“Miss, it’s like you made this lesson for me!”

So this whole project is terrifying. I was horrible at having journals as a kid, and I think I may be worse at doing something consistently now. I was taught as a kid that you shouldn’t write anything down that you didn’t want anyone to know. All I could think about was: what would I write? I couldn’t write down everything I was thinking. That would include too many to-do lists and far more complaining then necessary. So then what?

And then, the day before the slice of life challenge started, I gave a poetry lesson on the difference between tone and mood. I had all of my students compile a list of songs that they like so that I could use them during the unit (if not… you know I’d just teach Tim McGraw and Backstreet Boys songs…). I found out that one of the students in a class I teach loves the Ron Pope song “A Drop in the Ocean.” This is currently one of my favorite songs. I asked him for clarification to make sure that we were talking about the same song. Turns out that we were. He said he liked to listen to it when he was sad to bring him back to a good mood. I decided to put it on our tone vs. mood lesson. Among the five songs I choose, I also included songs from Phillip Phillips, Taylor Swift, Les Miserables, and the Weeknd. Little did I know this particular student also loves the music group The Weeknd.

If you happen to know of this group, you know finding a part of a song I could use was challenging, but possible. As we got to each song that he liked, he got more excited to listen to the music and go over the tone and mood. He left the room at the end of class with the phrase “Miss! It’s like you made this lesson for me!” In every English class after that one that day, at least four students sang along to the song and was excited to see it in our lesson. It was a teaching day they tell you about during that first day of Intro to Education class in college; one of those moments that you want to mentally run a victory lap around the classroom (but you hold it in because it would be “weird”).

Do I feel like that everyday? Nope.  Does that sort of thing work for that particular student everyday? Nope. And then I decided that perhaps this slice of life thing is do-able. There’s always someone with something bad to say about teaching, students, and everyday life. Why not remind myself (and others, if I don’t bore you too much) of something good that happens that day via my blog? I warn you that I’ll probably use a lot of quotes from my students or movies. I’ll also warn you that I may forget some days, or use quotes from other days. It’ll be sloppy. It may be boring and it won’t always be as delightful or victory-lap worthy, but at least it’ll be out there.  


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8 Responses to “Miss, it’s like you made this lesson for me!”

  1. Welcome! I am joining you in your victory lap. What a happy story.

  2. By the last paragraph I wanted to jump up and cheer! I like how you build tension with your hesitations and worries at the beginning and then let them go as you dive into the writing. What a great day in class. Lucky, your students are. Welcome to the Slice of Life community! (now…playlist please!)

    • krystinicole says:

      p.s. playlist was:
      – Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You were Trouble”
      – “Black and Red” from Les Miserables
      – “Home” from Phillip Phillips
      – Ron Pope’s “A Drop in the Ocean”
      and “Wicked Games” from The Weeknd (but remember about that one that I only used a stanza from it… because the rest is simply and completely inappropriate for school)


  3. Beth says:

    I’m glad that you joined the dance! I love how you made the lesson relevant to students. One of the suggestions in Jensens’s book is to use music to make school feel less like prison.

  4. Beth Scanlon says:

    Love that you have joined the dance! It sounds like you have designed a lesson with relevance for students. Also Jensen reminds us that the use of music makes school feel less like prison. Looking forward to see what the month unfolds.
    Be sure to link your post at http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/slice2013-3-of-31/

  5. Glad that you are joining us! It’s just about getting your words out there, learning how to click “publish” and know that someone else will be reading what you’ve put down. It’s intimidating, but so worthwhile! If we are going to make kids do it, we should have recent memories about how it feels 🙂

  6. This is my favorite line, “I found out that one of the students in a class I teach loves the Ron Pope song “A Drop in the Ocean.” ” Your finding out says so much about you as a teacher. And now I’m curious to listen to the song because the title is intriguing; but also, because it hints at a stance that is effective. Before I read too much into it, I’m going to go find it and listen.
    Your teaching life is worthy of journal writing. This post also made me wonder why I don’t narrate some of my great teaching sessions and some of the not-so-great ones.

  7. Tenille says:

    I love quotes from students and movies. So glad you’ve joined the Slice of Life Challenge. Your post brightened my day.

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