After school, J and R were in my classroom showering me with love. It's hard to tell if R was being sarcastic, but I think he was specifically being vague about being sarcastic as a way to be comfortable showing his love. J: "You're the best teacher. I love you, April." R: "April is the best teacher! She's the best teacher I ever had [insert vague sarcasm here]."
After school, JP singled me out and gave me props for my teaching. He said that I'm solid, that I hold the space well, and that I maintain boundaries while connecting with every student.
I'm not sure what I did (or what I do) to earn their respect, but I just wanted to jot down their words for one day in the future when I'm doubting my capabilities.
Today, I bought bags of Skittles to hand out to my students for Valentine's Day. Me being me, though, I couldn't just give them Skittles for nothing. I told them that it was for a lab activity. They had to balance chemical equations using different colors of Skittles to represent atoms. Here were some of the highlights of the activity:
-JG wanting to stay past the end of class to finish the HARDEST balancing chemical equation problem
-...and JG helping MS with her equations. JG adores helping other students out; he's also usually the least engaged. MS usually gets 100s on her quizzes; she often asks for help and enjoys being helped, so it was nice to see them work together and to change up "status" in the classroom.
-FS, at the end of his period, "can I stay in here and work out the last problems? I can get a note from my teacher. I really want to figure this out."
-JDT understanding every single problem, volunteering answers, and asking for help. He even finished the assignment.
-CM helping AG during F block; they bicker and they both test my patience sometimes (off task, side talk, messing around), but they were really engaged with their assignment and were great about helping each other!
-AG saying "why do you always teach us so many ways to do the same thing?". Even though she may not realize that I do it to give students many different entry points for the same content.
-Just generally students loving getting candy and thanking me for candy (though I wasn't intentionally buying their love, I'm pretty sure I did anyway).