I've been hugging all my students. Can I remind you that I teach high school students? The kind that are busy with their hair and their technology and being cool and impressing their peers. They have that haughty insistence on independence, sometimes even a resistance to connection.
But I tell you what: I hadn't seen them for real class in two weeks (Regents, Intersession) and when I opened my arms to hug them, one after another they came at me. No hesitation. Full on hugging. Like we love each other. Like we're in something together. It was amazing. I didn't know it was possible.
I've decided to love them more. I know, I know, this is what I'm saying in every blog post. Where is the math in my mathbebrave? I promise, it's there. I will talk about it more. But at the moment this just seems so important. Because I think I'm pretty damn loving, but each time I push myself just a little bit more into this job, that's the thing I learn. Not work more, or even more time: just love them more. Or rather, feel the love I have for them more freely, more purely.
This is softening my edges. I don't take the stuff they throw at me personally the way I used to, even two weeks ago. Things go badly in class and I practice loving them, seeing their humanity. I don't know how to extend their knowledge of Combining Like Terms tomorrow, but I know that I'm going to love them. Sunday night I was excited to go to work. I like my job, but I've never been excited on Sunday night before.
Here are the goals that I gave them for the week:
1. Have Fun
2. Do Tons of Math
3. Work in Groups
4. Do some problem solving
5. KIds talk more in class than teachers
6. Practice combining like terms
7. Quiz Friday
Then they checked the box that best fit how they fit about my goals: awesome, eh, or no way!