History teacher electrifies Bill of Rights

Kristi Gange, Features Editor

Students file into Ed McNamee’s classroom like any other day in U.S. Government. While they’re finding their seats, McNamee takes a minute to warn the teachers who surround his room that they may hear screaming. At that point he saunters back to his students who have already heard the rumors. He is sporting an “indoctrinator coat and constitution hat.”

It’s Constitution Time.

“I knew I’d have to prepare myself for a crazy day in government,” senior Nikki Brennan said.

Like Brennan, seniors who take McNamee’s U.S. government class are in for a treat when their books reach the chapter that contains the Bill of Rights. McNamee, who has been performing his Constitution song for six years, teaches his students rhymes in order to help them memorize the first 10 Amendments.

“The song is very basic,” Brennan said. “But it’s the nomadic devices McNamee uses that really help you remember when you’re learning things like the Bill of Rights.”

While the song may be unconventional, Brennan said it really benefited her when it came to memorizing the Constitution.

“I think McNamee is crazy, but his tactics work,” she said. “I have friends who have hard times passing history classes because they’re so boring, but with McNamee they’ve passed with flying colors.”

McNamee acquired the idea for his song while at a conference in Wyoming in 2005. He said he met a teacher from Utah who used something similar and he took the idea and dressed it up to make it match his personality.

“I like to have fun,” McNamee said. “It puts people in a different state of mind and it breaks down barriers.”

“It’s incredible,” Brennan said.