(Not Very) Quick Takes

Friday, January 16, 2015

1.
The upper grades took a field trip to the Dallas Holocaust Museum on Wednesday. It's a hard place to go, and I always struggle to keep it together there, but I was SO proud of all of our students. They weren't just superficially respectful and attentive, they were for the most part deeply upset by what they saw and heard. That shows empathy and imagination, sensitivity and introspection. It's so easy for teenagers to be desensitized and callous, I think, and battling that has been a huge undertaking. So this was encouraging. Their writing homework for the weekend is a reflection paper on the field trip (can't WAIT to read!) and where assigning and explaining homework usually takes up five or so minutes of class time, we spent most of each class yesterday on it because going over the reflection prompts kept sparking the most wonderful conversations, which I was not about to extinguish!

2.
No photography was allowed in the museum, but I have an incredible mental picture of thirty or so of our students all standing silently together at one of the concentration camp exhibits, listening to the handheld audio things, trying not to cry. These are the only actual pictures I have from the trip...

Getting off the bus in Dallas


The survivor speaker and two of our girls who wanted to meet him after his talk was finished


Lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse afterwards
3.
We can't stay serious for too long around here, though. Actually, I don't think we would even if we could. That doesn't sound healthy or effective for anyone, but especially not young minds. By the end of the day on Thursday it seemed like they were in need of some silliness a la Mirroring. You can't plan Mirroring (well, maybe you could, but I can't) it just has to happen. Furthermore, I have no idea if Mirroring is even the right term. Maybe I made it up? Maybe I'm using a term that means an entirely different thing? Maybe I should just stick to my lesson plans? 
I can't. I'm a free spirit, yo.

4.
 Mirroring (or whatever) happens sometimes when a student gets to my chair before I do and announces that they are going to teach the class. I don't know why, kids are random. Nine times out of ten I will promptly chase them out of my chair and read loudly in my Sarcastic Robot voice until they all settle down. But occasionally - like yesterday afternoon- I kick back at my work table and let them have at it. 


5.
New Teacher: Really? Okay! Well all y'all SIT DOWN and BE QUIET, I'm teaching this class now.
Me: That's exactly how I sound, you've totally got this.

They then proceed to delightedly berate and scold their classmates for being late and/or unruly. The other students give them grief for a few minutes, then settle in, just in case I'm testing them somehow. Just as everyone gets on the right page, the New Teacher notices that I don't have a copy of the book and decides to give me a taste of my own bitter, bitter medicine. And game on!

New Teacher: Get a book, young lady.
Me: Oh, I'm good, miss. I'm listening.
New Teacher: I SAID get a book.
Me: Ugh, they're too far away!
New Teacher: Well HERE, lazybones, I'll HAND you one! Page 192.
Me: Whatever.
Students: Her book's upside down!
New Teacher: Excuse me??
Me: Are we EVER going to be finished with this book? We've been reading this book FOREVER.

The New Teacher begins reading loudly in a Sarcastic Robot voice. I wait thirty seconds, until it looks like something might get actually get accomplished in class, then tear a strip of paper as loudly as possible. 

New Teacher: What are you doing now?
Me: Trying to learn.
New Teacher: So what's that in your hand?
Me: (throwing paper at a classmate) There isn't anything in my hand, miss! See?
New Teacher: I am going to SEND YOU TO DR. FLINT if you don't get it together, young lady.
Me: Oooooooh.
New Teacher: You are on your last chance! We are going to READ now if you don't mind!

... thirty seconds...

Students: SHE'S TAKING A SELFIE!!
New Teacher: OH THAT DOES IT. GIVE ME YOUR PHONE!
Me: You can't take my phone up!
New Teacher: Oh yes I can! Hand it over!
Me: Lemme just Instagram this real quick...
New Teacher: Now!
Me: No, no, just let me finish answering this text.
New Teacher: RIGHT NOW!
Me: I HAVE TO ANSWER THIS TEXT, IT'S MY MOM, MISS! YOU CAN'T KEEP ME FROM ANSWERING MY MOM! IT'S A FAMILY EMERGENCY!
New Teacher: PHONE! NOW!
Me: This is the worst school EVER!

By then we're all laughing too hard to keep it up any longer and I go back to my chair before someone comes to investigate.

6.
"We're not THAT bad, Mrs. H! Well...not always!"


7.
I guess empathy was just the theme we needed to explore this week!




Link-up here!


6 comments:

  1. Can you come and teach my Accounting class? I think my teacher needs someone to permanently "mirror" her! LOL

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  2. Oh my goodness. That just cracked me up. I would so love to be a fly on the wall of your classroom :)

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  3. I had no idea Dallas has a Holocaust museum. What an amazing experience for the children to visit and meet a survivor. You sound like a fun teacher the kids respect.

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  4. Sounds like y'all had an amazing time at the Holocaust museum. I've been to the one in Dallas. It really is hard but good for the soul to know the depths of how awful things can get. Also, I'm in Dallas too! So crazy :)

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