Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Explaining the hiatus on the podcast and further updates

Hello All!

So, it's been a bit since I've podcasted. This is an education podcast and I try for bi-weekly updates. Unfortunately, as those in education know, March begins the end times. The time of year where, no matter your years or experience or skill, the long drag hits. Some of it is because of staffing changes (letting people go, trying to hire new people, staff numbers dropping or growing or staying the same), some of it is that you're not sure if you're going to talk about everything you want to. Hell, some of it is because you're just tired of this year and you want to start over next year. But it has also affected teachers and support staff and administrators desires to stay after school on Friday's for a "chat". I should have a couple coming up next week. Trying to schedule them and work them out. Hopefully they'll go through with it and not have an emergency pop up.

The other reason I haven't been podcasting is because I've been trying to transfer some of my thoughts on my current class projects into blog post. And the elections. I am going a little crazy over these elections. As I've mentioned before, I'm  history teacher (this year) and politics and power and machinations are my passion. And this year has been crazy with it. So I've done a lot of writing on Facebook and some tweeting and sharing. It's hard.

Now, I'm a pretty out there left, liberal, progressive, something something blah blah blah. Who knows. My teaching career has been a battle against the shitty situations students have at home and the battle against that sense of the unattainable in students. Plus my own experiences in life and some of the drawbacks I've experienced as a man of color have also colored my political views. As could be expected, I'm a rather big Bernie supporter. Something I am careful not to share with my students.

But this is the first time during an election that I feel unsure of whether I am toeing the line of a teacher letting their bias show. And it is because of Donald Trump. The population I teach is majority Latin@/Chican@ (I think that's the right symbol?) and they hate him. Every day I hear whispered, "Trump is a racist" and "Fuck Trump". I created an activity where students went to the candidates websites and looked at their main issues and their opinions regarding one. I've had them watch their campaign videos and compare and contrast them. But I've also told them, "Trump is a liar and what he suggests violates both national and international laws." Now as a crazy liberachi, I'm not saying I respect all of the laws out there. But for me, torture is an important one. John McCain, not a liberal, is a shining beacon of reason concerning this area. And I feel it is necessary to point out Trump's insanity here.

Some of you may ask, do I point out other lies from other candidates, Yes, if students bring them up to me as something they thought was true/legal/etc. But a vast majority of questions from my Mexican-American students is about something Trump said. And I refuse to lie. I do have them double check. And so, a weird election season and teaching season for me.

Thanks for letting me vent a little on that. The Mars Colony project is coming along. None of the teachers are sure what we will have for a final presentation. But we'll definitely have something, and I will post pictures for reference.

And for the upcoming podcasts I'll be meeting with my department head in History, hopefully my VP and a school counselor/social worker, and I'd really like to meet with my union VP, but I'm unsure when I could work that meeting out.

I have no idea what my topics will be, but I rarely do. Hope everything is going well with you, and if you have any topic suggestions out there, I'm definitely open.

- Tony Alberts

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