Sunday, April 16, 2017

"That Pen" and Other Recent Inspirations

I was reflecting on a memory that came to mind from two years ago in my English class. It was of a student who brought in a book related to the content we were studying. The book was in English with some Chinese vocabulary definitions given throughout. This was a book in the student’s third language with her second language supporting. What was most electrifying about the whole scenario was how she used the book with her group for their project, applied and taught some words to her group members, and then was able to use higher-level thinking skills with those words as time went.

It’s amazing that this moment came to mind since I recently came across a tweet where an educator encouraged others to write about why they were still in education. What’s on my mind currently aren’t the only reasons why, but I’ve been quite encouraged lately in a few different ways.

One of those has been a student who has messaged me a few times outside of class regarding his group project, edtech ideas on the iPad, and how to better use the latter for the former. Another cause for this reflection has been the amount of talk my students have had outside of class about my class. In connection with that, some of those students who have held discussions after the bell have approached me, inquired deeper, or extended the dialogue with more genuine thoughts. (Side note: What’s heartwarming has been the amount of students known as “shy” who do this.)

What was tremendously cool within the last couple weeks was a particular student who edited a 30-second clip of hip-hop music on GarageBand and sent it to me. Upon finishing a class that week, I started to play the clip after the bell, and he walked quickly to the front to have me turn it up. We then proceeded to have a conversation regarding next steps he could take. That same student started to use a pen in his textbook, instead of a pencil, because he’s mentioned to me how he has this particular feeling when he has that pen in hand. By golly, he was right! Soon after that day, he came to me with a notepad where he had written a story in English. He said he had something on his mind, and he needed to get it out. What did he use? That pen.

Reflecting on events such as these provide inspiration, motivation, and hope. If I hadn’t taken the time to think back and consider the roles moments like these could have had for me, I’m not sure I would’ve discovered these possible purposes. I’m extremely thankful for my students, the enthusiasm they bring, and the joy their smiles and laughs possess. What/Who has inspired you lately?

photo credit: JFabra <a href="">It's not about demographics, it's about productivity growth!</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

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