Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

My classroom has two large whiteboards -- the one in the front of the room is flanked on either side by bulletin boards, and the large expansive one in the back is nearly the width of the room.  Given that most of the attention in classrooms these days is directed toward wherever the projector is focused, the back board gets little attention.

Oh, sure, the list of kids with outstanding assignments, or a list of borrowed books or Nooks might be posted back there, but basically my back board has become its own brand of urban graffiti. 

As I'm sure you're aware by now, there are many creative and/or artistic kids that wander through my room.  There is also a lot of time that allows for quiet, or not so quiet, conversation while brainstorming.  Several weeks ago, I wrote an entire blog about the calming influence of avocados, which certainly  was a comment that was rooted in such a classroom experience.   Somebody said it, somebody else thought it was unusual, and added the quote to the back board.  Recently, one of the quietest kids informed me that he was probably going to major in "marketing, probably.  I like to manipulate people."  Certainly surprising news, although upon further consideration, I voted him "most likely to become a trained assassin" given that no one would ever suspect him of anything surreptitious. 

So yes, Rheeana is a Welsh Goddess, and Alex is poor, handsome and smart.  Avocados and carrots are admired, and well, Tom continues to offer lessons on reading the body language of people.  (Watch their eyes, people, watch their eyes.)

At some point, a well-drawn octopus appeared.  Through the collaborative efforts of many classes, that octopus has evolved into Stalipus, sporting a rather bourgeois-looking hat along with his hammer and sickle.  Sometimes the content of the back board raises some eyebrows, sometimes it sparks discussion.

But mostly, it's a collaborative space that fosters a sense of community, security, and trust.

Even if it does sometimes feature bourgeois dictators with eight legs.