Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Japanese History and Culture

Because I teach at a small school, there aren't a whole lot of options for many of the students as far as classes go, especially in the middle school. They have English, math, science, social studies, Inupiaq (native language), and PE. They have 7 periods each day, though. For those students who didn't pass a particular part of the state tests, they get an extra class in that area (math or reading/writing). For those who passed all areas, they have to take either two science or two social studies. I have 3 students who are in two of my social studies classes, all of whom are really bright kids (obviously). They are all in one class together (with two other students) during 4th period.

These three kids were getting really bored, getting the same material twice in one day. I felt sorry for them, knowing how bored I would be if I were in the same position. I convinced the counselor that these kids needed me to teach something else, and that the other two students wouldn't miss out too much if they didn't get US History this year (most students forget everything by the time they get to high school, anyway).

Yesterday, I gave the students a list of social studies classes we could study this year (I listed just about every one I could think of that I felt comfortable teaching) and it came down to US History Through Literature and Japanese History and Culture. Well, this year, I'm teaching Japanese History and Culture. Now my only problem is getting resources to teach out of. The kids are really excited.


  1. That's cool! It's interesting to hear about how things work in such a small school. They are really lucky to have you!
    PS this is Cathy, not Matt

  2. How fun...for you AND the students!!!! If you need us to send anything, just let me know!! We have the BYU bookstore in our back yard!!!

  3. Awesome!! It'll take a little extra effort on your part for prep, but how fantastic for the kids you teach. Way to go for thiking outside the box and coming up with a great solution!

  4. So why didn't you offer them something worthwhile? The Lusiadas by Camoes or Brazilian History, for instance!

  5. Dad,
    Because I thought I should teach them something of worth;)