Students should be coming home, in the next few weeks, talking about Habits of Crew (HOC=character traits: integrity, empathy, stewardship, perseverance, service and responsibility). Character traits are not often looked at in relationship to a student's performance in school. Frankly, it's a crucial consideration when you are growing young humans into adults. As educators we earn the privilege to come along side young adults in the classroom, and we also get to become more wholly human in their presence. Being an educator is something that is earned over time, in partnership with your student.
We do our very best and so do they. That is the expectation. Some days things work out. Others, not so much. This is the story of humanity. That being said, the story of a HS is a bit awkward and dysfunctional. We don't like to talk about our own humanity, much, because it is often painful. It is filled with joy, laughter, compassion, frustration and a lot of weight. There are over 150 human beings in the HS space, and we balance our function and dysfunction together. Learning happens in relationship with others.
As an English teacher, I am fortunate to be the keeper of stories. And, honestly, that's why I've chosen this vocation. Students gift me with their voice and perspective so I may have a greater understanding of humans in general. I am a life long learner and I want them to embrace that philosophy. Not only can we grow as learners, but we can grow as humans in our community.
I've learned, writers do their best writing/ communicating when they're not afraid to be human in front of the people who read their stories. That is why I'm choosing to write these thoughts from my heart and not simply giving you the gist of HOC. I am being as vulnerable with my writing as I hope students will be. There is an enormous amount of empathy required in a writing community.
In one of my Stand Alone classes, last week, we explored the inquiry process. We asked each other what we needed to learn. I believe our takeaway was this: ALL VOICES ARE WELCOME IN OUR CLASSROOM. On good days and bad days. What we have to say matters. And it starts when we've created a safe environment where students are welcome to tell their stories. They tell stories to become more fully human and to have a greater understanding of the humanity around them. I wish this for our families, as well. I wish for you the courage and empathy it takes to be a human at RSS and the perseverance to learn and practice the Habits of Crew in our community.