What a boring topic! You can stop right here, and I won't even bat an eyelid. Except that this is "The Gods Are Bored," and we like to poke stupid things with sharp objects.
Education in America is quickly becoming "one size fits all," and the sizing is coming from a new national curriculum. The new curriculum for Language Arts (aka English) includes reading history texts like the Gettysburg Address. But this national standard stuff goes farther. It aims to use Language Arts class to analyze historical documents over the entire period of American history ... or, at least up to the Civil Rights Era.
Someone, somewhere concluded that since people don't read novels in their jobs, they shouldn't waste time reading them in school. And forget poetry. Poetry? Ha! A Shakespeare play here or there should do it. More important to read "seminal historical documents, e.g. George Washington's Farewell Address."
Okay, so I just tried to read Georgie's farewell address, and it was duller than the dirtiest dirt on the bottom of a honeydipper's boot. Calling it boring just doesn't suffice. I love to read, and I couldn't get past Page 1. Heck, Page 1 and Paragraph 1 are pretty much one and the same, and I couldn't finish either.
This same national curriculum lists Little Women as a "recommended" novel. If you have time to read a novel, that is. Gotta cover those seminal American documents!
The good news is that when the administrators come to evaluate me, they won't have to look for "student engagement," because I'll be so bored that I'll be the one with my head down, asleep in class.
News flash: I will never teach George Washington's Farewell Address. And I would rather be hoisted on my own petard (whatever that means) than teach Little Women. Boredom between bookends!
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I'd say America's students just got a thick new shot of asphalt.