If you are a fan of the book, Wonder, then you know about class precepts. Mr. Browne would post one of these rules to live by each month and the students would discuss it, trying to gain their own meaning from the words.
We are trying something like this in class as Leader in Me activity. We put of a quote, a precept, and the students try to find meaning in the words. I recently told students IF they have a precept and IF they send to me with their meaning, I might use it with the class.
Google images is a great place to find quote, so I was flooded with them. But, as sixth graders tend to do, they didn’t write the meaning behind the quote. On top of this, I also told them I’d delete things that were sent during school hours.
Until Tuesday, I’d gotten nothing but fluff. Then I got this one from a student:
I LOVE this quote because, when my mom had cancer I realized how strong all of my family was either becoming or already was. However when my mom eventually passed away I really took a look at how long I’ve been strong. Plus it’s from Bob Marley. Please consider having this one!
For all the immature, ignorant, foolish things sixth graders do, then one of them pulls something like this out. You sit back, think “Damn”, and wonder where in the world these thoughtful student came from. They never fail to rock you back a little bit with stuff like this. It’s one of the reasons I love to teach middle school. They are still kids, with that desire to please the teacher, but yet, wanting their autonomy to figure themselves out a little bit too.
Anyway, we used it in with my four periods of social studies, and when this student returned to class, she was beaming. “Mr. J, I had so many people come up to me saying they like my precept and how brave I’ve been!”
This is why I continue to teach. This why we do precepts, in hopes students will find the meaning and pass on that meaning to others. Today will be with that student for a long time, and I’m sure her mother is looking down, proud of the strength her daughter’s shown and will continue to show. I can only hope this a trend in the right direction!