Grendel Philosophies Guest Speaker
Class Led Socratic Seminar
I always happy, proud, and humbled to have one of the best philosophy teachers and author of Religions of the World: A Question of Faith return to my classroom year after year as a guest speaker. Jay Lamb, my father (full disclosure) taught religion and philosophy at TJ in Fairfax and when he retired, visited my classroom each semester. He was able to explain the philosophies in John Gardner's Grendel so that my students not only understood, discussed, questioned and found the topics fascinating. They were able to use his lectures and discussion as a source in their seminar's annotated bibliography. It breaks my heart to say that my dad passed away this past year from pancreatic cancer (F*ck Cancer) but I'm thankful he was able to share his love of philosophy.
Sometimes, you wing it. And it works!
During Covid, our school district was on a hybrid schedule. That meant kids came to school two days a week. One of the perks of this year was taking "mask breaks" and walking a lap or two around the track. This habit continued and my Dual Enrollment World Literature class often had outdoor class discussions. We were reading Basho when this praying mantis appeared on our track. You can guess what happened next...
Did I achieve a goal of an empty classroom?
No - my English 12 students were all recording their Poet Podcasts in different ends of the building. Nothing like adding in "you can use your phone" to get students interested in the Romantic poets (and focus on drama of their personal lives). They analyzed a poem, "interviewed" their poet, and included a time period advertisement. These projects turned out amazing! I definitely had some future podcasters and journalists shine through on this project.