We at #teamthinkLaw have a lot to be grateful for this holiday season as we continuously seek to help thinkers tap into their innate abilities for justice and fairness and demonstrate how they can think critically inside and outside the classroom. As we think about how grateful we are and as we impact the world in our work, we should value the importance of self-reflection; as our own experiences help shape our paths and inform our mission to ensure critical thinking is no longer a luxury good.
And so, we reflect. We rewind. And this time we focus on those most memorable academic moments of those awkward middle/junior high school years. Perhaps we can recreate some of these moments with students as they navigate thinkLaw so that they can tweet about it, or post about twenty years from now. Not only do we hope these memories will last, but, more importantly, we hope that the critical thinking skills they learn will help them reach their wildest dreams and make our world a better place all the while.
Dana, Executive Assitant at #teamthinkLaw
“I’m in 7th grade English class and we’re learning about poetry, prose and iambic pentameter. Trying to make the lesson ‘culturally relevant’ my (lilly white) teacher polls the class about our favorite musical artists. Now at this time the song Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See was at the top of the charts – we all knew it, even our Mama’s knew it! So when Michael Mallard calls out Busta Rhymes, about half the class starts drumming this well known beat on their desks. Our teacher then attempts to write his name on the board as most of the boys do their best rap impressions, moments later the class erupts with laughter as we read “Bust The Rhymes” on the board. Mike says “NOooooo… Bust-A Rhymes!” and our teacher says “Yeah, Bust THE Rhymes.” This exchange goes on a few more times before she attempts to lecture us on proper pronunciation. So I say excuse me Miss (whatever her name was) his stage name is Busta Rhymes: “B-U-S-T-A space R-H-Y-M-E-S.” We all laughed some more and everyone passed the next quiz with flying colors. I’m pretty sure there are 20 other 30 something year olds that can still define iambic pentameter without hesitation… followed by a chuckle.”
Holly Maria, Chief Relationship Officer at #teamthinkLaw
“One of my fondest memories from junior high is when we did a very intensive book study on the Lord of the Flies in 8th grade English Language Arts class. One of the things we focused upon during the reading was symbolism and imagery. If you’ve ever read the book, you may recall that there is a juncture in the story that has to do with a pig’s head on a stick. Very exciting stuff for middle school-aged kiddos. Anyway, most of the kids that were enrolled in this ELA course were also taking Science at the time and we were in the middle of dissecting a fetal pig. Also very exciting stuff when the only other thing we dissected before was a frog back in 5th grade and maybe some random insect in between. Anyway, while we were in Science dissecting the pig, we couldn’t stop talking about the Lord of the Flies. Our teachers allowed us to parade around the school with a fetal pig’s head on a stick acting like savages, in essence, acting out portions of that chapter of the story and allowing us to indulge in making connections, having fun and being kids through it all.” #grateful #Mrs. Quayle #Mrs. Greear #Mr. VanLerberghe
Looks like some of our most memorable moments are rooted in cultural [mis] understandings and inter-disciplinary thematic learning experiences where we were able to laugh, exhibit excitement and be successful as we made learning connections in English Language Arts (and Science). And with that, here’s to our teachers, administrators and peers from those days.