Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#MTBoSBlaugust Day 8: Oh The Places You'll Go!

I have been lucky in all my years of teaching to have a "senior" level class each year. For a few years, it was 8th graders- top dogs going off to the wide world of high school. For the majority, it's been Pre-Calculus or AP Calculus with some of the most wonderful 18 year old humans the world has ever seen.

One of the things I try to do with my seniors is give them a space in the classroom that is all their own. I bought this poster as a heading for the corner:

I chose it for a few very specific reasons:
  • Dr. Seuss is a boss
  • It was available as a Prime item (an instant sales tactic)
  • I like that it doesn't specifically mention "college" or anything else like that- just "the places"
I keep a set of blank "pennants" in a folder near the wall and I encourage kids to post anything they're excited about there. They can decorate to their hearts content or they can just fill it in. They can fill out as many as they want.  For some, that looks like this. 
Always an added bonus when you get to celebrate an acceptance to your alma mater (Go Bearcats!)

Some students have upwards of 10-15 pennants on the wall by March, posting every acceptance they want to share there. This board has seen big names: Yale, Cornell, Duke, Syracuse, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Texas, and many more. But I wanted this board to be a place to celebrate anything that my seniors are celebrating about their life outside high school. For some of those kids, that doesn't mean a 4 year school. I've had kids post military commitments, jobs, community college, missionary work, and gap years. Not only is this good for my seniors- giving them a sense of pride and ownership- but it's also a place where my underclassmen can get inspired by the things their older counterparts are accomplishing. Most fun for me, it brings kids rushing into my room first thing in the morning- sometimes long before their class-  to share happy news with me or confide in me if they're disappointed. They ask their friends to "wait up" after class so they can stay and share something with me. It's such a simple thing, but it's been a powerful tool in helping me connect to my kiddos at a scary and exciting time in their lives.

If you teach seniors, I really recommend trying this. I don't have pictures of last year's wall since my room is being used for summer school, but I'll take some and post them in the future! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Definitely going to do! On my way over to Amazon...