Monday, May 15, 2017

if it INSPIRES one student...

My "non-teacher friends" are always commenting on some of my elaborate outfits that I have worn to school or my collection of onesie pajamas that continues to grow.  They say "teachers do the craziest things".  I like to think there is some sort of method to my madness.

I figure, as long as whatever I do helps one student, then I am going to continue doing those things that "non-teacher friends" (love them!) will never understand.

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Each time I come to school in a bit of an odd outfit, the kids are always intrigued.  Why are you wearing that?  Who are you?  Why do you look different?  They are curious and seeking knowledge.  As a teacher, you have a lot of power.  You can simply answer the question and let the child move on OR you can reply in a way that is going to make the child wonder, explore, and want to know more.  I prefer the latter.

You see, I've worn multiple onesies to school this year.  Yes, the kind that you have with the footies when you are a kid.  I have been a shark, The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, Ms. Frizzle, and the list could go on.  Is it fun for the kids? Of course, they are kindergarten students and they do LOVE that kind of stuff.  Is it crazy?  Maybe, depends on who you ask.  Are they learning from it, YES!  And here is the proof:

Ms. Frizzle was a new outfit for me this year.  I had some funny looks, but as the kids started piecing it all together, they couldn't stop asking questions.

I remember talking to one boy who seemed to be the most curious.  "Why are you Ms. Frizzle?  Do we get to go on a field trip?  Is the lizard going to move?  Where did you get the dress?...." and the questions went on and on and on.  I simply responded to my friend, "I wanted to be this character (ahhh, see his brain turning and making connections) out of all the characters I know. What if you could be any character you want!  Would you be one that you know or would you create a new one?  My little friend said "oooooooooooohhhhh......".  And walked away.

Fast forward many weeks to writing one day.  This little friend had some wonderful writing about the ocean.  A boy explored the dark ocean and saw lots of ocean animals.  He was so excited to share his story.  He read it to me and it was fabulous.  He pointed to his picture and said, "but ya know Ms. Cones, ya know who this is?!?!?!"  I made my best guess, "you?".  "Nope!! That is Scuba Joe!  He is my character.  You said we can be any character.  Scuba Joe is my character!" and his eyes lit up as he continued to tell me all about this character he created.

So might teachers be a little crazy?  It depends on who you ask.  But as long as it inspires one student, I am happy with being crazy.

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