Friday, January 28, 2011

Kids These Days

I just realized this is my 100th post. That's a lot of writing, and I have to admit, it feels good to know I've put myself out there that much. I really appreciate everyone who reads what I'm writing, and especially those who are kind enough to leave comments. I probably spend too much time working on blog posts, but what can I say, it's fun.

I haven't written about teaching in a while, but this week has been especially gratifying at school. I know a lot of adults weep for the future, but rest assured, there are a lot of great kids out there.

My school is hosting a group of South Korean students for a month. On their first day, I thought our kids were going to lose their minds. It was like the second coming of the Beatles. Those poor Korean kids were probably terrified, but it was pretty inspiring to see how excited our students were to welcome them to our school. For the last two weeks I have watched our kids ignore the language barrier, forging relationships with the Korean kids. I'm really proud of the way our kids have embraced this situation.

Another cool thing is happening in one of my advanced classes. Every Tuesday and Thursday we start class with a Quickwrite. This is where I give the kids a topic and they write for five minutes, whatever comes to mind. It's OK to go off topic, the goal is to keep writing for the whole five minutes. Every third or fourth topic is what I call a freewrite. This just means the kids can write about anything. One of the guys in my third period started doing his freewrites about the other people in class, saying something nice about each person in the room, including myself. He always volunteers to read what he's written, and it's always funny and creative.

We did a freewrite yesterday, and it's tradition now for this kid to read first on freewrite days. The smiles appeared like dominos as he said something kind about each person in the room. This was already enough to make my day, but then things got really cool. The next kid to read had written something funny and kind about each kid in class too, ending with the kid who originated the idea. Another kid then suggested everyone should write nice things about each person in class for our next freewrite, and the room literally erupted with enthusiastic agreement. There was even talk of just making that the rule for freewrites, writing nice things about each person in class, including Mr. Riley. All I could think was, man, kids these days.


  1. I have witnessed this sort of behaviour too and yes, it makes the future seem brighter.

  2. congrats on your 100th post. You are too modest. Likewise I have spent too much time blogging lately. I think my 100th post piece was a bit more OTT..

  3. These exchange programs are a great idea.

  4. That is really awesome. We all worry about the state of our educational system and the future so much that we sometimes forget to realize what is there right now.

  5. Congratulations on your centennial post! It was a very worthwhile and inspiring read ...

    Best -


  6. Squilla's AuntJanuary 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    That story about teens and the freewrite just makes my heart happy! More stories about your classes, please!

  7. That's just kind of awesome. I think my day's been officially made.