This week in my social studies class, we learned about Ruby Bridges and bravery in honor of Black History Month. After watching the movie "Ruby Bridges", students brainstormed a time they or someone else was brave, and then they wrote paragraphs. Here is their work!
I was brave when I came to America. I came on September 5th.I went to talk to my family and friends to say good bye.My family was happy and supported me.I feel happy and sorry that I felt angry.
I was brave when I came to America in 2016,
What happened to me I have to see so many new people in America. What helped you I'm thinking about how I will be in a good school. My family and aunt helped me.
I was brave When I first went to study in the US. This happened on 8/28/2019. I couldn’t speak English and I didn’t have friends. My family, and my teacher, my friends helped me by giving support. I felt good, funny.
I felt brave when I agreed to come here. That happened on July 3,2019.
I accepted to come here and the next day I left here. To think that here I would have a future and know a language more helped. I feel good about being here.
During a mass celebration on Sunday, I did a pantomime in front of a lot of people. I remember that it was in 2015 in Puerto Rico during a mass. I had to do a pantomime in the Church in front of 1,000 people. I was worried to be embarrassed In front of my congregation. After doing my pantomime I felt proud, calm, relaxed and happy.
By "Bad Bunny"
Being a teacher is not getting easier. In fact, fewer young people are choosing teaching as a career, and I see stories all the time of teachers leaving the profession, burned out and exhausted. I recognize that I myself do not want to be teaching 7th and 8th graders when I am 65, However, I am definitely in it for a while more. At times, it's good to think about the little things that motivate us to stay in teaching. And, sometimes it's the little things we do for students that helps them feel loved, safe, and secure enough to learn in school. This became clear for me one day in a class of long terms ELLs (they have been ELL students for most of their school careers). They are probably my hardest students to motivate, and so I have created curriculum that is almost all project-based and is hopefully culturally relevant and relatable.
One day, one of the students in this class wasn't feeling well. A student I had heard a lot about last year, but had not taught until now, she was purportedly trying hard to keep her grades high and stay out of the drama she used to be involved in. So, I offered her a cup of tea, hoping it would get her mind off of how she felt and get her to do some work. (I have an electric kettle in my room, and a collection of mugs, like any teacher!) Once other students got wind of what was happening, they of course also wanted tea. So, I served the class of 7 tea, but told them they had to rinse their mugs after. They were thrilled. Some of them left half of their cups full; I don't know if they even liked tea. The following class (I see them every other day), you can guess what happened. They all asked for tea again. So, I made it again. For the next few classes, I prepared the mugs in advance, got some sugar, put the teabags out and filled the kettle. As long as they had tea, they would at least make an effort with their work, and considering this was a class with pretty low motivation, that was something, Now sometimes one or two of them still ask for tea, which is good, because I was worried I'd be serving them tea until the end of June.
On another day, I brought the same class hot chocolate. I was about to have them do some writing they probably would not be excited about, so on my daily agenda I wrote: "hot chocolate and writing." They more or less did their work, but the funny part came a few weeks later. Another teacher stopped me in the hallway one day and said, "Ms.Lopez, I have to know - what is it about your hot chocolate? The kids just LOVE it. Roberto is obsessed with it and told me I should get the same kind.. Do you make it with milk or what?" I laughed and told him that it was literally Swiss Miss chocolate packets, made with hot water from my electric kettle.
In a different class, I have an English learner from Central America who is very shy about speaking English and is sometimes grumpy about doing her work. She puts up a (small) fuss sometimes until I either cajole her or threaten to call her mom, and then she grudgingly does her work. For Valentine's Day, she brought me chocolate and a beautiful card. That grumpy student made my day with her words: "Thank you for believing in our possibilities, for your infinite patience." So, remember - all the little things you do every day matter!