Can’t do it without kids. Beyond the obvious that the job requires students to fill the seats, rests the notion that without kids to recharge our batteries every day with their indefatigable energy and dauntless spirits, we could not sustain that which is necessary to do the job. And so, I look to my kids every day to give me the hope and energy I need to meet the challenges of this unparalleled profession. And some days, I make a very intentional, necessary effort to draw deeply from their power reserves, for I need it. And that comes in the form of Community Circle.
With the desks pushed to the wall and the seats arranged in a large circle around the room, we sit and talk for the period. I present a prompt or question and we go around the circle as each has an opportunity to respond. Of course, the kids always have the option to pass. No one is ever forced to share. The questions are both fun and serious. The goal is to have an opportunity to learn about our community. I learn about the kids. The kids learn about each other. And the kids learn about me. We laugh. We disagree. We find commonality. We discover differences. We empathize. And sometimes we cry.
Here are some of the questions/prompts we explored yesterday.
- Share a nickname.
- What do you wish parents better understood?
- What do you wish teachers better understood?
- If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what advice would you give?
- When’s the last time you cried?
- What traits do you look for in a friend?
- Finish the statement, “We cannot be friends if…”
- Name a song that would be in your all-time top-five playlist.
Learned a lot yesterday. No, we didn’t advance academically, and yes some of my colleagues believe I wasted a day, but they’ve been telling me that for years, and yet I continue to waste time with my kids, impudently committing malpractice. Someday I will be a better teacher. ‘Til then I’ll ramble along the rebel road. But I’ll make a deal. I’ll quit when the kids no longer follow. Cross my rebel heart.
Happy Friday, all.