Tuesday, February 03, 2015

What I Love About Teaching

I have some unexpected time to reflect this morning since Cash was up most of the night hacking away, so we decided to get him in to the doctor today.

As I sit down to do some writing (and reflecting) this morning, it occurred to me just how much I love teaching.

Here is a brief list why -

When I got up early - 4:22 exactly - to get Cash a drink of water as he woke up crying that his throat was dry, I decided that since I was up - and would have to make him a doctor's appointment - that I might as well just stay up and get my sub notes ready and all that good stuff.

Naturally - I am part millennial, after all - I grabbed my phone and saw one text message from a College Comp I student sent at 10:35.  She was asking about the need for a cover page for her first theme, due today.

I took a chance and sent a reply, hoping she wouldn't wake up at 4:22.

Thankfully, she didn't.  However at 7:07 she did send me this -


This is for certain (and it's something I am thankful for every day): my students are amazing.  They are passionate about learning and (relatively) eager to try new things.  For that I am grateful.

That inquiry prompted me to post this tweet:

Then as I sat down to devise my lesson plans for the day (they were planned out over the weekend, but since there will be a sub in today, that changes everything), as sent out a Google Doc to my College Comp II students with their assignment for today.  

As I was figuring out what to have them do, I clicked on the Google Doc I shared with them yesterday as an assignment, and what did I see in the upper right hand corner?  As soon as I opened the Doc, a student's icon appeared.  Here he was up early working on the assignment.  Wow!

Another thing I love about teaching is Sno-fest week.  I will take some heat from my juniors and seniors for this, but the sophomore class (who actually won Sno-fest last year as freshmen) has the most amazing school spirit I have ever seen in 18 years at LHS!

For Sno-fest each class is designated a hallway to decorate for a specific theme related to Sno-fest.  The sophomores were given Jurassic Park.  And their hallway, which happens to run by the media center, is absolutely amazing.  I meant to snap some pictures yesterday, but I forgot.  I'll have to do it when I get back to school.  It is the coolest thing I've seen in a long, long while.

I love our core values at LHS.

They are below -

These inspired me to try and create student generated core values for CC 1.  So far - what the students came up with - has blown me away.  I can't wait to blog about them when we finally get them hammered out.

As I look at LHS' five core values, I keep rotating which one I like best.

I love #1 and #4.  They speak most deeply to who I am as a teacher.

But the more I think about them, the more #2 is starting to creep to the front of the pack.

One great example of this is the encouragement we get from the top - I recall Mr. Zutz encouraging us to try new things, even if they fail.  In other words, don't fear trying something new.  Furthermore, Mr. Zutz encourages us to not only fail but to do so in front of our students.  Why?  Because it does a couple important things - One, it shows allows our students to see us as vulnerable.  (If you haven't seen or read anything by Brene Brown and her work on vulnerability, check this out. It's amazing).  Two it shows our students how we recover from our failures. In other words, we're actually modeling so many of the real world strategies we want to impart to our students that don't really even get taught in class (they do get taught in extra curriculars and athletics though).

I love that I have students who are willing to think outside of the box and come up with amazing work, such as these 

The sign two students decided to spice up (they determined my original sign, "College Comp 2 Linchpin Final Projects" was, rightfully so, too lame) to show off our final Linchpin boards.

The actual Linchpin boards themselves -

Some amazing samples of the multi-genre literary research papers from College Comp 1.

These students illustrate why this is my bumper sticker - It's true!!!

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