Friday, April 3, 2015

Sometimes, You Have to Go Old School

... A Story of BALANCE

Combine Creative Writing with

"Slacker" Students---

  • It's easy to sit back and say, "I'll work on it tomorrow", and then sit back and watch videos on your computer. But you don't do it tomorrow either.


  • The millionth email from the principal about passing classes by Tuesday or you can't attend.

and Digital Storytelling---
  • "Mrs. Day, I don't even know how to start"  "What do you mean we need an outline?" "How do I write an outline?"
When these three things converge, you have some panic setting in. Never mind that I have set up a day by day calendar for my class, so they all know what they should be working on. Never mind that we talk every day at the beginning of class what they should be working on. Never mind that I offer to sit and work with anyone having troubles every day. 

Never mind. Until the last day before a four day weekend. 

"Why can't we have until midterm? Passing by Tuesday is just stupid. I will be passing everything by midterm (the day before prom). I have a plan."

"Passing by Tuesday means your date still has almost two weeks to find a new date..."

He doesn't see much humor in my statement.

"Come over here and I will help you. I'm going to let you write on my desk."


He  drags himself from the comfort of the couch to the pod of desks where I am sitting. 

I know this student and I know where his passions lie. All the work I do at the beginning of classes to learn about students pays off in this conversation. He might be a slacker student, but he is a hard working farm kid, who wants nothing more than to be on the farm working all day.

So that's where we start.

"Why do you like to farm?  Explain it to me."

And I start writing what he says on the desks.

"Now you've got three main ideas. You sit here and explain these to me."
And he does

And before you know it, he has filled up the desk with his ideas. He has a plan. I email him this picture and he moves back to the spot on the couch and begins writing a script and thinking about his visuals. 

Because sometimes, even when you are 1 to 1, you have to go old school....


  1. You are a 1 to 1 teacher in so many ways, Deb! You know each and every kid you come across--and not just the ones that are lucky enough to make it into your classroom. I love this moment and I love that you captured it in photos.

  2. I love this peek into your classroom! It is all about relationships and meeting the student where they are today. Just beautiful -- the story and your words!

  3. Awesome stuff, Deb! You do really know your kids!

  4. Love it! So so true. I find that I have to go old school quite a bit some days.