Monday, March 2, 2015

VICTORY!!! #SOLC15 - 3/2

Most of the stories I've read from past slicers are touching, deep, very personal life stories.  This story isn't really about me though.  And I know there is the "celebrate" writing on weekends, but I just couldn't wait to share this!

Today started off rough.  School was delayed, which means my CDL driving test was cancelled, which means my sub plans were now unnecessary.  I can't waste a good sub lesson as a coach, so I frantically planned a different lesson in my extra 2 hours this morning.  I was really worried about my half-baked plan using some technology we haven't really used yet, especially with my 3rd period.

Let me describe this class.  If you are a high school teacher, I think you will sympathize.  This class is huge.  I mean, I have 26 kids in the class, one of my larger groups, but this is a class of ALL JOCKS.  I have some basketballers, some baseballers, and SEVERAL linemen.  My class is BIG.  There is a grand total of 3 girls in the class, the rest are West-Texas-Howdy-Maam-I'm-A-Human-Tank athletes.  They are all growing and in constant competition on who is bigger. They are all best friends.  They are all very excitable.  They are all loud.  This class is also split in the middle by lunch.  As soon as I get the group settled and working, the lunch bell rings, and we start allllll over again, except now with sugar rushes and food comas.  It is a daily exercise in patience and love.

They were to read some articles about the Moai on Easter Island, and then imagine they are the head of the team trying to study the mystery of how the statues were moved. Post answers on my Google Classroom page.  I expected sighs, groans, eye rolling, and "do we have tooooo?"  Or more commonly, "I'll just take a zero. I'll probably pass." Instead...

OOH! What if they rolled it on logs?!  Do we get logs? How many?  How strong are they? Are they thick or thin?  Easily crushed or sturdy?  You said we get rope right?  How much rope?  We're near an ocean right?  Do they know about the wheel yet?  What if I made a cart?  NO WAY! That won't work, think of the weight!  We need a sled.  How do you make a sled?  OH I HAVE AN IDEA!!!

I was blown away.  Where did these little physicists and engineers come from?  I have rarely been asked for anything more than a bathroom or drink pass; now they're asking for more time to think of more ideas.  I try to always have a discussion piece, a culture part of each chapter, I share human interest pieces with them, I try playing games, stations, everything I can think of... and this is what sparked them: a lesson thrown together in an hour.

This is not a story about my family, my personal life, it's hardly about me at all.  All I did was ask a question.  But as teachers you know they are my life.  These are my kids.  Their successes and failures aren't mine, but they affect me deeply.  I spend more time with these kids and in this building than I do in my own home.  I am so excited for them to be excited about something I'm teaching!  I am never happier than I am when I have a day full of learning, of thinking, and excitement of others to be learning and thinking on their own.  Today, I am victorious!!!

7 comments:

  1. This is a great story. And I think I've had your class before. That description had me laughing out loud and recognizing the characters! Just when you think you know kids, they surprise you, don't they.

    I also empathize with those classes with lunch in the middle. Some years I hate them, some years I'm thankful for them. All depends on the mixture of kids....

    ReplyDelete
  2. The description of your class had me laughing out loud too. Yep, I've taught that class too! And you're right: what an exercise in patience and love. I'm a teacher educator now, and I've found that the classes I talk the most about with my pre-service teachers were my "bad" classes--the ones that really, really challenged me. And no wonder! Those were the classes where I learned the most. And when I had a success with them, wow did I celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favorite line, " I have rarely been asked for anything more than a bathroom or drink pass; now they're asking for more time to think of more ideas."
    I hope this continues!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ironically, my post title today was "defeated"... glad you're feeling the opposite! Those lively moments of joy in learning are the best!!! Now if I can just get through this testing so I can have some again...!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved the description of your class! I was laughing and intimidated at the same time.

    It is such a joy to see a student's face light up with excitement or interest for an assignment or lesson. I could feel your happiness through your words. I hope things stay so upbeat and productive for you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved the description of your class! I was laughing and intimidated at the same time.

    It is such a joy to see a student's face light up with excitement or interest for an assignment or lesson. I could feel your happiness through your words. I hope things stay so upbeat and productive for you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is fabulous! My husband is a football coach and he loves when his players rise above the football mentality norm and actually participate and interact with their education! Kudos for working with these young men and women.

    ReplyDelete