As we wrap up a short week of school (snow days Monday and Tuesday and then a scheduled half day today), I can’t help but think about how glad I am to have been able to have at least this half week with my students.
In these few short days, we have, either as a class or as a school:
- Began reading Romeo & Juliet and been notably aghast at how early in in Shakespeare makes references to rape and jokes about male genitalia;
- Read a lot of early American Romanticism poetry and noted how they all seem to be about death, in one way or another (this is really nice for them to see, as we’re gearing up for Poe);
- Started a book club, and while we don’t know exactly what we’re doing yet, we know it’ll be full of awesomeness. . .and snacks;
- Worked on a dance that our seniors will be performing for our freshmen and sophomores for an upcoming retreat (and a few teachers may sneak their way in there);
- Spent a lot of time in the hallways, building relationships outside of the classroom (often as the students and I comment on each other’s tie and sweater choices for Mass day);
- Discussed, without conclusion, the merit of book awards designated for minority populations (great discussion, and one I am glad to moderate);
- Opened up our student lounge, a place for our students to relax after school while they wait for practice or rides; and
- Worked with our students in ways we don’t often get to, as we had a half day designated to specific test-prep situations (which means I got to work with our juniors and freshmen on their math skills, which is not something I normally get the chance to do — it’s nice for us to see each other in this different light).
It’s been quite the week, even with it all jammed into 2 1/2 days. The thing I’ve taken out of each of these things: relationships. I’m constantly building up the relationships I have with the students. We’re bonding over books, over math, over sweater vests — whatever it might be. But it’s helping my classroom and the school (especially with the student lounge) be a place where our students can be comfortable, relaxed, and themselves. I am excited to see what we are able to accomplish second semester, as we move forward with these relationships in place and ever-growing.