Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Semester

Today is the first day of the semester. I loved getting to know my new students - learning their names, and getting to know a little bit about them.
In one class, we made a talent chain: every student listed a talent on a piece of colored paper and we created a paper chain.
I was totally surprised by the talents in this class.
Languages people can speak: Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, French
Instruments people can play: trombone, trumpet, drums, bagpipes (bagpipes?!), saxophone, piano, guitar ... I think a jam session should be an optional assignment :).
Other interesting talents - eyebrow plucking, reading aloud, writing poetry, selecting good music, synchronized swimming, car repair, spelling ...
These kids are awesome.

One thing that saddened me today was an unprovoked expression of hatred for a group of people. How to deal with that? I don't know.

I'm thinking of Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers, who learned about hatred and intolerance by reading about the holocaust. This helped them to see that hatred of groups is irrational and harmful.

Perhaps I will do The Chrysalids with this class. It talks about Tolerance and Communication. There is a lot to pull out of it.

Anyway, overall - an awesome day. My students are funny, smart, creative, and talented. I'll have to do a lot to challenge and channel that potential.

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