|Robin, in her natural habitat.|
We were on a short timeframe, so once we had enough responses to make the assignment work, we gave the kids the assignment. Again, Robin created the assignment sheet. Students had the option of working independently or pairing up to share the assignment in a partner presentation; this latter option is the one most students selected.
Robin also found some eulogies on YouTube so students could get more of a sense of how a eulogy sounds. We made copies of the questionnaires, a set for Robin's class and one for my three speech classes to share. I numbered the questionnaires to make keeping track of them easier.
I left the assignment for my sub to distribute last Monday while I was home convalescing. The students had last Tuesday to complete their eulogies prior to presenting them on Wednesday.
Our school has over 1,400 students in grades 9-12, but the building's design is not conducive to collegiality. When it was built in the early 1960s the architect sold the district on the open campus design popular in California and Arizona. A renovation in the 1990s enclosed most of the buildings, connecting them to one another, but it's still cavernous. Thus, I can go weeks without seeing most of my colleagues; I don't even see all the teachers in my department every week.
Through the eulogies, I learned some fascinating things about my colleagues, and many of the students took time to visit with and interview teachers to improve their eulogies.
From two students' paired eulogy of George Yarno, a science teacher and assistant football coach, I learned that he has been donating his hair to Locks of Love for over a decade.
|Yarno with his hair down. It's normally |
in a ponytail or bun.
One of my favorite stories was shared by Chris Wilkinson, a math teacher whose son Parker is in my AP Lit and Comp class.
I loved organizing summers with my kids. We would go to the pool one day, have a craft day an outdoor activity day, and a day for reading and doing worksheets.
Only the bit about "doing worksheets" made it into the eulogy!
|Chris at her desk.|
Most of my colleagues are from Idaho and attended college locally. We do, however, have some transplants, among them Kristen Berger who came to us from New York. The students who eulogized Kristen spoke about her activism in New York. She shared how she worked with students to raise $20,000.00 to lobby Congress. Kristen earned her B.A. at Swarthmore and her M.A. at N.Y.U. The students had not heard of either university, so I had a chance to talk to them about upper-tier schools.
Some of my colleagues bravely shared their own challenges in school. My neighbor across the hall told about being treated as a weak person who gained strength through dancing.
|Danielle danced to be strong!|
|Kyle is smiling because he's almost done with his PhD!|
And if you're sensing a theme her in terms of Robin's ownership of this assignment, you're right. I must say that having her as a collaborator has been a joy. She and I work closely with our colleague Debbie, and the three of us also collaborate with our friend and colleague Wendy, the debate coach at Pocatello High School. We are a team, and that alone deserves some praise, perhaps a eulogy is in order!
|The 9th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge|
is in full swing. Thanks Two Writing Teachers team
for this spectacular opportunity to engage as a community