My New Colleagues

Posted: April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

So, I’ve been thinking about what I call my class as a group. I know some teachers do the “friends” thing. My personal kids go to a Quaker school so their teachers certainly do that. And, I hear lots of teachers, usually of younger children, use “friends” at my school as well. I wasn’t sure that was right for us (my class and me as teacher).
"What's in a name?"
I feel like we are working on things together and there is a social aspect to that, but my students and I are more coworkers than friends. Not that we are not friendly, we are. But I don’t feel that is the our primary relationship. So, what are we? Peers? Co-workers? Colleagues? Teammates? Buddies?

Well, I’ve settled on “colleagues”. We’ve been working on so many things in groups this year that it does seem to me that we are in it together-that we are working towards common goals and understandings. It still makes the kids giggle a little, but I can sense that sometimes it makes some students feel important and makes them sit up a little straighter. It’s the power of words being brought to life in my classroom. We are reading Tuck Everlasting at the moment, so we are talking a lot about word choice and the power of descriptive language. Then just out of the blue I got an email with a link to a great video on the topic. I love it when things come together like that.

On a side note, I am a gatherer, not a hunter. I collect things/ideas/images all the time. It’s just what I do, and it works for me. I count on being inspired and having ideas come to me. And, I can count on it because I’ve got all that flotsam and jetsam in my head just waiting for the right moment. It sometimes make for some last-minute changes of plan, but it lets me take the best advantage of what I encounter in my day and combine information in my own ways.

So back to what to call my students, Tuck Everlasting, the power of words, and my email. Here is the link to the YouTube video (it’s less than 2 minutes, you should watch. I would have embedded it, but I’m not paying for that option at the moment) called “The Power of Words.” It ends with the words “Change your words, Change your world.” It fit in so well with what I have been thinking about as well as what we are doing in class. I showed it to my students before we begin a writing assignment on Wednesday.

I am pretty sure that my word change to “colleagues” is unlikely to change the world. But, I noticed that one of my student colleagues wrote this on her digital portfolio reflection for our last book: “Me and my 5E colleagues just read the book called, The Rainbow People.” (I know it should be” my 5E colleagues and I”.)

It turns out that I changed my words, and I might have changed a little piece of the world.

(photo by Jack Dorsey used under creative commons license)


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