At Nova High School in Davie, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is proving an urgent, engaging lesson for the eleventh- and twelfth-graders in Richard Judd’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics class.
"A lot of them are just starting to form their own political awareness," Judd said. "So being able to bring in what's happening helps illuminate their own little discoveries as they're learning about the world around them."
Judd has been a teacher for 20 years. Whether it's a court case, or an action by the Supreme Court, he's passionate about bringing current events into his classroom to help bring the pages of his students' textbooks to life.
Trump is only the third president to be impeached in U.S. history. And teachers like Judd are using this rare moment to start new conversations in their classrooms. So far with impeachment, Judd's been going over print articles with students, and they've watched parts of the proceedings in class.
"There's definitely curiosity – there's not a lot of ambivalence about it," he said.
Judd said he always tries to keep his own political leanings out of the curriculum. He thinks it's cool to see students connect something they are learning in class – like the Federalist Papers, or the U.S. Constitution – to what they see on the news.
They've got a lot of questions for him.
"They ask things like, 'how come the senate can just make up their own rules on that?' … 'what's happening?'" Judd said. "Again, everything we always do starts with the constitution, so we'll go into the constitution and show 'em."
Are you a teacher in South Florida incorporating the impeachment trial into your curriculum? WLRN wants to hear from you. Let us know what you're doing in the classroom by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org