Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Swagger, What?

   According to what I read in an article in The Grio, it appears that some Florida literacy company awarded Nicki Minaj and Lil' Wayne  teacher of the year awards?! Really, I mean, REALLY?
   I know I had to take a look, because I could not believe it. I was stunned! I'm sitting in front of my computer reading and my mouth dropped and hit the floor. Then I picked my bruised jaw up and reread the article. The company awarded them the awards because of their "Swagger". Now while I have to agree with the author of this article, that I don't particularly want to see my high school biology teacher, Dr. B doing a  rap to the life cycle of a frog along with big sunglasses, cap turned backward, $200.00 Nikes and pants belted at his rear end. .I do believe that we need to use some type of "swagger" (and I put that in quotes, because due to my age I am not sure if it means to rap a lesson or just to be a little more entertaining with our lessons).
   If "swagger" means to beef up a lesson so you catch the students interest, then YES with capital letters! Now, if "swagger" means that I have to call my students by "hood" names and use language that is totally inappropriate for my kindergarten students or any student for that matter, then NO with capital letters! So I am going with the first idea, that "swagger" is a term that attracts a student's attention so that after teaching a standard and skill for the tenth time, they awaken to a new way of listening, being attentive, and paying attention.
   "Swagger" is the upbeat songs I use thoughtfully, the videos I download thoughtfully, the games I make for them based on a standard (dare I say it) thoughtfully, and the books I choose thoughtfully for any lesson. Sometimes we teachers get in a rut! We forget that just like everything else in life you have to laugh, love and sing! My best and productive days of teaching are not when I am ramming a lesson down their throats, but when I am excited, when I am joyful and when I laugh with them not at them. When we do a letter song or math song that has an upbeat, like some of the songs from Have Fun Teaching, or Jack Hartmann ( who has a new valentine's song), or Harry Kindergarten! Another site is WEGIVEBOOKS, which has great books online for all ages and benefits other children globally. Yes that is my "swagger"! What is yours? Let me know because I have learned so much from the many blogs I read and follow and I am always ready to learn more!


Miss Wonder said...

Ok, based on the assumption that "swagger" means enthusiasm, I love musical ways of teaching. Yesterday I sang the contraction song to a second grade class I was subbing for. And actually recieved positive comments. Sometimes when I'm getting frustrated I break into song instead of yelling. So when my Little People burst into a chorus of "what are we supposed to be doing?" (my least favorite phrase in the English language) I might start singing "get out a pencil, clear off your desk." It sort of breaks the tension for everyone.
Thanks for those resources! I'm always looking for more swagger!

Susan Case said...

I voted for you! Love your blog. Thanks for visiting mine.

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