Questioning the binary/LGBTQ+ pedagogy: Pronouns. Like I’m eyeing the possibly queer (sexuality/gender) kids in my classes and the way they react when I blow up the binary. Also finding out kids who do not visually appear gender non-conforming may be/may be questioning their assigned gender. And all this from a short worksheet. No complex discussions, no debates. Just checkboxes for what pronouns they wanna go by.
Current events: 6th graders watch the news. Not all of them but a lot of them. Children know what’s going on and they care.
Current events & being culturally relevant: Some kids care about Antonio Brown. Some kids really want Fiji to win the rugby world cup, and are mad at how countries (USA, UK, France, etc.) can rig these types of competitions by stealing players away from their home countries. Some kids wanna rant about how the world is fucked by climate change. But you don’t know any of that if you don’t bring those topics into class, or allow for those discussions.
Translanguaging: Translanguaging works! It’s so interesting to see the research and theories at work in the classroom. Like don’t ignore the other languages children speak to help them learn a new one. Bring that into the lesson and help them make connections.
Student feedback: My students may genuinely like me? I was out a day and they wanted to know where I was. When I explained PD to them as trying to become a better teacher, one student replied, “But you’re a good teacher.” 😭😭😭
Personalized learning: Even the seemingly toughest, most non-caring kids have insecurities. They want to succeed. My challenge is to figure out how to help them do that when the typical tools don’t work. How can I help them not give up? How can I help them see their value, and that learning in my class is more than knowing what’s on the test?