I love this great political and personal weave by Keith Woods of NPR. It is a worthy read and a better listen.
"Love of country can't be accurately measured by whether someone sits or stands or slouches or sings. It's not that simple." ~Woods, NPR
Today I start my 20th year teaching history. "It's not that simple" will be a constant theme through almost all of our historical studies. Student opinions, perspectives, and emotions will swirl in class discussions on Colin Kaepernick's protest, civil rights history, US foreign policy, immigration, the upcoming POTUS election, work history, abuse/use of the environment, politics, and more.
Social studies is often mislabeled as a soft science. In actuality, social studies is tough because it is not a science. In the study of history, 2 + 2 sometimes does not equal 4. History is a complicated conversation, as I once learned, with seemingly an infinite number of variables and usually lacks definitive conclusions of historical happenings.
History (and the present) is not that simple. That is what I love about social studies.
I'll be using Wood's essay in my opening lesson as a springboard into the messy, complicated, and powerful history of the United States.