“The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson
I believe one of the most important things I get to teach about in my classroom is how we won our Liberty from Great Britain, how that impacts us even today, and how students can get involved with our government. I love how students get fired up about how unfair King George was to the colonists and how passionate they feel about our freedom. What they do with that passion is important.
Perhaps one day one of my students will become the next Governor of South Carolina or the first female President. Whatever they do, I want them to understand they have a part to play in our government. I am blessed to know many people that are passionate about politics. One of my very dear friends even works for Congressman Joe Wilson in Washington, D.C.
As my class finished our unit on the American Revolution, I reached out to Leacy and found she was willing and available to FaceTime with my students. The experience was amazing.
Leacy spoke about her day to day activities, what path she took to work in politics, and what originally sparked her interest in this arena. She just happened to be in 4th grade when she wrote to the current President, Bill Clinton, about an issue in a foreign country. What amazed her is he wrote back to her. After hearing about her letter to the President, hands sprang up all around my classroom. The students couldn’t wait to hear more.
Leacy was able to make what we are learning, REAL. She lives what we are learning about in the classroom. Now, my students all want to write to someone in Washington.
Previously in the year, my classroom read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. In the novel Peter Hatcher visits his father’s work while his mother is away. He works for an advertising agency, and during the chapter they shoot a commercial. Another gifted friend of mine is currently pursuing a career in film and has worked on many various projects.
She FaceTimed with my class and gave them a tour of her school’s materials. She also talked about her day to day activities and what makes for a good commercial. Students then made commercials about an item of their choice (real or not). They put a lot of thought into their projects and worked together to film, edit, and finalize their work.
Lauren was then kind enough to judge the student commercials. The students eagerly awaited her feedback. She was able to make the projects real.
One day our students won’t be kids. One day, they will be out in the work force. FaceTime allows teachers to make what we are learning in the classroom applicable to outside the classroom.
Have a connection that is willing to FaceTime with your class or mine? Reach out to them. It is sure to foster engagement and creation.