Thursday, September 27, 2012


I enjoy my classes every day, but today was especially fun: there was laughter in every single class period--laughter that was still on-task (or at the very least, not too far off-task).  I feel like moments where the students can laugh together are vital to building the atmosphere of trust and peace that I want to build... so much the better if the laughter stems from the activities or content of the class!*  It's a good feeling, as a teacher, to know that moments of my class are providing a bonding experience for the students; that as they study, and work on projects and presentations together, their relationships to each other are being deepened.  It's a good feeling because it doesn't always happen that way.  Sometimes students bond over the hatred of a class, teacher or assignment, which generates a negative atmosphere.  Sometimes, the students don't bond at all, but fight.  When students can work hard and at the same time have fun and enjoy each other's company, it's a tremendous blessing.  My original Humanities crew can still recall inside jokes that formed during our study of Native American creation myths, The Crucible, Amistad, Custer, vocabulary, the atomic bomb, and many other moments.  While other details and lessons may fade, those that are rooted in class camaraderie and laughter are the ones that will remain vivid and memorable for years to come.  I feel like such moments are starting to develop in each of my classes this year.

I couldn't suppress my smile as I sat and reflected on this at lunch-time--my morning classes had gone well, I was looking forward to my afternoon English class, and as I ate a quiet lunch at a picnic table in the school plaza, a gentle breeze picked up.  It was the most at peace I'd felt in a long time.

*Well, within reason.  I'd feel awful if we were studying something really heavy and serious and my choice of teaching method or activities became a colossal joke.  

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