Today we had an impromptu open circle. I had observed some behaviors and wanted to address them. I am sure some of you have never seen these behaviors (hee hee). I had students do their BEST eyeball roll at their classmates. Then we did our best "UGH!" followed with an angry glare. I had students end up in a pile of laughter as they saw how this looked.
Doing these actions to our classmates is counterproductive to build relationships. We discussed having empathy for others, how you really do not know what goes on in people's lives, and how they are one person in a community of 24.
I then gave them a chance to reflect on the year and think of one thing as a class they would like to see
us work on. Here are some of the things students shared:
- Being respectful to others.
- Not teasing boys and girls who hang out. They could be just friends, and if they are more than friends they still do not want to be teased.
- Keeping the voice volume down.
- Making more connections with students I might not know.
- Being less judgmental.
- Think about perception.
I loved their raw honesty. The whole time I thought about my Facebook status from the other day. Though I did not share this with students it rings very true. Molly Ringwald said so eloquently, "When you're a teenager, you're forever thinking: Do they like me? When you're a grown up, as anyone over the age of thirty can attest, the question becomes: Do I like them?"
Our students are struggling with many things. Keeping the conversation open builds a trusting and honest place where we can all grow as people.