Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrating Students

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118 students. 5 preps.

This has been the smoothest, happiest start to a school year I can remember. I think I've said that before. But I come home every day loving my students more than I did the day before.

It helps I've had most of them in class before. We all know what to expect. They know I expect them to work hard, to think hard, to take charge. I know that they are kids and that won't always happen.

We adjust.

And when you love them, they love you back. And how can your day not be better when you receive all that love?

It's not that there aren't negative things going on. There are. Some personal. Some professional. Some both.

I'm choosing to ignore the negative. Choosing to focus on my kids and the community we are creating.  It's a safe, comfortable place. A place where kids can come and honestly say, "I don't get it." And no one will ridicule them. Or tell them to read it again. Or ignore them.


We are reading Fahrenheit 451 in College Prep Lit. I chose it because I wanted them to think, to question, to have opinions. I wanted them to have a say in their education. My big question for this class, one I have written on our writing graffiti wall is, "Why do we need the things in books?" Yesterday's class discussion was one of the best I've ever had in a classroom with students because they did all of that. And they were honest about things they want and need from a teacher. We talked about making mistakes, about why kids don't want to participate in some classes and why they all have something to say in others. They explained why they hate most lectures, but love the ones from a certain teacher (he connects everything to the world they know).

That conversation affected everyone of my student interactions the rest of the day.

I hope it affects evert interaction the rest of the year.

7 comments:

  1. "When you love them, they love you back." As a teacher who is spending her second year with the same group, I couldn't agree more. Even when frustration kicks in, the giggles and smiles and "good mornings" and "have a great days" mean so much because you know that they are genuinely wishing you well. You've made an impact on them, and they are passing on the love. Wonderful :) Hope you have a fantastic year!

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  2. I know that your students must love you as you love them, Deb. It always, always sounds like you 'get it', that to connect, you need to listen, and then respond to what they share. I'm so happy that it's been a wonderful start to your year-nothing makes a teacher smile so big!

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  3. I am sure you can see my smile from there. The joy of learning shouts out and may many more great discussions follow. I am in a struggling period so it is encouraging to read you are focusing on what is most important. A good model for me to follow. Thank you.

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  4. Wow, awesome! So glad you are having a fabulous start to the year and seeing the impact with your students. YAY!

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  5. "I don't get it" are words that have led to the most powerful and memorable discussions I've ever had in a classroom. Love reading about your classroom and your students!

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  6. I am glad that your positive start of the year continues. Let it grow and enjoy. Your openness to your students together with the high expectations pushes them to learn. My favorite line: "And when you love them, they love you back."

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  7. My favorite words - "I'm choosing to ignore the negative." I find that Saturday posts encourage me to focus on the positive every week. I love hearing about your classroom and students.

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