For the month of April, I am participating in the Blog A Day Challenge for educators. All prompts are provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith), an educator from New York.
Today’s prompt: My __________ class is like a ____________.
True story–in January, not long after the semester started, I said the following to my 6th hour Journalistic Writing class: “You are like a warm security blanket in my day.”
I really do love and enjoy elements of all my classes, but there is something about my 6th hour class that is truly joyous. These students make me laugh nearly every day. They ask questions that aren’t just about grades–their questions reflect a real concern with skill and content. They work hard; I can’t recall ever having to redirect their behavior when I give them work time.
I see all of these things in my other classes as well, but 6th hour is consistently solid. And I think it’s mostly a safe space for them. Example: Friday, the class was working on their current stories and it was pretty quiet. A student spoke up: “Classmates, I need to ask you all a question about homework. It’s for my story.” And she asked, and the students responded, and then everyone got back to work. If this group of kids didn’t feel safe, I’m not sure that would’ve happened. Creating a classroom community has always been a weak spot for me–I’m just not good at it. So to see a group of students create that community on their own has been humbling and rewarding.
Let me be clear: I am not saying that I like my 6th hour class more than all my other classes. I love my Pop Culture classes because the content we learn and discuss is eye-opening and I learn from my students in those classes all the time. I love my graphic design class because when they really catch the vision of quality design, I am blown away by the content they produce. And of course, my newspaper staff–at times that crew feels like they are part of my family.
But this semester, my 6th hour Journalistic Writing class is like a warm security blanket.