Recently, the great Commonwealth of Virginia has decided to make some serious changes to their licensure requirements that directly impact me as a teacher. Okay, this is actually not new news, because I feel like changes come about on a yearly basis from the Commonwealth. This change more precisely impacts me as a government teacher: I have to show the state that I fully grasp the complexities that make up what is Virginia government. You know what? Good for them. Maybe I should. After all, I was born and raised in Ohio... Virginia's rival for the claim to home to the most Presidents. (A hotly contested debate, no doubt. Oh, who would have guessed that William Henry Harrison would complicate this debate.)
So, when my employer asked me if I wanted to go on an excursion to learn more about my adopted home, I immediately took up the charge. FIELD TRIP! Let's learn more about the western hemisphere's oldest legislature in continuous operation! (est 1619) Let's learn more about one of the first bicameral legislatures in the new world (The House of Burgesses, circa 1643 thanks to Sir William Blakeley), or how the radical actions of George Mason moved to separate the powers of each branch by removing the governor from the judicial branch AND the legislature, thereby establishing the Senate. So, great... Massachusetts can keep the claim to the oldest Constitution in the world (1780), it's not the oldest settlement thanks to Jamestown. Maryland can keep the oldest state capitol, Virginia is not far behind. And, besides... scenes from the movie Lincoln were shot there. It's just that cool.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan