Monday’s Workout – REST Day
It’s been said that my classroom tends to be a bit random – I don’t always teach lessons in the traditional way. I think that’s a bonus for the students because in my experience, the teachers who have stood out are the ones that colored outside of the lines. For example, when we were learning Cause-and-Effect writing, I had outlined bodies on the floor using masking tape. The students were to write theories as to why the murder had been committed based upon a set of clues I gave them. Nothing too traumatizing.
So when I was planning my lessons for the week, and realized that today was to be Martin Luther King Jr. day, I knew that I wanted to do something that would make our day stand out. In the past, I have worked at schools where it was required to teach the, “I Have a Dream” speech. While I do love it, and find it to be inspiring, I wanted to approach honoring MLK Jr. in a different way; a way that would stay with my students long after they left my classroom.
For today’s opener (a journal entry topic the students answer everyday as we begin class) was:
Respond to the following quote below; treat it as a Free Write assignment.
Be prepared to talk about the speech.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Our discussion was quite short after their Free Write; was this due to lack of sleep or thought, I’m not sure. I had planned on this quote being a stumper, so I had a follow-up activity to get their grey matter jumpin’.
Ever hear of Trust Falls? You know, that team-building activity where one person puts their trust in the group to catch them.
I had the students perform trust falls with one another; both with the entire group catching one student and groups of two. It went really well. There were no dropped bodies, and they were able to make some great connections between the MLK Jr. quote and the activity.
The students gave insightful answers. I had the students discuss the quote as a group after their initial reflection. Many shared how they connected with this quote about going away to college next year, literally not being able to see in front of them, afraid of the unknown with the weather and our janky flights on the only airline that flies between our island and Anchorage. We talked about how it is difficult to always want to take the first step.
So today I am encouraged by my students to take risks, and put myself out there more. It may mean trying a new workout routine or giving the old tempo run/intervals another crack at it. Either way, I will remember today’s lesson and how Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages continue to inspire the new generations.