Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day!

Crafters would be a perfect guest speaker - they generally have more flexible schedules

Finally, a national holiday after over a month of nada. It's funny how completely 180 Labor Day in the US is from Labour Day in some other countries.

Labor Day in the US:

# marks the end of summer
# the beginning of NFL and college football seasons
# some people find it fashionably unacceptable to wear white past this day
# in general, is a day of rest from labor
# contains lots of parades (am I the only one who finds absolutely no meaning in most holiday parades?)

Labour Day outside of the US:

# demonstrations for better labor laws are held
# some people do get a day off, but they use it to work on other things (see the previous point)

And that's all I know about it so far.

It's nice to think that the US has decent enough labor laws so that the masses don't feel any excruciating need to march with banners that say "Better working conditions for all!" on them. Not that the US is perfect by any means. But I do find it funny that Labor Day isn't really for laboring anything.

What would I do with Labor Day in the classroom? Well, my school district doesn't even start school until after Labor Day so it's a moot point for me right now. But I might end up at a school that starts in July later, so it'll be nice to have something prepared.

I would study, well, labor. Occupations for younger students. Actual labor laws, a la Cesar Chavez and the like, statistics on US labor (i.e. how many people work in this field, etc), and the history of labor are some that come to mind. Lots of math and social studies related lessons here. Perhaps an essay on what students want to be when they grow up and why.

A quick Google search on Labor Day activities for the classroom doesn't really bring up much variety. Most of it is about occupations, and that's a pretty narrow box to me. Not that it isn't a worthy topic.

One of my more impossible ideas is to have a panel of guest speakers come in and talk about their occupations and how they've professionally and personally developed because of (or for) their work. I've never done anything like this myself - finding and asking guest speakers to the school, I mean. It seems like it wouldn't be too difficult, but I foresee much planning and prep work. Not all guest speakers will know what to say when they face a room full of ten-year-olds. Some pre-guest speaker prep for the students might be necessary too.

Well, the work never ceases. Luckily there's still plenty of time.

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