On November 4th, Katie, a senior at the Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, and her mother "coincidentally" found themselves in Chicago.
Yes, Chicago. I was there (coincidentally) on election day - November 4, 2008. This wasn't just any election in any city, though. This was THE election in THE city. It was the election that will forever make history. Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States and I was there at Grant Park where he gave his acceptance speech. It was truly one of the most moving experiences of my life.
When Katie got home she posted her reflections on this event on Youth Voices, a social network for students that her teacher, Chris Sloan helps to maintain. The joy in Katie's writing and in her image that she inserted with her text captured that important moment for the hundreds of other students who post their work on Youth Voices.
"I saw so many people whose faces expressed a relief that some glimmer of hope had finally come that, in fact, a black man could conquer a still very racist nation." Katie wrote in her post. "At that moment in time, our country seemed to get a little bit more accepting, and this was making people uncontrollably happy."
A Latina from Flushing, New York didn't share Katie's enthusiasm. In fact, for Dominique, an 11th grader at the East-West School for International Studies, something in what Katie had written brought to a head something that had been bothering her about the way people were
talking about Obama:
Another sentence that I found wrong and stirred up some anger is "a black man could conquer a still very racist country." It's honestly comical. If this was " a still very racist country " then trust me Obama would have not become President. Let me give you some valuable insight. Without the support of the Hispanic population and Caucasian population, there would be no (according to you) "First African-American President ". You believe this country is racist, but you don't realize that this country is racist because of people who exploit a certain race and make it seem that they on top of everyone else.
On the weekend after Dominique's comment, Chris Sloan contacted Dominique's teacher, Paul Allison, and Chris and Paul decided that it might be interesting to invite Katie and Dominique, along with another student, Farisa, to get together on Teachers Teaching Teachers to talk things over.
That's where this show begins.
In addition the students were joined by Elizabeth Berryman, Director of the PBS Teacher Center in Virginia. Elizabeth provided some follow up to a project that Susan Ettenheim's students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York City participated in. We had talked with Elizbeth in an earlier show about the Video the Vote,a partnership between PBS and YouTube. On this show Elizabeth and Susan talk about how students and teachers took to this project, and Elizabeth begins to decribe the next project in which students will be invited to video the human impact of the economic crisis that we face.
Enjoy! And consider sharing this one with your students.
On this special episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim -- with Alice Barr, a technology teacher in Yarmouth, Maine -- welcomed to the show a couple of teachers, a couple of Writing Project Directors, and a researcher of Writing Projects. These folks (along with James Shiroff from the Denver Writing Project) will be presenting and facilitating a 2-hour session at the National Writing Project's 2008 Annual Meeting this week. The name of their featured presenation, "Writing in the Digital Age," identifies some of the issues discussed on this podcast.
Seth Mitchell, high school teacher and Tech Liaison for the Maine Writing Project (University of Maine)
Sarah Hunt-Barron, middle school teacher, teacher consultant of the Upstate Writing Project in South Carolina and doctoral student at Clemson University
Rebecca Kaminski, Director Upstate Writing Project in South Carolina and professor at Clemson University, SC
Felicia George, Associate Director of the New York City Writing Project at Lehman
Laura Stokes, Inverness Research in California
We think you'll enjoy this conversation whether or not you are planning to join these folks at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio November 20 and 21.
These Writing Project teachers and their colleagues also shared stories about how they support their fellow teachers to further their development in teaching writing in a digital environment. Many interesting ideas about the students’ enthusiasm for writing to real audiences and generating more writing were discussed along with issues that local programs face when offering professional development services to teachers in their area.
Click Read more to see a transcript of the chat that was happening at the same time as the webcast.
Find out what happens when you bring together two Spanish Language teachers from the USA, an Emo student, and an English Language teacher from Mexico. On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Susan Ettenheim and Paul Allison invited three new teachers and a student to join them to think about how to connect accross and through cultures and language.
Joining us on this show:
Christian, a 10th grader at East West School of International Studies, Flushing, NYC, USA
Three amazing young women joined us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers:
Farisa, 10th Grader at East-West School of International Studies, Flushing, NY, NY
Hannah, 11th Grader at Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lindsea, 12th Grader at Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Paul Allison, Alice Barr, and Gail Desler stayed out of the way as much as possible. We asked the students to help us keep on track with the mission of Youth Voices: to be "a space where teachers nurture student-to-student conversations, collaborations, and civic actions." We seek to sustain student-sponsored work on our new site.
Click Read more, below, to see the chat transcript.
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