Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Considering Appearances

Today, I made my students question their intelligence... and I laughed about it until I almost cried.

Whole story:

My 10th grade classes have been doing a unit about identity. One of my goals for this year is to do more activities that use the different styles of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc). Kinesthetic (learning through touching and moving) is probably the hardest one for me to include in my lessons because it's so opposite of how I learn. But, for today's lesson I had the bright idea of having them use playdoh to create a symbol to represent themselves. I wasn't really sure how it would work out, but they loved it and it met all of the learning objectives perfectly.

Now, one tiny bit of background information. My classes are unusually small. This is the one advantage I have this year. My biggest class is about 32 kids and my smallest is about 15. The others are all around 20-25.

Okay, so tiny little class of about 15 tenth graders are happily sculpting their symbols while listening to The Nightmare Before Christmas and all is well. Then, these two guys come in looking for the teacher I share my classroom with. Seeing he isn't there, they begin to leave, but one of them pauses, leans over to a girl and says quietly, "I didn't know you were in a resource class."

She replies (rather loudly), "This isn't a resource class!" Hearing this the other students get this sort of confused and sad look on their face as they look around at the tiny class and then look down at their playdoh.

At first I felt terrible and assumed that I was just a horrible, horrible teacher that made them do silly things. They assured me that our class was fine (and they in fact really like it... but... they had always wondered why the class was so small. Then, they were asking me (as they pat and mold their playdoh creations) if it really was a resource class and the school just had some sort of agreement with their parents so they wouldn't find out. That's when I laughed so hard I almost cried. They laughed too.

*side note: you should read this post by my wonderful friend Lauren. It's the whole story I never told you because I was busy being vague.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minor Difficulties

Last Friday, Mike and I went to the ballroom dance social at the high school. It was a lot of fun. A bunch of my students are on the team, and actually were in charge teaching the dances to the public. Which was great, except for how every time we'd start to get tired and think about sitting down for a song a new student would pop up and offer to teach us a new dance. They were so cute and enthusiastic that there was really no way to turn them down. Mike is a great dancer, and I didn't harm myself or anyone else, so I count that as a success.

Funniest/most awkward part of the evening had to do with some mistakes being made about my age. Basically, I get mistaken for a high school student at least once a day, and it doesn't really bother me all that much. But, it gets really uncomfortable when a student mistakes you for a student... and asks you to dance. Yep. That happened. I just smiled and explained that I was just going to dance with my fiancé. He looked a little weirded out too.