Last week was a busy one at school. I had the pleasure of hosting two of my best and dearest in my classrooms: Wayfarer came to visit and observe on Monday, and Kizz came to teach and observe on Thursday.
Wayfarer teaches at a charter school in a neighboring state and was interested in not only coming to see me do my thing, but also to see whether public education had made any significant changes since he’d left. He didn’t seem too surprised to find out that it hasn’t. Anyway, he left me with a lot of great notes, asked some really significant questions about how I might want to set up the environment of my own classroom (when I have a classroom of my own) and we had another lengthy discussion about whether or not it’s appropriate for kids to refer to their instructors as Mr. This or Mrs. That (Wayfarer is referred to by his first name – my kids call me Mrs. Chili). I’m hoping to go to see his classroom in the next few weeks.
Kizz came on Thursday, and I’m so glad she did. She’s in the neighborhood performing her Susanna Shakespeare show, and I invited her to come to my second period freshman class to introduce them to the Bard and to do a few exercises to teach them how to approach reading
Shakespeare so that their heads won’t explode (a few examples: read with a dictionary handy; read with the punctuation, not the line breaks; remove parenthetical clauses; try to find the subject and predicate in a sentence) All that is stuff that I teach when I teach poetry, but her comfort level and depth of knowledge of Shakespeare gave her an ease with the material that really came through with the kids. She was wonderful and engaging and we had a fantastic time. I plan to encourage her to offer, as part of her repertoire, a workshop in reading Shakespeare to be delivered in a classroom – once teachers see what she does, I’m sure she’d be in great demand.
When her class was over, she came to watch my fourth period freshmen work with the Bak paintings. I haven’t talked to her yet about what she thought of the whole thing, but you already know what I thought of the class. I’m hoping my enthusaism was obvious to her.
This afternoon, I’m heading off to watch Kizz deliver her show to a nursing home. I’ll take pictures and, with her permission, I’ll post them here. Watch this space.