When I was in 9th grade, I had the opportunity to take the best class — Civics. It was team taught and all about the American Government. I learned a lot and over the past two weeks have realized that our leaders of today and our citizens could benefit from this class.
We the students were taught by two amazing men who also coached. They let us do everything that you normally just read about. So, it stuck with all of us. Anyone who took this course learned so much and was, I think, the better for it.
In our Civics community, we first were immigrants to the United States. We wrote about ourselves and had to go through Citizenship class. We came to the class with new eyes and respect for this amazing country with so many freedoms.
We then chose jobs, discussed and filled out tax returns, and decided how much we earned from our job. If we had a family, we had to take care of a raw egg and treat it as a child. We learned about the taxes that are paid before you get your salary and how the IRS works.
We also held a Presidential election, had a convention or two (I don’t remember), and voted for our candidate. Thankfully there wasn’t too much mud being slung around. At least I don’t remember it. Then the swearing-in.
We learned that there are three branches of government since our founding fathers didn’t want a king or queen in charge of the new world This is what is great and unique to America. We have the executive branch (the President), the legislative branch (Congress), and the judicial branch (the Supreme Court).
All three have specific roles and compliment each other. At least they are supposed to. The President is not in charge of everything and cannot change everything. We have checks and balances in place so one person cannot control it all. I for one am thankful for that and hope it never changes. I just wish that our current leadership realized this fact.
I don’t remember how we studied the legislative branch but seems that we wrote laws and discussed and debated them. We also had to argue a case before our Supreme Court. Some argued for what they believed in and others argued for things that they didn’t. It was a great learning tool to learn about something that was different from our own belief and to discover that there is merit in another side of an argument.
We also had a court case with eye witnesses. What was amazing was that many people recalled different facts about the crime, as often happens in real life. This is often hard to work with for those in the courts and those working to convict criminals. As I wrote about last week, it is our own unique perspective that is part of what we see and pay attention to.
This class meant the world to me since we were right in there doing things as adults do them in the real world. I only wish now that our adults would take their rolls and positions seriously and realize how important our country is. Our freedoms are amazing and so special and not to be removed.
I wonder how much of what I learned in Civics class will continue to be how our country operates. I hope and pray that it all will. And, I will do my part to ensure that it continues on as it should for our son and his generation. I will vote, I will write, I will discern and I will think about what is being said and done. I hope that you will do the same.