Posted September 10, 2006 3:07 pm (about 4887 days ago)
One thing that's interesting about being a teacher is that I often get that "new year" feeling in early September, not January 1. Obviously that's due to the beginning of the new school year.
As such, my life goes back to revolving around the students and even my personal goals have to take school into account.
One thing that's nice about this year is that I'm co-teaching a hip hop and social justice class, which allows me to combine my interests in music and education. I'm trying to get artists and folks in education whom I respect to come work with the students (Zion I is tentative w/n the next 2 weeks) and sometimes my lesson planning includes watching obscure videos. An interesting thing is that many of the students taking this class aren't really into hip hop. As a result, I have to be creative on how to keep them engaged, without losing the spirit of our class. I think it's working. Some of the students who've historically been very quiet are talking on a regular basis and even volunteering to present. We've discussed banda music, durangense, reggaeton, and of course hip hop. Students have brought CDs and DVDs to class, which makes them more invested. Next week we're going to have "Hyphy Week," which will probably stretch into a two week thing. We're in East Oakland so the students should know how their community is being presented and who benefits/gets hurt by these images. We'll be watching some DVDs, listening to some interviews, and hopefully hear from some of the artists themselves. Finally, the students will be working on their own audio projects to define and explain "hyphy" from their perspective. On an interesting note, many of the students listen to the music, etc, but when I did an activity asking if it's been good for Oakland, nearly all of them "strongly disagreed." Even those who didn't fall in this category were in the middle, not in "strong agreement." It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say after a week of critically analying "the movement."
On the techno side of things, I showed DJ Rolando's "Jaguar" video, which lead to great discussion. I'll post some of the responses as time permits.
So, it's been fun. We've already had two outings (A's game and volunteering at Power to the Peaceful) and how can I not enjoy teaching a hip-hop class?