Sunday, December 6, 2015

I Want a Loud Classroom

Dear students:
I want a loud classroom.  I know, adults are always shhhing you.  Sometimes I am, too.  True, sometimes you need to sit in quiet focus.  Sometimes, I am talking and your silence speaks respect.  But the other times, I want to hear your voices.  I want it to be loud with the sound of laughter when we play a vocabulary game. Loud with the sound of enthusiasm when we start a novel or you learn something new.  I am even okay with loud frustration or confusion:  the sound of questions echoing across the desks as you muddle your way through new information.  I want a loud classroom.  I want you talking about our content.  I want to teach you academic language and then listen to you play with it.  Some of you only speak Spanish at home.  Some of you only speak Spanish with your friends.  You need practice speaking English—as much as you can get.  Some of you go home without anyone to talk to.  Or with only younger siblings to talk to.  Or with parents too exhausted for much talk.  You need to practice speaking.  Because if you can speak well, you can write well.  Because communication is a key to success, relationships, and growth.  Students, even if you are shushed everywhere else, I want my classroom to be a place where you can be heard.  So, I will no longer pat myself on the back if an administrator happens through and my class is silent.  No, instead, I will embrace the chaos, the messiness, the noise of learning.
Your (learning as she goes) Teacher

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