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Global Current Events Club

Erik, Professor, J.D, MS, BS
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,046)
Global Current Events Club for middle school and high school students. Each class is packed with current events, trivia, games, debates, speeches, contests, readings and lots of jokes!

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
1. Independent Reading
Our Weekly Current Events Reading makes reading, writing and learning the news fun and a daily habit for children. Students will read short articles every day. They will always find an interesting topic to read! Students will improve their non-fiction literacy and learn more about the outside world. We also have a second recommended reading but you will have to subscribe to this periodical - "This Week Junior." But subscription is optional.  Please, note during the summer months, the weekly publications are on break.

2. Vocabulary, Geography, Critical Thinking and More! 
Our current events reading have vocabulary lists, activities and assessments. Students can create their own dictionary of unfamiliar words; they can add to their log each day with each edition.

3. Games, Trivia, Contests, Prizes and More!
Each week in class we will have games, trivia and contests on our daily current events readings. And what is a game without Prizes! 

4.  Classroom Debates! 
We will have a short debate on a global debate topic each week. 
I have been teaching current events classes for ten years as a New York City School Teacher and another ten years as a full time debate teacher and director. With degrees in Political Science, Law, Social Studies, and United States History - current events has been my lifelong passion! 

I received my B.A. from U.C Berkeley, Jurist Doctorate from Hastings College of Law, and Masters Degree in Education at Pace University.  In 2002 I was accepted to Teach for America and I have been teaching since. I have been a public school teacher for ten years with the New York City Department of Education and taught speech and debate classes for about ten years with thousands of NYC students. My debaters have gone on to win city, state and national champion titles. I currently serve as Professor at Baruch College in the Communications Studies Department. I teach Debate and Argumentation classes as well as Political Rhetoric. 

As a teacher I helped to co-found the Big Apple Debate League which is now the NY Debate League. In 2011, I founded our city's Debate League with the mission that every middle school and high school should have a debate team. I served as Founder and Executive Director from 2011-2019 building the league into the largest citywide debate league in the nation, serving thousands of students every year.  In 2020, I left the nonprofit world, and I returned to my passion as a full time teacher! 

I have received numerous awards in education including the United States Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers Fellowship, Fund for Teachers Fellowship, Plank Foundation Fellowship, and Teach for America Innovation Award Finalist.

I love teaching. My grandparents, parents and my brother are all educators. There is nothing more fun than sharing your passion with others. 

My philosophy of teaching is learning should be fun and challenging.  I always begin my classes with current events trivia.  My lectures are interactive with movie clips, songs, puzzles and other engaging tools.  We always practice our public speaking and debate skills. All my classes end with a fun and competitive speech and debate practice or tournament.  My mission is all students should have access to speech and debate.

Press. Below are some news articles about me and my debaters! I owe everything to my own debate teacher and coach and so everyday my mission is to support future debaters! 

1. First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Erik and the Great Debaters

2. Bronx debate team one of 12 school groups nationally to get visit with Michelle Obama

3. New York City Teacher Creates After School Debate League Lauded by the White House
Homework Offered
Assessments Offered
We do not have any formal assessments in the class. But students can track their own progress and see their growth through the games, presentations and debates we do in the class. Informal Assessments include: 1. Student Presentations on Current Events 2. Current Events Games and Trivia 3. Student Debates on Global Current Events
Grades Offered
During the school year (it is not available during the summer) I will be sending out a weekly news publication for kids. This is used in thousands of schools nationwide. Students are also recommended to read their own news sources ie CNN10, The Week Junior, or other publications. And please let me know if you would like further recommendations. During class I will also be using news clips from news channels, talk shows, late night comedy news shows such as Saturday Night Live, and other news sources.  So we will be using a wide variety of domestic, international, serious, and silly sources for an hour jam packed with current events! 
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
We will be discussing current events ranging from environmental issues to human rights to politics. Some of these issues will be controversial in areas of politics, wars, discrimination and prejudice (sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia). So students and families should be aware and prepared for mature content and mature issues. 

Comedy! If not comfortable with Comedy Shows this is not the class for you! We will be using lots of mature comedy content from such shows as Saturday Night Live and other late night and daytime comedy shows! My goal is to engage students in current events and build a lifetime commitment to current events by making it fun, humorous and to share good laugh. Smiling and laughing while learning is my goal! 

I understand that current events can be controversial. I have been teaching debate for about twenty years, I was a debater for another ten years, and I have founded and directed the largest debate league in the nation! So I have substantial experience in speaking and debating on issues of controversy. My rule of thumb and one of the first things I say in class and our number one rule: RESPECT - we respect all viewpoints, politics and perspectives. As a teacher I am not focused on what the politics of students are but focused on HOW students express their opinions - public speaking skills, writing skills, reading skills, presentation skills, debate skills and social skills of respect towards all others. Additionally, for any issues of controversy we always discuss other viewpoints and arguments so that students learn and respect different perspectives.

External Resources Statement: We will be using a variety of classroom tools, readings, links and other external resources. Please review the Materials section before signing up for this class.  These resources are optional. No accounts have to be created. All these resources are free.  All these resources have been vetted and used widely by students, schools and teacher. But I do recommend that students read, listen or watch some sort of news and current events for the class. 
(1) Students will receive a free weekly current events magazine subscription from September-June and during summer months we have several online websites we will use. 

(2) We will also be using "This Week Junior" for several of our activities. While recommended, a subscription is not required. 
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,046)
Hi Everyone!  I have been involved in speech and debate as a student and educator my entire life.  I learned more on my Speech and Debate Club than all my high school, college and law school classes combined. I joined the Speech and Debate Team at... 
Group Class


1x per week
55 min

Live video meetings
Ages: 10-15
10-18 learners per class

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