and how you intend to live in it[this country].

In the syllabus is a layout of homework assignments, tests and projects that will facilitate two objectives. First, with your successful completion of these various assignments you will demonstrate what you have learned in this class and second, you will be fulfilling the Georgia performance standards for this class. In addition, by the end of this class I hope you will realize how great a country you live in and how your voices can be heard in the United States’ democratic process.

Now as you sit back in your desks with arms folded wondering why is this stuff so important outside of reaching educational standards, I want to share a quote with you from a wonderful professor, Dr. Finley, respectfully, “ The purpose of high school is to enculturate its students with how society works and the democratic concepts of all people having a voice in how they are governed and in understanding how they are governed and how to communicate such a way to be heard.”

In other words , I want you to walk away with the working knowledge of your role in the US democratic process on a local, state and national level and how to exercise your rights to vote, to lobby, to speak to your elected officials with concerns, to petition, and to organized in order to be heard.

Whether you realize it or not you are all unique US citizens. It is the way you walk , talk, dress , your political views, and where your live that determine your uniqueness and this is what shapes your voices in this democratic society. In the beginning of class I had you write on a sheet of paper the words, democracy “for the people and by the people” and the word power, you all are “the people” and your uniqueness is your POWER. Let me explain further, in the 2008 Presidential election “ for the people and by the people” is how Obama was elected to office. Whether some of you voted, made phone calls, had conversations about and/or wore t-shirts supporting the President- all of this could only take place in America. You class are “the people”, that possess exercisable power and voices that deserve to be heard and in this class I will give you the tools that will ensure they are heard collectively and individually.

Also in this class I want you to understand outside of your textbooks and notebooks that your social economic status in your communities is also your power to determine what in your communities you want to change or improve upon to enrich your American dreams and your quality of leisure time. An example an American’s Dream realized was your roles in the 2008 presidential election of Obama. How your leisure time can be maintained or improve upon by using the concepts and tools learned in this class about the democratic process is through petitioning for safer streets to skateboard on; or calling your local representatives about clean and safe parks to play tennis; or voting for street lights so you can play night ball may all be activities that are part of your leisure time, respectfully.

Now that Class is almost over take that sheet of paper and tape it to your notebook to remind you of the value of this class, and that you are the next generation who will have a significant say in how your government is to run, and you will be introduced to what and how democracy is and what your powers are in the democratic process in your lives and communities .

What I mean by power is your voices, each of you has a voice that deserves to heard individually and collectively around your concerns about your life, your community, your workplace and this country we share.

Comments by Leslie Hudson
9to5 Atlanta Chapter Member since 2008
Candidate for Master Degree in Secondary Education Social Science @ Mercer University
She looks forward to becoming a High School Political Science Teacher

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great call to action, leslie! you're going to be an excellent teacher!