At CHS, we do what we call “morning circle.” Every morning before classes, the entire community gets together in the common area and goes through whatever announcements are on the board before we begin our day.
I listen to NPR on my way in to work. Every morning just before 7:00, the local announcer gives one little tidbit of history when he announces the date: “Today is Tuesday, September 21. Today marks the birthday of author H.G. Wells, born on this day in 1866. The news is next.” That sort of thing. I really like that – I find it compelling – so this year, I began a daily habit of presenting a “today in history” segment at the end of announcements.
When I get to school in the morning, I scan through several websites for information about historical events, birthdays, and deaths that happened on that day. The kids seem to look forward to it; other day, we acknowledged both John Coltrain’s and Ray Charles’s birthdays, and earlier this month, I mentioned that the battle of Thermopylae had occurred on that date (much to the delight of the two or three kids who were familiar with that event). One student has even started listing events along with me; I try to go for things that the students would recognize and she finds the more unfamiliar, less famous events. She told me the other day that she does that because she wants the community to “learn something.” How awesome is that?
I discovered, on this Saturday morning, that the “today in history” is becoming a habit. I don’t have to report on today’s events, yet I found myself looking them up, nevertheless. Today, it turns out, was a pretty big day for civil rights in the U.S.; on September 25, nine black high school students entered Little Rock High School under the very real threat of a very angry mob.
I also found out that today is the day, in 1789, that the U.S. Congress passed the ten amendments to the Constitution that became our Bill of Rights.
If I didn’t teach English, I would likely have become a history teacher.
Happy Saturday, Everyone!