Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Labors

My Personal Development Class keeps a journal for the term. Their first assignment is to personalize their journal cover by creating a collage of pictures, words & phrases that represent their personality.

This takes one class period of browsing through a variety of magazines. Some of these collages are very impressive. If you look closely, you will see little pics and words that, although small, may represent a huge part of their life their character.

The students receive a grade for their personality profile. They need to find a variety of items, they need to cover their background and they need to consider neatnesss. These samples are some of the most impressive.
Every other weekend, I bring the journals home...This helps me get to know the students much faster than I would otherwise. I am not critical of how they write, but interested in what they have to say.One of their journal prompts this week had been to write about...if you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be...

...answers included "a soldier fighting in Iraq"... to ..."Kendra from the Playboy Mansion" ...and most were somewhere in-between.

Another journal prompt was to write about a time when you felt out of place... One student wrote about that his brother died within the last two weeks; another said that "at school, I feel like I'm not good enough for anyone to hang out with"; and another said "always-when do I never feel out of place?" These are 3 students that will get extra attention from me tomorrow and all week.... And the girl that says "I dislike when I get used by my loved ones"... What exactly does she mean by that?

Most of the journals were typical teenage thoughts, but one was particularly refreshing...

"I love life...

I would never sleep if I had a choice."


Quilt Hollow said...

Oh my gosh...this was an absolutely touching blog post with thoughts of teens. I could easily see character from the collages and "a huge wake up" to me on their thoughts. I want to share your blog with my son #1 previous senior counselor....perhaps she can pass this on to another teacher who CARES like yourself. Getting too involved is a fine line, I'm sure.

Debra said...

I just wanted you to know that you are my giveaway winner!!! I will contact you to exchange information. Thanks for playing.

Great blog!!

GinGin said...

Gosh, I wish all schools had a class and a teacher like you. Teens so need this type of experience in school.

Kindra said...

Natalie, what a great class you are teaching!! I wish I had something like that when I was in high school! Their collages turned out great!! Being a teenager is such a fun but confusing time for a person. T.V. in general is such junk anymore, it's hard to find a role model in this day in age. :( But I sure liked the last comment about the student that said that he/she loved his/her life!! I wish I was up beat like that everyday!

Have a great week!

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

My daughters would have loved making those son would have hated it with every breath...but what a fun, creative thing to do...and how well you will get to know your students....mine just cry!!

I haven't visited many blogs since school began...I used to have tons of papers to read when I taught middle school English, Reading and I just come home exhausted and cut out the next day's projects!

176 days to go!