Do Now: It’s Monday, you’re exhausted. You sheepishly squat on the train and let the world carry you to your eventual destination, an unnamed inner-city school with a generic name and a school code and number. And whether you need coffee or not to wake up, sometimes you need that extra kick in the balls in order to help get your students’ learn on. We here at the ULOT recommend an i-pod mix tailor made to inspire. Here are some suggestions:
1) Jackson 5: ABC–Yes, this timeless classic had us smiling every god-forsaken morning in institute when those buses took us from St. John’s to our school sites. Hearing pre-pubescent Michael sing about simple mathematics made the otherwise unbearable experience feel less like a truck transporting Prisoners to a Japanese POW camp and more like a truck transporting Prisoners to an inner-city school. And in case you’re wondering, yes, there is a difference, albeit a very minute one.
2) Rockpile: Teacher Teacher–I can’t really sugar coat this song because it just downright sucks, but the chorus has a great message:
Teacher, teacher, teach me love, I can`t learn it fast enough
Teacher, teacher, teach me more, I`ve got to learn to love for sure
3) Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’–There should be legislation in place to make it a law that this song should be on every American citizen’s i-pod. If this song doesn’t make you want to stand up on your desk, a la Dead Poet’s Society, then you have no heart or soul and you should probably do us all a favor and drink a nice big cup of anti-freeze.
4) Bruce Hornsby: The Way it is–You can dedicate an entire day’s lesson to the Civil Rights Movement, or you can pop this song–conveniently placed on your i-pod–on in your classroom and you’ve officially made your classroom experience much more interesting. Just don’t dignify the questions about the name of the dude who covered 2pac’s “Changes.”
5) Billy Joel: We Didn’t Start the Fire–It’s not everyday that we history teachers get an entire Global IV Regents Review in a 4 minute song, but Billy Joel managed to do it. Now, if we could just incorporate Piano Man into our ELA exam preparation…