Today, I mixed it up. Typically my digital bell ringer involves a question about a process or topic we are experiencing in class. I was hitting a dark spot the last few days due to some tension in other areas and needed a pick me up. Rather than the usual questions, I decided to switch their thinking and ask questions that not only prompted them to elaborate their ideas but in general, reflect on their lives. Totally off topic of art but sometimes that can be the best medicine in getting rejuvenated. It also helped some of them slow down and process information and they seemed to be a smidge more willing to get creative on the assignment later in the period.
Here are some responses (selected from a submission of about 80) from the question “What is something from the Middle School – whether it’s a teacher, lesson, experience, etc – that you are thankful for? Why? Did this help you in any other ways?”
“I am thankful for all the teachers and their help. They help so many kids and do so many things. They are truly wonderful people.” – L, 8th Grade
“I am thankful for all the teachers. The teachers taught us lessons that I never knew about. Now I am getting smarter for the future.” – A, 7th Grade
“The teachers because they aren’t only nice they can help. They may be strict but that’s how they are it’s nice to know that they don’t hate you there just trying to do their jobs. So I think they are nice and funny but you can get on their nerve if you stop their teaching and our learning.” – S, 7th Grade
“My teachers, because they also help to push me to be the best I can. They help me make my work better, and help me learn of course without that I can’t be all that I am now or who I am now.” – M, 7th Grade
“I am thankful for all the teachers I had to put in hard work to help me learn something. I am also thankful for all the teachers that put up with my behavior.” – T, 8th Grade
“I am thankful for Miss Jorgensen because now I’m a better artist than I was in 5th grade. Now I like to draw a lot thanks to her.” – T, 7th Grade
“I am thankful for the art teacher because I used to hate art but because of her I really like it!” – D, 8th Grade
“I am thankful for Miss Jorgensen because she never gives up on us.” – E, 7th Grade
One that stands out?
“I am thankful for just being able to come to school and learn. I know some people are not as lucky as me, and don’t get the education they need. School is a safe place, and I am happy to be there when I am.” – J, 8th Grade
Needlesstosay, my growing “dark spots” are gone! 🙂