Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 15, 2006

Tell it Slowly

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:16 pm

There’s a class of jokes that goes something like this:

A: Want to hear a great [INSERT ETHNIC GROUP] joke?
B: OK, but realize I’m a [MEMBER OF ETHNIC GROUP].
A: That’s OK, I’ll tell it slowly.

For some reason I thought of that when I witness the following exchange on a discussion e-mail list for historians:

The question:

I’ll be teaching a section on the Constitution for middle school teachers in a 2006 Teaching American History Summer Project. A lot of the undergrads enrolled in my classes are teachers in training & I’ve co-directed an NEH summer seminar for high school teachers, but this will be my first time working particularly with middle school teachers. Does anyone have advice? I think I should offer the participants materials that will make sense to them & (in at least some cases) that can be used by their own students.

One response:

As a former middle school teacher, I suggest you organize the information very clearly, provide plenty of written handouts of the information, provide brief excerpts of primary sources for them to use, and suggest ways to present the information other than simply giving notes.

In other words, “Tell it slowly.”

Any middle school teachers reading this should pelase direct their wrath to the “former middle school teacher” above, not to me….

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