Teaching social studies has been an interesting experience. Mind you, I failed almost every history course I took in college, so please don't ask me why that makes me a "highly qualified teacher" in this subject. The logic makes my brain hurt.
This week, I stopped pretending the Diaspora Acrostic Poems I was supposed to grade were invisible and actually took a look at them. Thankfully, Ashley's poem saved me from crying, but not in the way you'd expect...
Let me back up a bit and discuss why these poems might bring me to tears. The differences between Judaism and Christianity elude most middle-school students so I've tried to be very clear about how they're different. Jesus Christ does not figure prominently in Judaism. Drawing a Menorah or a dreidel or the Star of David to represent Judaism is fine. Crucifixes are not. To be fair, only one student ignored this and drew artful crosses all over his work. However, if I see one more Bible or Jesus-fish or Holy Grail, I'm going to scream.
Ashley's poem provided some much-needed levity. The students had to include the four central beliefs of Judaism, including Monotheism (the belief in one God). Ashley's line about Monotheism was "All-powerful and all-knowing single God with Monotheism to prevent one person from having all the power."
The spirit of Billy Mays stirred in my soul...and spoke: "All-Powerful Yahweh! Now with more Monotheism (tm)! Prevents stubborn stains to your history! Be sure to look for quality Yahweh products at your local fine retailer! Remember: it's Yahweh or the highway!"
I need to learn not to grade at the brewery. Snarfing beer up my nose is too painful.