As most of you are aware I have been teaching for twenty two years. Most days I love my job but there are moments that make me question how much longer I can continue. Those moments have not really occurred this week; they were last week lol.
This week I have had great learning moments for myself. All of our year groups are completing speeches at the moment. My Year 8s are writing about their favourite and least favourite characters from Elie Wiesel’s Night (memoir of the Holocaust – a must read), Year 10 are speaking about Conformity using The Freedom Writers and Year 11 are speaking about Journeys.
We have viewed speeches and made notes on what worked in those speeches to make them effective, content and manner. We built the foundation, a strong foundation.
And then my kids panicked.
And I realised that nowhere in these speeches was it suggested that they talk about their experiences in these areas. And the personal is what makes speeches work. It makes each speech unique and engaging. And so I told them to include the personal and connect the texts and techniques within all of the personal.
And then they really panicked.
So I asked them to trust me and I told them that I understood how scary it was to reveal our true selves in front of so many people and then I promised them that they would be safe; that anyone that bullied them or made comments would be killed and the bodies disposed of.
And they heard me.
And then they were asking me to proofread what they had so far.
And they got it. Really got it.
And I told them how good they all were.
And now I’m excited to hear them next week.
A pretty good series of moments after last week’s terror.
How sad it is though that our society has not provided the support for our kids to feel safe and secure I being their authentic selves.
What have we done?
Let’s fix it!