Its a new semester, which means my Government students will begin another round of Project Citizen public policy proposals. It is my absolute favorite project in this class because it is the one that gives students authentic opportunities to bring change to their school, community, and world. This semester is a bit different than the semesters I’ve taught this before, though. We’re going high-tech by digitizing more of the project, adding a digital citizenship component, and talking about the power in branding and social media. I’m thrilled to get rolling!
My name is Shannon White, and I teach Government and Economics to high school seniors in the Indianapolis area. I love my job because in addition to desiring to instill in youth the drive to be active, participatory citizens, I care about social justice and democracy. These courses offer me the perfect platform to talk to my students, soon to be high school graduates, about how to affect change and minimize suffering in their world. I am grateful that I live in a place where people’s voices are powerful tools, but I also recognize that the voice of the people in our country has been weakening over time, especially people of specific demographics. I hope the work I do in the classroom each day is fostering a revival in young people’s voices that will lead to a stronger democracy and happier, healthier world.
In addition to strengthening democracy and increasing social justice, I also value the relationships between schools and communities. It is was gives legitimacy to classroom instruction. As frequently as I can, I try to connect my students to community membersoutside school in addition to inviting community members into our school to foster positive relationships between youth and adults, students and teachers from all professions, and the school system at large and the community in which it sits.
Over the next few weeks, I will post updates on Twitter about how my students are going high-tech with their Project Citizen work, connecting with the community, and changing the world. I invite you to reach out if you are interested in connecting with us. Also, check out my YouTube channel to see Project Citizen presentations from previous semesters. Look for us on Twitter @MsWhiteSocStud, #mswhiteGOVT, & #ProjectCitizen.