I don’t know how much longer I will be in education, so I wanted to share this before it is to late…
These are little things that I do throughout the year that seem separate, but I tie them together on the last day of school. And as my students, other teachers, and myself are in a pool of tears. We say goodbye.
On my first day of school. I introduce myself.
After our first extremely challenging problem that usually(purposefully) makes a student want to rip their hair out. I show this clip, and as I show this clip I stand right next to the board just staring at them, turning the volume up throughout the clip. As it finishes I lean forward and I am usually choked up because this clip just hits me in the feels, I say “this is all I ever want from you…… Your best!!!!” and I tell them “I promise …..Promise you will get mine”….”I’m tearing up right now….lol”
Weeks later we talk about motivation, hopes, and dreams. I play this clip from Dan Pink. After the video each student writes their sentence, even though some can’t at the time, I tell them its due two weeks before the end of school and they laugh and think I’m joking.
Months later, during or a little before anti-bully week. I show this. “its a little longer, but so worth the watch!!!”
When the video ends I have 5 writing prompts on the board.
1) I have been bullied….what,where,why,how
2) I have bullied…..what,where,why,how
3) No one knows I want to be ………
4) what are the names and labels others have given me…..
5) what are names and labels that I have given myself……..
I lust let them spill their hearts. I collect it when they finish. I have had a girl write 8 pages to me.
The next day I have each student write something honest and nice about everyone in the classroom, or any student in any of my classes. I created a Google form to make this organized and easy to do.
Then on the day before the last day of school, I give my swan song, My last lecture. “inspired by Randy Pausch’s Last lecture “
This is my last lecture:
Upon finishing the last lecture I have a sealed envelope for each student. It contains all the wonderful things that were said about them and a personal message from me to them. I include about their writings from the Dan Pink video and their writings from the bully video. I promise myself that I spend at least 30-45 mins writing to each student. So as soon as I finish my last lecture I tell them to go ahead and open your letter. Here are a few examples.
So, In a pool of tears, we say goodbye
I love my students