Monday, May 24, 2010
Jan Phillips Part 3
Bet you thought I'd exhibited my usual distracted behavior and moved on from Jan Phillips. Quite the contrary. I'm immersing myself in her work and feeling exhilarated!
I am listening to one of her CD series entitled, "Creating Every Day". One of the stories she tells is about a sister in the parochial school where she attended high school. For an entire semester, instead of having the students recite a prayer as most of the nuns did, this teacher had a poem for each day of the week. e. e. cummings, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Shakespeare and two others. By the end of the semester, the students were proud of their ability to recite from memory these five poems.
The sister also took advantage of times when the kids were acting up and rowdy. Instead of continually saying, "Cool it, calm down", begging "C-l-a-s-s", or threatening punishment, she had them take out a pencil and paper and write for a few minutes about what they were feeling at the moment.
In my opinion, this teacher was brilliant. She took two times of the day when kids tune out and made them something special. I have a friend who is a first-grade teacher, and when I told him about these ideas, he decided to immediately start doing them in his classroom. Do we ever need more teachers like this.
There's more to come about Jan. Stay tuned.