The day after the long weekend usually leaves me weary and not to excited for work. However, I was actually pretty pumped to see my students today. Friday went fairly well, and today admin was welcoming new staff with Chinese for lunch. My students did not disappoint with their introduction artifacts. I have students who have gone bungee jumping, played in a rock band that promotes an ANTI-drug message, carved swords, and been to places that I never even heard of at their age. I believe that it is not just important for me to know my students better, but they should know each other better. We talk a lot about preventing harassment by reporting this or that, but many of us don’t do anything preventative like allowing students to get to know each other. I’m sure that some kids would find it easier to ridicule or make comments about someone they don’t know, but would they find it so easy to act like a jerk to someone who had revealed a vulnerable or significant moment from his/her life. Having the courage to be authentic and real makes an impact on someone, and even teenagers take that to heart.
My other class was also great today during the intro to our non-fiction unit. We were looking at the difference between fame and greatness. There were some great opinions about why even infamous dictators deserve place in history, and why that infamy is important in allowing us to move forward and change. I had been a little leery about whether or not to talk about 9/11 with them this week, but my students continue to surprise me. I thought that there would be too much controversial talk about conspiracies and racist agendas, but maybe a reflection can still take place later in the week with them. It’d be silly to waste a moment like this in time. I enjoy letting a conservation help shape a lesson with my students. Allowing feelings and opinions to be crafted into well thought constructions through expanding their ability to use what they learn in language arts. My first few days in the classroom have been thought-provoking and surprising in positive ways.