Monday, November 4, 2013

in a flash

edc tee
UK Style by French Connection pants, Sears
necklace, Forever 21

     Where did October go? This outfit is from the beginning of October, from the day the kids returned from fall break. They were tired and slightly grumpy (and, admittedly, the teacher was tired too), so pajama-like pants were a good choice. Some highlights of the month:
     Halloween taught me that sometimes it's better to go with the flow.  I decided that they would probably be too excited about the holiday to make sticking to our regular schedule fruitful or enjoyable, so I planned some simple Halloween-themed activities. In the morning we dug some graves -- for tired words, that is. I thought many of the student did a great job writing a creative epitaph for their tired words.


     On Friday, we read an article about Dia de los Muertos and they were fascinated by this slideshow. Students were required to finish answering questions about the article before they got their own skull template to decorate. I realized how motivating it can be for students to have something fun waiting after they finish their work when I saw some of my slow-pokey students really applying themselves to reading and answering the questions!
    Many of my students decided to cut out their skulls and make them into masks, and I took iPhone photos of them with their creations. I think the photos will make a fun decoration for our room. 
   I'm excited and a little disconcerted that it's November. My 36th birthday is on its way, and I feel like 35 came and went in a flash. This month, I'm looking forward to loading up on some Thanksgiving eats and enjoying the upcoming three-day weekend. I'm also looking forward to digging into "Eleanor and Park," which I've had on request at the library for several weeks and finally have in my hands ...
    What are your big plans for November? 

2 comments:

  1. Aya in CouturgatoryNovember 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Welcome back, Carrie! Yay, I love wide leg pants. I can't believe I didn't discover them back when I was a competing athlete; it would have saved a lot of swearing in the dressing room.


    I always love your stories of teaching. I often wonder about scholastic performance and how much it's due to natural patience and the ability to extend gratification almost indefinitely (12-20 years before job payoff) and how much can be learned through the right positive reinforcement and short term rewards along the way. (I was, for the record, a completely unmotivated student and the despair of all of my teachers.)

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  2. Thank you, Aya! I love wide-leg pants - I like how they fall straight from the hip and how they swish when I walk. They may be stump-ifying for short people, but that doesn't really bother me ...

    You bring up a good point about education. There are experts who rant against any kind of reward, as they feel it saps intrinsic motivation. I do see their point, as I have certain basic expectations of every student and would not consider rewarding them for fulfilling those expectations. At the same time, I've noticed that the kids who are really struggling do require some recognition of incremental progress. It is important to recognize growth and effort, even if the kid doesn't quite hit the goal.
    I do find dealing with unmotivated kids frustrating at times! But at the same time I keep in mind that wildly creative, successful folks like Matt Groening had the very same experience. It's instructive to read his "School is Hell" comics, as he deftly skewers the rigidity and tedium of our educational system.

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