Morning, all. Experienced some technical difficulty this morning, and I am getting to it late, so it will be short. Sorry.
Yesterday, for our Journey Journal entries, I asked the kids to identify a “truth” that they had discovered about school/learning so far this year. It was not limited to my class. Here are some of their truths.
- “I work for the teachers I like. I don’t work for the teachers I don’t.”
- “Teachers and students see things differently.”
- “I think the teachers here at CHS care about learning, but it seems parents and administrators only care about grades.”
- “Things we were never taught show up on tests.”
- “Like anything, we get out of it what we put into it.”
- “Teachers seem to forget that we have six classes a day, and we have lots of other things going on outside of school, too.”
- “It’s a lot of work.”
- “Learning isn’t about grades.”
- “School does not alone define me.”
As always, I appreciate my kids’ candor. I only got a limited sampling of responses because we ran out of time, but I am curious about the other truths that weren’t shared. And while “truth” is perhaps subjective, there is at least a ring of truth in the kids’ words. Kids know.
On a related note, I often tout Smiles and Frowns as the best part of my day, and as such, it was included in one of the truths I have discovered this year. Truth: kids already have voices they just need a chance to share them. That is why I do Smiles and Frowns. I told the kids, “Smiles and Frowns is the best decision I have ever made as a teacher.” It remains somewhat of a surprise to them that this is the first year I have done it. It’s become such a natural part of our culture; they just assume that I have always done it. But, till now, I only did it occasionally, and this year, I fully committed to doing it each day, no matter what. It’s a non-negotiable. And from where I stand, it will always remain a priority. One cool thing that’s begun to happen is that absent kids are texting in their Smiles and Frowns. Even when they are gone, they want to share their voices. And, as important, we want to hear them. And that’s the truth.
Along today’s trail we will…
...begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…read Night or work on Passion Papers.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Tuesday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.