Monday, January 4, 2016

Something that shouldn't be.

School shouldn't be something that kids hate to go to. But it is, for a large majority of them. They dread Winter Break being over and the inevitable zombie shuffle back to school. So why? Why is it a place kids dread going? It makes me sad to listen to good, smart kids dread going back to school. It shouldn't be like that. School should be a place kids run to, not away from. Kids should enjoy having a "winter break" but also have some excitement and curiosity about school resuming in the new year.  Kids should be eager to see what will happen next in their classes. Stop and think for a moment and ask yourself one major question: If you were a student, would you like to go to your class? Think about it and give it an honest answer. If the answer is no, or if even part of the answer is no, then do something to change that! Don't force your students to sit through a class you yourself wouldn't attend! Would you like to sit in straight rows and do worksheets all day? Probably not. Students don't either. Would you like to enter a classroom and be faced with a grumpy person all day? Probably not. Student's don't either. Would you like doing 2 hours of homework every night? Probably not. Students don't either so quit giving so much of it.  Get creative. Research something new. Add something different to your class. Gets some variety, some discovery, some fun! There's this thing call the Internet just loaded with possibilities if you are struggling to come up with original ideas. Join Twitter. It's amazing. 

Here's a fictitious conversation between me and a very nice kid who tries hard and does well in school. Though it's made up, it could be real (unfortunately): 
Me: Are you looking forward to school starting?
Student: No.

Me: why not? 
Student: Because I hate Mr. Grumpelton
Me: Why? 
Student: Because he's mean and doesn't help me.

What if you were "Mr. Grumpelton"? Wouldn't that be bad? Don't be him. Make sure you do everything in your power to make sure there isn't a shred of Mr. Grumpelton in you when students enter your room. We all have tough days, hard days and sometimes we just don't feel that great or chipper or happy. But then fake it! Just fake enthusiasm to get you through. Don't resort to Mr. Grumpelton. 
Let's do something awesome and make school a place kids love! I believe it is possible. It takes a lot of work and effort but the potential is there. Seize the opportunity to leave a legacy of awesomeness. 

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