It’s a blustery fall day in Wisconsin, and folks in the hallways after school are talking about fish fry, football and pumpkin beers. The next big thing on the instructional calendar is state standardized assessment, and the challenge of the moment is how to avoid exposing young adolescents to high stakes testing when their brains are under the influence of Halloween candy.
Mexico seems geographically, chronologically, and emotionally very far away!
Earlier this week, Nichole had the chance to talk to other teachers who are eligible for the Fund for Teachers grant, and a colleague came back from her presentation with a shiny brochure featuring a picture of us with a giant head. I was feeling mixed emotions about the day—proud of my new school that won School of Promise recognition, frustrated with the NCLB system that seems to miss so much of what is great about our public education system, wistful about the students who were part of our first classroom lessons about the Olmec, excited about colleagues interested in using Cabezas Colosales in their classrooms.
That evening, I decided to listen to the local Spanish-speaking radio station in the car—and for about 10 minutes I listened to an animated call-in show about soccer and realized I understood much of the gist of the discussion. Before the grant, before our trip, I’m sure I would have just changed the channel. I know it’s ridiculously cheesy to say that in that moment, driving down the road, I knew that big pieces of our Mexico trip will always be with me—but sometimes (here in Wisconsin) even the cheesiest things really can be true!