Wednesday, 17 February 2016

9 Social Studies

Was just thinking about the lesson today. Last period. Wet, rainy, awful day. Most students knackered after a week of trips.

It took a bit of effort on my part to bolster the team and turn what essentially could be a boring task in the introductory booklet into a fun, sharing and collaborative experience.

I could tell from the get go that this lesson just wasn't going to be as smooth as it was yesterday with students completing task after task due to mere want to please me and make me proud. I've been deliberately pushing them to see just how far they can go/will go and they were nearing the limit this afternoon.

At the moment we're working our way through the Social Studies Heights Introductory booklets. It's been a cool experience so far but we're playing catch up as I only had them printed on Monday when most other classes had collected theirs from the dept last week. There wasn't any left when I went down so we did some cheat sheets in their books based on knowledge and info I had that would be in the booklets.

Anyway - we've looked at the Heights crest, the symbols and the whakaaro behind our school motto - Wisdom and Honour - and what it means to be a student at Heights. Today we were ready to move onto the goals section.

I'd gotten them to write down goals last week but this time we dug deeper. Dreamt bigger and more importantly thought about What Ifs.

I shared my own haerenga towards the summit of my maunga and how teaching has been the pinnacle to this day. Am still buzzing that they thought I was only 20. #Winning

I talked about how I knew when I was 12 that I wanted to be a teacher. That I wanted to get my license at 15 but didn't get my learners til I was 17. That I got my first car at 19 and went to uni at 18. That my Grandad passed away when I was 16 and how much that meant to me. They asked me how old I was when I graduated with my BA (21) and started teaching when I was 23. I showed them all of this on the board and a few more goals I have and then they got cracking on theirs.

A few circles around the class, helping some students and keeping others on task showed that they are good kids and they do want to try.

It frustrates me beyond belief when I hear other teachers pull down these kids. When they lay labels on them before they even meet them. When they discriminate and base their entire beings, behavioural, intelligence, emotional abilities on a labelled streamed class letter. I still remember the letter we were in high school. We were third from the bottom in the phrase they used to stream us and we knew we weren't the dumbest but we weren't the brightest either. To make students believe this from such a young age is not only detrimental to their studies but to their lives too as they get stuck thinking that they will only ever be as good as they are then and there.

So goal setting is important. So that they can see a future for themselves. So that they can push themselves towards a more positive direction. So that they stop thinking that it's enough to sit at home all day playing games and doing nothing.

I dreamt big. They can too.

Can't ever stop dreaming.

We played the social studies quiz afterwards for current events and I just remembered I forgot to ask who got the most correct.

We watched the Panda Cheese ads in the last few minutes before the bell went and maybe the humour is over their heads or its outgrown it's funniness but I still laugh when I hear the music or the smashing keyboard... lol

Love this class.