Thursday, June 6, 2013

Memories of the Year : Relationships

This is my first week off of school. I've gotten some time to rest up and spend with my family. I recently became a dad. :) Needless to say, having little Grayson around has really changed my thinking on some things and given me a new perspective on life. So, on to what this blog post is actually about.....

On the last day of school with my 6th graders, I had them first come up with their five greatest memories of the year on a piece of paper. Then, I had them narrow it down to their top memory. They had to get up in front of the class and tell everyone their favorite memory.

As I'm listening, I hear a theme developing. Some of it was subtle. Some of them were more direct. Some danced around it. Some just flat out said it. What was it, you ask?


Every single favorite memory was about relationships. Examples -

  • Meeting new friends
  • I was in the same class as my best friend even though I was told I wouldn't be. 
  • the time a girl got a zipper stuck in her teeth
  • Funny moments galore 
  • having a friend's shoulder to cry on when they needed it. 
  • letting us work in groups
  • culture fest (which was a game day that included lots of activities with fellow students)
  • and so on, and so on. 
There wasn't one person who said that doing the social studies country project, or language packets, or reading a specific novel, or interactive notebooks in SS, or you get the picture. None of their favorite memories had to do with "school" work. It was all about relationships and connections with other people. Within all of those relationships the "school" work happened. Or at least I hope it did. Hehe. (Sidenote - I did get feedback on my teaching from them as well. I'll blog it later.)

After they were all done, they asked me to present my favorite memory. As I fought back tears, I told them that it was this moment. The one they had just created. Mainly, I told them that I have loved seeing them grow this year and that I was incredibly happy to see that they have figured out one of the most important things in life. That life is about relationships. I was so happy that they had figured it out. I mean, do I really expect them to remember that the Moors defeated Germanic tribes in the area of Spain? 

When students,... (why am I limiting it to students) When all people understand that life is about relationships and connections, I can imagine a different worldly culture. One where they look to the best interests of others. One of just simply being nice to others. (Bullying comes to mind) One that seeks to not judge others, but to place yourself in another's shoes for a different perspective. 

I'm glad my students understand this. 

Some other blog posts in the near future I'm working on - Interactive Notebooks, Survey Results to Inform for Next Year, and possibly some others. 

A couple quotes to leave you with. Mostly from the book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell. 

"No matter how much work you can do, no matter how engaging  your personality may be, you will not advance far in business if you cannot work through others." John Craig

"Maturity is the ability to see and act on behalf of others." John Maxwell from Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

"I believe that almost everything we become and all that we accomplish in life are the result of our interaction with others."  John Maxwell from Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

"I think the further along in life we get, the more aware we become of the importance of connecting with others." John Maxwell from Everyone Communicates, Few Connect


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