Learn more about the skits taking place @Caliber:Beta Academy's 7th grade Social Studies class!
All about Yudy Morales: 7th grade Social Studies Teacher
"I am the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants that settled in Southern California, where I grew up. History was not something I enjoyed in high school because it was very boring and taught in a rote method that was not meant to encourage discourse or personal connection. I developed a more critical understanding of history when I began studying Chicanx/Latinx History at the University of California, Irvine. Learning this history was difficult and at times felt almost traumatic after years of being taught institutionally perpetuated historical lies that have lasting impact on people of color in this country. It was there that I realized that I wanted to be a part of reimagining what educating young Americans should look like. I moved to the Bay Area in 2017 after graduating and experimenting with substitute teaching to begin my career as a middle school teacher here at Caliber:Beta Academy- and the rest is… history!"
A recent interview with Yudy:
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher @Caliber: Beta Academy?
“ My favorite thing being a teacher here is the amount of freedom and autonomy that I am given. The history I teach is culturally responsive and fun, I can talk about the political issues in this current climate and relate it to historical issues. It’s also fun to get to work with students in this age group, middle school is a very formative time and it’s exciting to be a part of their journey and help them understand the world around them.”
Tell me more about the skits in your social studies class?
“Students asked for them - this happened when we dived into primary research studies. I think the best way to teach is to see yourself as a part of it. The role plays started out with our last unit that dealt with creating a government and holding government around them, My coach and I brainstormed the skits idea so that students can engage in debates. These skits also show how history impacts them and they get to learn this in a creative way!”
Who are the skits created by?
“Students completely write their own scripts, I give them the role that they will play, but they are the ones that come up with the character dialogue all on their own. Something I’m proud of is that students took it and did so well with it. Their interpretation of people in history really brought out beautiful ideas that if taught another way, it wouldn’t be the same. We are able to relate to marginalized characters in a genuine way, while also maintaining dialogue about difficult historical truths.
How did you incorporate the skits into your history lessons?
It was something that me and my coach came up with during one of our one on one coaching sessions! We looked at different resources and how we could change these to make them more accessible to students at our school. Also, utilizing students lives or schema and use these to interpret history.
If you can relate this to one of our pillars, which would it be?
“It definitely relates to THINK- it requires students to critically think about different people that existed at a particular time and how they would have experienced historical events. The skits requires a lot of critical thought, especially while looking at how historical issues or events impacts day to day people.