Monday, January 21, 2013

Mixing With Students Outside the Classroom

 At Education Week Teacher, middle school teacher Marilyn Rhames writes about the student-staff basketball game and the joy and value of doing things with students outside of the classroom. What she writes applies to us as well:

Every kid's name won't be posted on the honor roll list. And every kid won't be admired for his stellar personality. Some are just good at being funny. Some are awesome singers, dancers, or instrumentalists. In fact, some students won't want to perform at all. They would rather design the show's stage banner, video record the event, or serve as an usher who passes out the programs. When did having good old fashioned fun and a measure of choice get pulled from the state learning standards? Oh, I forgot—fun and choice were never in there!

Once we figure out how to engage students on a human level and earn their trust, we are over half way there when it comes to making them academically successful.

The student vs. staff basketball games we played allowed the students to see their teachers in a new light—as people, not just as educators. Unfortunately, I'm now known as the person who can't jump, shoot, or stay up on her feet in a game.

The faculty-student basketball game is not for me. During basketball season, the high school gym class was always an embarrassing venue for me. I also shy away from any event that takes place in a bar. But I have had fun competing with (and beating) the students and my colleagues in the pasta sauce competition and bringing my wonderful dogs to our “blessing of the animals.”


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