21 September 2014

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge, Day 21: A life outside of teaching?

Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.

Years ago, my AP US History teacher affirmed that he thought I would be a great teacher, which meant a lot coming from Mr. Priest. He cautioned me, though, that I would need to have a life outside of teaching. "That won't be a problem for you, though," he assured me.

I think I have failed you, Mr. Priest.

Back then I was swimming, playing cello, doing drama and debate, joining environment club and mock trial. I don't get out much anymore, partially because of work, partially because of parenting, and partially because, well, I'm a bit of a homebody at heart.

I do pin a lot...realia and teaching ideas. I tweet and blog excessively...about teaching. I read and research frequently...about language acquisition and educational policy and current events in Spanish-speaking countries. I shared some of my writing that got published with Creative Writing last year...about teaching.

Is David Bisbal a hobby? David Bisbal should be a hobby. I definitely bring him into my classroom at every opportunity. My 9th grade French teacher, Madame Kultgen, for whom my daughter is named, had Robert Redford to demonstrate Il est tres sexy. And he didn't even speak the target language! I think class boyfriends could count for bringing interests into the classroom, and it made me feel a little more linked to Mme. K.

I used to knit and crochet quite a bit and was kind of an obsessive scrapbooker and jewelry maker before my daughter was born. There just doesn't seem to be any room--in the house or in my schedule--any more for those sorts of things.

But there is at school.

It's not a class, per se, but one of my favorite parts of the week is Art Club on Friday afternoons. I took art classes in 8th and 12th grade. I dated an art ed major in college. Otherwise, I am totally unqualified to lead such a club, but I love it anyway.

I have drawers full of yarn and paints and other crafty things. Just the other day, I got to bust out my old finger crocheting skills with some freshmen in the club. Sometimes I sketch along with my little artists or demonstrate skills I haven't gotten to explore in years, like oil pastels and shading. And it feels good.

I haven't even had all of the Art Club kids in class yet, but some have decided I'm probably going to be their favorite teacher already. We share a passion, and we get to play together.

It might not be outside of school, but I think Priest would be proud.

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