Hey, friends! Sorry I missed my drop last night. I was planning for the week, and my wife and I watched First Man. It was long…well, it felt that way. OK film. The sound is sick, and there are some cool lighting effects, but the story lacked a bit. I really struggled to see Armstrong’s motivation in the process.
For my teachers out there, my main focus is today is two-fold: a reminder that it is OK to be friends with your students, and don’t forget to inspire your kids with enrichment readings/activities.
-It’s OK to be friends with your students
I saw a Tweet this weekend that reminded teachers to be kind and loving but to remember that we are not their (students) friends. I don’t know about you, but the longer I’m in this profession, the more I see the benefit of being friends with my students. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not grabbing lunch on the weekends or going to the mall to shop for some new Js on a Tuesday night, but if we bond over chatting about Call of Duty or hang for a few minutes after class to chat about their job, a Netflix show, or a graphic novel…that’s cool.
We respect our friends. We help our friends. We go to war with our friends. We mentor our friends. We have to show tough love at times, to our friends, but it’s to help them.
I want those peeps in my classroom. I want to create an environment where I don’t have to be afraid to be myself and vulnerable. I still talk to a ton of graduates. I’m happy they see me as a friend and mentor.
Yes, you need boundaries, but friend is not an “F-Word.”
-Use Dat Enrichment!
We have been back in school for 5 days, and in my graphic novel class of 32 students, I’ve already had 26 check out a graphic novel from me, just for fun. No assignments attached. No mandatory discussions. Just enrichment. Out of those 26, 18 have already came back for at least one more book.
People have asked me how I did it. Well, I book-talked about 50 titles (most my favs from the past two-years) and let them read. I gave them two-days in class, and the rest was read outside of class (a lot of it read in other classes, but that’s not my problem…hehe…).
What I’m doing with this first week of enrichment is building a trust with my kids, letting them know that I know my shit about comics and graphic novels by book-talking everything under the sun, and allowing them to figure out their particular tastes.
We kick-off our first classroom book this week, and it’s my hope that when we get into it, they trust my guidance and experience. And they have titles to compare this first class book. Oh! to tie it to the first point…we love book recommendations from our friends!