Valentine’s Day is a day to reflect on those you love. I’ll spare you the personal stuff and tell you about my latest school “love”. This semester I am team teaching a non-academic twelfth grade class and I love it! Mr. B is my cohort, a younger, hipper teacher who sees education very much as I do: as an active experience that pushes students to think and learn and grow. We are a good match and we are having a wonderful time working together with these kids.
It’s not always easy, though. We have thirty-five disengaged teenagers. Three of them can barely read and write, eight of them are ESL, and three of the girls are taking drama to a whole new level, if you know what I mean. Several of them live on their own, and two are recovering addicts. All of them dislike the menial tasks of school, but light up when we land on something to discuss that they find interesting. It’s only been two weeks, and to be honest, there hasn’t been a lot of “work” done yet, but we have been building relationships and an environment where they feel welcome and heard. It’s going to be a struggle many days, but it’s so awesome to have a partner there with me. I’ll keep you posted on the successes and failures.