Five days on the road and we hoped to make it home Friday night.
Air conditioning on the bus failed, and then the vacuum system failed and we lost the ability to close the door, and we started to lose brakes. Fortunately, we were within sight of Dallas when things really came to smash.
So our Teachers Tour of Presidential Libraries came to an interesting end last night. More good fortune — the bus stalled out in the parking lot of a gas station with a Dickey’s Barbecue attached. Ross Perot is right, at least about this: Dickey’s food is worth the stop.
Other stops along the way provided nutrition for our minds, and for our classroom preparation. Education experts at the 13 National Archives-related Presidential Libraries work together, and work separately, to create classroom friendly and classroom ready materials. Beyond the museums, we were looking for history to use in our classes. We got a lot of pointers to documents our students can use in class to learn history and how to write it.
This is the second year of this particular Teaching American History grant, from the U.S. Department of Education to the Dallas Independent School District. It’s important that you know that, because Republicans in Congress propose to cut this program out. This is one of the few programs I think has value way beyond the dollars spent on it. TAH may become just one more victim of the conservatives’ War on Education.
I hope to post more about what we learned.
We toured the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, the Audie Murphy and American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
It was a rowdy group of teachers, of course, and we closed down every bookstore we found along the way. The bus driver hopes never again to hear a single verse of “99 Student Essays to Grade on the Desk.”
How’s your summer been so far?