On Saturday Who Is NOBODY? was at the OAJE Conference – Ontario Association of Junior Educators. The focus was Creating Caring Classrooms.
Making classrooms safe communities
This topic always gets me fired up because an atmosphere of respect is fundamental for learning. Respect is the number one indicator for success. Yet too often the curriculum is considered before a caring classroom—which is kind of like having an ipod loaded up with 100’s of hits, but not having headphones.
When people don’t respect themselves they:
- have low self esteem
- give into peer pressure
- are affected by bullying.
When people respect themselves they are:
- open to learn and share
- not afraid to make mistakes
- excited to try new things
A conference that focuses on caring classrooms was full of like-minded teachers who understand why you need to create an open and accepting classroom environment. It was wonderful for us to be able to share how Who Is NOBODY? helps students learn why EVERYBODY is SOMEBODY! Implementing a program that supports teachers in creating a caring classroom makes it easier for teachers to focus on the curriculum.
What can we learn from rock music?
On the way home from the OAJE teacher’s conference, I heard a new song that flicked my optimism switch and brought me back to a quote from Bono of the Band U2. I first read this quote when I finished Teacher’s College; when I wasn’t a kid anymore but was making decisions that would start to carve out the kind of adult I’d be.
Pop music often tells you everything is OK, while rock music tells you that it's not OK, but you can change it— Bono, U2
Bono said something along the lines of: when people get to a certain age they stop buying music and start buying furniture.
I wasn’t able to find Bono’s exact wording. But in looking I came across another quote that captures why I cross check myself with the above idea a lot. I never want to forget the power of listening to music.
The song I heard was Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups.
What can we learn from the song Lazy Eye?
My interpretation of the lyrics is that if you want something, you have to go for it and make it happen. You can’t just be in your situation looking at another, wanting something you don’t have. You have to do something about it.
What can you do to make your classroom safe?
Wanting a caring classroom isn’t enough. You have to do something about it!
Who Is NOBODY? is just one method of making your classroom a respectful place for students to come to each day and not be afraid to be true to themselves. It’s an easy program to implement (set up by 3 short DVD lessons) and then it’s self-running over the school year, just taking 5 minutes of class time per week.
For more information about OAJE visit: http://www.oaje.org/
Change starts with kids.