Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stay Young at Heart!

So something that I have found to be a MARVELOUS way to connect to my students (especially girls) is to embrace pop culture. A lot of teachers graduate from college and decide that they are above the latest tween trend. 

Tween Trends though are SUCH a great thing to share with kids! Our school has advisory clubs and this year I did a "One Direction" advisory. May I just blanket statement there is NOTHING that makes you feel younger and more in touch to your pre-pubescent self than watching a room full of girls fan-girl (squeal and cry) while watching this video: 

Before you judge... REMEMBER N*Sync??!??! Backstreet?!??! 

Students appreciate when you find a way to love what they love!

I make it a point at the beginning of the year to find out what TV Shows my kids watch and I watch what I can stomach of them. A lot of the shows they watch aren't terrible. A lot of students who struggle with behavior in school are very relational. Building a positive relationship with those kids based on something outside of school can help them feel engaged in your class. I even found several boys who watch "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" (several with their mothers) and their opinions are HILARIOUS. Kid's like to have something they can share with you. I had a kid who never said A WORD in my class before. One day while he was staying after school we got to talking and he mentioned he watched Dance Moms (with his mom) and Modern Family. For the rest of the year we talked about how evil "Cathy" from Dance Moms was and did the "Casablanca" bit from Modern family.

Quite honestly I feel like its a way to enjoy my job thoroughly! I LOVE working with kids and I like  being reminded of why I think they are so fun. 

Another way I connect with my kids is to get them into some of my favorite teen books. We talk about what we like and what we dislike about them. A lot of times I bring up a part that had me flipping out when I read the book and they likewise have an "OMG" moment. I talk excitedly about it to them:

This series is AMAZING. I highly recommend reading Young Adult Fiction and EMBRACING IT. This series by Jenny Han is one that I love and I have yet to have a female student who hasn't INHALED them. It's pretty easy to see what to flip out about once you read them! Don't write off Teen Lit. It is not all Twilight. Sarah Dessen is another AMAZING author to share with girls! 

This next year I'm SO PUMPED to talk to my kids about "Catching Fire". All the different aspects of the cast. What do we think they will take out/leave in??? I teach History and LOVE using Hunger Games as a literary reference in class and the kids are ALWAYS excited to draw connections. 

I will leave you with this: Learn to enjoy your students youth! IT KEEPS YOU YOUNG! Smile with them! Laugh with them! ENJOY WHAT THEY ENJOY! No one likes people putting down what they love/enjoy!

***** WARNING*****
You are entering the Tweenside of my 25 year old brain

Now enjoy these little videos  about "Niley" 
(Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus-- Call me crazy but I still hope these crazy kids work it out!!)

Before the Storm-- Written by Niley :-)

Wedding Bells written by Nick about Miley's engagement... 

(I'm SOOOO thirteen... maybe even twelve)


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