Sunday, September 18, 2016

Guide on the Side

Raquel Castellanos

My best day of teaching are the days in which I am not teaching.  I sit back and watched my students explore their own thought and feelings, coming to their own conclusions,  With my 7th graders we read an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s,  A Long Walk to Freedom..  In the unit of student we discuss apartheid in South Africa and Mandela’s background.  At the end of the unit of study we conclude with a socratic seminar.  The students come to class with 3 opened ended questions about the reading and have a dialogue with each other to pull and make their own meaning from the text.  The best discussions come out of this socratic seminar.  We discuss ideas of civic and familial duty, injustice, social justice, courage, bravery and the power of one..  Annually I am amazed at what 12 and 13 year olds have to say and I want them to be empowered to translate their ideals to actions.

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