No, I’m not dour. It’s just that the frenetic energy of the classroom sometimes gets to me, makes me forget that levity and laughter lead to learning.
This year (so far), I’m building in more structures to keep things light.
One of them is Student of the Week. It’s really easy: Last Friday, I chose Esteffany as the first Student of the Week. She deserved it. Her peers cheered. I unveiled a student-decorated Burger King crown and made her wear it in a picture with me.
In previous years, that’s where Student of the Week ended. This year, here are the improvements:
1. The Student of the Week must wear the crown in class the following week,
2. The SoW is the facilitator for the week (e.g., timekeeping, collecting work, monitoring bathroom breaks),
3. The SoW chooses the next SoW,
4. The SoW writes a post on our classroom blog.
I’m pretty happy with the enhancements, and things are going well so far. Student of the Week is a simple, fun way to build community. It promotes academic pride, keeps the classroom lighthearted, and shares leadership roles among students.