The good thing about the end of a school year is that we are also thinking about next year. This is just as well since numerous factors are very depressing in a French school in June: dwindling numbers in the classes, an administration which takes absenteeism for granted and makes no effort to get the students back into the classrooms, kids that seem to have become blind or alzheimer-stricken and no longer acknowledge you when you meet them in the corridors, a string of bad news about next year (fewer hours, more students in the different classes, …)
It seems that the only way to keep sane is to focus on the good things and even try and create them to make sure they happen.
Therefore a collegue who teaches History and Geography (these two subjects are taught by the same person in France) but also advanced German to a group of volunteers has asked me whether I wanted to team up with her so that we could teach different aspect of the same themes.
The curriculum for sophomores is changing in History and Geography and the language teachers are encouraged to focus on the same topics whenever possible.
History will focus on “Europeans in the history of the world” (no P.C. in France as you can see) within five main areas: Europeans in the distribution of the world population, citizenship in Ancient Europe, Medieval Europe, new geographical and cultural horizons in the modern period and the French Revolution and the concept of nation.
We have chosen to work together as regards the first and third themes: ie imigration from Europe and the Middle-Ages. I’ll concentrate on the Jewish immigration from eastern Europe towards the New World while my collegue will deal with immigration from Germany. Concerning Medieval Europe, we’ll study the Jewish communities in England and Germany: where they lived, their cultures, their relationships with their neighbors and their role in the economy of their respective countries.
Is it a curriculum that would appeal to you? What would you rather study?