The student-painted mural above the entrance to our school depicts our mascot and our motto:
Take care of one another.
At my school, we take care of one another as a family. We have supported each other through devastating losses of our fellow Wolverines, and we have come together for the benefit of others in our community. Whether it's collecting over 20,000 cans for the canned food drive, sports and clubs working together to provide an indoor trick-or-treating venue, or a student offering to walk a classmate down to the nurse's office; we operate on a foundation of kindness.
My students - my kids - are wonderful people. We learn from each other in a safe space in which we can share our thoughts and beliefs in a respectful way. There are no surface-level discussions in here; we talk about what's hard so students can learn how to present themselves as thoughtful and informed young adults.
And...we dance into the classroom on Fridays. We share weekend stories. We celebrate successes. And we laugh. A lot.
I love my kids, and I love what I do.
Before Alexander Hamilton became one of America's founding fathers, he was a 19 year-old immigrant, not only filled with his life experiences and hopes for his future, but also the responsibility of honoring the people who afforded him that opportunity.
While 12th-grade seniors in 2019 don't know what it's like to walk in Hamilton's shoes, they do understand the direction of the path they've been walking on will take a sharp turn in a matter of months.
Speaking of seniors, I teach English IV, which has a curriculum rooted in theater. The title of my kids' senior project is "Epilogues and Prologues" -- a reflection on their high school experience, as well as peering through the metaphorical telescope that reveals their impending future as high school graduates. The content of the project matters, and the format is equally important, as they must include elements of theatrical production in their project, whether that's a documentary, stand-up comedy routine, art show, etc.
This Hamilton text is not only a district-approved story of personal and political revolution, it also chronicles the story of the production of the musical itself. This window into one of the most brilliant minds in theater will show students that they, too, can embrace the struggle in order to create their own masterpieces.
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