The barbeques were lit up in front of the school last night. They were manned by support workers who managed to keep hamburgers and cheeseburgers coming. It was an informal way for the community to get to meet the new teachers.
I like the idea of a Meet the Teacher barbeque night. It allows everyone to get to meet without much pressure. Both my students and I are just starting to get into the swing of things. I haven’t done any formal evaluation yet in the classroom so I didn’t have to focus on academics when talking to parents. As such, the conversations I had with parents were more laid-back and it allowed us to connect on a personal level.
I got compliments about my classroom set-up. One parent said that she liked my room. She looked around at my classroom banners, bulletin board, and posters. It wasn’t too much or too little, she said. And I knew exactly what she meant. I’ve walked into some classrooms and been completely overwhelmed by what is on the walls.
I know that there are a million good teaching aids and posters available, but putting them all up in your room just doesn’t work. Too much clutter also doesn’t work. That’s why my classroom walls are sparsely covered and my counters are clear. I keep my desk and bookcases clean and organized as well. There is a lot to be said about the look and feel of a room.
I want my class to be inviting to my students so that they can feel comfortable there. I don’t want to overload them and I don’t want to be overloaded either. It’s a delicate balance.
Most aspects of my job can probably be summed up by those words; “delicate balance.” But I showed that last night by sharing some of my hip-hop culture with parents and students from other classes. I shared my teaching philosophy with parents and grandparents. And near the end of the night, when things were dying down, I got to show a kid a few of my moves on his skateboard. Everyone seem surprised at that.
I like to show kids that I can have fun and that I have skills that travel outside the classroom. It’s a good lesson. And it was a great night.