Teacher Talk: Presidential Politics (Day 4) June 27

Today the students got to be a part of two debates with the Chinese class as they took part of a British Parliamentary Style Debate in which each person got to speak or be a judge in the morning or afternoon session.  The topics dealt with United States-Chinese relations as the two countries look to how they can work together on pollution issues & cyber security / intellectual property issues.  After watching a short clip from the World Debate Championship that used the British Parliamentary Style Format the students drew lots to see who would go in the morning and afternoon sessions.  The students then got to see which role & which side they would have to argue for as they then huddled with their teams to form what strategy they would use.  Both debates were very informative as they provided a unique learning experience for the students in both classes.  The judges then chose winners from each debate.  We thank the Chinese class for inviting our class to research & have an interactive debate with each other.  Both debates lasted approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  After the last debate we took several pictures of the group & individual winners in addition to several group pictures of both classes.  We hope to have those pictures up during the next few days!

During class today we also watched short news clips from the previous three days as we looked at the recent events of the Supreme Court regarding the Affirmative Action Case in Texas, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Defense of Marriage Act.  We also watched short news segments involving the abortion battle in Texas & the recent news involving Edward Snowden.  We had two students (Jonathan & Sterling) role-play George McGovern & Richard Nixon during the 1972 presidential campaign as they had a fictional 30-minute debate over the issues of that election.

We ended the last hour of the class examining the presidency of Andrew Jackson since we will be traveling tomorrow to the Hermitage in Nashville.  Students watched a short clip over his presidency, looked at how historians ranked President Jackson on different categories.  We then ended the class by writing down ten issues or events that Jackson dealt with during his years in office.  The students then were to use their time during study hall working on ranking the importance of each event as to the historical significance of how that issue impacted our country.  We look forward to visiting Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage tomorrow as we will leave around 9:00 and return at 4:00.  The students then will get to enjoy their time in the dorm over the weekend as their counselors have several activities planned for them!