Sunday, August 28, 2011

Are you Sad?

We've just finished our second full week of school with our students. The teachers returned three days before the students and something that a teacher said to me is still floating around in my head. After asking me how I spent my summer and I told her the highlights, she frowned and said, "Aren't you sad that summer's over and you wasted your summer?"

I was a bit stunned. How could someone look at all of the things that I did over the summer and think that I would be sad? My summer was full of things from participating in a flash mob, having my book released, presenting at four different conferences, speaking with Alabama legislators, and meeting the most amazing educators from around the world...and those are just a few of the highlights.

Was I busy? Yes, but I was energized as an educator (and a person) by all of the connections and life experiences I had over the summer. As I thought of all of those things it brings to mind an assumption that many have about a student's perception about returning to school. They assume that they student is unhappy about returning to school. We know that if a student hears something numerous times, they will start to believe it. Should they be sad about returning to school?

As I mentioned last week, my students started blogging. As I've read some of their first blogs, I realized there are under currents of this mentality. However, they have told me, through their writing, that they don't dread school, they look forward to it. Here is an example:

While I was out of school for the summer people always asked me,”Are you ready to go back to school?” I always said , “No, not at all.”   I said this because I thought that fifth grade would be horrible. I hadn’t seen my teacher once before the first day of school and I didn’t know how she would act. I was a little surprised because I hadn’t met any teacher who did as much as she did in the class. We have so many opportunities this year. I was also a little freaked out because throughout my whole life (well at least kindergarten to fifth )I always had the nicest most creative teachers. It’s hard to say that is a coincidence. Now I can barely sleep because I wish that school could start again as soon as dinner is over.
I could share several other quotes, but I think this one makes my point. Learners should look forward to school. It should be a place with "many opportunities" to learn and engage with one another and explore new concepts and how they fit into their lives.  It should not be a place where students are sad. I'm definitely not sad about my summer or the fact that I get to go to school each day and do what I love...and I hope that rubs off on my students every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment