Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just a thought...

by Olga LaPlante

I am sitting here at the ACTEM Pre-conference workshop, listening to people presenting high school stuff - suggesting some techniques, but also providing a lot of research data.

One of the presenters said, “We know more about what our students CAN’T do, and very little about what they CAN do.”

This is very true - I think back to this past spring, and the art show by the PATHS students. They had their work for show and sale downstairs at the PATHS building. I went there in the hope to find some piece of art that I would both like and be able to afford. What I found was beautiful talented work by one of my former French language students, - I had no idea! Not only she did a good job, but she actually painted in the style I so much enjoy. We actually had much more in common than I could have ever imagined, and would not have known otherwise!

Message - it’s important to connect beyond classroom and textbook. It’s often a matter of time, though. Thinking outside the box can help use class time to discover students’ talents, interests and such.

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Martha Thibodeau said...

I agree that it's important to connect with your students through their interests, and not only the curriculum.

How did you get your picture from your macbook into your post? Is it your profile picture?

Jim Burke said...

Young Olga really knows her stuff! :)

Diane Whitmore said...

My dad was a teacher from 1953 to 1985. He retired in the spring of 1985 and I started teaching that fall; talk about passing the baton! He has been one of my mentors. He always felt that every teacher should either coach a sport or supervise one extracurricular activity. And I did for years. I miss doing it because you really do see students in a different light. And he was disappointed when I stopped. But it just got too time-consuming and I was being run ragged by a few parents - by no means all, but a few is all it takes to make the task un-doable. So I have found other ways to connect with students: attending sports events and singing and playing clarinet as a guest in student ensembles at Freeport H.S. (where I teach) are my two favorites. Olga made a good point about attending student art exhibits. The Region 10 vocational high school in Brunswick, where several Freeport students spend a half day every day, holds a spring open house with exhibits of student work. So there are a few more examples!