October 14, 2004

938 Years Ago Today

There aren't many positives about teaching, but one thing I never imagined was that I would be teaching about the Battle of Hastings on the anniversary thereof.

It was in the Battle of Hastings and the life of William the Conqueror generally that I found my love for history. I was a year younger than the kids to whom I'm teaching it now. I discovered it by a combination of learning about my own genealogy and picking out a book in the school library at Madison Elementary. From that time I became a budding historian.

I'm sure that I will not be able to convey my excitement to today's group. I don't think I have done so to the three other groups of Year 7s so far. I wish I could. I wish I could light the fire.

That they only get half as much history as they do English, Maths, or Science does not send the message that it is a particularly important subject. That they got even less of it at primary school didn't set a good foundation. No, everything is English, Maths, and Science. That's the Government's holy trinity of education.

So, they can communicate and calculate. Big deal. They have no idea who they are. Science tries to answer that question by telling them they are really smart monkeys. But honestly, you saw most of the kids in a secondary school, you would be convinced of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. No, the only way they can know who they are is by learning and knowing history. They are both the products of it and the source of it for succeeding (or failing) generations.

This is just one more reason the future looks as grim as when Harold looked up and saw that Norman arrow falling out of the sky.

Posted by david at October 14, 2004 01:21 AM | TrackBack

I have some friends that went to the UK to participate in the big Hastings reenactment. I saw photos on the web. It was pretty amazing.

Posted by: JustinM at October 17, 2004 04:56 PM

I wish I could see a Hastings reenactment! I haven't been to the battlefield in over 12 years.

Posted by: Dave at October 17, 2004 05:39 PM