Writing. Why do we do it? To capture ideas from a particular moment in time – perhaps. To express ourselves – maybe. To connect with others – possibly. The answer is ultimately different for everyone. It may not be a million dollar question, but it is at the heart of where a blog begins.
Over the last year, I’ve read several articles on why teachers should blog, such as Why I Blog (and How You Can Too), Why You Should Start a Blog (and How to Do It), Blogging the Unbloggable… #thefirstyear, and two of my close friends have embarked on their own blogging journeys at Chronicles of a Modern Explorer and Lacquer, Teach, Repeat. Yet, it is because of my students that I find myself typing at this keyboard.
At the start of the year, I introduced the phrase “Be More Dog” to my class. It was to be our mantra, the slogan that would inspire and help students through the darkest of moments. Very similar to last year’s class saying “Embrace the Struggle”, which I was told later became a favorite hashtag via Instagram when students were working on homework, essays, and projects. I started this year’s lesson off by showing the following video.
After watching the video, our class discussed what it meant to “Be More Dog”. Our conversation centered around how to push past obstacles, procrastination and laziness, and how to be the best version of ourselves. The wall at the back of the classroom is dedicated to student work that demonstrates students “Being More Dog”. Here is my last class of the day smiling after a vocabulary review activity.
Throughout the year, the phrase “Be More Dog” is a quick phrase I can say to any student as a reminder to stay focused, keep up the effort, to think outside the box, to be a stronger, confident, more ambitious version of themselves.
During the month of November, our class participated in the young writer’s program for NaNoWriMo, better known as National Novel Writing Month. About a quarter of my students wrote a creative story and participated in this extra credit experience where they wrote 1,800-7,000+ words. The student’s writing was certainly an example of “Being More Dog”. The creativity, the writing style, and voice that evolved over the month was inspiring. So inspiring in fact…
I started to ask myself, “Am I being more dog?”
As teachers, we have to model the behaviors we expect of our students. How can we ask our students to become life-long learners if we don’t embody those behaviors ourselves? How can educator’s preach setting goals and working hard if we are not willing to engage in those experiences for ourselves?
Students need to learn from the adults in their lives what these behaviors look, sound, and feel like. Modeling these expectations and behaviors will help students develop a more rounded understanding as they develop these skills for themselves.
All of this brings me to this blog. Thank you to my students for reminding me to step outside of my comfort zone, try something I’ve never done before and be the best teacher I can be.
This is me. My classroom. My adventures. This is me – being more dog!