I’ve taken to calling the Saturday class I’m teaching “The John Green Class of Awesome.” They are reading John Green novels and things are AWESOME. It’s 630 am and I’m getting ready to head to school, but first!
Two things that are awesome:
1. RE: THE STUDENTS - We usually take the students on a field trip at the end of this six week voluntary class. The field trip is usually the carrot. In the past, we’ve taken the kids to a ropes course and rock climbing facility, to the movies for The Hunger Games on opening weekend, and to a 1920s-themed comedy club. It’s advertised in advance and it’s a huge draw to get kids to come to school on Saturday.
This session, we haven’t even planned one yet. We are already in week 3, and the students haven’t asked about it. THEY HAVEN’T EVEN ASKED. And meanwhile, I’m hearing from teachers that the kids are talking all over school about how much fun they are having. We have three weeks of class yet and about 70% of the students have already finished reading their books. So that is awesome.
2. RE: THE TEACHERS, We are BECOMING BETTER TEACHERS. We design our own curriculum, and in previous years, we have had a lot of fun, but I’m not sure that we were as effective at immediate reflection and adjustment. We spent about 20 hours planning for this course and as soon as we were through week 1, we began gutting the teacher pages and making adjustments, because while it was FUN! there were so many opportunities to make the course more rigorous that we didn’t want to miss. It is true collaboration. My co-teachers and I are looking analytically at our work, challenging our own assumptions, and pushing one another to move out of our comfort zones.
I’m exhausted after a long week of work, but I’m so excited to have something this fabulous to do on a Saturday morning.
And today, I give the students Nerdfighter notes!