Saturday, July 4, 2015

TAL Challenge: Independence

Act One: Fireworks

Dan is always saying that I "don't like fun."  He doesn't understand that the concept of fun is flexible and individual.

Anyway, one of things I generally don't think is fun is fireworks.  They're loud and seem hazardous.  I especially don't like it when Dan purchases his own fireworks to light at his family cabin.  But, as I respect the flexibility of fun, I allow it.

Act Two: The Door

Sometimes when people talk about the benefits of teaching, they'll mention the fact that you can "close your door" and do whatever you want with your students.

There's truth to this, and teachers, in my experience, value independence.  We resist "scripted" curricula, oppressive administrators, and "standardized" anything.  In recent years, however, I've adopted door-open, community-based teaching.  I'm on a team of teachers.  We've sacrificed some independence, but speaking for myself, I'm convinced I'm doing my best work because of it.  I'm pretty sold on teaching and learning with the door open these days.

Act Three: Sovereignty 

The Indian Country Today Media Network had a story on their Facebook Feed yesterday about whether American Indians celebrate July 4th.  Here's the scoop:  Some Native people choose not to recognize July 4th because of colonization.  Some Native people use July 4th as a chance to celebrate their own independence, performing ceremonies and dances that were prohibited by the Department of the Interior between 1894 and the mid 1930s.  During this time, tribes were allowed to host homecomings under the guise of developing patriotism for the United States. This tradition continues for some groups.  Some Native people celebrate the thousands of Native veterans on July 4th.  Some Native people celebrate the ideals July 4th represents - freedom of speech and religion.  And some Native people just get together with their families and BBQ.

I'm going to do some of those things today, too.  I'll also watch some fireworks, probably, and try to have fun.  I hope everyone has a nice day, practicing "fun" in its many forms.

1 comment:

mm said...

I totally agree with you about fireworks. Happy 4th.