My joy came when the excitement over the knowledge that they lived in a special place called the Tall Grass Prarie. We had wonderful stories woven by old professors from the University about the area and the bison and the fires of old.
Then, today, we began to really study the issues for the national elections. The students registered to vote. There are about five new citizens in my classes. We talked about how voting was a right that many countries did not provide. A few weeks ago I taught that public schools were formed to get children out of the workforce and begin to educate the electorate. Just when you think no one is listening...that statement came back to me in every class!
They listened, they debated and then they created "bumperstickers" for their lockers. Here are a few that stood out to me. The first one is from a young lady who has a daddy who just left for Iraq the day after she found out that she was a diabetic.
She states that she will not vote because McCain wants our troops in Iraq and Obama wants them in Afghanistan. She wants them to come home!
Yes, we did discuss abortion, war, poverty, college, preschool, hunger, and the redistribution of wealth. They are hungry for information and I give it as non bias as possible. "Some people believe" often prefaces what I say. They do not know where I stand. I am not in the classroom to teach my opinion- but to educate them on how to find information. Believe me, that is really difficult on issues that I am strongly opinionated about.
We vote on Tuesday- just like the country. They ask if their vote counts. The truthful answer is "No, I am simply training you so you will not be afraid to exercise your most important right as a citizen of this county. No matter who you are for, you need to vote." My student who said she will not vote for a President stated that she will instead sign her blank ballot and vote.
Teaching is an amazing vocation. My heart delights, even though my feet are tired, that I decided to come back to the classroom.