One of the best things you can do is take pictures of your students AND
PUT THEM UP ON THE WALL.
Use 400 speed film and you don't have to worry about a flash.
Second, many kids protest this, but they really love it. I always have
doubles made so one can go home and one goes on the wall. I have a long
wall with pictures of everyone for the year.
It s a popular place all day long.
Third, there are problems with photos on the wall. In the past I have had
students vandalize or just take some to have of someone they like. So
one day, I put up a sign which said.
" Please don't touch the photos. If you do, Mrs. Munce will punish you by
giving you a great big sloppy kiss."
(This is high school now.) Well, they just want to die at the thought, of
course. (I am older than dirt, of course.) But the great part is everyone
reads it. When they are up there with a friend and someone starts to touch
one. Guess who yells out for the world to know - the other student
watching. MRS. MUNCE! JOHNNY'S TOUCHING THE PHOTOS. Then I say "Oh
great I'm licking my lips now. Too bad I forgot to brush my teeth this
morning. Get ready. This puts the poor "alleged toucher" into shouts of
SO FAR, SO GOOD. And I have never even got close to kissing anyone.
PHOTO COPIES OF KIDS
Next, some kids just want extra attention. You know the ones. Well,
sometimes when I take pictures, I pick a really funny picture or a special
one of those kids, and I take it to a copy machine and make it 8 X 11 in
black and white. I run about 15 copies of this one photo. Then I put a
copy of it all over the room for this one student. Last week I taped them
together and made a banner in front of my desk. When they come it, they
can't believe I did this to them. BUT they have all LOVED it. They take
them down and usually keep them as a memory. They always ask why. My
answer is "Because you are special." I am sure you would have students
who would NOT like it. It would depend on your relationship with them. It
has been a great success for me.
TURN BAD EXPERIENCES INTO EGO BOOSTERS
A shy boy in my class tried to take off his sweatshirt when working in clay
so his sleeves wouldn't get dirty.
When he did it; they stuck together, he took off both shirts, and was naked
to the waist with the shirts around his head. He was totally embarrassed.
Then he tried to get the one back on and had a terrible time. All the
other students laughed and I did too. It was very funny. However, I knew
he was going to dread coming to class. He was just so shy. I worried
about this all day. What could I do for his ego to make him feel better?
This was shakey ground because even commenting on a students body being
naked to the waist can be very dangerous for a teacher. Finally, I
thought I could probably get away with saying something about muscles and
he must be lifting weights.
The next day, he came back quiet as a mouse, I made sure I went by his
table. I welcomed him back. The kids were still teasing him about it, of
course. I said "J- , you know you heard kids laughing yesterday, but I saw
the girls, and they were noticing your muscles. You must be working out
J-? I had no idea. Are you lifting weights in PE? You could be on that
show, at the beach you know. Its called Baywatch. We may be watching you
someday on TV. (Guys, he fell for THIS - hook, line, and sinker. Ladies,
you already knew he would.)
Well, his buddy sitting next to him was loving this, but was not believing
it. So I said, now, A-, when J- is
a famous TV star, and you want tickets to his show, you had better be
real nice when you call him up.
Otherwise, he will say "Sorry. No can do, A-. Call my agent next week."
J- was practically in art class heaven by this time.
Ever since then, his nickname is Baywatch and he LOVES it.