A Meaningful Encounter
This entire school year, Shelby and I have talked and contemplated the best practices to making a community in the classroom. How do we instill a love of learning, engaged our students, AND get students thinking in a way that accepts everyone in the room? Oh and of course, doing all this while covering the standards? You build relationships. You create a positive community in the classroom. Those lessons you teach that positively impact students will follow them- and when they go out into the world, they aren't just deeper thinkers, but they are broader thinkers. They will see beyond themselves, and accept all those around them.
So, when I walked into Barnes and Noble and stopped to talk to a recently published children's author, it turned into a super meaningful conversation about students, just as Shelby and I have spent so many months talking about.
So the author, SissyMarySue, wrote Jelly Bean the Cheetah and Hope. And the idea behind the book is that empathy and caring for others, regardless of how different from us they are, will bring us together to build a world family. This woman was remarkable. She works with school districts now, helping teachers bring these lessons and ideas into the classroom. We had a long conversation about teaching, and the lessons we try to show our students. We also talked about the culture differences in our schools and how important it is to embrace all cultures and not put our students or anyone for that matter, into our box.
I left Barnes and Noble with more than just a signed copy of her book. I felt inspired by another educator. I know that the ideas we have seem radical and often outlandish, but they make sense too. We need to band together, and gain understanding of all people. There is no better place to start this, than in the classroom.