Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hobbies in the Classroom

     Today's reflective question deals with any hobbies or interests I have that I bring into the classroom. Well, the hobbies I love most, reading and writing, are already a part of the classroom so I have to dig a bit deeper. That being said, I do bring my love for reading into the classroom by sharing what I'm currently reading with my students and giving a running analysis of the book. The more I talk, the less they talk, so I try to limit what I say and use cliffhangers when appropriate. I've had more than one student read a book to find out what happened.
     As for any other kind of hobbies, I'm not what you would call a"crafty" person. I never knew what a glue gun was until a few years ago. I'm more of an outdoorsy person. Hiking, biking, reading on the patio--well, you get the idea.For the past few summers I've gone with a group of friends on a multi-day bike trip. We go easy, about 40-60 miles a day, enjoying the weather, the scenery and the friendships. We pedal through national forests, state parks, scenic byways and urban centers all in the name of fun. I do bring this activity into the classroom. I reference one of my favorite movies, Breaking Away, often in class. This movie, albeit dated, has great life lessons for kids to write about.
       I try to reference it whenever I can, just because I love biking. By the end of the block, students know one thing about me for sure: my bike is my bud.
      Bringing hobbies into the classroom humanizes us as teachers.When I reveal personal details about me,  I'm showing I trust them. Eventually, that trust is reciprocated. Teaching is more than a book and paper or being glib or adept at using a Smartboard. It's about relationships. The more I know about my kids, the more I'll care about them. And the more they know about me and the more real I make myself, the more they'll connect with me.
     Over the years I've come to realize you can never care too much. I've learned it can make all the difference.

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