9 Lessons from Hamilton I Bring to My Classroom

I saw the play last summer and I, like everyone else who has seen it, was overwhelmed. Of all the levels you can attach yourself to: the music, the words, the story, they all serve the themes of the play. Since I listen to the soundtrack constantly, I realized that I apply some of the themes in my classroom. Here are the major themes of the play with the quotes that encapsulate them.

I’m trying to be a better teacher because someone told this story. Thanks, Lin-Manuel.

The three themes that resonated with me are

  • Legacy
  • Taking Action
  • Honor

When I listen to the specific lines, it makes me reflect on my work. Here are the top nine.

Legacy

  • ‘I’m not throwing away my shot.’ -Hamilton
    I only have my students for one year, they move on from me in June. That gives me 10 months to make an impression on them that could last a lifetime. I can’t waste one day of my time with them.
  • ‘History has its eyes on you.’ -Washington
    I remember a handful of the teachers that made a difference to me throughout my education. Will I be that teacher to some of my students? I can only try.
  • ‘It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see -Hamilton
    I’m teaching my students to be responsible, productive members of society. I’m giving them the tools to be successful, but I don’t know if it will work. I see tremendous growth from September to June, so I’m optimistic.

Taking Action

  • ‘Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.’ -Eliza
    I teach technology to kids who love technology: how lucky am I? I get to learn right along with my students about the latest and most effective tools that I can use in my classroom. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we’re just playing or learning. Sometimes both.
  • ‘Pick up a pen, start writing.’ -Hamilton
    Hamilton changed his destiny and the destiny of a country through his writing. How will my students’ writing improve the world? I encourage them to use their voice, and I share with them my blog to model how I use mine.
  • ‘Work.’ -Skylar Sisters
    I show up everyday to do my best. I ask my students to do the same. We may not always be our best, but we try again the next day.

Honor

  • ‘We’ll give the world to you and you’ll blow us all away.’-Burr
    So much about education is changing, we are barely able to equip them for their future since so much is unknown. They will exceed all our expectations because we can’t imagine what tomorrow will bring.
  • ‘Raise a glass to Freedom. Something they can never take away.’ -Laurens
    You know what else they can never take away? An education.
  • ‘And there’s a million things I haven’t done. But just you wait, just you wait.’ -Hamilton
    My students will someday take on the world. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.
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