Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do Role Models Wear Toilet Paper Rolls? Yes They Do!

Me as a "roll- model"
Yesterday for Halloween we had a Vocabulary Parade at school. Each student in 1st-5th grade picked a vocabulary word (preferably one they didn't know) and dressed like that word. It was fantastic to see all the creativity and play on words.

Our music teacher was "instrumental"

 I was a role model! I wore my most fashionable clothes and covered my self in toilet paper roles that had characteristics of a good role model written on them.

I was surprised how many older students asked me what I was and when I told them responded with "what is a role model?" So I decided to do a lesson on what is a good role model and this lead to me to the discovery of an amazing Ted Ed.

Richard St. John interviewed over 500 people to come up with 8 traits of successful people. I love the researched based background of this list and his humor that makes the video seem relatable and not like a lecture.

I want to run this class like a Socratic Seminar and so it will look like this:

3 mintues- Introduction and Review of Rules/Goals
8 mintues- Watch the Video silently
1 minute transition to small group
10 minutes- In small group I had them discuss what characteristics they believed made someone successful, were any traits he listed that they disagreed with or any that they believed he had left off, and did they think you needed all 8 traits to be successful.
1 minute to transition to a small group
15 minutes- Discuss as an entire group. Are there any trends? Did the small groups have similar answers?
7 minutes silent reflection- the students are given time for a written reflection: What did they contribute to the group? Did anyone contribute something to the group that helped shaped your opinion? What characteristics do you have or would you like to develop?

I love the dig deeper section of this and so for homework I would like them to interview three people they consider role models. They can have a general conversation with that person about their life, how they accomplished their goals, etc. At the end I would like them to create their own list of 8 characteristics based on the characteristics their role models demonstrate.

Here is my homework:

My Role Models

Mike- the most amazing dog I have ever met. I wish he was mine. While his history is unknown you can tell by his ears he has had a tough life. If it weren't for the scars you wouldn't know that he had his ears cut off, that he had been fought or passed around from home to home. You wouldn't know this because he is the most gentle loving bear. I love watching him around kids! So calm and patient, he lets them give extra big hugs and squeal in delight. His unconditional love melts my heart. 

My co-workers. They are patient, kind, and steadfast. They are my role models because they constantly push me to be better - to do better. They do not pull out lesson plans from last year. They spend hours upon hours, sometimes still working minutes before their classes enter their room, creating the most current, relevant, and interesting lessons. I can't get lazy in my school! I also admire their energy. There is never a dull moment at my school. Just when you are about to think about a nap- "surprise!"confetti is going everywhere and our teacher of the year and her cohort are getting our students organized into a real life element chart, making everyone laugh with a video they created to beat the Friday blues, or creating a robot that will beat out robots designed by high school students. I love that fourth grade doesn't take tears or excuses, they just accept hard work.
There is NEVER a dull moment at my school! Oh and they never judge my poor grammar.

Blue Moves-  My Family. This group of dancers is truly my family. We have been through the happiest and saddest of times together: graduations, weddings, births, deaths, birthdays, celebrations, job changes, and drinks on porches. On the dance floor we move as one, pushing each other outside the box and challenging our bodies. Sometimes we get frustrated and angry at each other, but no matter how mad we get I know with certainty that if we need each other we will always be there.

Jana and Carlene- Founder and Volunteer Extrodinary for Nashville Pittie.
There is no stopping these two- not even a heart attack. I admire their steadfast conviction to educating the community about the unfair and unjust discrimination towards Pit Bulls. They open their homes to pups in need, create unforgettable events, and change the lives of dogs and their owners (or future owners) one by one. I think anyone who knows the many volunteers of Nashville Pittie would agree that this group is made of many sensational role models. I love that they take time out of their busy lives to change lives. Jana is my role model because she reminds me that it just takes one! One person can make a difference, one person can create a group that will change a community, one person can change the life of a dog forever. No wonder Jana was named one of Nashville Paws Humane Heros of the Year.

Christy R. and Jennifer C.- yoga gurus. These ladies are the epitome of Zen. Their soothing voices, unwavering calmness, and even keeled and positive attitudes are inspirational  There has never been a time that I have been around these ladies when I haven't thought, "Gosh I want to be like that!"

Jen and Stouie! This amazing pair do extraordinary things for me, but that's just one reason they made the list. I admire they way they take on any challenge- like the challenge of reading to and greeting 400 students in a day.  I also love the bond they create with everyone they meet. You can't meet them without a) falling in love and b) knowing your life with never be the same. We had several students who instantly connected with Stouie (who is deaf) and connected with his disability. One student wrote him a letter later saying that he changed how she viewed her dyslexia. They take the time to connect with everyone they meet, how many of us can say that?!

Brooklyn- my dog of course. I love her forgiveness. Maybe it's just her short term memory, but I love the way she doesn't hold a grudge. It also means that I have my patience tested and can't hold a grudge when she is eating my sofa. I look at forgiveness in a way I never did before her. What I love the most is that she constantly wants my attention and tries to get it by sneezing in my face. She reminds me to be present, that when I am with her I have to be totally focused on her or "ah-chew!" I love this because it reminds me to be present with all the people in my life- students, teachers, friends, and loved ones.

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