I'm happy to report that I'm now three years in at the school where I am and I am finally feeling completely at home with just about any of my students and I can pretty much bet that is something mutual as well. One thing that is for sure in my classroom? It's a common thing for good conversation and definitely jokes, good natured jabs, giggling, and laughter to be in abundance right alongside all of the work that we are attempting to do. As it has happened, there are "inside jokes" that almost every one of my students is in on because of things that occur in my classroom.
Case in point: The story of Ethel Rose
There is this ongoing thing with two of my junior year artists that originated on a day when barely anyone else was in class (because of field trips or sports events or something) and amidst the joking that was already happening, we started on this idea that one of them (the male student) had met an "older woman" who was also a "senior" and what would happen if he went home and told his parents that but the individual happened to literally be an older woman who was really more of an octogenarian (vs. just being older per se) and also a legit senior citizen (vs. being a senior in high school).
Now, I realize how ridiculous this whole story is and that is the whole point. And this "thing" started between myself and the two other students and we have just run with it for months at this point. To make it even better, the two students in on this particular joke are incredibly clever, funny, and sarcastic students who are totally able to come up with some of the best (completely fictional) elements to make this thing even more entertaining.
The above picture is the WiP of a giant Valentine's card the one student (who is female) is helping me create for the other student (who is male and the "boyfriend" of the fictional Ethel Rose). Here is the finished card with other elements that all of my art classes helped me to brainstorm what "Ethel Rose" might prize in her own life)...
|View of the outside of the card. The poem reads, "Roses are Red, Wheelchairs are blue, sometimes I can't see or hear you. (Please bring me new batteries for my hearing aid.)"|
|View of the inside of the card|
The card was delivered just today to the one student and I am delighted to report that it went over very well and I can pretty much bet his heart is bursting with a newly realized love for the lovely "Ethel Rose."
Good times. Good times.