Teaching High School: Week 1

July 2014 sprint phone 092

I started teaching High School to two teens this week. I was so worried it would be very challenging and overwhelming. Perhaps I should have had more confidence considering I’ve done this for four years and I have prior teaching experience with younger children. Still, this was High School I kept telling myself!

As we close up our first week, I’ve already had the Friday meeting with my nephew. I asked him what he thought about this year’s curriculum. He told me he found it much more interesting. he also informed me he was looking forward to French next week!

I decided I would share with you not only his Argumentative paper, but my son’s. They chose two completely difference topics. I’m very proud of both of them. My nephew’s was a very challenging topic for a 15 year old to take on. Not because of his writing skills, which are actually quite good, but in how to word what can usually be a sensitive topic for many. Religion and politics are both such sensitive topics and he chose religion. I admit, it would have been much easier for both of us if he had chosen a topic like my son did. Still, I feel he did very good for his first attempt at an Argumentative paper. Please keep in mind I do not share my nephew’s paper to try and convince anyone what to believe. I am sharing it to show his work. If you comment, please keep them professional and focused on the actual writing style and ability. So, without further ado, here are the two papers.

Putting the “Team” in “Team Fortress 2”
By <Name removed for privacy of a minor>
August 1, 2014

I play quite a few games. My favorite game is “Team Fortress 2”. In this game I have to work with others on my team in order to successfully achieve the current objective. It is also extremely important that team members interact in a positive manner in order to win the match. “Team Fortress 2” can provide a way to learn teamwork skills and mutual respect for others.

One time I was on a team who went off to do their own things. They did not work together at all. The other team however, did not have such a problem. Despite the fact that I warned my team that there was a sentry gun ahead of us, they would rush in blindly and get mowed down. This experience taught me that good communication is quite important.

Many times, I would plan ahead with one or more friends. Usually we easily defeat the opposition and win the round. An example of this is I would choose demoman (demolitions) and my friend would be a spy. I would distract the enemy while he or she would sneak up behind them and backstab them. Also, when we find our path blocked by a sentry gun, my friend would disguise himself as a member of the enemy team, walk in, and sap a disable the sentry gun. Then, I would come around the corner and blow up the sentry and the engineer who built it.

One person I’ve known for years is Lion of Sparta. Lion is a great player, able to sneak up on someone as a spy without getting caught. He can also pull off headshots without missing as a sniper. However, his true merit is that he is a good team player. He listens to whatever other players ask of him, be it to switch to another class so they could play as that class or to protect a specific area against the enemy. Lion is one of the best people I’ve ever played with. Not just because of his skill, but also because he goes out of his way to help his team.

Team Fortress 2 can teach you how to work as a team and have a mutual respect for one another. This applies to real life as well as in a game. Working together as a team and respecting each other will help you achieve your objective, such as constructing a building such as a hotel. If people didn’t work together, they couldn’t accomplish much. How could we have built the Statue of Liberty if the workers went off and did their own things and didn’t respect each other? It is through teamwork that some of mankind’s greatest feats have been accomplished.

It Had to be Jesus
By <Name removed to protect the privacy of a minor>
August 1, 2014

The evidence of sin is all around us. Yet we continue to sin. We can sin due to Ignorance and denial of consequences. Because of this, God needed a way to provide humanity with a way to avoid eternal death. There was only one way. We needed Jesus, the only perfect sacrifice, to be willing to die for us so that God’s justice was satisfied.

We mentioned the ignorance of God’s will as a reason some people sin. Not knowing what God wants from you can easily be leading you to make choices that can harm not only you and others, but your relationship with God. Being ignorant will not save you from eternal death any more then you not knowing your car breaks went bad will prevent you from being in an accident. Ignorance of God’s will is dangerous and can prevent us from realizing our divine potential. Lack of knowledge is not the only reason we needed the sacrifice of Jesus.

Sometimes we sin even after knowing it is against God’s will. We think that somehow, the consequences will not apply to us. This can be similar to ignorance, but denial of the effects of our actions reveals a lack of understanding faith in God’s plan. Learning God’s will and trusting in it can go a long way in helping repair our personal relationship with our father in heaven, but only if we recognize that Jesus provided salvation when he died on the cross. So, why did it have to be Jesus?

Why did he die for us? He died because Jesus and God love all of us the same. Jesus was nailed to the cross, suffered every sickness, and was beaten. He was the only perfect man to ever walk the earth. God himself had to give up his only son so we may be forgiven and have the power to follow in Jesus’s footsteps. There could be no other sacrifice. There is only one, and he served us. So the least we can do is trust in him and strive to be like him.

The only way God’s justice could be satisfied was to sacrifice the only perfect man, Jesus. Not only that, but Jesus had to be willing to die. Ignorance and denial of God’s will, results in eternal death. We must not only accept what Jesus did for us, we also must follow his example. Trusting in Jesus is the only way we can repair our relationship with God, and return to heaven.


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