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Courtney Langton

Courtney is an aspiring high school teacher. Her teachables are History and English, but she's happy to teach anything that doesn't involve numbers or formulas. Her particular interest is in promoting gender equity and anti-oppression both in and outside the classroom. She writes a detailed To-Do list every morning, and enjoys nothing more than a good book and a plate of bacon on a rainy Saturday.

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan's primary interest is moral education. His teachable subjects are English and Music. He encourages critical thinking and hopes to teach his students to recognize, and strive for, what is truly important to them without forgetting to be compassionate, tolerant, and open-minded along the way. He likes making analogies and his favourite is one that compares life to jumping on a trampoline.

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ARCHIVES: June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 March 2010

Post-Glee Recap #1
Friday, September 11, 2009

Now that Glee has finally starting again, we're going to fulfill our promise and start doing recaps of each episode. Like I mentioned earlier this summer, the show touches on a lot of issues that are familiar to teachers and we wanted to add those issues to our discussions on this blog. As well, we'll be doing recaps of Tony Danza's new reality show, Teach, when it premieres later this year-- mostly because I love Who's The Boss, but also because he's going to be teaching in a Philadelphia high school. Another show about teaching, the animated Sit Down, Shut Up, might also make an appearance here, though it is a lot more on the satirical side so it may not be quite so relevant to us. Either way, it's a banner year for teacher sitcoms!

Today's Glee recap-- Gleecap, if you will (I totally thought of that in the shower this morning. Man I'm hilarious)-- is a bit late, as the episode aired on September 9th. Thursday mornings from now on won't be too busy for me, but this week is the first official week of classes so I've been running around buying books and dodging frosh week festivities. Who could have guessed that TV wouldn't be my first priority?! (That's sarcasm, my friends, in case it doesn't translate in print).




I enjoyed this episode for two main reasons-- one, it called out some of the myths of abstinence-only education; and two, it portrayed Will as a regular, fallible human being who made the mistake of putting his needs and desires first and ignoring his students' valid and important ideas. Let's add a third reason just because it was so darned hilarious.

In this episode, Will and the Glee kids are trying to recruit more members. Without more singers, they will not be eligible to compete in regionals, so they need to find a way to appeal to the rest of the school (the students of which are more preoccupied with tossing Glee members in dumpsters and port-a-potties than joining them in three-part harmony). Will decides that the best way to attract new members is to perform the same Disco number that was such a hit when he was a Glee kid-- in 1993. Needless to say, his already unpopular students are horrified about performing "Le Freak" in front of all their peers. Instead of listening to their concerns, Will insists that everything will work out fine. He's so preoccupied with making sure New Directions is a success that he forgets about the perils of high school. 

It's a lesson we can be glad Will learned for us. No matter what's going on in your personal life, no matter how old you are or how little you understand your students, always remember what it's like to be a teenager. It's a minefield out there, and those kids don't have the benefit of experience and hindsight to remind them how little those high school dynamics matter in the real world. This kind of stuff does matter to them-- it matters a lot. So when you find yourself thinking of a good-natured joke about a student's outfit or assigning a mandatory rap performance of Romeo & Juliet, consider how your students will feel and react. They're still going to have to do embarrassing things, things they don't like, in your classroom, because sometimes we have to do that in life. But try not to make your class too traumatizing-- they'll thank you for it.


Notable Quotes:

Sue: "I'm not sure there's going to be anyone else who wants to swim over to your little island of misfit toys."

Will: "I believe in my kids."

Will: "Hold on a second, Sue."
Sue: "I resent being told to hold on to anything."

Sue: "There's a very clear beaurocracy when it comes to photocopies."

Will: "Contrary to your beliefs, it's not always about you... or, I've realized, about me."

Check out the pamphlet titles in the guidance office!

Also, Will thanked a student for bringing him an apple? Kids still bring their teachers apples?

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