It’s been a while since I last wrote here, faithful readers (I know some of you are looking around, even if you’re new to the blog). Much has happened since school started up again – so much, in fact, that I’ve been buried in other work.
But I’m ignoring all of those other things for the moment to focus on a small victory.
I’ve had a lot of struggles with my seniors, who were very attached to a former teacher in my position (“H”) and have not been entirely receptive to me. I think it’s mostly a personality thing, among other factors.
I told another veteran teacher last night that I don’t think the seniors really like me at all, with some notable exceptions, and she told me that they may not get attached at all. That makes it difficult for them to work with me, in my opinion, because they’re not invested personally in helping me help them.
So after three days of digging through Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” I decided it was time for a needed break, and my guitar – my ever-faithful guitar – came along to make that happen.
After we finished some work on Thoreau, I told the students that I brought something with me, and we ended up spending absolutely every remaining minute of the class singing together. I sang one of my favorites, “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon, and then I pulled out what I knew would be a hilarious change of pace: Gloria Gaynor’s immortal “I Will Survive.” (They were laughing by the end of the first line.) We ended up singing “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind (and they sang the lyrics I didn’t kn0w) and part of Don McLean’s famous “American Pie” until the end of class.
It was incredibly fun. The principal and secretary both came by at various points (the latter danced in the hall), and we enjoyed the end of the period as a group.
I told myself, “If this doesn’t build rapport, I don’t know what will.”
Only time will tell whether or not it helped: I hope it did. But if not, I guess I can still count it as a lot of desperately needed fun with this group of students, and that’s worth a lot to me right now.