Getting to know families is one of the great privileges of teaching. Since I teach at a small, independent school, I get to follow students over multiple years and I often teach siblings (sometimes simultaneously). In my experience, siblings are often polar opposites with decidedly unique personalities and classroom roles. Teaching siblings often gives me greater insight into both students, and it is always a great thrill when a brothers and sisters talk about my class at home. A few years back, one student taught his older brother (who was also my student at the time) a classroom rhyme about kitchen utensils. I’ll never forget the smile on his face when he told me. In the audio clip above, two sisters connect over a saying that I have all my students learn during their first weeks with me.
The convocation address I delivered at SUNY Brockport this past August. It was interesting, as someone who teaches high school students, to see recent graduates standing on the front edge of their college experience. It brought into sharp focus the complex and exciting transition that all of my students are hurdling towards.