An outstretched hand

I’m not from around here. I grew up in NE Ohio, in a very diverse and liberal college town. Needless to say, I struggle to understand the animosity between our two high schools. You see, although our district serves around 3500 students, we have two high schools. If that doesn’t give you a clear picture, my school has around 700 students, and the other high school serves around 400. And the two schools don’t get along.

It’s not super clear to an outsider that the two high schools see each other as rivals unless you go to a sporting event where the two high schools play each other.  All of sudden, it’s a sea of gold and brown (our lovely school colors) versus red and blue (theirs.) To hear the students talk, my school is a hotbed of loose morals and wild behavior, since we’re “in the city,” and the other school is full of farmers with mud and cow manure on their cowboy boots.

Anyway, when I started teaching American Literature this fall, I knew I wanted to read The Crucible by Arthur Miller after we finished discussing The Scarlet Letter, their summer reading assignment. But when I asked the librarian if I could borrow the classroom set of plays, she informed me that a teacher in the other building had already requested it. Later, I found out we had the play in our textbook, so we read it anyway.  But in the meantime, I emailed the other teacher, to say that I had some play materials and see if she wanted to collaborate. To my pleasure, the other teacher, who is new to district, was excited to Google Hangout with me after school one day. We happily exchanged ideas and assignments, and talked about the idea of our students getting together and maybe performing the play.

After LOTS of wrangling between the two principals, we have our play coming up. The students will perform the play for each other, with volunteer actors. I’m a little nervous. Will they be polite to each other? Will it go well, or will it be a disaster? The kids are excited, though.

What do you think will happen this Friday?

Photo attributed to (note: this photo represents “school spirit”)

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