Friday, May 29, 2009

We are all 60-year-old grandmas at heart

There have been rumors that teachers sometimes teach their students how to knit. Which I think is an awesome idea. Because one of my other pet peeves with students is the perpetual, "I'm done, and I'm bored!" student.

There have been rumors that students who know how to produce something from practically nothing have higher self-esteem, are better focused during lessons, and are more willing to take on challenging tasks. Oh, and supposedly the students love knitting as well. No need to dig motivation out of thin air here, for the most part.

Now, I'll always have a "What To Do When You Are Done" list on the wall. I'll take each item, teach it individually, then provide it as an option for students who are quick finishers (which is not always a good thing - I'll have to teach this too, but hopefully marking off careless mistakes will do most of that work for me). Included in these items are, but not limited to:

- silent reading
- extra credit work packets
- getting ahead in that day's homework assignments
- knitting

I know this kid who seems to ALWAYS be bored. She is bored even though she has a DS to play with. She is bored when I offer her books to read. She is bored when I offer to read aloud to her. She is bored when there are board games around to play. She is plain bored all. The. Freaking. Time.

However, I understand her type of boredom - the kind that doesn't stem from a lack of things to do. I think it comes from the motivational corner, although there are probably other factors too.

Students sometimes cry bored when all they really want to do is get under your skin and show that they don't appreciate your hard work in creating something fun to do. I've had fifth graders say this to me for this very purpose.

So I think I'll be one of those teachers who teach their students how some sort of handicraft. So that they don't cry bored. And so I can channel my energy to other things, like say, ignoring attitude-y and hurtful student comments.

If anybody knows how to not care so much about what students think, please fill me in on the secret.


Hedgetoad said...

I am so stealing this idea for next year! Especially if I'm teaching sophomores...

bun2bon said...

Yes, feel free to steal! That is what teachers do.

I would love to know how high school students take to knitting.