I have been purposefully slow guiding my yearbook students and waiting for them to grab the handles. Today one of my students expressed her concern for us meeting our deadlines (which the class, nor her are privy to yet) and suggested I just start telling students exactly what to do instead of waiting for them to discover what they want to do. This was very eye opening to me. For one, I didn't realize this early in the year kids would carry that much stress around the yearbook and secondly it made me remember that my more hands off, discovery process can be very scary and foreign to many people. Teachers, colleagues and students alike. I feel kind of bad, or like I might be doing something wrong- because I am not concerned at all for us meeting our deadlines (yet). Which deep down I think means I am doing something right. But still, it dawned on me that this student (and probably, less vocal others) needs a little more structure. And it is true, this is my first big yearbook and first time teaching the class so I have not even laid out an entire year structure yet.
My quick solution today to help ease this students universal fear of the future and her need for clarity and security, was to assign her calendar powers. Meaning, she now has full administrative power to our yearbook job calendar and students will go to her to sign up for picture taking activities and jobs. Students all lined up to her desk and got themselves on the calendar. Now I better get to work on my year plan for her (and me).
Oh yeah, one of the most fun things I did today was apply for a scholarship to a Watsonville foundation for some marching band equipment. I want my spirit club, CatzNation to have ways to make more noise at games and according to high school sport by-laws, the only way they can do that is if they are a band (3 or more instruments). I requested cymbals, a snare marching drum and a bass marching drum. I guess I'm going to learn some marching tunes(or make some up!)
Constructive student feedback is actually a compliment to one's teaching (a complement, too).
Being on time to meetings is important as a respect to my school and my colleagues.