On the last day of my practicum, I gave my grade 10 History students copies of the song I wrote as a mnemonic device when I was in high school. I wrote a post about this song last week and I know you’re all waiting to hear what the missing lyric is.
I am truly proud of this class – I started out dreading teaching them – all 33 of them. My Associate Teacher warned me about them before I even met the kids. She pretty much told me her goal is just to get through every period. (To her credit, she had a very good relationship with individual students, but I think she felt they were out of control and so she resorted to compromises like giving them 7 minute breaks to socialize during class if they would agree to pay attention once the breaks ended). Many of the things she told me about the students were true, but after the first few classes, I found myself really looking forward to this period. By the end of the month I felt that the kids knew I was on their side.
I gave the students the song as my parting gift – I told them it might help them study for their exam. I had thought I might get off easy, but of course they insisted that I sing it. I told them, “OK, we’ll sing it together. Who knows the song ‘We didn’t Start the Fire’?” Blank stares. No Uptown Girls or Piano Men in this classroom. I was on my own. I squeaked out a passable rendition of the song, my face turning as red as my hair. Lecturing in front of a class is one thing; singing is quite another!
They loved it. I went over each line and quizzed them – and to my amazement, they recognized some of the events and were able to elaborate on some of the causes of WWII. One of them even remembered that “Mein Kampf” meant ‘my struggle.’ As for the missing lyric, after a few suggestions were thrown out (“Lots of blood and gore” “The Holocaust left a sore” etc.) the class decided on…