1. Since the school where I teach, Fort Vancouver High School, is in our first year of being a "Center for International Studies," we do some lessons where we focus on a specific country. Usually we're just integrating international perspectives into whatever we are teaching but sometimes we are super intentional and devote an entire lesson to a country. Tomorrow the English Department has declared it to be Puerto Rico Day so every English teacher in the school is focusing on something related to Puerto Rico. Example: My students have spent a couple days researching the question of whether or not Puerto Rico should become the 51st state in America. Tomorrow they will write a letter to Governor Jay Inslee sharing their position and supporting, refuting, or qualifying the statement. The kids seem to be into it. Other English teachers are much cooler than I am and one is doing a lesson on Puerto Rican graffiti as political statement. Others are doing poetry from Puerto Rico, spoken word poems on being a Puerto Rican immigrant, or reading a short story about Puerto Rican life. Our students are going to have a pretty great day tomorrow.
2. The group of English teachers with whom I eat daily, Bethany, Jenn, Leah, Geoff, and myself, have decided to do some writing. We selected a topic which we will all use and we will tell a story around our universal prompt. Then we will share with each other and enjoy ourselves. We are truly nerds but we embrace it. The prompt is a secret and I cannot reveal it publicly. I did start mine already though. It's gonna be golden.
3. Orpheus is coming in May. That's a show I've put on for my students for a couple years. I get some of my students, the kids who want to, writing personal narrative essays and then reading them in front of an audience. The cool thing is that Portland-area professional writers to come in and read with them. The past couple years were successful so I have more kids who want to read this year so it will now be a three-day event on May 10th, 18th, and 26th in the Fort Vancouver auditorium. So far I have 11 authors lined up but expect a few more to agree before May. I'm not going to lie... it's a pretty magical event. I'm sure I'll post more about it later.
4. That's all for now. I'm going to go write more on my secret topic.