Busy evening

I stayed at school until nearly 8 p.m. today to hang up the second-semester decorations in my classroom. The photos don’t really capture the overall effect, but they give you a pretty good idea of what’s in the room:

The poster with the child’s face on it includes the Gandhi line that says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

A few of my fabulous English-II-themed protest signs and a bulletin board featuring my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip — the one where his dinner quotes Hamlet, which we will be reading this semester.

More protest signs.

An assortment of posters, including an authentic Fillmore poster from the ’60s. (Thanks, Chris!)

I think a “teach-in” sounds much more exciting and subversive than an ordinary English class — don’t you?

Having a limited amount of wall space, I had to resort to a more eclectic approach here — Martin Luther King, Jr. shares a wall with our Chuck Norris calendar (I use Chuck Norris facts to teach hyperbole) and four vintage Fillmore postcards donated by reader Chris, who once lived in the San Francisco area and has generously shared part of her collection of concert ads with us.

That flower is one of nearly two dozen a former student came in and helped me hang from the ceiling. (Thanks, Krista!)

Groovy lights.

My piece de resistance. The kids have to make miniature protest signs touting their favorite causes.

Here’s a closer look. The whole board will be filled by the time all my classes get done making signs.

This bulletin board makes me really proud of my kids. The diversity of the messages is pretty impressive. Several kids are pro-life; at least one is pro-choice. Several kids are in favor of gay marriage; at least one is opposed. Two kids think immigrants deserve better treatment; one thinks they should just go back home. Some of the kids have already chosen organizations to support: Cancer Sucks, the John 3:16 Mission (which helps the homeless), and To Write Love on Her Arms (a suicide prevention group). A boy plans to lobby City Hall to allow fireworks within city limits, while a girl wants to make sure the fire department is adequately funded amid cutbacks in city services, and several kids want to see health care reform that includes a public option.

The cool thing about these topics is that the kids came up with them on their own.

I have great students.