Last week I invited a friend to address the seniors in our Government class via Skype and tell us what it is like to be on strike. Carolyn Skibba, an elementary school teacher in Chicago, talked about working in a closed shop environment, contract negotiations, picketing requirements for striking teachers, and much more that our students might not find in their textbooks. The students were able to ask questions from someone directly involved with issues that might have repercussions for school divisions across the country.
It was really fun being in the room, my friend on the screen, the students around me, and Ms. EYP beaming proudly as she listened to the great questions the students were asking.
The best part, however, was walking down the hall this morning. Several of the students who’d been in the class stopped me along the way to remark about the strike going into its second week. I wonder how many other seniors in high school across the country are now closely following the teacher strike in Chicago.
Giving students memorable experiences in the classroom is the key to engagement, academic and civic.